MEN’S HEALTH WEEK
This week (15th-21st June) is Men’s Health Week 2020 and this year’s theme is ‘Take Action on Covid-19’.
Charitable organisation, The Men’s Health Forum, which organises this week will be spending the time looking at what we can all do to prevent the virus doing more damage. This includes:
- Taking action to avoid spreading the virus
- Taking action to get the best out of lockdown and the ‘new normal’
- Taking action to beat ‘underlying conditions’
They are running a myriad of free events throughout the week, including a free webinar on Thursday, 18th June, called ‘Men and Covid-19’. Professor Gurch Randhawa, Professor Alan White and Peter Baker will be discussing what has been learnt recently and the short, medium and long-term implications for men’s health and how the health system needs to change.
White Label has always prioritised the mental health of our employees, our clients and our candidates. We know from first-hand experience how important it is to keep talking to each other. Many of our staff have undertaken in-depth mental health training so that we are all better prepared in how to support and value each other.
To shed more light on the subject we have spoken to one of our highly valued male employees about his personal experience of how his physical and mental health have been impacted by coronavirus over the last few weeks. Chris is one of our Principal Consultants and has worked for White Label for just shy of 5 years.
- What has been your personal experience of coronavirus?
Overall, I’ve had a good experience and it’s made me feel grateful for what I have in terms of the family, the house, to work for a good business and to be healthy. Whenever there are problems, I always try to take a glass half full view and try to see the positives in the situation and to see what the new opportunities are.
- How has coronavirus affected your work life?
Quite drastically as I’ve spent most of the time on furlough although I have done worked from home some days as well. When I do work, I try to do the same things at home as I would do in the office as the fundamentals of the job are the same. One of the things that we have all done is to revisit a lot of the training we have, listened to countless podcasts and tried to use the time to iron out some of the bad habits and look for areas to improve on.
- How has coronavirus affected your family life?
Interestingly, it’s had a really positive effect. Usually I am out of the house from 7am to 7pm so I don’t get to see much of my kids during the week (I have two boys aged 11 and 8). Now I’m their teacher as well as their dad and also the caretaker. My wife is a key worker and supports foster carers who are looking after kids in care so she’s glad that I’m at home so she can dedicate more of her energy to that.
- Has coronavirus and the lockdown period affected your mental health?
Generally, my mental health has remained strong. I’ve enjoyed the time that I’ve spent with my wife and kids and feel happier for it. I’ve also started to do a few things that I always wanted to do but never had the time, such as learning a language – Spanish to be exact!
On the negative side, I do have thoughts of uncertainty and worry about losing touch with the market. As much as I enjoy being at home, I am ambitious and love my job, so the hardest part is the frustration of not being able to make progress.
Surprisingly, I think I have enjoyed being at home and home-schooling the kids more than I expected.
- What changes have you made in regard to your physical health routines over the past few weeks?
I’ve always been very active and generally run or cycle most days, so I have tried to carry on with that as much as I can. I have been able to do more HIIT workouts such as the Joe Wicks workout with the kids, which has been great for both them and me!
My youngest son is also helping helped me develop my football skills no end as he is a fanatical goalkeeper and he’s been demanding practice every day! I’ve also been doing yoga to help with post-exercise recovery.
- Have you seen any effect of the pandemic on other males in your family and friendship group?
Apart from my two boys, there’s only my brother in my family and he lives in Cape Town, where they have had a lot stricter lockdown than in the UK. He’s dealt with it pretty well and has a young family to keep him busy. We’ve had regular WhatsApp calls and I think the video calls have been great to maintain the feeling of being connected.
Of my two boys, I was most concerned about my eldest son. He’s in year 6, loves school, is slightly autistic and sometimes struggles to deal with worrying information. Part of being autistic means that his brain works differently and spending more time with him and helping him with schoolwork has given me more chance to have an impact on him to develop his emotional intelligence. We’ve been doing a lot of creative writing to help his process everything that is going on.
- How do you think that coronavirus will affect you and your network going forwards?
My professional network seems to have fared quite well, although there are lots of people who have lost their jobs and I’m keen to help them as soon as possible. One of the things that I have developed is posting more on LinkedIn and feel that this have been a good way to keep in touch with people on an interpersonal level rather than talking about work.
- Have you managed to take any positives from the pandemic over the past few weeks?
I feel like I’m closer to my wife and kids and have made a bigger contribution in the house. I also feel like I’m much better organised around on a day to day level and have got into a habit of having a to do list every day.
I’m also managing money much better as I opened a free share trading account on my mobile. Buying shares has allowed me to understand and embrace risk much more make my savings grow.
On a physical level I’ve been running and cycling much more and have really enjoyed it. I am in decent shape and will be taking the Tour of Tameside which is a 4-day running event.
- Do you have any tips or tricks you can pass to other men working in the recruitment industry in regard to maintaining good physical and mental health?
My top five tips would be to:
· Exercise everyday
· Have a plan for each day
· Create a good environment that you’re happy to spend all day in
· Identify and maintain the fundamental skills of your job
· Do the things that you’ve always want to do but never have the time to do
If you are looking for support, or more information about Men’s health in regards to coronavirus, then be sure to visit the Men’s Health Forum: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk
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