We continue to provide insights and articles of interest to support your wellbeing every Wednesday during lockdown 3.
This ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’, we welcome our first guest contributor. Julie Brewster has supported us in the role of HR Consultant over the last year. She used the extra time lockdown provided in 2020 to undertake significant training in the area of mental health ‘first aid’.
Here she shares 5 valuable tips you can use to boost your mental wellbeing at this time.
Right now it is easy to feel overwhelmed. So much of what is happening to us personally and in our business, is totally outside our control.
I know I was in that situation before Christmas; just when you think things are starting to improve another lockdown comes along and stops the green shoots of business recovery.
I was panicking about my business, panicking about the presents I hadn’t managed to buy yet and now the shops were closed, and then there was yet another cancelled hair appointment!
I knew it was time to start practicing what I preach.
1. I made a list of all the things that I was worrying about
I then went back down the list and crossed out all of the things that I could not control – when lockdown would end, when I would get my hair cut – all crossed out. I then focussed on the things I could control. I quickly realised I had spent too much time on the crossed out things and immediately felt more in control.
I strongly recommend you do the same.
Other steps for you to take:
2. Spend time outdoors each day
Go for a lunchtime walk, cycle, run, tidy up the garden – whatever works for you. Apart from topping up your Vitamin D, being outside grounds us and seems to put perspective on things.
3. Do something to move you forward
is there something you always wanted to learn? A language, a skill? There are lots of online courses around, many with offers on during lockdown. I found a course I had wanted to do for years was reduced because it was online, making it affordable.
4. Don’t sit in front of 24 hour news
Many stories are exaggerated to fill in the 24 hours. Get a quick summary of the headlines then move on to something else.
5. Try to notice 3 things each day that you are grateful for
It doesn’t have to be big things, the sunshine poking through the clouds is one of mine for today. It sounds a bit twee but there is a lot of evidence that by focusing on positive things, the brain looks for more positive things to reinforce this. The flip side of this is if you think everything is terrible and it’s all doom and gloom, then your brain is going to look for things to reinforce this belief – starting a downward spiral.
With the vaccine roll out gathering pace, we need to be ready to sprint from the starting blocks when we are released. Being bogged down by a negative mindset will be like being on the starting blocks wearing steel toe capped boots and a big army rucksack on your back.
Ready, set, positively go!
Julie Brewster Chartered MCIPD