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Mental health awareness week – being kind

This years' Mental Health Awareness week theme is kindness. In this article we explore why kindness is so important and how people can practise kindness while working from home.

Mental health awareness 2020

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and this years theme is ‘kindness’. Now more than ever it is more important to be kind to ourselves as well as others. Studies show that being kind is linked to mental health – it strengthens relationships and helps form a sense of community.

Being kind to yourself while working from home

If you’re in a position to be working from home that’s great news. However, we often put an expectation on ourselves to be working full steam for a full seven or eight hours. The thing is, when we’re in the office we’re not usually ‘working’. Think about how often you talk to your colleagues, grab a drink or just take a lap around the office to stretch your legs. The reality is you’re not doing a full day of ‘work’. Therefore putting the pressure on yourself to do that at home isn’t sustainable. To help you be kind to yourself while working from home, we’ve put together some tips on how.

Be transparent

You might feel alone but you’re not alone in feeling extra stress or anxiety right now. Lots of us are struggling to adapt. So, now more than ever, it’s important to be honest and transparent about how you feel. Telling your colleagues or manager that you’re having a hard time focussing, or you’re feeling down is important. They’ll likely be feeling the same and together you can work out some solutions to help the overall wellbeing of your team.

Keep in touch with people

Keeping in touch with people is important for us but working from home can be very lonely. So while you might be scheduling in regular work calls, it’s also important to schedule in calls to touch base. Try a buddy system or organising online activities for your team. Think about ways you can connect with people and practise being kind to yourself and others.

Plan ahead

Often when people are working from home they tend to be responsive to requests. This can be overwhelming as you may feel like you can’t quite get your projects completed. So, plan ahead and be realistic – what are one or two things that you can achieve today? Tick those off early on and the rest of the day is yours to be responsive to people. Setting boundaries is a great way to manage your day and practise being kind to yourself.

What our team says

Eranta Andersone – Marketing and Communications Officer

“I recently read online that we’re not simply ‘working from home’ at the moment. We’re at home, living through a  worldwide pandemic, trying to work. As someone living with anxiety, the last 8 or so weeks have been a challenge. There’s a host of new triggers like the news cycle, being isolated and changes in work productivity.

I practice kindness by setting boundaries. I remind myself daily (and some days it’s hourly!) that I can only do what I can do that day. I also limit my time on the news websites and end each day with a stretching video on YouTube. These things sound simple but they work. But if these coping strategies don’t calm my anxiety, I return to a simple truth I learned in therapy: this is a feeling, and it’ll pass. And deep breaths, always.”

Jonas Rodin – Caseworker

“I have a young family and working from home has enabled me to spend more time with my son, I work consolidated hours which means my standard days are longer. Not having the commute half the week means I am around for some of my sons drop offs and pick ups from school and in the evening we can all eat together. This has helped me maintain my work life balance and has taken ‘some’ of the stress out of having a young family.”

Support

If you’re struggling with being kind to yourself and are in need of some support, get in touch with us and together we’ll find a way to help you.

 

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