CV19 and Your Mental Health

CIEEM’s A Healthy Profession webpages contain a number of resources and case studies that members may find useful.

Members also have access to the Membership Assistance Programme (MAP) in the members’ area of the website. The MAP offers a wealth of online resources and guidance, as well as a free confidential telephone Adviceline. This enables you to discuss any problem(s) you may have with someone who is trained to listen. They may suggest avenues for support or action you could take or, if suitable, put you in touch with a counsellor. The MAP also offers access to practical advice and information on debt, legal issues, and finance and tax, as well as family care and support.

This blog post on Blurt discusses the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing measures can have on your mental health, and how to support yourself during this time.

The UK Government has published public guidance on COVID-19 and mental health and well-being. The guidance includes advice and information on how to look after your mental health and well-being during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The NHS has published “10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus”. The webpage also includes links to other useful resources.

Mind, the mental health charity, has published information on Coronavirus and your mental well-being.

VeryWell Mind has also published several resources related to the Coronavirus pandemic, including How to Cope With Anxiety About Coronavirus and How to Cope With Loneliness During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Dr Rob Archer and Alex Jamieson from The Career Psychologist have produced The Marginal Gains Handbook: Practical Ideas to Survive and Thrive in the Age of the Coronavirus. This covers a range of issues including loneliness, anxiety, managing remote teams and parenting in lock-down.

Tips for Maintaining your Mental Health Whilst Working Remotely

While technology has enabled us to work remotely, and many are enjoying the lack of a commute and increased flexible working, there are many of us who find that we are working longer, moving less and having less quality professional interactions, having less time to spend on deliverable tasks, and feeling isolated in general.

  1. Replicate your daily ‘commute’ by taking a brisk walk before and after work each day.
  2. Encourage colleagues to book 50-minute meetings instead of an hour (or 20-minute meetings instead of half an hour) to minimise back-to-back meetings.
  3. Take meetings that do not need screen sharing to the park or for a walk (somewhere safe!) using your mobile phone (using headphones or a videocalling app like Teams or Zoom).
  4. Ring-fence time to complete your to-do list. And log out of email, Teams and other distractions to do this.
  5. Prioritise the challenging tasks first, rather than letting unpleasant or difficult tasks hang over your head and create stress. Tackle them and ask for help if you need it.
  6. Consider an alternative working space (like your garden or a café if safe to do so) for a few hours to introduce variety.
  7. Non-verbal communication can be important in meetings. Wherever possible and you feel comfortable doing so, use your video on calls.
  8. Consider using online collaboration tools (such as Mural) to brainstorm and collaborate.
  9. Block book your lunchtime in your calendar – and make sure you take it!
  10. Consider working a slightly longer day and taking a longer lunch break so that you can get outside in daylight.
  11. Take regular refreshment breaks to get up for tea/coffee. Drink lots of water!
  12. Make sure you regularly get up from your desk (or get a standing desk).
  13. Take regular breaks from looking at a screen.
  14. Unless you have a business-critical deadline, log off at your scheduled time, it’s very easy to keep going and going and going!
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, say you are having a tough day, tough deliverable, tough client, tough life, if you are thinking/feeling it someone else is also feeling it.
  16. Consider introducing a coffee break with a randomly selected group (using a random group generator) of your colleagues each week to replicate the ‘water cooler conversation’ time.
  17. Consider ways to get your team and colleagues outdoors, such as internal photography competitions and socially-distanced outdoor exercise classes.
  18. Take some time to tell others what a great job they are doing or how they have brightened up your day.
  19. Remember that these are not normal times. Be patient with yourself, your colleagues and others.

These tips have been adapted from information kindly shared by Arcadis. 

Students

With universities closed, exams cancelled and suddenly having to get to grips with online lectures, we can understand what a stressful time this is for those trying to finish their uni year.

We encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health and well-being to check out your universities counselling facilities and resources. For CIEEM members, you also have access to the Membership Assistance Programme (MAP)  mentioned above with all of the resources and counselling benefits.

You may also find the following resources useful:

 

This webpage was last updated on 5 October 2020.