Wellbeing During COVID-19
Returning to the Workplace
Is this the wake-up call you have been waiting for?
Things occasionally happen which can serve as a “wake up call”. Usually they are unexpected, often unwelcome, and sure as anything they test our resilience to the limits. We might have a health scare that nudges us to take our wellbeing more seriously, or we might find ourselves out of work and need to rethink our career. We may meet a partner in life who changes the way we see things and the way we think about ourselves. It can totally disrupt our thinking and our planning. Events, great or small, happen and how we react to them, how we take advantage of them can make us determined to alter our future. It’s not so much the experience itself: it’s far more to do with how we use that experience.
Everyone without exception has been through the COVID-19 experience. Yet although it was a collective experience our reactions to it and the impact is has on us is entirely personal and individual. Same experience, different reaction, different impact. On the one hand we might simply wish to shake off the happenings of the last few weeks and go back to how things were before, as far as we can. On the other hand, we may find that this experience has a profound effect on us and changes how we see ourselves, our family and friends, our work and ultimately our future. It can be our “wake up call” – a defining moment where we see things in a different light and resolve to change course in our lives. A repurposing brought about not because of the “common experience” but because of our individual reaction to it, and our wish to use it to enable us to move forward.
As we come through at least the first phase of this experience we are now able to make sense of what is unfolding, make some choices and to feel that we can control and shape our own futures.
Step back to survey what has happened to you in the last few weeks. Look at all aspects, both the events themselves but also where your own thoughts have led you during this period when you perhaps had more time and more opportunity to gather your thoughts than ever before. Maybe do this reflecting over a few, long post-lockdown walks, or quietly sat with a drink on a summer evening looking at the view around you. You might do this whilst tidying up, on a run or when lying in the bath having a long soak and when the mind can wander. Let it come naturally rather than forcing the pace.
You might find you start with what the experience has taught you about family and relationships within your own home.
Have you come through it stronger?
In terms of your own relationships and friendships have they mattered more or less to you?
What changes, if any, are you resolved to make?
Think about your own health during this period.
Have you eaten well? Enjoyed eating?
What about drinking? Have you felt in control?
Did you get more exercise, more sleep, feel more relaxed?
Or has the period really placed a greater burden on you physically and mentally.
Is your wellbeing a concern to you at all?
Are you resolved to change any aspect of your life in the light of the experience that will improve your health and wellbeing?
Have a good look at the financial aspects of this experience.
Have you any significant financial worries due to the last few weeks?
Are your finances better than expected leaving you with more wriggle room? How big a consideration is money to you as you look ahead?
Take a clear look at you and what you recognise you want in your life.
Are you doing the things you want to do?
Is the balance of your life right for you?
Are you happy? What would make you happier?
Those four topics in themselves should set you thinking – you may even need four walks to give enough time to each. After all, its an opportunity for “me time” and in particular for “wake up, me” time. And if you are concerned about anything at all, remember to turn to your trusted support networks or seek professional help – there are many sources available to you, and you are never alone.
So, as you transition and make the return to the workplace and all that entails, allow these thoughts on the other aspects of your life to come to you and give them time and space to grow. You may not resolve all of them, but some will press you hard and perhaps make you determined to take action. If you want to use this ‘once in a life-time experience’ to change the future, then allow yourself to use it as your personal wake-up call. The future, wherever it leads you, beckons.
Step 7 due on Friday 7 August – Returning engaged and purposeful
If you would like to discuss the relevance to your organisation, please call us