How many times have you heard the word “unprecedented” in the last few months?
We’re guessing an unprecedented amount of times!
While everyone has experienced stress in some form or another during their lifetimes, the levels of uncertainty on both a global and personal basis are indeed unparalleled.
Life as we know it has changed, and there’s an undercurrent of stress bubbling through almost every aspect of life. As we transition through these changes, it’s vital to take care of our mental wellbeing as much as our physical.
This is how you can check in with yourself and your team in these uncertain times.
Mental Wellbeing During Times of Uncertainty
Stress and Productivity
To some degree, stress can be a useful motivational and productivity tool. If you are cramming for an exam or prepping for an interview, the short-term freak-out can give you the push to get things done! However, stress has a different effect on everyone, and chronic stress is not conducive to good mental or physical health.
Right now, we have stress coming at us from all areas of life: work, family, money, health, and the change of all our usual routines. Over time, these worries can interfere with sleep, digestion, immunity, and make us irritable, sad, angry, or just super anxious.
If you are pressuring yourself because you should be making the most of your “extra time,” by using this pandemic to catch up on tasks, trying to maintain business as usual, or even as a time to start a side-business, write a book, or become a yogi – it’s time to give yourself a break.
While being hyperproductive may work for a percentage of the population, it isn’t the case for everyone. It’s more than okay to just survive in the best way you know how.
How to Cope With Stress
Rule number one: cut yourself some slack! You don’t have to be the best remote worker, the best home-school teacher, the best cook, or the best anything! The world is going through an enormous shared trauma experience; there’s no right (or wrong) way to survive.
Having said that, there are a few ways that you can protect your mental wellbeing.
Exercise is scientifically proven to boost your mood and can help stave off depression and anxiety – as is time spent in the great outdoors. Whether you are still working from home or you’re back in your workplace under Alert Level 2, make time to move and feel the sunlight on your face every day.
Prioritise! Don’t let overwhelm cripple you. Instead, make a list of everything you need to do, prioritise the essentials, and let everything else go.
Your body needs to be reminded that it doesn’t have to remain in a state of stress for the duration of the pandemic. Take time out to do whatever calms you – meditate, breathe, jog, read, watch Netflix, dance around the living room to Spice Girls hits…
How To Help Your Team Build Resilience
Besides the fact that your business may have been thrust into working from home or adapting your operations, every employee has added stress and anxiety that are difficult to separate from their work-life for now.
It’s essential that you understand these pressures and support your team in building resilience as they (and you) transition through the levels.
Some people might be struggling with isolation and loneliness. Whereas others may be struggling with sending kids back to school, or afraid about returning to work safely. So everyone will need extra connection, reassurance and flexibility over the coming months.
Now is the time to check in with everybody more frequently. Do it via phone or video call, individually and as a team, to ensure that everyone feels connected and heard.
It is important that senior staff and managers role model resilience and healthy work practices in uncertain times. Communication must also be transparent and respectful during these times.
Perhaps the best piece of advice we can give is something we have heard from New Zealand’s very own management team time and time again over the last few months – be kind.
Are you worried about the mental wellbeing at your workplace? Then get in touch with us here at Spice HR today. We are experts in handling team morale during uncertain times.