04 Sep, 2020
Managing Change and Coping with COVID–19
This informal CPD article on Managing Change and Coping with COVID–19 was provided by Talk Out, an organisation whose aim is to disrupt the way mental health is viewed and encourage businesses to take the mental health of their employees seriously.
Life is constantly changing and most of the time we manage to navigate our way through the journey. Sometimes, complete curveballs such as COVID–19 hit which can feel overwhelming and unmanageable. At TalkOut we are a voice for mental health in the workplace and we have some helpful tips for coping with these changes.
Tips for coping with change
First and foremost, it should be known that it is okay to not be okay. When big changes happen, your mental health can get swept up in the process. It is expected that you might feel anxious and unsettled in such a period of uncertainty. Everyone deals with life changes in their own way whether it’s overworking, feeling panicked, frozen or anything else on the spectrum. Processing change can start with the feeling of disbelief which can result in looking for reassurance from the people you trust such as colleagues and family members, all of which is completely normal. There may also be a sense of sadness which can affect your energy and mood, it is good to try and acknowledge your feelings by taking the time to talk out about them. Your feelings may change often, and you might feel many at one time or over the course of a few days, remember to try and breathe if you feel overwhelmed. It may seem like a given but sometimes when we feel fear, we can completely forget how important our breathing is.
Try to accept your feelings
Try to accept your feelings, blocking them out can lead to them overflowing later. If you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus, limit your intake of daily news so you’re not in a constant state of feeling panicked. If you do check the news, look at a reputable source. If you are finding it difficult to give your mind a break, try to listen to some music that you like, creating a happy or calm playlist can be helpful to have on hand. Alternatively watch a movie, read a book or anything else that you enjoy.
It might sound difficult and challenging but we believe that keeping a positive mindset can make all the difference when coping with change. Being kind to yourself and others can help manage stress. Talking about how you are feeling with friends, family or co-workers is key to setting up a healthy support system and will allow you to feel less isolated. You cannot change what is happening in the world right now, but you do have control of your response and behaviours so try to focus on what you personally can change.
This strange time could be a good opportunity for you to be able to keep track of your feelings and behaviours. Maybe your mood has dipped at a similar point each day or week, reflecting on your feelings throughout the day and keeping a record of them can help you figure out what may be going on. Another TalkOut tip we have is to try and be gentle with yourself, it’s natural to be anxious so this is a time to nurture your wellbeing. Give yourself time during the day to recharge and take time for yourself. You can always try learning a new skill like cooking, yoga but the most important thing is learning to talk out about how you are feeling to people you trust. Try and stay connected with friends and family, facetime them, text them or just generally check in, it will be good for you and them.
An opportunity to reflect on your purpose and plan
This is also a time to figure out your purpose and plan. You may feel overwhelmed at the moment, but your purpose may have changed with the bigger picture change. So, give yourself a chance to figure out what that new purpose may be and formulate a plan to move forward. Plans and a sense of purpose can increase productivity and with it positively impact your mental health.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Talk Out, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.