This feels like familiar territory, at this point. We’ve all weathered a range of lockdown scenarios – some more stringent than others – but the idea of it reinstating again in several key countries like England and significant swathes of continental Europe, has left many feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
The first time round, there was a refreshing novelty to grinding everything to halt. Those who needed a pause on life got what they wanted. But for many people (and even said pause-whisperers) who have no personal experience of mental health got an insight into what it feels like.
Working from home went from being fetishized to coming into fruition to being a form of mental labor. Careful what you wish for, right? Too much of anything is good for nothing – especially when it comes to our mental health. And right now, our collective mental health, wherever we are in the world, is fragile and fraught, leading to a strain on corporate communication and wellness. One of the bigger priorities in the corporate world, especially as a way to make employees feel like they’re still connected while working at home, is integrating wellness programmes. Some of these corporate strategies include having social events and group workouts hosted on Zoom.
Corporations are having to adapt more quickly to changing conditions but with existing frameworks, it’s a lot easier – flexibility is the key. Wellness programs that encourage high levels of participation have many benefits to mental health while people are working from home. One of these is their positive impact on overall employee health.
What will corporate wellness programmes look like in the future? Technology and virtual experiences will take a hold and be incorporated into future frameworks. The focus will be on wellness challenges that cultivate communication within teams and allow for socialization, whether they’re in the office or remote, to foster a sense of community while improving the health of employees. From webinars to virtual tours, to exercise classes, and cooking demos, are all great initiatives that can be used to engage remote employees.
For now, though, if corporate wellness programmes haven’t been fully formed and you’re looking for individual ways to take care of your mental health during this new wave of lockdown, here are our tips for taking proactive steps – such as engaging in self-care – in safe guarding against fragile mental health and dealing with it when it comes.
Make a list of your priorities
It’s not about making a list of life-altering ambitions or endless to-dos – instead, making a simple list of things you’d like to enjoy and make a priority during this period is a great way to focus your mind. When you’ve got mental clarity, everything becomes feasible. At the same time though, do the easy things if you are finding it hard to do the difficult things. We need to feel a sense of accomplishment one way or another.
You’ve heard of a gratitude journal? There is a lot of value in announcing what you are grateful for, as it brings your focus onto what has made you happy and can improve your mental wellbeing.
Know what you can control
The level of uncertainty we have to deal with at the moment is enough to shut our coping mechanisms down in an instant. However, try to focus on what is within your control and adapt your life so that it won’t be affected by external changes too much. This will enable you to grasp a sense of stability which is important for positive mental wellbeing.
Identify what triggers you
We have all spent an inordinate amount of time on social media – but is it secretly triggering a sense of worthlessness or simply makes you feel bad about your life? When you have a better sense of what lifts you up and what brings you down, you’ll gravitate towards the feel-good behaviors. Do things that make you happy. Baking? Drawing? Reading? Listening to music (go to the Evoke Spotify playlist!) Connecting with friends or colleagues on Zoom? Multiple those activities.
Establish a healthy routine
This can be tricky – especially if you are in closed quarters with little break in stimulus. But there is a huge amount of value in establishing a ‘lockdown routine’ – get up, get dressed, (if you can) go for a walk and make sure to border your work/life balance.
And finally, remember, all crises end eventually.