Managing your wellbeing in a time of crisis

17 August

Many people are experiencing extra worry and stress at this current time. The added pressures of working from home in isolation from colleagues and peers, is likely to have a long-lasting effect on their mental health and wellbeing.

Encouraging your employees to actively look after their mental health can give them a sense of control and purpose. It will also help them cope with the current situation and give them the perspective to understand that this is a temporary situation which will pass. Attending to our mental health now has the potential to provide resilience and skills to help in the future too.

Here are Norfolk and Waveney Mind’s top tips on managing anxiety during the pandemic:

•Remember that your anxiety is not a permanent state of affairs – it will pass!

•Limit your exposure to the news. Of course you need to keep abreast of the latest advice. But constant exposure to the news may keep triggering your anxious state – it’s good for your immune system too!

•Bring your human, reasoning brain (the neocortex) to the situation:

  • -The pandemic is a serious situation, but thinking it through can help bring it into proportion.
  • -The virus is new so we’re still learning about it. So far it seems to be more contagious than ordinary flu, and the death rate is higher, especially in certain vulnerable groups. However, it seems to be less contagious than measles, for example, and less lethal than other recent disease outbreaks such Ebola or SARS.
  • -The changes to lifestyle we are all having to adopt are partly to protect vulnerable groups from catching it, and partly to prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed – it’s important to protect ourselves to protect others.
  • -For most people, if they contract it, the virus is a mild or moderate illness not requiring treatment.
  • -The crisis even has some positives – which we may as well appreciate! – such as benefits to the environment, reduced crime rates, stronger communities and many more.

•Be aware of your own signs of stress and take action to relieve them:

  • -Do regular ‘brain dumps’ – write or type out your worries to get them off your mind.
  • -Talk to people. Sharing your concerns can help bring perspective to them.
  • -Create a routine with balanced activities (a variety of chores and pleasure) with regular times for meals and sleep. This sends reassuring signals to the brain, and will benefit those around you too.
  • -Set yourself small, achievable goals each day (personal or work related).
  • -Do things to change your emotions – watching funny or inspiring videos, reading positive stories, and going walk for a walk can all be very powerful!

How can Mind help?

Norfolk and Waveney Mind’s dedicated Commercial Training Team has a range of virtual workshops and courses to support people in whatever situation they currently find themselves in.

Individuals can book on to an open course, or courses can be delivered privately to an organisation. All courses are delivered by qualified and experienced trainers in a small and intimate group (maximum of 12 delegates). This allows for in-depth discussion and the opportunity to support one another during the pandemic. All courses are delivered virtually via Zoom. Courses are suitable for anyone with an interest in mental health and/or supporting others:

Wellbeing in a time of crisis – a 1.5 hour virtual workshop, includes a framework which will:

  • help your staff understand their reactions to the pandemic
  • highlight ways in which they can actively look after their mental health
  • give them a sense of control and purpose
  • help them cope with the current situation and be better able to keep it in perspective
  • include ways to work effectively from home

    Cost for private client delivery – £250 full rate or £175 concessionary rate for a small organisation (49 employees or less), self-employed or third sector organisation.
  • Mental Health Awareness – a 3.5 hour virtual course, through which delegates will:

    • gain an understanding of the principles of supporting people
    • experiencing difficulty – whoever they may be
    • use a framework of evidence-based research to understand how and why poor mental health arises
    • learn how to support others
    • learn how to foster good mental health
    • take part in specifically designed activities to encourage group discussion and peer support
    • be provided with a workbook for use during the course, and a resources booklet for further signposting and information local to Norfolk and Waveney

      Cost for private client delivery – £450 full rate or £360 concessionary rate for a small organisation (49 employees or less), self-employed or third sector organisation
    • For more information or to book on to an open course, please visit Norfolk and Waveney Mind’s website. If you’d like to book a private client course delivered directly to your organisation, please contact Natalie Sutterby, Commercial Development Manager via natalie.sutterby@norfolkandwaveneymind.org.uk

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