Just about all of us have seen our lives disrupted in one way or another over the past few weeks, and navigating this ‘new normal’ continues to be a struggle. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a good time to check in about some strategies for promoting mental health for yourself and your team as we’re all facing difficult times.
Taking Care of Your Own Mental Health
Whether your workforce has gone completely remote, had to change its processes to protect staff and clients, or your organization is dealing with dramatic changes up or down in demand, it’s a pretty safe bet your day-to-day has been disrupted in one way or another. And with quarantining and social distancing practices sweeping the nation, your normal routines have also probably changed dramatically, even outside of work. We’ve reached a point where we’re talking about the “new normal,” and that means creating new routines that work for you. Setting a routine and sticking with it can help you achieve a personal sense of “normalcy.”
Included in that routine should be regular breaks and time set aside to exercise. Whether it’s a high-intensity at-home workout or a simple walk around your neighborhood, exercise is a great way to alleviate stress and help improve mental health. Additionally, making sure to spend time outside each day, whether for exercise or another activity is beneficial – especially for those who suddenly find themselves working from home full-time.
Practicing gratitude may sound like a cheesy strategy, but making a conscious effort with this can really reframe your perspective. Thinking about anything, large or small, in your life that you’re grateful for can help you stay focused on the positive and shift to a positive mindset.
As a final mental health self-care tip, limiting intake of news and social media can also be beneficial. With more time on our hands, we may find ourselves scrolling through our phones more often, consuming news stories of little-to-no value that can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Circling back, dedicating more time to being outside or exercising may provide much-needed breaks from your screen time.
Taking Care of Your Team
If you’re a manager or in some form of supervisory position, you may also want to apply some strategies for looking after your team. Your employees are likely experiencing their own struggles with everything going on in the world, and keeping that in mind can help you all move forward together.
One of the most valuable ways to take care of your team is to check in regularly – not just from a work or productivity perspective, but also on a more personal level. Just seeing how they’re doing or reaching out to offer assistance or help can go a long way in helping you connect with your team even during this time of social distancing.
Going along with that point, being flexible as much as possible can help your team balance all of the changes they’re dealing with as well. Whether that’s in communication levels, scheduling, or in other ways, being flexible can help your employees know that you’re there to help them succeed.
Making small adjustments in your own life or in how you manage your team can go a long way in helping to improve everyone’s mental health. However, for those looking for an additional helping hand, counseling services are always available. With the rise of social distancing, counseling via telehealth has also become more available, and many insurance providers have made adjustments to cover these services. No matter what strategies work for you individually, we can all benefit from remembering that we’re all in this together.