By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero
As widespread inflation and the long-term impact of the pandemic continues to affect everyone, it sometimes feels like there’s been very little respite from the last few years. Everyone has been affected, be it financially, physically or mentally.
Accepting uncertainty and remaining resilient can be a challenge on a practical level, but here are some ideas on how you can build that resilience to support yourself and others when personal wellbeing takes a hit.
If things are really tough and they are affecting you day-to-day, the reality is that you can only do what you can do. The key is to recognise how you can make things work when the productivity well is running a little dry.
If you’re a caregiver or trying to balance personal commitments and challenges as everything else gets tough, things will feel destabilising. This is where it can help to find and stick to a routine as best you can.
As best you can, it can be helpful to have control over one thing – your personal routine. There’s plenty of research that suggests our brains thrive on routine. For the sake of your mental health, set some simple routine staples that you can include.
This is a hard time. It is inevitable that some days will feel tougher than usual. Whether you’re already living with mental health issues or you’re feeling their effects for the first time – take it easy on yourself and practice acceptance.
Particularly for introverted types or those who might feel self-conscious talking about mental health, it can be all too easy in times of struggle to shut yourself away from others. However, this can lead to feelings of isolation that compound existing challenges. It could be as simple as texting a friend or going for a walk with a colleague. You might find that they’re in the same boat or that they can give you a good distraction from things that are troubling you.
If you want to keep your mind healthy, you need to care for your body. Our psychological state is intrinsically linked to our physiological health. Especially in times of increased stress; practising self-care is essential. Our mental health is hugely influenced by what we fuel our bodies with, so be mindful about what you’re eating and drinking. Hydration is important for brain function and therefore for mental health. Make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day.
One of the best parts about meditation is that it only takes a few minutes each day. You could even try setting an alarm to help develop a constant habit. Social media is a good place to find free guides to start your meditation journey.
Taking more breaks is essential for employee productivity, mental wellbeing and overall work performance.
The after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stresses around the cost of living have left many of us feeling anxious and isolated. This is bad news for our mental health because after all, we are social creatures. To protect your mental health, seek community.
Maybe try bringing your household together for a painting night or a trivia quiz- they’re cost-effective and fun.
If you’re working from home, make the most of technology. Staying in regular contact with colleagues is important. Have a video chat or pick up the phone if you can. The same goes if you’re back in the office – make sure you’re reaching out and getting involved.
If you’re a leader at work, there are specific challenges when mental health gets tough.
It may also be that you have to support people in your team with their own mental health challenges. Look into different ways you can engage your team, even if it involves setting up different activities at different times.
It’s been a difficult few years, and it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed and stressed. With a few strategies and mood-boosting activities, you can feel more in control when you face uncertainty and negative events.
Take care of yourself and your employees and remember to reach out to trusted people for support.