The untapped potential of employee wellbeing strategies in the UK
How many companies have an employee wellbeing strategy in place?Read More
Whilst employee wellbeing has always been at the forefront of businesses minds there has had to be a shift in focus to employee wellbeing at home. With many organisations experiencing varying degrees of success. In our latest blog, Cam, our Programme Manager, talks about how Covid-19 and the ongoing lockdown has affected him. He covers some of the tips and tricks that help him to improve his wellbeing at home whilst he’s working from home full-time.
It doesn’t seem that long ago since the Coronavirus, Covid-19, was a whisper on the wind. Something that was happening elsewhere. Something you heard about on the news; made a passing comment to your partner about it; then forgot about as you went about your day.
Fast forward nearly six months and Covid-19 has now been reported in almost every country around the globe and has had the most significant impact on every aspect of our lives, regardless of whether we have contracted the virus or not.
Employee Wellbeing and The Fantastic Four
Many of us are still trying to acclimatise to self-isolation and as personal and outdoor interactions are still limited, it’s understandable that this will have massive implications for the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of many of us.
There is a lot of advice out there for anyone seeking ways to stay physically and mentally fit, while isolated at home. In researching this, for my own benefit as well as my loved ones, I’ve found that this advice can be distilled into four key areas of employee wellbeing:
– 1) Look After Yourself
If you want the best chance of maintaining healthy wellbeing, physically and mentally, this is the starting point. It sounds so simple and like common sense yet, in these strange times, it is so easy to let things slip. Looking after yourself can be broken down into four key areas:
– Sleep – Catching an early night and getting up in good time is a great routine to maintain, particularly if you’re used to a Monday-Friday working schedule. Sleep rarely gets as much credit as diet and exercise when it comes to our wellness, but it plays such an important role when it comes to recharging. Not getting enough of it can lead to fatigue and even mental illness.
– Hygiene – Again, it seems too obvious to mention but this can be overlooked when our normal routines are thrown into disarray. You should wash and get dressed, ready to face the day, even if you are just spending it in the living room. Keeping a clean house and a clean body, can have a massive positive impact mentally, emotionally and physically.
– Diet – We ALL do it. Comfort eating. And never was there a time that we are more susceptible to comfort eating than now. But binging on junk food and allowing alcohol consumption to increase can make us feel lethargic and negatively impact our mood. Of course, we don’t want to completely eliminate our guilty pleasures at a time like this, but a balanced diet continues to be the best advice for a healthy body and mind.
– Exercise – As enforced isolation is generally limiting our activity levels it’s never been more important to ensure our body gets daily exercise. Make the most of your daily walk/jog/run. If you walk to the shop, take different routes every now and again to change things up. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
– 2) Regular Communication
It’s good to talk. And many of us that are in solitary isolation don’t have that luxury in person. Connect regularly with your key relations if they are isolated elsewhere. Knowing that your loved ones are safe and well will help your own emotional wellbeing and remove those anxieties.
Rekindling old friendships can lift your spirits , use this opportunity to reach out to people you have lost contact with.
Cutting down on social media should also be something we consider. Using it as a communication tool can be great for our wellbeing. But scrolling and clicking through news feeds can lead to a lack of productivity and reading too many virus-related news stories, could raise your anxiety levels.
– 3) Be Productive
“The temptation to do nothing is strong. Try to resist it.” Great advice from Alistair Campbell and I’m sure something many of us can relate to. Staying active, in whatever form that comes, will help bring variety and focus to your day. Time is also likely to seem like it’s passing much quicker!
Those that have active hobbies that they enjoy are in a good starting position with this. For those of us that don’t, it’s an ideal time to pick up the guitar that’s been ignored for the last six months. Or finish that DIY project that came to a halt last year. Or try something new! Picking up new skills and interests will engage and focus your mind, contributing to your wellbeing. Completing unfinished tasks can give you a tremendous sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Setting a plan can help you to be accountable to yourself and ensure you can complete tasks in good time. It will also help you maintain a particular routine, whether it be for hobbies, exercise, a diet plan or for work.
– 4) Think Positively
Adopting a positive mindset can be difficult with so much anxiety and stress in the world currently. However there are steps you can take to ensure you maintain a bright outlook and positive mental attitude. Doing so, makes the first three points so much easier to achieve.
The first thing to try to keep in mind is that this pandemic will end sooner or later. Things will go back to normal and the world will continue to turn. Keeping a positive perspective will help keep anxiety, stress and depression at bay. If you are already struggling with these things it can be even more difficult. But there are things you can do to help nurture a positive mindset:
-Listen to music you enjoy
-Read a book to remove yourself from the current situation
-Watch a film that makes you feel good
A few words on this last point. Even in this day and age there can be a stuffy, head-shaking response to meditation with many people throwing it in the same bucket as fortune-telling and clairvoyance – spiritual claptrap. Not that long ago I was one of those people. But meditation is nothing more than taking a few moments out of your day to try and clear your head and focus on your breathing. Even if it’s something you’ve never tried before, you can feel the benefits by simply trying to do it. Even just ten minutes a day can make a noticeable difference.
It’s so important to remember, that if you feel unwell or are struggling, get help. Regardless of whether you have coronavirus or not, we all matter and still qualify for medical or psychological aid if necessary. Many GPs and surgeries operate an over the phone initial call before bringing you in in-person if required. We are all connected in our isolation. Keep talking, keep active, keep safe and keep in mind. As my Mum always said to me in times of hardship as I was growing up – this too shall pass.
Did you enjoy this blog on employee wellbeing? Read more from the Stribe team here: stribehq.com/resources
How many companies have an employee wellbeing strategy in place?Read More
We were joined by Ellen Lapworth-Maisey – Wellbeing Coordinator at DPD.Read More