MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH WHILE WORKING FROM HOME
With coronavirus sweeping the world, many people are understandably thinking a lot about their physical health and how to protect themselves. But what about their mental health?
As routines are lost, social connections reduced and the world apparently having been turned upside down, it is no wonder that the mental health of UK workers is being strained. Now that the topic of mental health is no longer the stigma it once was, why is this not being discussed regularly?
Here at White Label, we are very passionate about protecting the mental health of our employees, our clients and our candidates. Many of our staff have undergone extensive mental health training and work hard to ensure that their teams feel supported and valued.
The recruitment world is a very social one and therefore we usually have a lot of time to talk and check in with each other. Coronavirus and working from home have threatened to get in the way of this so we are doing our utmost to reach out and look after each other.
An important thing to know at this time is that it’s OK to feel however you feel and that everyone will be reacting differently to the current situation. As endless as lockdown feels, you have to remember that it is temporary and it will pass, as will your potential negative feelings.
Helpfully, May is Mental Health Awareness month. This gives us all an opportunity to stop and reassess what we can do to look after our mental wellbeing as well as our physical health.
So, what is Mental Health Awareness month all about? How can you get involved? What are some practical tips for looking after yourself while you work from home? And how can you identify where you own level of mental health is at?
Mental Health Awareness
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Month is in May each year, with a dedicated week taking place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme for 2020 is kindness.
Kindness has been something of a buzzword in 2020 so it is of no surprise that it has been chosen as the theme for this year’s activities.
One of the encouraging aspects about coronavirus has been the prevailing nature of kindness that has been seen the world over. Kindness not only spreads support and hope to others, but also is good for your own mental health and emotional wellbeing. Research shows that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected; it’s a solution to isolation, creates a sense of belonging, reduces stress, boosts self-esteem and improve feelings of confidence and optimism.
In the UK, nothing can represent the concept of kindness more than the actions of Captain Tom Moore. The one-man fundraising machine told the nation that “For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away”. What started as a small gesture and personal act of kindness snowballed until it reached all corners of the country which shows just how powerful kindness really is.
Practical tips for good mental health while working from home
- Mood scale: This Mood Scale was shared with the team at White Label during a specialised mental health training session and is something that we still use regularly. If you’re struggling, then maybe tracking your mood and referring to this mood scale every day will help you keep on top of it and understand your feelings. Keeping a diary will also help you to vent your feelings and ensure that they don’t remain locked up.
- Online social life: You can find an online community and support group for nearly anything these days and staying connected through virtual means is vital. This could mean regular video calls with your colleagues, virtual cups of tea with loved ones or joining an online book club. Safeguarding these social connections will help to safeguard your mental health.
- Mental Health Awareness Week challenge: Get involved with the activities from the Mental Health Foundation and keep active while doing small acts of kindness for others. You could offer support to vulnerable neighbours, send a joke to make someone smile, or even tell a loved one why you are thankful for them.
How to get help
If you are concerned about yours or somebody else’s mental health, then you should seek the advice of your GP or if you need immediate help then visit your local A&E Department.
Talking to someone you trust like a friend, family member or close colleague is also a good step to take in looking after your mental health. There are also lots of services and organisations that are continuing to support people during the coronavirus outbreak:
Here at White Label we’re always working hard on #MakingPeopleBetter and that refers to their mental health just as much as their job satisfaction.
This scale is not meant to be definitive but an indicator of possible behaviours.