These uncertain times do not come with a rule book. Harvest HR Partner, Kate Meadows discusses ways to manage in the COVID-19 crisis.
Navigating the Covid-19 Pandemic does not come with a rule book, instructional manual or answers to our many questions.
It does however bring some life challenges that none of us have previously experienced. This experience may result in uncertainty, uncomfortable emotions or a change to life that you had not predicted. It is more important than ever to be aware of your own mental health.
Personal Mental Health is your ‘individual thoughts feelings and emotions impacting on your functioning’.
These emotions can sometimes impact positively and bring wellness, but if we don’t acknowledge our mental health challenges when they arise, the impact can significantly limit our day to day functioning. Mental Health Challenges are common and even likely in our current climate. Regardless of where you are sitting on the mental health continuum, we are currently in unchartered waters and managing situational reactions is the key to positive mental health and wellbeing.
Our current situation has led to many community conversations, and the importance of our mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 Crisis is being prioritised. The need to monitor the physical and emotional safety of individuals and families is being widely recognised.
Developing practical strategies to support strong emotions is vital. Some suggested ideas include:
- Find out the real facts – WHO and Federal/State Department of Health
- Gain perspective on what is really happening
- Let go of the things you can’t control
- Become aware of your thoughts and feelings and access support if needed
- Stay connected with others
- Practice Self-Care
Working on emotional fitness to improve your mental health is a preventative tool and should not just be enacted when feeling unwell. There are six research-based aspects of Self-Care that have equal weighting in achieving overall wellness. Strategies and ideas are provided to improve: self-awareness, physical health, professional, emotional, human spirit and social wellbeing.
As humans we all feel very strong emotions. Throughout the journey of our lives we manage these emotions as best we can. Our first task is always to be comfortable in what we feel, without judgement. Secondly, we need to acknowledge the combination of emotions we are feeling or the one which is the strongest. To move forward from a challenging emotion, we must not only recognise the issue causing the emotion, but also develop a plan of attack to improve it. These strategies can be implemented individually but are also essential when supporting others.
The World Health Organisation model of LOOK, LISTEN, LINK can be used to support family, friends and colleagues through this challenging time.
- LOOK for changes in their habits, emotions and behaviours
- LISTEN without judgement make them aware you are there to help, what you have noticed and offer support
- LINK them with professionals in the mental health space that can work to support their challenges
Never underestimate the importance of supporting your own mental health challenges. Even those in our community that have never felt unwell with mental health challenges will no doubt, right now, be feeling emotions they have never felt before – fear, disbelief, sadness or even grief.
A world pandemic will no doubt change lives either physically, emotionally or financially.
Arm yourself with strategies to acknowledge your level of health and work towards improving it the best way you can.
Where to from here?
- Like a FREE Webinar Sampler? We’ll send you a link to listen to one of our recent 30-minute Webinars with Kate Meadows that we recorded as part of our “Maintaining Mental Health & Wellbeing in Crisis” series.
YES, please send me a sample webinar. Contact the Harvest Geelong Team and we’ll shoot you the link t: 1300 363 128 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do you have an Accredited Mental Health First Aid person in your organisation? $450 per person, Kate Meadows is an Accredited Trainer. 6 hours online learning and 4 x 1hr webinars.
Not only will this assist organisations when coming out of COVID-19 but, having MHFA officers in a workplace can improve the Work Safe statistics of Mental Health related claims.
Learn more here about our Mental Health and Wellbeing Programs for Employers and Teams, including more programs offered by Kate Meadows.