2020 is proving to be a challenging year. The vast majority of us have never experienced anything like this before. The many changes such as self-isolation, quarantine, remote working and social distancing are taking a toll on our health and wellbeing. There are reported increased levels of stress and anxiety and more people are reporting feelings of mild to moderate depression. Normal life is severely disrupted and we have to even more conscious of taking care of ourselves.

Here are some tips:-

  • Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things that could lower your mood or increase your anxiety levels.
    • Reduce your social media exposure.
  • Stay connected with people.
    • Have regular check ins.
  • Have a routine.
    • Plan your day.
    • Manage your time.
  • Get adequate sleep.
    • Have the same wake up and bedtimes.
  • Devote time to yourself every day. One hour of self-care per day. It may seem impossible if you are combining home schooling and remote working but you must commit to it.
  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Drink water and stay hydrated.
  • Get outdoors in nature whenever possible.
  • Be mindful of your financial wellbeing and only buy what you need.
  • Even if remote working, have a work-life balance.
    • Take regular breaks.
    • Don’t sit for long periods of time.
    • Don’t work longer hours.
  • Develop resilience.
  • Ask for help if you need it.

For those who are line managers, you too need to prioritise self-care. In addition,

  • Be available and open.
  • Ask people how they are feeling and listen to the answer.
  • Signpost people to professional services and the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), if one is available.
  • Be realistic about timescales for task completion.
  • Trust people to deliver.
  • Be mindful of individual personal challenges.
  • Recognise achievements.

Remember these are uncertain times and it is OK to not feel OK.

Jolene King is Principal Consultant of 246 King Consulting (https://246king.com). She is a trained Occupational Psychologist, experienced Human Resources professional, is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and is trained in mental health conditions and exercise, health and nutrition. She can be reached at jking@246king.com.