Coping Strategies: How We’re Staying Positive Throughout Lockdown
Author: Geoffrey Hulbert
Published date: 2021/10
As a business operating within Victoria, we understand that the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions are causing fatigue amongst employees. Therefore, the management team here at Fetch have made mental health and productivity a priority.
As recruiters we understand that we are in a privileged industry - as we’re still allowed the opportunity to work from home. However, there’s indeed something to be said about the mundane repetition of waking up, walking to your computer, and working within the same household that you spend the rest of your time in.
This blog was created with the intention of sharing Fetch’s team members coping strategies right now. Below are some of the challenges and solutions our team put forward in a (virtual) meeting not so long ago.
Flat days where we struggle to get going in the morning.
There’s a lack of routine which makes it hard to get into a rhythm and generate momentum.
When things go wrong during our workday there’s no one physically there to pick us up, so it can derail our whole day or even week.
It can be very lonely at times; we are all naturally very sociable people and it’s easy to feel disconnected.
It’s very hard to switch off in the evenings which has been affecting our sleep.
The stress of getting covid, the daily case numbers and new restrictions can all feel like too much.
Sometimes life right now feels like all work and no play.
Not having holidays, social events or seeing family to look forward to.
Ideas for coping
Control the little things. It’s easy to feel out of control about most things in life right now. Things as simple as choosing to eat pancakes instead of cereal for breakfast or choosing the song you want to hear right now instead of hitting shuffle can really help.
Creating a healthy morning routine. Usually, the commute to and from work gives us the time to prepare for the day ahead and then decompress on the way home.
Morning routine ideas:
Going for a walk (perhaps to get a coffee or to take the dog out).
Reading: this could be anything but some of the team particularly enjoy personal/professional development books as they start our day off with thoughts that encourage growth.
Set a plan for your day. Before you start your day take the time to think it through. Ask yourself: what are the most urgent/ high payoff tasks for me right now.
Start with the hardest/most unpleasant task first, then once that’s done everything gets easier!
Remember “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain.
Set time limits for how much time you are going to commit to a given task.
Set targets or milestones i.e., things you want to achieve before taking a break.
Use post-it notes with your focus on it, stick it to the screen to remind you to focus on the task at hand.
When things go wrong take a break and reset.
Get out of your physical workspace.
Go for a walk.
Clear your desk to start a fresh.
Call someone to ask advice or bounce ideas off each other – we’re all in this together.
Isolation/loneliness is perhaps the hardest of the above
Call your team members for a chat if you need – this might include a scheduled weekly chat with a team member.
Find out if there is anyone in the business who lives inside your radius and see if they would like to meet for a walk or run.
If things get too much for you talk to your manager and express your concerns.
Start to put things in place to create separation between your work and home.
Remove emails from your phone for the remainder of lockdown – there are very few emails that come through at 8pm that can’t wait until the morning to be actioned.
Write a plan for the following day before clocking off, this will help you switch off once you shut off for the night.
Create an evening routine to compensate for the loss of your commute.
Consciously look for ways to leave the space physically or mentally like
Listening to a podcast.
Going for a run/walk/work out.
Reading a book.
Playing a video game.
Calling a friend.
Starting a gratitude journal to be mindful of all the things you are thankful for.
Some of the activities we’ve implemented across the business this lockdown include:
An RDO the Friday of RUOK? Day: to encourage everyone to switch off and have an extra day to themselves.
Workplace incentives: encouraging team members to set goals.
Fitness incentives: to encourage team members to get outdoors and get moving.
Weekly scheduled ‘Cuppa Catch Ups’: a virtual meeting of 3-4 team members once a week for half an hour, just to chat.
Uber eats vouchers: to have something to look forward to on the weekend.
‘Thank You’ champagne deliveries: to surprise team members while they’re in their home office.
End of month and end of quarter catch ups: virtually ran with games and awards.
Workshops and blogs like this one: to empower employees with knowledge and coping strategies.
We’re encouraging our employees:
If they feel like they're are not coping, reach out! If they are struggling for motivation, reach out! If they need a pick me up or a chat, reach out! If they feel alone, reach out! If they see someone in the team who is not themselves, reach out!
We’re in this together, we are a team, and we will come through this together.
Geoff Hulbert is the Director of Recruitment at Fetch, you can connect with him on LinkedIn here.