Stress Awareness: Managing your Mental Wellbeing during a Pandemic
Stress Awareness Month has been taking place every April since 1992, but this year, it feels more relevant than ever.
Millions of people around the UK experience stress every year. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that 72% of people have felt so stressed in the last year that they have felt unable to cope.
As many of us continue to be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, it has been more challenging than ever this April for some people to manage their stress so at Rise Learning Group, we have put together our top tips for addressing stress and looking after your wellbeing during these challenging times.
How to Manage your Mental Wellbeing During a Pandemic
As we are spending more time at home, surrounded by the constant stream of updates around the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, managing our stress levels and mental health is more challenging than ever but don’t worry, there is so much you can do from the comfort of your own home to combat stress.
Here are our top tips:
1. Put down your phone
Spending less time on your phone is absolutely key during these times. Although it is important that we keep on top of the latest Government guidance and keep in contact with our friends and family, too much time reading through news items and social media platforms can increase your anxiety.
Monitor the time you are spending on your phone and recognise when this is making you feel worse. You may also want to turn off news notifications if this is increasing your urgency to check your phone.
2. Focus on what you can control
There is so much happening currently that is outside of our control, whether it be how long social distancing rules will be in place for or when your children might return to school. It is, therefore, important to focus on what you can control.
There are many things in our day that we can control, including how we decide to plan out our day, what we choose to eat, what film we might watch or who we might get in contact with. Focusing on what we can control allows us to recognise that worrying about the things we can’t, won’t change their outcomes and lowers our stress levels
3. Tell people how you are feeling
We all need an outlet every now and again, someone that we trust that we can confide in. Let someone know how you are feeling. You will likely find there are many others that are feeling the same as you are and they may have some great words of comfort and advice.
4. Share and share alike
Let your friends and family know what you have been up to, whether it be watching a new series or finding creative ways to keep the kids entertained.
You can also share any local businesses or services you might have used that might be of use to others, such as a local grocery, butchers or, if you’re anything like us, wine-merchant deliveries! This will show support to local services and gives advice to others.
5. Keep a balanced diet
It is very tempting during these times to raid the freezer for that ice-cream or to finish that share-size bag of crisps. Eating foods like this will satisfy you in the short term but in the long term will damage both our mental and physical wellbeing.
Keeping to a healthy and balanced diet will make you feel better and is something that is within your control – although don’t forget to treat yourself every now and again!
6. Keep active
Keeping active is something that you can do indoors and outdoors. Get those endorphins going by getting out for a walk if you can, or maybe running or cycling is more your thing.
If you can’t get out or would like some options at home, YouTube has a range of free exercise classes such as Yoga, HIIT classes or Aerobics. Subscription services also offer these types of classes. There are also a number of free fitness apps that you can take advantage of.
So, if you are a Manager, how can you support your Team?
Employees will need your support right now, in a number of different ways. It could be that they haven’t worked remotely before and are facing the challenges of not seeing their colleagues every day, the upset of changes to their routines or they may have childcare responsibilities to manage.
Some of our top tips for leaders looking after their teams during these difficult times:
It is easy to let ‘check-ins’ or one to ones fall by the wayside when we under pressure and working remotely. It is, however, important to keep checking in on your teams to pulse check their stress levels and to see whether you can offer than any additional support.
They may also offer support to you; they may wish to be involved in work they haven’t been involved in before.
This is such a simple but important thing. Understand the individual circumstances that your team face, be there to listen to them and be as flexible around how they work as possible. Those with dependents or those struggling to adjust to the new way of working will appreciate your support.
Find development opportunities
Although most workers who can are now working from home, there are still remote and digital training opportunities that you can take advantage of. Offering training or development opportunities can help people to remain motivated and provides opportunity for your team.
For further information on training opportunities that Rise Learning Group can offer you, contact one of the team.
Maintain momentum, recognise and reward
During these unprecedented times, it can be difficult to continue to motivate your teams. Offer incentives such as ‘colleague of the week’ or other bonuses like early finishes or rewards that can be redeemed when social distancing rules are relaxed, and people are able to return to their offices.
You may also decide to use Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or create an internal communication channel so people can keep in touch with each other. The use of a company newsletter will also keep people in the loop and maintain that sense of belonging.
Arrange ‘after work drinks’
More and more people are arranging social gatherings via platforms such as Zoom or Skype. It can be a great boost to your team’s wellbeing to get together after work to see how people are getting on, enjoy some time together and perhaps organise an activity, such as a quiz
Most importantly, be patient with others and ensure you recognise and manage your own stress levels.
Open the door to your resilience
We often find that in times of adversity, we need to keep our resilience strong in order to support our mental wellbeing. If you are your colleagues feel they need more support with your Resilience, Rise Learning group are here to help.
We have a wealth of experience in working with individuals to improve their ability to manage stress and increase resilience. Get in touch with one of our supportive and friendly team members today to find out how we can help.