First it was covid and now it’s the terrible situation in Ukraine
These hugely important news stories, real-life which is happening right now, can leave you feeling anxious and depressed, and affect not only your work life, but your daily life in general. With many of us still working from home, it can be very easy for our thoughts to getting bigger and to start thinking the worst.
So, what can you do to help yourself, your colleagues and others around you?
If you are feeling anxious, speak to a colleague about it. You will probably find that they are feeling similar, if not exactly the same. Take a few minutes out of your working day to have a chat and discover that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. You will be much more productive for the remainder of the day having made the conscious decision to make time to get things off your chest. There is something to be said for “a problem shared”.
Remember that the media’s job is to make you read and listen to all they have to say, ALL THE TIME. For any of you who have news notifications enabled on your mobile or computer, you will know that the slightest thing can be “news worthy” for the press; triggering an alert to be sent to you. This can not only be really distracting, but it can leave you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next; is it any wonder you are feeling anxious? It’s important that we know what is going on in the world, but maybe the best idea is to update yourself during scheduled breaks when you can digest it all at once. Think of the notifications as someone tapping you on the shoulder every few minutes to tell you something; wouldn’t you get irritated by that too?
We can feel anxious and sad when we feel helpless, so find a way to help. There are many charities across the UK where you can donate money or items which will then be directed to the heart of where the help is needed. Or maybe you can get involved in a fundraising appeal. You will feel better for helping and knowing that you are doing your bit.
It is very easy to worry about what the future holds and the “what-if’s”. You have to understand that you cannot predict what is going to happen next, so there is really no point in getting yourself wrapped up in the uncontrollable. Don’t feel guilty for looking after yourself. You are no good to anyone if you are feeling low.
- Try meditation – it’s calming and will bring you into the present. There are lots of apps and websites where you can learn all about meditation and the benefits
- Meet a friend – it’s good to talk! A gossip and a laugh is the best medicine for when you are feeling low or anxious. So get something into your diary today!
- Be Grateful – look around you and think about the things you are most grateful for such as having a job, family, friends, pet, roof over your head, that holiday you have booked, going out for a beer after work on a Friday, walking in nature, whatever it is, focus and smile on what’s important to you.
- Smile – laughter is the tonic of life. Think about something that happened to make you smile, or even better, which made you laugh-out-loud (lol). Watch your favourite comedy show or just type in “funny animals” in the TikTok search. Smile from the inside-out and lift your mood.
And finally… whatever is happening in the World right now, there is probably nothing that you or I, as individuals can do right now to change things. We all have to accept what is happening and stand together to help in any way we can. We also have to continue to live our lives to support our family and friends, enabling us to help those in our community who may be suffering from panic attacks, or who are just too afraid to leave the house. World events can have a huge impact on people’s mental health so look out for the signs that someone may be struggling.
Here are some resources: never be afraid to reach out
ACAS – Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
Written by Alison March