As a continuation of a previous blog post on tips to support your business community, this blog offers mental health strategies on navigating through COVID-19. Due to the uncertainty business owners are currently facing, it can be extremely difficult to manage stress levels while working through economic setbacks. Although, there are several significant unknowns, it is important to ensure that mental health and self-care is a top priority for yourself and your business community during these challenging times. It is not uncommon to experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and stress.
Below are some key insights from mental health experts on practicing good self-care for yourself and your employees.
Keeping Your Mental Health a Priority:
- While it is important to stay informed on the current state of the pandemic and keep up-to-date on federal and provincial news releases, staying immersed in the news can create feelings of being overwhelmed. For Ontarian’s, one reliable source for information is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ontario Website, which is updated daily.
- Maintain a healthy sleeping and eating schedule. Working remotely can often result in unhealthy sleeping patterns and irregular meal times. Ensuring that the essential nutrients and vitamins are consumed along with regular exercise can significantly improve work habits and lower stress levels.
- Get some fresh air. With non-essential businesses closed or operating differently, it can be tempting to spend the day indoors. Spending time in nature can help ease the mind and body.
- If you are working from home, take advantage of this opportunity to read a new book, try out an interesting recipe, or pick up a hobby.
- Practice physical distancing and necessary health measures outlined by the Ontario Government.
Maintain a Calm Workplace:
- Plan for recovery now. While it is important to focus on survival, thinking ahead to how your business will function after this pandemic is also crucial.
- Stay connected with your employees, informing them of any policy changes on a regular basis. Establish an open line of communication so that employees can feel free to voice any concerns.
- Empathize with your employees. Acknowledge that this is a difficult time and offer support resources. Be understanding of employees that are having a particularly difficult time and may benefit from mental health days.
- Encourage your employees to follow best health practices while on the job. This includes physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, maintaining a clean work space, etc.
- Keep a positive outlook and reassure your employees when possible. It is important to be realistic and acknowledge that work may slow down and be negatively impacted, however, let your employees know that they are not alone in this and that as a team, you will get through this together.
Uncertainty can be extremely unsettling. Remember that you are not alone in the challenges you may be facing. Visit the BounceBack Ontario web page for additional mental health support including resources and tools: https://bouncebackontario.ca/adults-19/.
For the Ontario provincial status and updates on COVID-19, visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus