Articles — Apr 28, 2020
Prioritizing Mental Well-Being: 10 Tips for Your Workforce
We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic can be a stressful experience for employees. For those unfamiliar with working remotely, adjusting to the new work environment over the last month may have been a unique and challenging experience. Plus, juggling work along with childcare and additional responsibilities has likely been an added source of stress for a large percentage of your workforce as well.
All of these adjustments and lifestyle changes can make coping with the current pandemic difficult for your workforce. One helpful way employers can support their employees at this time is by helping them reduce stress and better care for their mental well-being overall.
ActiveHealth Management, a fellow CVS Health Company subsidiary, shared a few helpful tips and ideas with us. We’ve put them together below – check it out now and consider sharing with your workforce during this time.
Tip 1: Boost your mood naturally by staying active
Set aside time each day to get active. If you live with family members, encourage them to do the same. There are simple, everyday activities to do at home that will get you moving including:
- Playing a sport or activity outside in your yard
- Catching up on gardening or housework
- Playing with your kids or pets
- Downloading a new exercise or activity app
- Trying an online workout routine video
Everyday activities like these can help keep your blood pumping. Exercising can help release endorphins which naturally boost your mood.
Tip 2: Watch out for emotional eating
Stress can affect our eating habits. Reduce stress by staying aware of what triggers your urge to eat. When you do feel hungry between meals, opt for heathy snacks which can give your body the fuel it needs to function well every day. Eating healthy helps regulate your blood sugar and can help keep your emotions more level on a daily basis.
Tip 3: Sleeping well can ease stress
Feeling worried and stressed can make it difficult to sleep and not getting enough good sleep each night can, in turn, cause your stress to feel overwhelming. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Remember to avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before sleeping. If you’re still not sleeping well, take a look at your bedtime routine. Consider adding a long bath or a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Plan your next day out earlier in the day so that you’re not thinking about it around bedtime.
Tip 4: Connect with your children
If you have children, you may notice that they feel worried and stressed in emergencies. This is natural – fear and anxiety can be overwhelming for both adults and children. Be aware of what your children are seeing and hearing in the media and reassure them that they are safe at home. Let them know that it’s okay to worry or feel sad but help them find healthy ways to manage it. Keep an eye out for signs of stress, like crying or irritability. They may have some trouble settling down for the night or staying asleep. Having a regular bedtime routine can help soothe them and get them ready to sleep each day. It’s important for children to get a good night’s sleep to help restore their physical and emotional health.
Tip 5: Create a new daily routine
Your daily routine may currently be very different to what it usually is, and you may miss the structure of your usual routine. Sit down every night and plan out the next day for yourself. Decide what to do each hour and include time for both work and learning. Remember to add some leisure time, too – like reaching out to friends or doing something creative. Plus, incorporate time for some physical activity. You can even make meals an event, too! When you’ve settled on a routine that works, you can use it as the basis to plan your next day. If you live with family members, work with them to create a family routine, too.
Tip 6: Watch your screen time
While it’s essential to stay informed on the news, it’s also important to take a break from screens every now and then. Plan out when you want to check the latest news every day. Maybe once in the morning and once again in the evening. Then, try to avoid reading articles and watch the news during the rest of the day (this includes checking social media!)
As a reminder, choose your news and information sources carefully, too. Look for information that also includes recommendations for things you can do to stay healthy and avoid sources that consistently focus on negative news. This can help improve your outlook overall.
Tip 7: Stay connected from a distance
Humans tend to be social by nature. So, it’s important to find creative ways to stay connected with your loved ones. Reach out to family and friends over the phone, text and video chats, maybe even use this time to rediscover the joy of sending and receiving an actual letter. Nothing beats seeing your loved ones face-to-face, but by using technology to regularly stay in touch, you can still give and receive social support.
Tip 8: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. Allow yourself to fully feel whatever emotions you may be experiencing. Be attentive to what’s happening within you and around you. This can help lower your stress, think more clearly and be more patient.
Try this simple mindfulness exercise and share with your family:
- Sit with both feet on the ground.
- Feel your feet in contact with the floor.
- Bring your attention to your breathing.
- Inhale and exhale 7 times.
- Notice how you feel with each breath.
- Repeat 3 times each day.
Tip 9: Embrace gratitude
It’s easy to focus on the negative when you’re worried or stressed. Try to take a few moments each day to pause and think about the things you’re thankful for. Practicing gratitude can help lower your stress and boost your overall well-being. Plus, it can help you sleep better and overcome troubling thoughts that may keep you awake at night. Start by thinking of one thing every day that you’re grateful for.
Tip 10: Make time for you
There are many things in life you can’t control, but you can choose to make taking care of yourself a priority. Commit to taking care of your body, mind and spirit every day and not just when you’re sick. Make paying attention to your well-being a part of your daily schedule. Give yourself permission to take care of you!