Covid-19 & Keeping Mentally Healthy

July 08, 2020

Hasn’t 2020 just been incredibly unprecedented? I think “unprecedented” best describes it – who expected this??  It’s certainly changed the way we go about our business. Change is great – don’t get me wrong – as Benjamin Franklin once said “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished”, so we have to keep changing, growing & adapting if we’re going to survive. However change can be HARD.  And with the restrictions & limitations in place with Covid-19, the biggest change has been isolation.  As humans, face to face interaction is so vital – little things like being able to bounce ideas off each other, share a joke at the time or just getting that nod of approval or knowing look from a colleague.  This all suddenly disappeared & sudden change is really quite traumatic.  Some of us adapt better than others, but even if it was fun for a little while to be stuck at home, everyone has eventually asked the question of “when can we go back to normal?”. Being isolated, can have an enormous affect on your mental health.  KPMG recently made the following observations with the onsert of Covid-19:-

  • Cash/liquidity has become critical for survival.
  • Business continuity plans have had to be rethought given the simultaneous global nature of the pandemic & the subsequent impact of international & domestic lockdowns.
  • Leaders are being challenged to deal with a new level of ambiguity balancing what they can control with things they can’t.
  • Organisations are struggling to balance the health of their employees (physical, mental & economic) with the viability of their business across both the short & long term.
  • To continue operating in this environment, many organisations are trying to stay open while planning for the future through a combination of cash saving tactics & digital models.

So…. how do we all get through this?  TOGETHER is one answer but as that can’t always be in the literal sense of the word, support from others is high up on the list.

Here’s some tips for staying mentally healthy during Covid-19:-

WORK LOSS – STAYING WELL

  • Be KIND to yourself – the message of being KIND is universal so look after yourself & be KIND to others (after all … it’s free!)
  • Connect with family, friends & professionals
  • Maintain a routine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Clear your mind
Protect yourself

* Manage information
* Budget & financial plan
* Develop a flexible routine

Promote yourself 

* Exercise, sleep, eat well, limit alcohol
* Mindfulness & perspective
* Achievement & pleasure activities

Support yourself 

* Stay connected
* Use social supports
* Access help

WORKING AT HOME

Protect yourself

* Develop a new playbook: expectations, process & outputs
* Create flexible routines
* Organise a Team based approach to flexibility
* Ensure suitability of work environment
* Utilise the right tools, infrastructure & equipment

Promote yourself 

* Set examples & boundaries as a leader
* Ensure time for health
* Organise online catch-ups
* Maintain development & progression

Support yourself

* Be aware of other stressors in the household
* Identify & promote professional supports
* Support & peer networks

For more information, visit coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au