Welcome to April - Stress Awareness Month for 2020 and it couldn’t have come at a more apt time.
Tensions have never run so high in recent history and with all non-essential workers working remaining home day in, day out, relationships are being put to the test and there’s little escape or time alone to just, well… be alone. To this end, we’re taking a look at how you can maintain your mental and physical health during Corona and our government mandated hour of freedom and outdoors.
First and foremost, it’s essential to keep to your normal routine as much as possible. Wake up at your usual working time, or an hour later if your lack of commuting time allows, and get out of bed as soon as possible. If you’re a morning shower-er, hop in the shower, have some breakfast and try to resist the sheer magnetism of your PJs and opt for smart casual clothing. Pour yourself a hot, steaming mug of your usual beverage and start your day.
If you’re a morning exercise animal, you could swap this extra hour of kip for a morning run, jog or cycle if you feel fit and well enough to do so. Bearing in mind it’s important to maintain 2 metres of space between yourself and others around you.
Though a childish word, it’s essential for maintaining good mental health at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Whilst we’re working from home, we don’t have that commute to help us unwind and transition from work mode, to home mode, so you may be finding it increasingly more difficult to switch off and be at home with your family, or even yourself, in family time. Make sure that you take some time each day to relax, unwind and do something that is just for you. Whether that be yoga, video games, sudoku or puzzles, whatever it is that’s your mental-health treat - make time for it the same way that you do for work and meetings.
Take Regular Personal Calls
Yes, Corona really has turned the working world upside down - you’re now encouraged to take personal calls on work time! Call your colleagues for a chat, no work talk, just talking. Believe it or not, those 3 minute chats whilst making a cup of tea or coffee or getting a snack in the break area are crucial to your wellbeing. Maybe do the same as you would in the office - at home! Call your colleague whilst you make a cup of tea and have a few minutes of sipping coffee and talking the talk, then back to work. Departments don’t talk often enough as it is, interdepartmental communications will be struggling right now. Keep on top of it, even if it’s just for a quick hello, how’re you?
S T R E T C H
Be sure to stretch as much as you can. For me, not working in busy Piccadilly day in, day out has proved its challenges of not getting out for my lunch hour walk. I typically go and take a long stroll through St James Park or Green Park, maybe pick up a cup of tea and circle back to Regent Street - back to work refreshed and exercised with the blood pumping. Although my purse may be loving the relaxation, my legs certainly are not. Currently my lunch time walk in Piccadilly, has been treated in for a lunch time run through the countryside fields. Although now bumping into the occasional fence stile as opposed to bumping into the occasional lamp post, my legs and my sleep pattern are both eternally grateful.
Take Up A New Hobby
One way to maintain sanity and reduce stress in the new home-office is to take up a hobby. For some it’s been sewing, others it’s been painting, for others they’ve started learning a new language. Whatever it is, now is the time to get back in touch with a long left behind hobby, or ignite a flame with a new one.
Finally, it would be all kinds of wrong for a top recruitment consultancy such as ourselves to not mention the career stressors that Covid has dragged in with it. Of course, some of these stressors such as redundancy and financial uncertainty cannot be fixed by meditation and a brisk walk at lunch time, and it would be very tone deaf of us to say otherwise. However, there are things you can be doing during these times to reduce this stress.
Spice Up Your CV
Our very own Samantha Daniels recently penned an extremely helpful blog about things you can be doing with your spare time to beef up your CV and improve career prospects during this challenging time. Just working on your CV and brushing up on your skills can help you to feel more in control and reduce stress.
Whether you’ve been made redundant or just have a lot of free time from your usual job at the moment, many of us have found ourselves feeling a bit rudderless and nomadic. Setting short, medium and longer term goals means that every day, you’ll wake up and know exactly what you need to be doing to reach those goals. Often, it’s not only the completion of a goal that help reduce stress, but knowing that you’re doing something to get there can be massively helpful in improving your mental health.
There is a lot of advice flying around at the moment about how to stay healthy and happy during Corona from a physiological viewpoint, but it’s important to make sure that what you’re reading is reputable and true. In times like these, and especially on days like April Fool’s Day, there will be a lot of fear mongering and false information which can lead to increased levels of stress and emotional discomfort. We recommend keeping up to date from reputable sources such as the NHS site, WHO and BBC.
Stay in Touch
Of course, the team here at VWA are always here to help. We’re just on the other end of the phone, an e-mail or our live chat. If you’re worried, please do call your consultant and they’ll be more than happy to help ease your worries and concerns. Compassion has always been at the heart of what we do, and that’s never changed.