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Friday, October 30, 2020

Looking After Your Mental Health While Working During Coronavirus

Our lives have changed significantly in the past eight months or so, from the way we shop, the way we socialise, the way we spend time with our loved ones and the way that we work. We are, of course, talking about the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact that it has had on our everyday life.

When the lockdowns started, our working lives shifted massively. Suddenly, we were all asked to work from home where possible and when we did go into the workplace, everything had changed. No more socializing over the coffee machine, or hanging out in the breakroom with colleagues.  Instead, we were ordered to remain two meters apart, avoid all but the absolute necessary contact with people and wear face masks. We are all constantly on edge, wondering if that next phone call is going to be from Contact Tracing, telling us to stay home and self-isolate.

It is little wonder that combined with all of the other measures in place to protect us against the devastation that Coronavirus can cause, this has placed stress on worker’s mental health. Humans are naturally social creatures, and for some people, that catch up with their teammate over the water cooler or having lunch with their friends in the break room can be the highlight of their day.

If you are struggling with your mental health and working during the Coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips to help you.

 Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Look out for signs that your mental health is deteriorating

It is quite normal to feel sad and anxious at the moment - in fact, it would be more unusual if you didn’t feel this way at times with everything that is going on. However, there is a difference between feeling a bit down in the dumps at times and having poor mental health, and it is important to recognise the signs of things going downhill. If you are feeling particularly tearful, angry or aggressive, withdrawn, or are having problems with sleeping and eating, with no interest in life, it is worth reaching out for support. Talk to your family and friends, family doctor, and your employer. Your employer should work with you to find ways of supporting you in the workplace.

Develop daily routines

This is particularly important if you are working from home at the moment, as all routine and structure can go flying out of the window. Try to get up at the same time every day as if you were going out to work, shower and get dressed rather than sitting around in your nightclothes all day and have proper breaks every lunchtime. If you can, go for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise during your break, as this can be beneficial for mental health.

Consider where you get information from

It can be very difficult at the moment to know where to turn to for up to date and truthful information. There are various theories and plenty of fake information floating around, both online and in workplaces. Fake information can increase your levels of anxiety. It is important to only trust official sources of information around Coronavirus.

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