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Working differently and looking after your wellbeing

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

Over the last few months we’ve all gone through a sort of evolution when it comes to how and where we’re working. Hopefully you’ve adapted to the ‘new normal’ when it comes to work some days can be challenging. It probably would be easier if it was only work we’re having to adapt to, but we all have different things going on in our personal lives that we’re navigating too – please remember help is available if you need it.

You should be so proud of what you’re achieving. Coronavirus has changed your working practices no matter what your role is or what business area you work in. Many of you are key workers, providing essential services in our communities. You may work in food navigating social distancing or you may work in Funeralcare, helping families in their hour of need under the most difficult of circumstances. You may work in Legal or Insurance or Health or in one of our support centre teams.

Let go of any guilt

Life is different and you’re living and working in a way that you probably wouldn’t have been able to imagine at the beginning of the year:

  • Rather than being hard on yourself and thinking about what you could have done, think about what you’ve achieved
  • Sometimes just doing what you have to do rather than your full to do list is ok – don’t feel bad about prioritising you or your family or other loved ones
  • Don’t fret about talking to your manager if you need support with your working patterns
  • If you don’t feel quite right and your mental health is affected please speak up, help is there if you need it

Routines work

Try to have a good routine to get you both physically and mentally ready for the work ahead. Set an alarm, have a shower, grab something to eat, get dressed. Some days it will feel tempting to get up at the last minute but you could arrive into work, wherever that may be, flustered rather than calm and collected.

Look after yourself – don’t forget to eat and drink

Despite lockdown, life is really fast paced and sometimes eating the right foods and keeping hydrated won’t be your top priority. It’s more tempting than ever to reach for a treat but try to do this in moderation. Staying well hydrated and fuelling your body with healthy foods is really important, it’ll help concentration and boost your immune system.  

Take regular breaks

You may be finding life a bit of a juggle with work, caring responsibilities, home schooling – the list can feel endless – but you do need to prioritise you. Make sure you take regular breaks, get some fresh air and take a walk at lunchtime if you can - don’t work through! Spending time outside reduces stress, helps you relax and clear your mind. Just 10 minutes away from your working environment to have a minute to yourself or make a quick call to a loved one can make a really big difference to your day.

Know your boundaries

You’ll have busy and quieter days, but it’s important to make sure that you aren’t working every hour of the day. Technology is brilliant at keeping us all connected but if you have a work device that doesn’t mean we should feel we have to work all the time. Use your free time to connect with family and friends, do some exercise or anything else that will make you happy.

Keep in contact

You’re probably not seeing as many people as you normally would do at the moment, so take the time to call people to catch up with them if you can. This could be daily or weekly, do whatever is best for you.  

Use some holiday leave

We all need a break. Lots of you have been working long hours and weekends too for the last couple of months. This, coupled with cancelling holidays means that you may not be getting a chance to refresh and could run the risk of burning out. You don’t have to take full weeks, a few days here or there can make a huge difference to your wellbeing.   

Are you ok?

You’re probably going through a wave of emotions and some weeks will go really well and others won’t. How you feel is based on lots of different things and it can feel hard to understand why you’re feeling a certain way. It’s important for you to be kind to yourself and understanding your own mental health is a really good place to start.

Try out our Great Mental Health Quiz - a short quiz to help you think about you and the things you can do to improve your mental health. Understanding how you’re feeling is really powerful and when you take the quiz you’ll get a personal report with the three things you can easily do to improve your mental health – sometimes having some clear directions on what you can do is really helpful. You can retake the quiz as often as you like and don’t worry no personal data is collected.