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How to look after your employees mental health during the second lockdown

David Price, CEO of Health Assured

We’ve entered a second lockdown. It’s not quite as strict as the first one, back in March, but still. Even the word—lockdown—feels quite negative.

A lot of people were beginning to feel better, mentally, recently. But for many, being thrown back into a lockdown could result in anxiety, stress and depression rearing their ugly heads again. 

Some of your employees may struggle. But there are things you can do to help:

Recommend routine

The problem with lockdown is the complete disruption of routines. Work, childcare, shopping—everything is affected, and everything has changed. This can lead to feeling a bit directionless and at a loose end, trying to find ways to stave off the creeping boredom. 

If people are working from home—or even furloughed— advise them to work out a plan and structure their time. Get up at the same time each day, take lunch and breaks at the same time each day. Establish that routine as a habit.  

Fight boredom whenever it arises

A lot of the negativity of lockdown comes from getting bored and frustrated. The vast expanses of empty time that stretch out ahead of you can seem a bit daunting.  

Establishing routines, as outlined above, helps. But while that’s a reactive way to stay mentally healthy. A proactive way is to find things to do, things that’ll melt the time away and keep people occupied.  

Start some healthy competition in your staff—step counters, or language lessons using a free app like Duolingo. The important part is to make sure their minds are kept whirring away.

Use the resources available

Now is the perfect time to embrace an employee assistance programme. When uncertainty is in the air, the friendly, actionable, confidential counselling and advice are just what people need. An EAP reduces stress and anxiety and helps employees live healthier, happier lives.

Make sure to communicate to employees about your EAP—and if you don’t yet have one, make enquiries as soon as possible. 

Reach out

It’s not just employees who may struggle—you yourself could be feeling the worry.

Talk to friends and family as often as possible, via the phone, online and video call. Maybe this is an excellent time to sit and write a letter? Letters are sent less and less, but they can mean a lot when isolated.

David Price, CEO of Health Assured

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