This year’s theme is ‘nature’ and how this can benefit mental health
Monday 10th May marks the start of the Mental Health Foundation #mentalhealthawareness week. It’s been a rollercoaster of a last year, and more… and our teams have worked through difficult circumstances, many of which will have involved, and will continue to bring, mental health challenges. Especially during this week, we’d like to say a big thank you to you all.
This year, the MHA’s awareness week is focusing on connecting with nature to support positive emotions and to bring some calm while trying to deal with stress at work, worries about friends and family, or feeling lonely. Taking a walk, listening to birdsong by an open window, growing a plant, planning a day by the beach or countryside may offer some help. For more information on this and for more ideas for looking after your mental health, check out the MHA website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
For any of our colleagues who would like to talk further about any mental health issues, our team of Mental Health First Aiders are on hand https://www.amservicesgroup.co.uk/mental-health-in-the-workplace-and-what-to-do-next/
More information about urgent mental health NHS help and support from UK mental health charities can be found at:
Mental Health Awareness Week starts soon on 10th May. AM Services Group considers mental health in the workplace a priority and over the coming weeks will be focusing on post-lockdown anxiety and how we can help our customers and colleagues.
For many of us going back to work is likely to look different.
Depending on where you work, systems may be set up to ensure fewer people are physically in the workplace and colleagues will be more socially distanced. You may have to wear a face mask or be asked to work different hours.
You may need to take public transport to work and this may trigger feelings of anxiety.
If the feeling of going back to work feels daunting here are some tips to help you plan and prepare to help ease uncertainty:
Speak to a trusted colleague. AM Services Group’s team of Mental Health First Aiders is on hand for our colleagues https://www.amservicesgroup.co.uk/mental-health-in-the-workplace-and-what-to-do-next/
Prepare yourself – write down the things that are making you feel anxious in the workplace. Consider how you have dealt with this before and remind yourself that you can do this.
Plan your commute – plan your route carefully and leave extra time. Think about the least stressful way of getting to work for you.
Plan the night before what is coming up next day – this may help you think about what you might wear, whether you may need a face covering and how this could make you feel. Where will you have your lunch? Planning ahead can increase a sense of control and confidence.
Be kind to yourself – returning to work after lockdown:
Positive change can be just as difficult to adapt to negative change.
As humans, we can find change difficult, so you it’s certain that, when going back to work following on from lockdown, you won’t be alone in dealing with anxiety.
It’s ok to feel uncertain and distressed. You will need to get used to a new routine once again, which can take some time to bed in.
Remember you are not alone and that this is an incredibly challenging time for everyone.
The idea of going to back to work can provoke anxiety, as our brain is alerted to a new potential risk in front of us. So be kind to yourself and recognise that it is okay to feel like this.
Keep things simple at first, so that you don’t become overwhelmed. Mental Health at Work suggests the following steps to transitioning back to ‘normal’ after the lockdown:
- Talk and Connect
- Plan and Prepare
- Have a return-to-work conversation with you line-manager
- Take things one step at a time
- Monitor and review how you are getting on
- Be kind to yourself and others along the way
Remember our team of Mental Health First Aiders is here to support our colleagues
A recent Anxiety UK survey revealed that
- 37% of people are looking forward to returning to normal life
- 36% said they were happy to stay at home
Of those feeling anxious about the lifting of restrictions
- 46% cited the pressures of socialising generally as their biggest concern
- 30% anxious about using a shopping centre
- 23% anxious about using public transport
- 20% were anxious about returning to work
Feeling anxious about ‘getting back out’ is normal – from what to wear, to will I remember how to…, to will I be safe, to how will I be able to create a routine again.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, remember:
And remember you can always ask for help.