Whilst the Sunday Scaries used to be limited to the end of the weekend feeling, we are now in a whole new world when it comes to the prospect of returning to work and what that means in terms of our mental and physical health. Self care and awareness of our own worries has never been more important.
How to support your mental health in the new normal:
- Acknowledge that these are times like no other. This is hard and difficult and not something we have faced in a scale such as this before. Recognising the challenges and that it’s ok to feel worried or anxious about about going back to the work place is important. Somedays will be easier than others. Talk about it. We are all in the same boat of not knowing what the future will clearly look like so talking about our fears and how it is affecting us is an important tool in managing how we feel. If your fears or anxieties are having an impact on your day to day function talk to you doctor as it may be a sign of something m
- In practical terms, make a list of specific concerns to discuss with your line manager or HR team
- Self care has never been more important. Many day to day things impact our mood and how we feel and at times like these the effects of these can be heightened. Simple examples include caffeine intake and hydration.
- Stay present- literally no one knows what is coming with this, we’ve seem experts all over the world go back and forth with ‘the science’ and what our options are. That in itself is anxiety inducing. We need to focus on the here and know and work hard to take each day as it comes. Look out for your mind racing or taking you to the ‘what if’ place and try to reel yourself back in to the current moment. What you are doing now, what you want to achieve today and focus on that
- Sleep-if we are not sleeping well it is very hard to have good mental health. Sleep has been hard for many in lock down so if that’s still an issue for you or someone you care about work on it. Look at your daily routine, eat early, minimise caffeine, alcohol ensure you are getting some exercise and exposure to day light during the day
- Positive mental health champion- be a positivity ambassador. If you think you are coping well be aware of those around you that may not and look at ways you support team members. Whether its a 5 minute dance off or a walk around the office, or even just an extra wee tea break those few minutes can help both you and others feel better.
- On line resources- reliable resources can help with movement, healthy recipe suggestions, relaxation, exercise or sleep. Set your favourites and stick to these. Having a select few reduces the desire to mindlessly scroll through pages and pages of recipes or exercise tips which can fuel anxious thoughts .
Dr Clara Russell