COVID19 and taking care of your mental health. 8 tips to keep in mind

23 March 2020

HR

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This is the time to make your wellbeing a priority!

COVID-19 is not only affecting us physically but also mentally, this time of crisis is creating stress and anxiety for a large amount of people. The reality is that we are in this together, and at one point or another many of us will experience stress and anxiety, yet the important thing is that we have the right tools and healthy coping mechanisms in place to combat these overwhelming emotions as soon as they hit us. We need to figure out how we are going to put our well-being at the forefront as we get through this trying time together.

Every individual reacts differently to stress and anxiety, whether it is a change in sleeping or eating patterns, finding difficulty in concentrating or increased use of alcohol or other substances. In a worrying time like this, being anxious is normal, so do not get stuck in over analysing that anxiety. Like in all other stressful situations, we will be able to adapt to a new way of living and working, as long as we pick what wellbeing tips work for us and practice them daily.

Let us Stop Refreshing those News Sites

As hard as it may be, limit yourself to the number of times you frantically check all the news sources you know of at once, as you look for the number of increasing cases, or what doctors and Governments are claiming all over the world. You need to find the right balance between keeping yourself updated on important revelations and overwhelming yourself. Choose specific times a few times a day when you are going to check and stick to them and make sure the sources you choose are reliable.

Keep Connected

Social distancing does not mean we cannot stay connected – video calls are an effective way of reaching out to others, to support each other and make us feel less anxious and alone. Organising a virtual dinner date with friends, a virtual drink with colleagues at the end of a long day or beating your family at an online board game are all ways for us to help each other get through.

Let us be honest and transparent with our colleagues, friends and family – share your concerns, feelings and challenges. Keeping in emotions and putting on a front will increase the anxiety and stress mounting inside, so take advantage of the sense of community and support that this uncertain time is fostering.

Keep Active and Healthy

Although you might feel that this is a huge hurdle, with gym, fitness classes and sport events being stopped and closed, it can be done! There are loads of workout videos on YouTube and the ‘’Are you being Served’’ Facebook page are even holding free yoga sessions.

Use trusted Apps, such as Calm and Headspace, which will teach you how to breathe properly, stretch in full force and practice meditation.

Try and get into cooking healthy meals, even if you claim that you hate it. Being stuck inside will have you running to the kitchen to snack or binge any free second you get – but stop yourself and stick to well balanced meals.

Tip: Organise an online workout with your friends or colleagues if you prefer a ‘gym buddy’ to get you going and stick to your fitness routine.

Routine. Routine. Routine

Keep to your routine or create a new one once you manage to adapt to this new reality, as these are good for your mental wellbeing. Try and sleep, wake up, eat, shower, workout, have virtual chats with your friends at approximately the same times daily. This regular routine will work towards managing your days and helping you adapt faster once things start going back to normal.

For the Brave, and certainly we have our own heroes too!

Many of us still show up at our place of work to service the community. We are lucky enough to have many unsung heroes ensuring our safety and continuously providing support to the rest of the nation. These individuals with capes are found in our Healthcare and Emergency services and also our very own colleagues who are showing tremendous dedication and are working around the clock to keep our services running and our customers connected, entertained and safe. Words do not seem to be enough to express our gratitude to you all!

Helping your Children will Help You

If you keep your anxiety and stress levels low and remain as calm as possible, your children are more probable to follow suit. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), some of the ways in which children respond to stress are; unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, acting out, difficulty in concentrating and unexplained body pain or headaches.

Depending on your child’s age try answering questions and sharing COVID-19 information in an easy way for them to understand, more info here. Ensure that they know you are there to listen to them and keep them safe. Once you limit your exposure to COVID-19 media coverage you will be limiting theirs also, which will avoid scaring them and misinterpreting any facts.

Also in reverse, ensuring that you keep your children’s stress levels low will automatically make you feel calmer and more confident.

Time to Reflect & Relax

In the past few weeks, have any of you stopped and realised how frivolous the things we normally stress about are? Let us take this time inside to reflect on where we are and the people that we want to be, our morals and values and everything that we take for granted, so that once all this is over, we will slowly integrate back into the community as the best versions of ourselves.

Reflect on any challenges you have faced no matter how impossible and daunting they may have seemed and focus on the fact that you kicked these challenges in the ass, and through maintaining a sense of hope and togetherness you will get through this also.

It is also time to get creative when exploring new ways to unwind. We all need to switch off and re-boost our minds, no matter if we are spending our days indoors. Figure out what things help you relax; whether it is lighting scented candles, having a bubble batch, curling up on the sofa with a good book, chatting to a friend or getting into some arts and crafts.

Bonus Tip for Employers – Provide Online Professional Support for your People

There are instances where people feel ashamed or do not feel safe to discuss their innermost struggles and difficulties with their colleagues, families and friends and this is OK. Should this be the case, please reach out to professionals, who know how to discuss your problems in a certain way to make the situation more comforting. We truly believe that it is always better to share emotions and not bottle them up, and that is why we have provided our people with free online counselling and therapeutic sessions for extra emotional support as we learn to adapt to this new normal.

Stay Well. Stay Healthy. Reach Out.

Have a look at our careers page and get in touch with us if you want to take your career to the next step!  For GO products and services, visit our official website or get in touch with our experts online or by visiting any of our GO outlets.