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.
Thanks to video conferencing we now know much more about our colleagues' lives (how their stress levels have been raised by constant interruptions from kids; how their cat looks like 80's TV character Alf; that they own an industrial grade coffee machine hence why they are SO alert).
Some people have even been introduced to their colleagues somewhat quirky partners whether they wanted to or not - anyone fancy a superhero bombing your Zooms?
We have a great opportunity now, to convert that knowledge into more empathic interactions as we transition to the re-entry phase.
That better understanding of what happens in our colleagues lives can make us more patient, ask better questions and show greater understanding when we’re faced with an unexpected reaction to a circumstance.
We will ALL at some point in these next few weeks, behave in a way we don’t expect.
The 5 minute team check-in video Rachel created a few weeks ago has received a great response...
Whilst some people are relishing the potential to escape from a permanent home existence, what if you don’t feel safe to return to your work environment?
This New York Times article exposes some of our concerns (albeit from a US perspective) and certainly demonstrates that any return to office anxiety you may be feeling isn’t yours alone.
It’s ok to express your concerns about returning to work, but a bit of planning can really help you work out where to begin.
Start by establishing what your concerns are, make a note of them and review what is realistic as a concern and what might not be. Still have concerns? Then it's time to escalate to the next tier up.
This kind of reflection on what your concerns are can make your appeal for reassurance more pragmatic and therefore, more likely to be well-regarded.
If you manage teams, it’s likely that they share your concerns and may harbour concerns you hadn’t considered. Before taking workplace...
Virtual team meetings have become such a part of our working lives that some of the old ‘in person’ traditions are now starting to be adopted and adapted into this digital sphere.
Remember that bizarre tradition of having to buy everyone in the office cakes on your birthday (I have never understood that one)? We’re now seeing each team member bringing their own cake to office birthday Zooms, changing their background filter to designate this activity as a ‘fun’ moment.
Many people are hosting team lunches where, presumably there are huge savings on the company expense account as everyone brings their own food! It’s a great chance to bring teams together in a more relaxed way and get a temperature check on everyone’s emotional state.
If this seems too unstructured for your team style, why not turn a lunch hang-out into a lunch and learn, turning the meeting into an opportunity for some training?
There are plenty of resources available...
The joy some of us have experienced being away from our usual work environments has brought into sharp focus how well we can do our jobs when environmental stressors are removed.
For those of us who have not been able to go to work, the thought of returning to our places of work may be causing anxiety.
We know our work environments will have to adapt to allow for social distancing, but we are unclear on how this will impact the way we work.
Companies will be more aware than ever that our lives no longer run on typically similar schedules. Staggering start and end times will undoubtedly become commonplace to account for social distancing on transport networks and staggered school programmes for working parents.
Long before Lockdown, it was evident that the traditional work models were outdated and causing high amounts of stress and burn out. This article explores in more depth, the fallacy of the ‘ideal worker’ and how the lockdown offers a real opportunity...
I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on what they will miss as we re-enter something of an ‘out of home working life’ again.
Strangely, this lockdown experience that was forced upon us is now creating almost a grieving stage for what we have discovered and might not enjoy again in the same way (no commuting, increased family time, more time for home cooking). But people are also reflecting on what they are highly anticipating (no more homeschooling being top of my list).
To help understand how you feel about this transition try this exercise to reflect on what you would start, stop and continue thanks to the lockdown experience.
You can run this exercise against your whole self, your professional self, your family life and even on what you think you perceive your partner and family members have taken from the experience so far.
This exercise can show you how your passions or perceived passions have changed (which might also explain why you never got round to...
Can’t sleep, won’t sleep! So don’t.
When sleep is evading you it’s easy to get frustrated. The more you persist in pursuing it, the more aware you are of it’s refusal.
Distraction is often a great solution and one that is kinder to your mind. Grabbing a quick round of drum practice is probably not an advocated distraction device, but here are some great solutions you can turn too that might trick your mind into soothing to sleep:
2. Writing - we regularly extol the virtues of journaling. Quite often jotting down the joys from your day can feel like a cadence to your waking self into sleep. If that’s not your cup of decaff, why not write an old fashioned letter to someone. And quite, honestly, who still doesn’t thrill in receiving a hand written note?
Captain Tom, the veteran who has raised over £30m for NHS charities, celebrated his hundredth birthday this week after completing his walking challenge. It’s interesting how his efforts have captured the public’s imagination; he has become something of the Lockdown hero.
This, for me, has been a really interesting example of how our nation needs some hope at this time, how people still want to be generous and show gratitude and support to our frontline workers and honour the older generation, many who have known much worse suffering in their lifetime.
In this interview with the BBC, Tom’s honesty on how his hip operation affected his confidence and this challenge gave him a sense of purpose is humbling.
The sense of national pride and celebration in the face of adversity has been channelled by this charming old man. Happy birthday Captain Tom!
Here's a great analogy about change. Imagine a river. The riverbanks are our constants, the things we can be certain of, and the flowing river is the things that are changing.
I discovered this amazing video of a school of fish following a duck upstream like a golden rainbow. Something that, with our now clearer waters was beautifully visible.
The change we're facing is also presenting things we hadn't expected. For a slightly different way of looking at things in episode 15 of You Are Not A Frog, John C Parkin talked to me about the F**k it mentality, based on his book. John offers a great evidenced way to beat stress and change your life.
I'm not sure the fish had a collective "F**k it" moment when they decided to follow the swan, but I enjoyed the casual following the river of change.
Sitting on a plane observing the pre-flight safety demonstration, the instruction "put on your own safety mask first" was never a command I questioned.
Of course, it makes excellent sense. How can I help anyone else on board if I can't breathe?
You have to make yourself safe to be able to help others to safety.
As a doctor, carer, manager, parent - your first instinct in situations of heightened stress, is likely to be 'others first - me second (or even third or fourth?)'.
Stop. You need to breathe. You also need to lead by example.
So what does putting on your own oxygen mask mean to you?
Is it taking a break from a stressful task to allow your brain to relax and your stress to fall? Is it scheduling your day so that you tackle a domestic job every other hour? Setting a half hour time limit to conference calls? Walking outside every afternoon? Singing in the bath?
The answer to the question; what do I need right now, should always be honoured.
In choosing to respond to this,...
It’s so important to remember that this pandemic is “a marathon, not a sprint”. It is also most definitely not a competition in who can come out of this with the most successful transformation.
If you’re one of the people confined to your home, it is important to not judge yourself and your response against others.
We all have friends who are promoting their efforts to beat their 5km pb, learning Japanese, perfecting their home baked Croque-en-bouche or community volunteer championing.
The people who are struggling in some way or far less likely to share this. Picking up a book and finding your attention wanes constantly, that’s ok. Thirty minutes into a box set and not sure what happened in the past twenty? Perfectly normal.
Fatigue has a huge impact on our ability to concentrate. Be kind to yourself.
If a friend approached you with these concerns would you be frustrated with them in the way you might be towards yourself? Absolutely...