Have you now returned to work within your office space? Are you taking a blended approach with part-time remote working? Or are you are still working from home full time? No matter the situation you are in, mental health in the workplace as restrictions ease is something everyone should think about.
Although anxiety and worry due to the stress of the pandemic are gradually decreasing, according to mentalhealth.org “45% are still anxious / very anxious about the lifting of restrictions. This anxiety is higher amongst people with a long-term physical health condition (61%), those with a pre-existing mental health condition (58%) and people aged 35-44 years old (48%)”
Everyone has mental health
Much like everyone has physical health and we may suffer from a physical illness from time to time, sometimes we struggle with our mental health too. It’s okay not to be okay. It is important to be aware of your own mental health and understand it, so you can seek help when it is needed.
The pandemic has certainly taken a toll on many of us and while it is fantastic that we are starting to return to some normality, we must be mindful of others. We may have differing opinions to our friends, family or colleagues. Some may be more outgoing as restrictions ease, while others may be hesitant and anxious. We can all do our part in being respectful of others opinions and boundaries in the coming months.
The worry tree
If you are feeling anxious during this time, there are several fantastic tools and strategies that can be used to help you cope with these feelings. A fantastic resource for this is something called the worry tree (pictured below). This can either be written down on paper or download this handy NHS app, whichever you prefer.
Write down all of your worries, in order of how much they affect your daily life. Then create an action plan for how you will tackle each specific worry or fear. Consider how you could overcome or manage each worry and once you have a plan in place, action it. Do this right away, or decide an appropriate time that you would be able to deal with the worry you are having.
For the times that you can’t deal with a worry right away, it can be useful to find a good distraction. Focus on a project or hobby, play your favourite music, practice self-care or meditate to take your mind off things. It can also be really beneficial to talk to someone, whether it is a family member or friend, colleague, manager, GP or therapist, talking can really help to take a weight off your shoulders.
Talking about your worries and expressing your feelings can be a worry in itself for some. Think about the people around you and choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with. On the other side of this, be encouraged to check in with your family, friends and colleagues. Start a conversation, ask how they are feeling and offer your support if you can, even if it’s just to listen.
Where to go for help
If you think you or someone you know may need professional help or guidance, here are some useful contacts:
– A appointment with your GP
– NHS self-referral (Derbyshire link)
– Trent psychological therapy service
– NHS: 999 emergency or nearest A&E department
– 111 professional health advice 24/7
– Emergency GP appointment
– Samaritans: 116 123 (24/7 freephone)
– Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) For men: 0800 58 58 58 (5 pm to midnight every day)
So, when it comes to mental health in the workplace or mental health in general… Look after yourself and look out for others. Let’s end the stigma.