Looking after your mental health during lockdown

With the Government advising us to continue to work from home where possible, taking care of our mental well-being continues to be a focus for employers and their staff.

According to official figures, 44 per cent of people are currently working from home – which is up from 12 per cent last year, meaning a huge increase in people who may not normally be used to working remotely from a temporary office space, and sometimes in isolation.

As well as keeping up with the pressures of work in an adjusted daily routine, there is also home schooling and childcare for many to add to the strain on family life.

We all have a duty of care when it comes to our mental health and that of our colleagues and friends.

There are a number of steps employers and individuals can take to keep their mind in the best possible shape.

– As an employer, ensure that you check in regularly with your team – either through FaceTime, Skype or Teams. A video call and seeing someone face to face is much better than talking over the phone.

– Encourage your staff to talk to each other in a similar way; suggest some virtual team down time, maybe a lunchtime quiz, a Friday drink after work or even set up a fun team challenge; like a long-distance office Bake Off!

– Being at home might impact your routine which can affect your appetite and when you drink water. It can help to create a new routine to make sure you are looking after yourself during the working day.

– Getting moving is easier said than done when you feel low or anxious, but it can significantly boost your mood. Find music that helps boost your mood. If you are able, get into your garden and get daily doses of sunshine or do a workout at home.

– Be kind to yourself and recognise when you need a break. Have some down time from your screen and move around. And when it comes to home schooling, don’t stress over what you cannot do – but what you can and have achieved!

– Be kind to others – it really does give you a feel-good factor … just look at the achievements of Colonel Tom Moore! While not everyone will raise the amazing amount of cash he has for the NHS – organising a simple care package for a colleague, sending some sweet treats to a friend’s children or even giving your workforce a big ‘Well Done from the Boss’ will all help to generate that great feeling inside.

– If you think you need professional help, there are many charities and organisations who are continuing to work hard during lockdown to support those in need.