Work and home life can be taxing enough as it is. Throw in a global pandemic that forces many of us to be isolated, lonely, cooped up, financially impacted and bombarded with negative media coverage and it’s normal to be feeling pretty lousy.
Now more than ever it’s essential to be taking care of your mental health. The ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ mantra is all well and good, but how exactly can you ‘keep calm’ right now when the world is in turmoil?
Here are a few strategies our team is using to stay positive and healthy.
This can be tough when you need to stay inside, but there’s no doubt that moving your body will get endorphins going and make you feel great.
There are plenty of online workouts you can access via YouTube, workout apps or even through your local gyms and fitness centres. Many studios have adapted and are offering online classes that let you do yoga, Pilates, F45 and more from your lounge room.
Our Managing Director Roland is loving his virtual PT sessions and doing online Pilates with his wife.
Isolation is one of the hardest parts of this pandemic. We’re a social bunch, so having to stay at home and not seeing our friends and family is really hard. Social interaction is essential for good mental health, so make sure you’re still getting your fix by organising phone calls or video chats regularly with colleagues and family.
At PPG, we’ve been having regular Zoom catch ups, including morning team meetings and Friday afternoon knock-off virtual drinks. We always make time to check in with each other during these meetings.
Be kind to yourself
If you’re feeling under pressure and like you’re not performing at your usual level, remember that this is NOT the time to be pushing yourself too hard. It’s fine to dive into work if that helps you, but if you’re not meeting your usual high standards, it’s not a big deal.
People (employers included) understand that life is tough right now. Keep communicating and most importantly, giving yourself a break. And don’t be afraid to ask for some time off if you need it.
Get help if you need it (it’s available!)
Beyond Blue has a fantastic service available during the pandemic. You can access online forums, counselling via web chat, and a 24/7 helpline if you just need to talk to someone.
Lifeline has some great tips on how to cope with mental wellbeing right now, with tips on domestic and family violence, stress and overwhelming feelings, loneliness and financial stress. If you’re having thoughts about suicide or harming yourself you can contact the Crisis Support Line on 13 11 14 or text 0477 13 11 14.
Access credible information
The media can be overwhelming, and sometimes headlines and news coverage aren’t helpful. Make sure you’re getting your information from the right (credible) places. This includes:
- Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Australian Government
- World Health Organisation (WHO)
Take care of your physical health
Beyond exercising, make sure you’re taking care of your health in general. Keep going to your regular medical appointments and taking your usual medicines. It’s important to stay on top of your usual healthcare routine so you’re feeling well.
In colder weather, with so much time spent inside under a heater (yes we’re looking at you Melbourne… despite it being Spring now!), applying moisturiser can help keep your skin healthy so you avoid ailments like eczema and cold sores. Yes, we’re telling you to use moisturiser now… hey, every little bit of self care helps!
Find ways to laugh and have fun
Next time you feel depressed, try laughing out loud. Don’t have a reason to? Try it anyway!
Whether it’s mucking around with silly filters on Instagram, throwing on a comedy show or playing some games (virtual or real) with friends and family, laughter is a fantastic medicine.
Shift your perspective
Remember: you’re not alone! It’s easy to look inwards at your situation and feel very down, but it can help to remember that so many other people are going through a similar thing. The whole world is in this together, and people are working hard to keep us safe and develop that much-needed vaccine. We can do this!
Be mindful of your work habits and take breaks
When you’re spending so much time at home, and you’re working from home as well, it’s hard to separate work and rest time. But switching off is important and will keep you from burning out.
The Black Dog Institute has some excellent information on how to do this.
Remember: even if you’re feeling grateful to be employed right now, you still need to take care of yourself and have some rest.
We wish you all the best during these tough times and are always here to chat about your career or business if you need support. Take care of yourself!
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