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The importance of mental health and wellbeing

Helen Larkin Blog, Employees, Covid19

As it stands, we are currently two months into ‘lockdown’ in the UK as the global pandemic continues. It’s a situation that back in January would have seemed far fetched to many, and it’s safe to say it is affecting almost everyone in one way or another right across the spectrum.

Some people have spent the last 2 months in isolation at home with no human contact, feeling the full effects of loneliness, and being cut off from loved ones physically. Then there are those that have not had any personal space, sharing a busy household with their partners and kids 24/7. Both different ends of the spectrum – but both equally offering their own unique mental struggles.

At Onecom, our employee’s mental health is very important to us. We provide our staff with several tools to ensure that their health and wellbeing is supported, including an Employee Assistance Programme which provides confidential support for an array of personal issues. We also have several qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) who offer confidential support and guidance to employees.

Fitting with our ethos, we also have YoungMinds as our chosen charity, who are leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges.

The current pandemic is scary and can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Some people will have anxiety around health, finances, or feel that their usual coping mechanisms have been taken away from them. Here are a few ways that may be able to help this difficult time:

 

  • Stay connected: In times of stress, we need company and support. Try and keep in touch with friends and family by telephone, email or social media. Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Whatsapp allow people to easily video call one another – and seeing a friendly face right now may be just what you need! It can lift your mood and make you feel less lonely.

 

  • Stay calm: There are lots of great free apps and Youtube videos you can use for an array of calming activities including meditation, breathing techniques and yoga. Find what helps you to ease anxiety and clear your mind of anxious thoughts. Even just taking time to focus on something else can make you feel a lot better – and more resilient to cope with the added stress.

 

  •  Stay informed wisely: Rumour can fuel anxiety. Make sure you access good quality information to feel more in control but ensure you stick to the facts. With extensive news coverage of the pandemic, you may also find that this itself is causing you stress. It’s essential to find balance and switch off when required. Limit news intake if you find it’s bothering you and try and focus on some positive stories. 

For more useful information and help on how to maintain your mental wellbeing, take a look at YoungMinds or Mentalhealth.org.uk who offer lots more advice and support.