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Lockdown can be tough. Whether you’re quarantining alone or with others, spending every second of every day within the same four walls is challenging.

The stresses of balancing working from home with a completely new routine (or lack of one) can be difficult to deal with. Add onto that not being able to see friends and family and the risk of becoming stressed and anxious is higher than ever.

Co-op are working in partnership with MindSAMH and Inspire in bringing communities together to improve mental wellbeing. Emma Mamo, the head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, has compiled some tips on balancing working from home and doing your job well with staying mentally and physically healthy.

Work/life balance

It’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of taking fewer breaks, answering emails while still in bed and working past normal hours when you’re sitting on your sofa. While work and home life are bleeding into each other more than usual, it’s important to maintain boundaries.

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to break for lunch or letting your colleagues know that you’ll be unreachable for half an hour to establish a healthy work/life balance. Going for a short walk in the middle of the day will help you to stay physically active and will give your brain a rest. 

Check in regularly

With much less human interaction happening at the moment, take the time to check in with colleagues. Just the sight of a friendly face on your computer screen will make you feel more connected.

Instead of sending yet another email, pick up the phone instead and hang out with your work buddies the way you usually would in the office kitchen or break room. You could arrange a team tea break or quiz via video chat.

Access support

Letting your colleagues know that you’re available to talk (or even just to listen) will help your team to keep a positive mindset. If your company offers you support, take them up on it. Whether it’s an online yoga class, a chat with a manager or an HR representative, or using available resources such as counselling or a helpline that your work provides, these assets are meant to be used.

If you need support with your mental health or know someone that does:

  • Contact Mind for support in England and Wales on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday), text: 86463 or email info@mind.org.uk
  • Contact SAMH for support in Scotland on 0344 800 0550 (lines open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays) or email info@samh.org.uk
  • Contact Inspire for support in Northern Ireland on 0289 032 8474 (lines open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email hello@inspirewellbeing.org

Emma Mamo,
Mind Head of workplace wellbeing

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