Business uncertainty adds to the strain and has a big impact on our health and wellbeing.
Now more than ever it is critical to remind ourselves that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. It underpins our ability to keep our brain and emotional health in top shape and to live our life with freedom and enjoyment.
Mental fitness supports resilience and facilitates clarity of thought as we plan our way forward. In order to make sound commercial decisions, we need a clear mind.
Some ways you can support mental fitness include:
Stick to a routine
Even within our 'new normal' we should still aim to align our day with our previous way of life as much as possible. Attempt to sleep and wake at the same times, shower and dress for work, even if your commute is now just a 10-second walk down the hallway. If you are continuing to work from home, make sure you have a designated workspace and that your work station is set up comfortably. Reserve time to get outside, do some exercise, attend to jobs around the house and spend quality time with the others in your isolation bubble!
Stay connected to others
Remain socially connected though physically distant. Stay in touch with your team, customers and clients using the vast array of technology available at our fingertips. We are by nature a social species, so in addition to calls, emails and texts, set up meetings via team meet, skype, facetime, houseparty or whatever facility you have available in order to continue to have your morning coffee, lunch or a drink with a colleague - it'll just be a virtual one for a while.
Keep a check on your feelings
Don't be afraid to share any anxious feelings you are experiencing with friends, family or colleagues. Check-in on people - this goes for customers and clients too as many of them will be under similar stress. A simple "how are you going?" invites them to off-load a little of what they may be experiencing. Take notice of those you are not hearing from too. Check-in with them - make sure they are ok. There are many parents working from home who are now also engaged in a balancing act of simultaneously keeping small children entertained. This is no easy task. Be understanding, tolerant and supportive of their juggle.
We all know exercise is good for the mind and the body, so keep moving! A walk, run or bike ride a day will help you release stress and tension. Then on those inevitable rainy days, you only have to google search "online workout" to find something that floats your boat to do from your lounge. Lycra welcome! Dust off the cardio or weights equipment at home or try yoga as another form of exercise to release tension and stay fit.
In addition to keeping your body active, eat nutritious food, hydrate regularly and get a good rest each night. It all plays a vital part in supporting a well functioning mind. Tempting as the beer and wine are, we all know the effects that too much of it has on us!
Do something different! Learn a new skill! Get creative and think outside the square for a bit of fun. You might find a hidden talent you never knew you possessed.
Stay informed from reliable sources
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the constant stream of news and social media updates about Covid-19. It is important to keep yourself informed but stick to reports from trustworthy sources. Limit yourself to checking the news perhaps once or twice per day, and pay attention to how news of the virus makes you feel. Switch off if necessary and take time out from technology.
There are some great tips here about other ways to look after your wellbeing during Covid-19. Lastly, try to remember that we will get through this if we support each other and stick together.
Be kind. Stay safe and stay healthy.
All the best.
About our guest contributor
Mark enjoys little more in his professional life than seeing his clients reach their goals. In his role as Managing Partner, Waikato, Mark brings a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to help businesses see more value and grow.
Having been a PwC Partner since 2008 and an accountant for more than 20 years, Mark is best placed to support his clients in specialist areas like strategy, structuring, governance, growth, innovation, cloud, tax, modelling and financial and management reporting. He also draws on the wider PwC network in Waikato, nationally and internationally to provide crucial advice, insight and support when it’s needed.