Heading out of lockdown and back to work is likely to cause some feelings of anxiety and distress. These feelings are both normal and okay – they don’t mean you can’t do your job, or that you’re weak. So, we’ve put together some information and links to helpful resources so you can manage your wellbeing in your return to work.
Make sure you’re well – both physically and mentally
First and foremost, we need to look after ourselves. If you’re physically unwell, it's more important than ever to prioritize your health and stay home until you’ve recovered. Just as imperative as this, is to make sure your mental health is in check. Simple everyday things can be done to help you keep on top of this. Take breaks, get proper rest, eat healthily, and give your mind a rest by fully clocking off when home. Have a strategy in a place. Do an activity that positively impacts your wellbeing. This might be cooking, exercise, reading, watching your favourite series – find something that works for you.
Mates in Construction have put together some great resources, designed to help you with positive mental health and wellbeing during these uncertain times.
Share concerns with your manager
Whether it be about health and safety, needing further clarity on organisation messages, or just your general wellbeing, voicing these concerns with your manager will be both relieving and help toward finding a solution. Managers – you need to ensure you make yourself available and it's clear to your staff you’re willing and happy to listen. It can be difficult for people to come forward initially, as they don’t want to burden anyone, so make yourself available.
Focus on what you can control
Returning to work and coming into contact with others then heading home, is likely to be causing some anxiety about the possibility of catching Covid-19. So, focus on what you can do to best protect yourself. Keep to public health and health and safety guidelines. You may not be able to control everyone on your worksite or in your office, but you can do things such as maintain social distancing and wash your hands often to stay protected.
Look out for others
Keep an eye on your colleagues. You might notice someone’s behaviour is off, they might be more agitated than usual, turning up to work late or not at all, or you might notice they’re turning to substances for relief. Sincerely asking someone how they’re getting on might be the trigger they need to open up about mental health struggles they’re facing. These are stressful times for many – so this is something to be especially conscious of at the moment.
Lastly, foster a positive and uplifting work environment. This can be done on both an employee and managerial level. Promoting a positive work culture will make a big difference to your colleagues and employee’s mental health. Start the day off and finish it with encouragement – simple things like this can help with team morale and increase productivity. Throughout the working day, check-in to see how your colleagues are getting on, and managers – ensure everyone is feeling okay and that health and safety guidelines are being followed.