Posted on 9/05/2020 by Penny Raven
We are all working and living in a way we didn’t think we would have to at the beginning of the year, and every individual is adjusting in different ways. It is OK to be anxious about the situation and how it will affect us in the long term. At TPP, we recruit into a sector that really cares, and we do too; it is very much rooted in our core principles, and we have created some top tips on supporting yourself through this time if you are feeling the pressures of work, isolation, loneliness or the unknown ahead of us.
What is self-care in lockdown?
Self-care can mean a number of things, from getting a routine in place: ‘get up, get dressed, get going’, taking time out for yourself: paint, dance, meditate, sing, watch TV, exercise, or doing things because you love them; a little escapism is great if you can find it. Taking regular breaks seems obvious, but vital - take time away from work areas if you can. Eat well, exercise and good sleep routines will go a long way to improving your self-care and something we can all make an active effort to do.
Be kind to yourself and others
If you have positive news share it, we all need the good vibes right now. We all know acts of kindness go a long way, do not beat yourself up if you have had a bad day, and be kind to those who might be having an off moment or day, we are all in this together. We might also be feeling a little out of sorts with our jobs and feeling pressure to do more than we normally would or take on projects that are out of our comfort zones. Try and embrace new challenges, but also know yourself and what your limits are, if it’s too much, take a step back and set realistic personal goals.
Switch off and breathe!
We are doing video calls and connecting more than ever, which is amazing, but it is also important to structure this well and allow yourself time offline. Being on video calls all day can be exhausting, so ensure you are setting boundaries. Avoid meetings over lunchtime; put the laptop away, de-work your personal space and take a full hour or more if you can. It’s very easy to keep logged on for many more hours than we might have done in the office, so structure your day well and get ready for the end of the day by turning the phone and laptop off and stepping away from them completely. We all need our down time, so make sure you take it.
I have added this one in as I find it a powerful tool. I have been on the end of many a conversation where the person just wants me to get to the end, but I have a lot more to say and I’m not given the opportunity to do so. We are all guilty of having a conversation where we just want an answer or result quickly, but are we really listening? Active listening can really support those who may not usually reach out for help; it can really open a conversation and help individuals at a time of need. Next time you have a conversation, perhaps just take some time to allow for a pause - a lot can be heard in a moment of silence. Don’t rush, ask how they’re feeling and really listen to what they have to say.
Talk – reach out
This may seem obvious, but I refer to it more on a stress level. In these unusual times, we are feeling pressures that we would not normally, so when you are feeling under pressure and stressed more than usual, then make sure you reach out. Your problem will seem so much less when you share it with someone to gain perspective and it will always have a positive outcome, no matter how big or small you may think it is.
How is everyone really doing?
Hello, how is everyone… OK? It’s all too familiar and the reason I say this is as a Mental Health First Aider, a large part of this role in a workplace is being able to spot behaviours and patterns. If someone might be in need of some support at this time, it might be more difficult to tell from behind a laptop or in a group Zoom call. How many of us are connecting with people individually just to check in and asking how someone is really doing, any struggles, issues? Those who are feeling the most vulnerable are not likely to reach out, so let’s all make a collective effort to do so.
I hope you found this helpful and that you are keeping safe and well in these uncertain times. For now, please take good care of yourself and those around you.
If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on LinkedIn or Facebook. Thank you!
There are many resources and hints and tips available for you to access, including some great free online resources from Mental Health First Aid England.