Coronavirus is affecting all our lives and causing changes to happen fast, leaving many of us to worry about ourselves and loved ones. Many of us are struggling with our mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic, these may have been problems you have been living with before or new ones that came from the pandemic. You may be concerned about how Covid-19 had affected your life, one reason being the changes made to your work routine which mean you spend a lot of time at home. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel or react to your situation and you are certainly not alone.
When you are in the office, it is perhaps easier to get your head down and focus on a piece of work. It might be useful to consider temporarily muting all phone calls, video chats (zoom) and messaging apps like Microsoft Teams for a brief period of your day as it can be a lot harder to find quiet time to concentrate. Here are some other ways to help with working from home during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Decide on your routine –
- Plan a routine for your time, and try to follow it as much as possible
- Try to plan how you’ll spend your free time as well as working hours
- Attempt to wake up and go to bed at regular times each day
- Take regular breaks from work and have a defined lunch break so you can have time away from working to help break up the day
- Finish working at a defined time and resist the temptation to continue to work into the evening. When it gets to the end of the day, leave work in the same way you would in your regular working life away from home
- Take care of your immediate environment
- Keep things clean and tidy, cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading and promote positive mental wellbeing
- Find ways to spend your time
- You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don’t use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
- Write letters or emails, or make phone or video calls with people you’ve been meaning to catch up with
- Find ways to relax and be creative so that you can achieve a balance between working and your leisure time
We all react to difficult situations in different ways, so it’s important to be kind to yourself. Here are some examples of mental health issues which people are experiencing during the pandemic:
- You may experience guilt if your response to the situation feels different to those around you. For example, if you are working under a lot of pressure which might make you feel stressed, while your colleagues seem motivated.
- You might feel stressed about going into work (if necessary) during coronavirus for various reasons including: coming into contact with lots of people, having more work to do across longer hours, feeling uncertain about finances
- You may experience anxiety if you are going into work during coronavirus because you are worried about your health or the health of those around you. The daily anxiety might also be on top of other worries related to coronavirus such as losing your job
Helplines & Support
Mind – www.mind.org.uk – Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Samaritans – www.samaritans.org.uk – Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Anxiety UK – www.anxietyuk.org.uk – Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)