Importance of being mindful
Wellbeing beyond the workplace
Prior to the COVID -19 pandemic, the UK Government forecast that one in four of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetime. The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) reported that, in the past decade, claimants of incapacity benefits, due to mental health, increased from 25% to 40%.
COVID19 is placing an additional strain on our mental health. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have stressed the importance of being mindful and pledged their support for Every Mind Matters advice for looking after mental wellbeing. The Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Witty has also acknowledged the indirect effects this uncertain time is placing on our wellbeing.
The challenges of managing and delivering heavier workloads can leave some people feeling overwhelmed. One consequence of the coronavirus’s unprecedented impact will be that employers need to be ever more mindful of the importance of mental health for them and their employees.
Clarity, openness and a culture of support reduces the risk of stress. This can be achieved by holding regular ‘debrief’ briefings or having a central focus for your team simply by writing it on an old fashioned white board, so it’s plain to see.
Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make mental health worse. Your employees’ own situation may be secure but that of their partner or others in their household, might not be. Provide information about debt management and organisations who can provide advice e.g. their local CAB or Credit Union.
The COVID-19 bad news barrage combined with advice on staying at home, social distancing and self-isolating can have a detrimental psychological impact. The enforced change to our lives makes it all too easy to lose a sense of purpose and fall into bad habits like making every day a duvet day! So, how can we nourish our mental well-being during this time?
Importance of self-care
Although we want to know what’s going on, it can help to turn off the news from time to time too. Being at home might impact your routine which can affect your appetite and even how much water you drink. Create a new routine to make sure you are looking after yourself.
If you are well enough, gentle exercise is essential for mental as well as physical well-being. Listen to music that uplifts your mood. If you are able, get into your garden and get daily doses of sunshine. The exception is people who are being ‘shielded‘ because they are at the highest risk of severe complications. They should not leave their houses at all.
It’s important to keep busy, whether that means going for a daily walk or learning a new skill. There are still plenty of activities you can engage with at home, including crafts, painting, reading, cooking and baking.
If you feel low, keeping a journal can be a helpful way to unload emotions. Take things a day at a time – planning may have once been essential but projection can evoke fear and anxiety. Go with the flow.
Make virtual connections
Create social media groups with family or friends and regularly check in with people. Using either audio or video, by phone or tablet, you can be mobile whilst chatting. You can offer support to anyone struggling or reach out to others if you need to. Even just sending daily updates can help us feel more connected and less alone during these difficult times.
Right help, right time
Evidence shows that the earlier a mental health issue is detected the easier it is to manage and treat. Make it easy for your employees to talk about mental health at work and, even better, have colleagues on site who know how to point people in the right direction for help like the Samaritans. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives.
Find out more about Bira Insurance
This article was provided by Towergate Insurance who deliver the Bira Insurance service for our members. Bira Insurance can arrange certain insurance policies which include access to advice and counselling at no cost to the caller.
If you have any questions, please call Towergate on 0330 123 5939 and talk to the Bira Insurance team.
This is a marketing article provided by Bira Insurance.
British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Bira Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: 1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R AA, United Kingdom. Registered in England with company number 4043759. www.towergate.com/fair-processing-notice