Staying Calm during COVID

Welcome to our Wellbeing during COVID-19 resources blog. Each of our blogs links directly to one of our 6 rules for keeping calm during the COVID crisis.

How do you stop burnout if you work from home?

Working from home has many plus points - proximity to the fridge and kettle. As well as negative points - proximity to the fridge and kettle. 

Jokes aside, we've all had to adjust to make the new normal 'workable'. We're establishing some routines and habits that have enabled us to work in smarter ways. 

I've seen a friend relax her child's school hours to happen in the evening time, which better suits her work from home schedule and her daughter's natural energy peak. We've never been able to enjoy this kind of freedom before, but it takes some mental adjusting to overcome old ways of thinking to make it happen.

Finding how to separate work life from home life when it all exists in the same space is something that requires conscious action. 

This article describes how we were already skirting a fine line when it comes to personal and professional life separation before the COVID crisis. With the huge upsurge in home working, it's a more important time than ever to...

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Connecting with your team during isolation

"I'm fine". 

The most overused lie we hear and tell in our everyday lives. It's often said as a reflex response to the question "How are you?".

With many of us conducting team chats over video digital platforms such as Zoom it's even harder to gauge how your team really are doing?

If you're still operating in a work environment you're likely to be faring no better. The changes and added stress in workplaces, now means finding an adequate way and time to check in with your team that needs better thought and planning.

So how do you connect with your team in a meaningful way to ensure they feel heard, supported and motivated? 

Rachel has put together a great resources page including a short video, to help you plan better ways to connect with your team during the COVID crisis.


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How to stop social media and news consumption adding to your anxiety

It's very easy to constantly reflex to your phone at the moment. Whether for news updates, checking in on friends and families or (as we're all guilty of) mindlessly scrolling social media.

The immediacy and absorption these apps within our devices provide, makes it very easy to spend far more time on them than we realise. Often the content they offer is far from enlightening or enriching to your everyday life to warrant the time spent on them. 

The old adage 'bad news sells', is fuelling an echo-chamber of anxiety inducing stories and self-certified 'experts' to wade in with their tuppence worth.

So how can you break the cycle of circling back to your phone and its persistent notification alerts? This week's You Are Not A Frog podcast with Rachel and Tiny Habits coach, Dr Katherine Hickman offers some great advice to help you better manage your media hits.


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How planning 5 minute breaks can help you beat burnout

Beating Burnout sounds like a game. And maybe adopting a sense of play isn't a bad strategy to adopt.

The book Play Anything by Ian Bogost, teaches us a lot about overcoming our daily anxieties and turning everyday mundanity into a world of playful possibilities. 

The problem at the moment, is finding the time to try something like reading can seem challenging. 

Yet another task that we 'should' be doing, but when? It seems that in this uncertain time, many of us are busier than ever - whether we're working on the frontline or contained within our homes. 

Too much or too little rigour in our schedules can easily lead to a feeling of burnout. Which is why it's so important to plan in 5 minute breaks for yourself. 

If you're next question is, 'yes, but what do I do in those 5 minutes to feel satisfied that I've had a mental break?'; then we have a series of suggestions at our Plan Your 5 Minute Break page.

Planning your breaks and sticking to them is...

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Simple Route for Mind and Body Strength

There is a single exercise you can do to make your mind and body stronger. One that has proven its uplifting and powerful effect in many studies. 

Practice gratitude. 

Whether you have tried gratitude writing or not, now, more than ever is the time to take up this practice. 

This article explains some of the neuroscience behind gratitude.

It’s important to remember, as the article states, that the opposite of gratitude is not ingratitude, but despair. And that’s an emotion that, if you let it consume you, will destroy you. Where we have previously discussed the contagious effect of laughter, so too is despair.

Struggling to know where to start? Simply pick up a pen and notepad at the end of each day and ask yourself; Who am I grateful for today? What has gone well? 

As I look back over some of my journal entries I’m surprised by the regularity of ‘coffee’ as a point of gratitude. But then again, the warmth and comfort from a cup of...

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It's OK to Say No

Whilst the demand from people to meet virtually seemed like a great resource for connecting in the early days of the lockdown, the lack of separation from home, work and social space can start to feel overwhelming.

No longer can we make our usual old excuses for not joining in when we just need some time out. No longer do we have a commute to offer us separation from home and work which gives a chance to decompress whilst we move between the two aspects of our lives.

If you just need some space, finding ways of kindly but politely refusing a ‘virtual’ catch-up is important to ensure you protect your needs, without causing offence. This article offers a great validation to this need and a couple of tips to help you too!

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Is Distraction A Problem For You?

Is distraction amongst your biggest problems right now? We’re all feeling that and that’s OK.

Practising attention management is about maintaining control of where your attention goes and recognising what your distractions are. 

Right now, there is so very much that can be distracting us, from having to find new suppliers, to the demands of your family, to overwhelming anxiety about the crisis.

Discovering what your distractions are can help you manage your way back to focus. This article offers some great strategies to turn your distractions into tools of empowerment.

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Use Emotional Intelligence to Better Isolate

We’re learning how to conduct our professional and social lives through virtual platforms, and we are also having to learn how to adapt to this new form of interacting.

Where previously we could gather emotional cues from our colleagues, friends and family from non-verbal communication and body language, we now have to rely on what we can see and hear through a tiny rectangle on the screen. 

Vulnerability researcher and professor Brene Brown offers this great tip to create emotionally intelligent virtual meetings.

And there’s no reason that you shouldn’t apply this to your social meetings too. Meeting socially in virtual settings can prevent us from being emotionally distant but we need to make sure that the screen separation doesn’t stop us from sharing how we’re really feeling with close friends and family.  

This article is a great reminder about the importance of remaining emotionally connected in times of lockdown.

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Manage Your Anxiety, Make Your Bed

Whether your routine is confining you to your home, or your adapted work setting and style is hard to adjust to, it can easily feel like you’re not achieving anything.


Creating some sense of order in the chaos - whether that’s an overcrowded workspace or a lego filled living room, can seem overwhelming.

So what can you do, what can you manage each day to make sure that you create a sense of achievement as well as peace? 

Make your bed each day. 

It sounds overly simple, but this routine gesture has a powerful effect on setting your brain at the start of the day with a sense of accomplishment and offers encouragement to set about your next task. It also offers comfort at the end of the day that you have the opportunity to rest and try again. 

This advice is powerfully delivered in a speech titled ‘If you want to change the world, start by making your bed’, to graduates at The University of Texas by Admiral William H McRaven.

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Let out some Laughter

Worried that using humour might be inappropriate right now? Don’t be.

According to Dr Chloe Paiddoussis-Mitchell, a chartered counselling psychologist, humour is essential in this time of crisis.

“We can’t control what happens outside of us, but through humour we can avoid becoming overwhelmed by negative emotions such as fear, distress, anxiety, anger and depression.”

Laughter triggers a hormonal response in the brain - your adrenaline levels drop and you become more relaxed. It also increases feel good endorphins and can reduce your stress hormone cortisol.

Laughter is also proven to be contagious, affecting those around you.

There are plenty of ways to get a bit of humour into your life, from podcasts and video clips, to books and films. If you’d like to be part of some collaborative, creative humour take a look at Taskmaster on YouTube!

And if you’re after a bit of political satire and silliness, I love Michael Spicers’ The Room Next Door...

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