We're all a little needy right now, the third lockdown is probably the toughest yet and our anxieties are heightened to yet another level. Not being able to see friends and family, worrying about loved ones who are ill, loneliness, a partner losing their job, having to home school whilst working, the list goes on.
Naturally, you want to help your employees, but dealing with people who are understandably struggling on a daily basis can quickly take its toll. You may be trying your hardest to put on a brave face and navigate the new challenges of employee wellbeing, while simultaneously dealing with some of the same personal and professional difficulties as everyone else.
It's hard not to take on your employees' worries but practicing self-care is an important step in building personal resilience and being in the right position to support your workforce.
Like they say in the flight safety demonstration, 'put on your own mask before you help others’.
So, how do you preserve your own sanity when everyone else is relying on you for support?
Create boundaries and realise that you're not responsible for your employees' problems, you can provide as much support from the company as you can, as well as empathy for their situation, but taking on another's problems as if they were your own will achieve nothing except for a deterioration in your own mental state.
Find solace in other professional groups in places like LinkedIn and CIPD, there are many forums where you can find other HR people navigating the same difficulties that the pandemic has brought with it.
Make sure you work some alone time in to your daily routine, it might be going for a walk, spending time with pets or trying something new like meditating. You might want to start your working day an hour later and get out of the house for a takeaway coffee. It's a few precious minutes for you to feel like yourself again and press the 'reset' button. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.
Find social contact outside of your work situation, it could be a partner, a sibling or a friend to give you the reassurance that somebody's looking out for you too. Also, consider scheduling in a video call at least once a week with someone you don't live with, extra social contact is always beneficial. Even if you don’t feel like it beforehand, give it a try, we guarantee a bit of random chit-chat and laughter can do wonders for your mood.
What’s important too is to be optimistic, that this period will soon be over, the end is in sight! Make plans for the future; maybe a holiday or a visit to stay with friends, it'll give you some perspective, this situation isn’t forever, there is in fact, still lots of hope.