Five tips for looking after your mental health whilst working from home
This week, ahead of World Mental Health Day, WHO reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries due to the increase in demand on services.
With Downing Street now advising us all to work from home where possible, two of Gemserv’s trained Mental Health First Aiders provide five tips on looking after your mental health whilst working from home.
1. Staying connected is vital
COVID-19 restrictions do not mean that you need cease all human contact. WhatsApp, Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer us many options to speak to and see those we care about.
Why not arrange a weekly family Zoom call, a monthly Teams quiz with friends or spontaneously call someone you miss? And take the time to have a proper conversation. Ask how they are feeling and how they plan to get through the next few months and tell them how you are doing, too. We are all experiencing this together and talking is our best therapy to support one another.
2. Keeping fit physically will boost mental wellbeing
Daily exercise is proven to boost your physical and mental wellbeing. Try building a brisk 20-minute walk into your daily routine, or perhaps one of these 10-minute home workouts – www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/.
3. The secret to happiness lies in helping others
The first lockdown saw several local community and mutual aid groups set up to help others, particularly those who are vulnerable or living on their own. Join or reconnect with these communities or call on a neighbour to offer help or someone to talk to. Studies indicate that the very act of giving back boosts your happiness, wellbeing and health.
4. Detoxing from the noise – unplug and tune into friends and family
If you’re not feeling up to any of the above, it’s okay. If you need a duvet day with the TV and a box of chocolates, that’s fine, too. Try not to spend too much time on social media or comparing yourself to others. We all have our good and bad days, and these can be heightened in the pandemic. But if you’re having more bad than good, feel free to reach out to a friend, family member or one of the several helplines available to talk.
5. Recalibrate the mind and embrace mindfulness and ‘me time’
How each of us react to our ever-changing environment in this pandemic is unique. Some may well be struggling to balance the demands of childcare with work; others might be feeling isolated and alone. There could be a sense of feeling crowded within house shares or worrying about loved ones.
It is important to make time for ourselves, switch-off after work and leave our worries behind to truly relax and unwind. That may be yoga, lighting a scented candle, having a bath, or simply enjoying a cup of tea. Whatever works for you, build it into your daily and weekly routine. You deserve it.
At Gemserv, we’re committed to looking after staff well-being, just one of the reasons we have been re-awarded the prestigious Investors in People Gold standard, placing the organisation amongst the best companies to work for in the UK.
This year’s World Mental Health Day takes place Saturday 10th October. For more information, click here. If you are in need of support, a list of Mental Health charities and their helplines can be found here.