Self care, perspective and regaining balance

In a normal week, we would be publishing an article of opinion with some relevant industry, product, or legislation news – but right now we feel that focusing on our contractor’s personal welfare is a priority.

2020 has been a year unlike any other. The whole planet has been affected, our lives have been changed dramatically, and with new restrictions being imposed as we approach the end of this year, we are facing 2021 with mixed emotions.

Has living with the presence of COVID-19 started to wear you down? Have you struggled with isolation? Has your work been affected, bringing increased economic worries? Are you currently out of work?

Pandemic Fatigue or ‘Lockdown Lethargy’ is not a medical condition, but these terms have been widely used recently to describe the natural response people feel to the prolonged uncertainty and disruption caused by the pandemic.  Although we are all individuals and may react differently, some common signs of this fatigue include:

  • Lack of Motivation
  • Changes in eating or sleep habits
  • Irritability
  • Stress over tasks that would normally be handled well
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness

You may have seen similar coping ideas previously, but we believe they are worth reinforcing as the year closes out.

How can we cope?

Don’t be complacent, stay safe!

This fatigue can have a negative effect on our attitude towards the restrictions imposed by the government; possibly becoming complacent about the virus and seeking greater freedom and ‘a normal life’.  We must remember that, although it is difficult, maintaining distance and good hand washing practices is vital, even when with family, friends and co-workers.

Stay connected

We all need people! Try to stay connected with your friends and family; plan video chats, quizzes, walks outside. If you are working remotely, keep in touch with your team and check in with each other regularly. If you are managing a team, communication is vital. Plan ‘coffee breaks’ or a short call to check in with individuals.

Focus on the positive

Rather than focusing on what you can no longer do at this current time, try to look for ways to take advantage of the situation. Are there projects or hobbies that you can pursue? Can you explore your local area? Does working from home save you time and money previously spent on travel?  

Set a routine

If you are working, taking time out or currently furloughed, aim to stick to a daily routine. Some have said that setting times to get up and go to bed has helped them feel more in control, and for those currently not working, setting daily activities can give a sense of purpose to the day.

Take one day at a time

Every day may be different, so just focus on the day ahead. On bad days, remind yourself that you have managed to get through tough times in the past and you will get through this.  When dealing with tasks, only focus on what you can control.

Speak out

Don’t suffer in silence, reach out to a friend, family member, co-worker or a helpline. There is no shame in admitting that you’re struggling. If someone asks how you are, be honest!

Don’t be afraid to contact the below:

Samaritans: 116 123 (24/7 free from any phone)

SANE: 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm to 10.30pm daily)

CALM: 0800 58 58 58

Daily Gratitude

It might sound a little ‘out there’ but stopping to reflect on 3 things that you are grateful for at the end of each day really can make a difference. If it’s better to have something tangible, why not write them down so that you can look back on them?

 

Look outside of the box

If you have been looking for a job but are struggling to find roles, why not register with a few more agencies and send out your CV? We would be happy to share a list of the agencies that we currently work with if it helps. Have you tried social media? Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, following relevant companies for their updates and updating your profile to alert others that you are open for work.

Use the resources available to you

As a GCL contractor, you have access to Perkbox rewards. One platform included in the package is Health Assured personal, confidential support. Health Assured are experts in anxiety, depression and other mental afflictions that have increased dramatically throughout 2020, they offer 24/7 telephone support and an online library of wellbeing resources that are free to access.

We also have a trusted affiliation with the National Counselling Society of the UK – you can read more about our partnership and how it may aid you in our September article.

 

Don’t give up hope

If you are currently furloughed or are among the many who are applying for jobs, don’t give up! It can be difficult keeping a positive attitude when applying for roles and going for interviews, but believe in yourself, focus on your positive attributes and reflect on your achievements.

Things WILL change, there is much optimism with the breakthrough of the vaccine, so hang in there!

Remember that we’re here to support you as our employees and loyal contractor base. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your professional wellbeing in the early stages of 2021 please do be in touch.

Stay safe and healthy and here’s to a happy, positive 2021.