Covid-19 has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health, but for those in hospitality the industry, the pandemic has completely transformed how we navigate our day to day lives. Few sectors have been forced to adapt to such disruptive and long term changes – and this has had a considerable impact on many people’s wellbeing. With Government advice constantly changing, and the current lockdown forcing many businesses to close, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what the future holds.
In such uncertain times, it’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety and worry, but by making time for self care and seeking proper support – it’s possible to alleviate these feelings and find moments of calm.
The first step is knowing what to look out for – anxiety can manifest itself in lots of different ways, but the main and most common symptoms are trouble sleeping, feelings of dread or fear, poor concentration and low mood or irritability. These symptoms might be overwhelming, but it is possible to manage anxiety using the following tips and advice.
Checking the news once a day is more than enough, and make sure it’s always from reputable sources. Try to remember to check it in the morning so it’s not the last thing you think about before going to bed.
You may also want to mute certain words and hashtags on twitter – it’s totally fine if you want to scroll without being reminded of Covid. Don’t feel bad about doing this, it’s okay to take a break.
If you’re wellbeing is suffering because you’re worried about money for example, it’s a good idea to look into the practical things you can do to ease your concerns. Citizens Advice is the best place to get information about benefits, debt, redundancy entitlements and who to speak to if you’re at risk of losing your home. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.
During lockdown, it’s easy to stay indoors for days on end, but even if you can only get out for ten minutes, it’s well worth it. Studies have shown that spending time in nature reduces stress, lowers heart rate and helps you think about your problems less. Fresh air also improves brain function and concentration meaning it’s a great way to clear your mind.
We’d recommend Fabulous app to help you build better habits and achieve your goals – it helps you to improve your wellbeing by creating structure and routine surrounding mindfulness, fitness and productivity through ‘make me fabulous’ sessions.
‘Self care’ is a buzz-word that most of us hear on a daily basis, but how many of us actually practice it? The important thing to remember when it comes to self care is that it looks different for everyone – if meditation and yoga isn’t your thing, find something else that helps you de-stress and relax for five minutes. It could be reading a book, writing down your goals or cooking your favorite meal. Self-care isn’t just physical acts, it’s also saying ‘no’, setting boundaries and knowing when to ask for help.
Stay hydrated, get enough sleep and eat regular meals – it’s basic stuff but can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. If you’re finding it hard to sleep, apps like Calm or Headspace can really help, as well as avoiding caffeine and limiting screen time in the evenings.
Scientific research has found that helping others is a powerful pathway to feeling healthier and happier. Carrying out acts of kindness is thought to encourage a sense of meaning, purpose and structure, as well as providing a mental boost through a sense of reward. Volunteering can also alleviate loneliness and enhance your social life – it can be anything from grabbing shopping for an elderly neighbour to helping out a food bank. You can find out how to volunteer in your local community here.
If you’re still working, don’t let yourself burn out. If you’re rushed off your feet with takeaway and delivery, it’s easy to work through lunch or stay late to make up for reduced staff. It’s really important that you make time to rest, recharge and take a breather. It’s likely that you’ll be more mentally focused and better at your job as a result.
If your place of work is closed due to lockdown, it’s really important to stay connected to your team. Social interaction is a really good way to ease anxiety and busy your mind – so embrace zoom and make sure you’re not spending all your time alone.
Online socials are also a good opportunity to check in with each other and make sure everyones doing okay – encouraging an open-dialogue amongst your team when it comes to talking about mental health is really important. .
Lastly, remember that you’re not in this alone. Lockdown means that things are a tad quieter than usual for our customer service team, so if you’re struggling and need a chat, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t offer professional advice, but we can listen. *If in crisis, please call 111 or 116 123 to talk to Samaritans or text SHOUT to 85258 to contact the Shout crisis text line.