According to the Washington Post, “Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in one month compared with the same time in 2019. In one month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”
It’s terrifying to realize a pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains around the world. The different stages of a pandemic can provide panic and anxiety. No one knows just how widespread or deadly the novel coronavirus will end up being. But being proactive about your workers’ mental health can help to keep their mind and body healthy.
In the following information, we have detailed suggestions on ways to protect yourself and your staff.
One of the first steps you can take is to recognize the things you can control. Practicing self-care such as seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional and finding ways to manage stress. Your means of coping with stress and anxiety goes a long way in managing your mental health. Here are some ways to help you ease anxiety surrounding COVID-19.
1. Help Employees Practice Good Self-Care
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in some form of exercise may seem obvious since we were taught them as early as grammar school. But they are always good steps to helping your personnel stay as physically and psychologically healthy as possible during stressful times.
Good self-care also keeps your workers’ immune system healthy which means eating well, sleeping well, and managing stress.
2. Peace of Mind
Practice recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and other excerpts to curtail transmission of COVID-19 still include wearing a mask when going out, keeping at least 6-foot distance from others, and washing your hands regularly.
If you live in an area where the COVID-19 infection rates are very high, try to stay home as much possible, avoid crowds, and when do you go out practice the methods of safety detailed above. There are always steps you can take to decrease risk. Be aware that steps like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance remind you to focus on the things you can control.
Knowing you are doing everything possible to keep safe gives a lot of peace of mind.
3. Professional Help
If your staff’s mental health is being affected by the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 then they may need to seek support.
Workers experiencing burnout should reach out to their Human Resources department. Frequently supervisors are not familiar with what benefits are offered, particularly relating to mental health. But HR personnel are more aware of what’s available from a company and will be able to help obtain those resources.
It might mean to seek the help of a mental health professional. A licensed mental health professional can help you manage stress while helping you to make the best personal decisions. The good news is thousands of therapists are now using remote methods, such as video conferencing, telemedicine so you can talk to someone right from home or your workplace (in private, of course).
High anxiety and stress can cause some workers to adopt unproven or unsafe prevention methods. Some of these methods can be harmful to you and others. It’s important to make sure any actions you take are truly beneficial.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
4. Develop an Action Plan
Be aware that increased depression and anxiety is probably going to occur with your workers. So, plan for it. If they start to feel sad, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious – talk with them, have them write about it, just get it out, do not let it fester inside them. Be prepared and make a plan. Who to talk to?.
Another important issue is that employees often adopt the coping strategies they observe in their bosses. Supervisors who show anxiety and stress during a pandemic may end up projecting the anxiety right along to their subordinates.
5. Read News From Trustworthy Sources And Limit Media Consumption
Avoid media outlets that provoke stress or focus on issues that can’t be controlled. Instead, turn to sources that give reliable information. One reputable source is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They provide helpful tips to keep you and your co-workers safe during these unprecedented times.
Watching media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading, or the death toll will increase stress and anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of stories.
It is helpful to stay informed, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. The most important actions are to keep you and your workers properly informed, calm, and healthy as possible.
6. The Bottom Line
Remember one thing. People are strong. We will get through this. It is not forever and most important do not project what has not yet happened. If you are healthy and safe, don’t worry about what might happen. Get vaccinated when it is your turn. Stay in the moment and enjoy the present.