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Staying Mentally Well during the Coronavirus

Tips for Staying Mentally Well Working at Home

Here are some key principles to staying well when remote working. These notes accompany the slightly more humorous film by my reporters, Eva and Oscar LLoyd, reporting for It’s Time for Change!

Create Structure

  • Maintain regular times to get up in the morning and go to bed at night
  • Get dressed! It signals to your brain that you are in day/ active mode and makes it easier to get things done
  • Establish a routine. Be realistic. You’re not going to get as much done if you have kids at home. Many of us are in the same boat so be kind to yourself and your colleagues.
  • Create a workspace as free from distraction as possible (e.g. kids, washing up)

Switch off the Coronavirus

  • Turn off the radio, TV and social media and give yourself time away from the Coronavirus.
  • Put music on to change your mood.
  • Talk about topics other that the virus. It can become all consuming and have a detrimental effect on how we feel and behave.

Stay Active

  • Take regular breaks from work and move away from your desk area. The Pomodoro technique works for many people, spending 25 minutes on task (it creates a sense of urgency and focus) and 5 minutes off. Take a longer break after 4 dedicated work sessions of 25 minutes.
  • Get outside! Go for a brisk walk, run or cycle daily to boost endorphins, serotonin and energy levels.

Connection

  • Working from home can feel isolated to make regular phone and video calls with colleagues, friends and neighbours. The latter helps too with a sense of community, belonging, meaning and purpose.
  • Have virtual breaks including over lunch, to talk non-work.
  • Managers and employees should check-in with each other daily, as teams and individually. Focus on how people are feeling. Provide Q&A and joint problem-solving opportunities.

Me Time

  • For many of us, our brains have gone into panic mode with the changes and uncertainty, and many of us are having a wobble.
  • Find personal space daily away from work, family and other demands. And preferably not just when you’re in the bathroom!
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques… the emergence of spring is the perfect opportunity to spend a few minutes outside, using all your senses to be in the present, and allowing your outbreath to extend longer than you inbreath (7-11 breathing).

Find your Sense of Meaning & Purpose

  • Losing our usual activities can feel a real loss. But community spirit is strong and there are lots of opportunities to engage in new experiences online.
  • Find new ways to achieve meaning. For example, use the extra time at home to catch up on DIY, take up a hobby or join your community effort to support the vulnerable.
  • Focus on what is in your control – more than you think.
  • Turn the feeling of disaster into positive opportunities e.g. to have fun with your kids (hence my film)!

Be True

  • This is not a time for heroes. No one knows what will happen. No one has all the answers. Be human. Share your worries. Admit when you don’t know.

Give me a call (T: 07766 252574) or drop me a line to chat about how to keep yourself and your team well.

I’m happy to help and I’m offering free consultations.

Oxfordshire, UK
lisa@itstimeforchange.co.uk