Service: Human resources 

Topic: Mental wellbeing 

Managing your mental wellbeing: Self-care

By Lauren Kelly

19 May 2020

Taking care of your mental wellbeing is vital for both your personal and working life. Maintaining a positive outlook and learning how to manage your mental health allows you to better navigate stressful and unanticipated situations, such as the Covid-19 crisis. 

The important thing to remember is that looking after your mental wellbeing is something that you should continually practice, so that you have those tools at your disposal should something unexpected crop up. That’s where self-care comes in. 

What is self-care? 

Self-care has become somewhat of a buzzword in the mental health conversation. We define it as undertaking activities that help you to relax, destress and help contribute to a positive mindset. It’s down to an individual to decide what fits into that category. 

Find things that work for you 

Under usual circumstances, that could be playing football with friends, going out for dinner (or down to the pub!), or staying at home to watch a film, acts of self-care don’t need to be monumental, just something that helps you to switch off. 

As we still have strict lockdown restrictions in the UK, a little creativity might be needed. At Gerald Edelman, we’ve been hosting after-work drinks via Zoom to keep in contact and one of our managers is leading workout sessions up to three times a week too. 

Get moving 
Physical activity, to any degree, is known to improve your overall mood, and can also help to improve your sleep and help you to concentrate, according to Mentalhealth.org. 

Switch off from work 
As many of us are still working from home, it’s very easy to continue working through your breaks or late into the evening. However, just as we encourage during normal circumstances, it is vital that you take the time to disconnect from work and enjoy some downtime. 

Learn to recognise when your mental wellbeing is deteriorating 
By learning to identify your stressors, or to recognise when you are being negatively impacted, you can take measures to mitigate this. By paying more attention to self-care during these times, you’ll be able to manage your mental health and potentially prevent further deterioration. 

This is a particularly timely aspect to consider as many are finding it difficult to cope with the barrage of Covid-19-related news and negative stimuli. Although it is important to stay up-to-date, limiting the amount of news you consume, e.g. just watching the Downing Street briefings, can be beneficial, as recommended by WHO.

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