It's Mental Health Awareness Week and in the current situation, it feels even even more poignant than usual. Talking to others about how we’re feeling and sharing our own experiences, especially when we can’t meet, is more important than ever.
A structured day could help your mind work, rest and play!!
- Designate a place to work that is as free of distractions as you can make it.
- Set a routine for working at home - it's important to get up and get started, to take regular breaks including a lunch break, and to finish working and turn off at an appropriate time.
- No matter how tempting, avoid working in your pyjamas all day. This is likely a big change already so try not to lose all your daily routines at once.
- Try and set clear tasks for the day - three major decisions or activities is a good day's work - but keep an eye on ongoing tasks too. You won't always get as much done at home - but you might get loads done. One great tip we heard of this week was to have a WEB list; W – what you want to achieve – E – what you expect to achieve – and B – what you had Better achieve that day. This helps prioritise.
- Have a proper lunch break. Stop, makes something nice to eat, and eat away from your work area. Try and get outside and get some natural light if you can do so safely, and try some exercise, again within guidelines on social contact - it's easy to get dragged in to work out of hours.
- Use your diary to clearly say to others when you are working and when you are available to speak.
- Consider keeping a journal - incorporating gratitude practice - ask "What was I grateful for today?" - and learning - ask "What was I challenged by today?" - in a week or so you will start to get insights into things you can improve in this working pattern. Soon you'll get to know when you do your best focused work, or need the most input. At home that might be different to the office. You could combine this with a paper bullet journal or planner to keep thoughts, tasks and achievement in the same place.
- When you are done for the day, pack away your work things or leave your work area at the end of the day. Before you leave your station, check on your fellow colleagues, are they ok?
- Are you ok? Your senior team are here to listen and support you.
- If you are home-schooling or looking after children whilst trying to work, have a conversation with work about those realities. Try and set up a routine whereby you have distinct times for working and for helping with school time. Dividing your attention may leave both things suffering and being there for children offering undivided attention at these uncertain times is very important.
- Keep up the formal and social flow of work.
- It's really important that structured and unstructured connections with work and colleagues carry on whilst people are working remotely or flexibly.
Kindness is key if you want to ensure people have the best possible mental health during this difficult time.
Visit the Mental Health Foundation website to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week - running from 18 to 24 May. https://mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/social-media-graphics…