Wellness and Mental Health Hygiene Tips During COVID-19
By Jasmine Delacy, D’Accord OAS Onsite Resourcing Coordinator & Gino Carraffa, D’Accord OAS MD ()
Trying to juggle competing priorities such as home-schooling, working from home, staying in touch with family and friends via zoom all while trying to keep the laundry pile at bay can certainly take a toll on your mental health.
Despite all the challenges we may face during this second wave, it is important to note the benefits which can come from slowing down and staying home. During this difficult season we have been checking in with clients through our employee assistance program and have noticed a string of positives shared among individuals now working from home. More time, less traffic, shorter commutes (some commutes now stretching as far as the bedroom to the living room) and flexible working conditions.
Prior to lockdowns, isolation and social distancing some of us may have been experiencing a “time famine” where there weren’t enough hours in a day. And now, as the pandemic has disrupted our routines and forced us to pause, the hours can sometimes feel endless.
A lot of uncertainty and change has come as a result of COVID-19. Unlike a natural disaster, where the traumatic event may have an end date, with a global pandemic it is difficult to determine when this will come to an end. This uncertainty can cause a stir in our emotions.
While our mental health may be taking a toll, with this newfound time and flexibility we have put together a few simple mental health hygiene tips you can incorporate into your new normal.
A recent term we stumbled across on social media is the “Corona-coaster” – the ups and downs of a pandemic, one day you’re baking banana bread & gardening, the next you’re crying, drinking martinis for breakfast and eating ice cream for dinner.
“Corona-coaster” – the ups and downs of a pandemic, one day you’re baking banana bread & gardening, the next you’re crying, drinking martinis for breakfast and eating ice cream for dinner.
I’m sure we have all boarded the “Corona-coaster” at one point or another this year. Which is why our first tip is to:
- Be Easier on Yourself and Others
If the news hasn’t already sparked your attention, we are currently in a global pandemic adjusting to continual change and new norms. This can impact energy levels and make you susceptible to emotions foreign to you.
- Practice Patience – With Yourself and With Others
If we are not patient, we will run out of tolerance which will lead to frustration. And if you’re in a house with home schooling children and parents working from home, patience is a useful tool to keep in the shed.
- Create a Positive Environment
Set expectations with those you live with. Ensure you are all communicating effectively and are on the same page. Checking in with one another regularly and being able to communicate openly can prevent resentment and contribute to positive change.
- Stimulate Your Senses
For majority of us we are no longer experiencing the same interruptions or interactions. As we are missing out on all those usual things that activate our senses, stepping outside for some natural light, or having a diffuser in your home office with some background noise while you work are some ideas of how you can stimulate your senses.
- Don’t Fill Up Spare Time With Work
Strive to create that work life balance and maintain a routine. Although it can be tempting (we know) to check your emails first thing in the morning or while you’re on your lunch break, but ensuring we work between the hours we have set ourselves will prevent burnout and overload.
- Move Your Body
We know this message is constantly on repeat but moving your body can do wonders for your brain. We suggest trying to do some form of activity before work instead of rolling out of bed and working straight away. Our emotions can impact our energy, so exercising (although sounds counter-intuitive) can be excellent for rejuvenating your body.
- Diffuse Mental Stress Before It Feels Too Big
If you find smaller issues starting to bug you more than they usually are, it may be a nice time to pick up the phone and have a chat. Connection is so important during a time of isolation and as the old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.
If you are ever struggling with your mental health please call us on 1300 130 130 and check in . We are here to support you and can help clarify whatever circumstances you may be face.