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.
Holidays are (literally) the hot topic this week. As we approach the traditional summer holiday period, the majority of parents have already entertained their offspring for several months, often whilst juggling work and surfing the anxiety wave of the COVID crisis.
Yes, we do definitely need a holiday. But there are some people struggling with this concept. Whilst the government has relaxed various travel rules, there are many conflicting issues around whether a summer holiday is what we ‘should’ be doing.
Interestingly, the bigger questions I’m hearing from various groups is not around the safety of travel (that’s a topic entirely of its own and not one for this blog!). The dilemmas that people are bringing to me exist around the morality issue.
“When others have been working on the frontline tirelessly, who am I to take annual leave?”
“But I’ve been home working for months, won’t taking a holiday seem ridiculous?”
We’ve talked about ‘Zoom’ fatigue, home working fatigue and frontline fatigue a lot over the past few months.
A dip into some research of the ‘re-opening phase’ as some are calling this stage, shows that some major UK corporations will only be able to have up to 50% of their workforce within their offices by Christmas. This way of working looks set to stay for quite some time.
Finding ways to help you work with this ongoing situation and keep your calm is vital to successful leadership and good mental health.
There’s one really simple technique that’s worked well in a number of situations for many people. One colleague uses this before public speaking when stepping onto a stage, when the amygdala takes over and the adrenaline kicks in.
When this happens, your speech speeds up, your thinking isn’t focused in the right way and you might find it harder to make rational arguments.
By taking a mindful minute before that...
In 2014 I was introduced to a book with a brilliant premise. Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes is the story of Adolf Hitler awakening in 2011 (in full regalia) and with confusion on many people’s parts, inadvertently becomes a modern day satirical TV star.
The part I was most surprised about, is that the book was written in German by a German author. References to war and Hitler in Germany are not dissimilar to the “he who shall not be named” references in the Harry Potter franchise, a country where it remains a criminal offence to give a Nazi salute.
It’s not surprising then, to read that the vernacular around the pandemic in Germany has been vastly different to that in the UK.
Our own leadership has been likened to Churchill’s rhetoric during wartime Britain. We’ve been subjected to plenty of war analogies and metaphors with the likely intent of creating enough fear within us to force us into taking lockdown very seriously.
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...