Wellbeing is defined by the ‘state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’. But there is much more to it than that. It also covers aspects such as how happy are people with their lives as a whole and whether they have a sense of purpose and belonging. Wellbeing is not just something related to mental health.
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has brought wellbeing front and centre with many shielding, furloughed or working from home. Wellbeing has never been more important. With so much uncertainty about the future during this crisis it’s little wonder that people are becoming anxious, low and feeling completely.
Taking care of your mind as well as your body has become more important than ever whilst we stay at home during the COVID 19 pandemic. This has led to many feeling bored, anxious, and even lonely. Not only that, with additional pressures surrounding finances and job security we are facing internal battles we not only haven’t had to face before, but that came about so quickly. It’s a very different life to the one we all started on January 1st 2020.
No one knows what the future will hold regarding COVID-19. Certainly given recent Government announcements it is clear that COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future and as a society will need to define strategies and coping mechanisms so that we can continue living alongside this invisible enemy.
Last month we launched our new wellbeing module on Road XS. As ever we have kept things simple and easy to use. Given that many who use community transport services are remaining at home with services being limited due to lockdown restrictions, we realised we had a part to play in supporting passengers and drivers. Our ethos of Road XS has always been focused towards the passenger needs.
With this in mind, we built a simple click and monitor wellbeing function with reminders for follow-up calls and alerts for if someone is deteriorating. This allows our clients to fully support their passengers and drivers through the pandemic and beyond.
Here’re some ideas that might help with working from home and supporting your wellbeing and others during this moment in history that we are all witnessing:
Rethink Negative Unhelpful Thoughts
The way you feel will dictate how your day goes. The way you feel, comes from the way you think. Thoughts are feelings. It’s how we communicate with our body. It comes from that conversation in your head. If you imagine it’s a radio, just turn down the dial until you can’t hear it any more, and then turn it up for the conversations that empower you into a positive state. That’s actually a lot easier to write than to actually do!
Wellbeing and Mindfulness
Take the time to be aware of where you are right now. It will not be long, and we’ll be passed the moment we are in right now. It will all become a story we tell. By becoming aware of the now, we can appreciate more of where we have come from and where we’re heading to. I bet you feel a little less anxious right now than you did the moment the UK went into lockdown for example. That’s why we saw the shelves empty. Some of us were operating out of fear of the unknown. Yet here we are in the unknown.
Mindfulness is a wonderful way of becoming centred and quietening the mind. A simple method is to take the time to breath, and focus only on your breathing. If you’re not used to doing this, see how you are feeling on a scale of 1-10 right now.
See how your mind is. Is it racing? Is it worried? Now, breathe deeply for a count of 5, hold for 3, and then slowly breathe out for a count of 5. Do this 10 times and then see how you feel on your scale of 1-10. Just let your mind calm and flow like water.
Ask Yourself Better Questions
We can’t control the world around us. That much is clearer than ever. But we can control our world. A very simple trick which can snap you out of negative thinking is to ask yourself better questions. We’ve talked about the conversations we have with yourself and turning it down or up. Well, another trick to add to this is the questions you ask yourself.
For example, instead of asking yourself why are we still in lockdown this is not right?! Ask yourself, what do I want out of this? What is it that I can look back on and be really glad I did whilst I had the time to do it? Or simply, how many ways of solving this problem can I come up with? What lesson can I learn from all that is going on around me?
This is a much more positive and manageable position to come from than to keep trying to answer questions you will never be able to answer. You will just end up winding yourself in knots.
Ask yourself what do you really want? Then take action towards it. We often exaggerate how many times we try to learn something such as I have tried a million different ways to get Zoom to work but it still won’t work! Take a moment, take your time. Figure out a way and find a way that works for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Ask better questions to help you, not hinder you.
Make Sure You Sleep and Prepare for Sleep
It is easy to just binge-watch TV, to stay on the computer too long, or play games long into the night. The reality is that the way we sleep has a direct result on how we will feel tomorrow.
I am sure some of us at some point have experienced eye strain. That itchy, painful sensation where even looking at a screen can make you feel nauseous. It might come from typing too much or using the mouse too much. This is all caused by overuse, and every often is exacerbated by working or playing on screens long into the night when our eyes are at their most tired.
This of course has a knock-on effect with how we then sleep. Our minds are still racing and are not getting ready to wind down. Instead, take the time to relax two hours before sleep. Dim the lights down, avoid devices, read a book, and prepare yourself to sleep. Make sure you don’t drink caffeine after 2pm, that really helps. One thing which is obvious, but do not read your phone in bed. Put it in another room if you have to but let yourself wind down and drift off calmly. Leave emails and all the chaos for another moment because right now you need to sleep.
Keep Connected with Others
Just because you’re not able to see people as you’d want to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t connect. Spending quality time with friends and families is the easiest way to boost your mood. Sure, 2019 BC (before COVID), we would pop to the restaurant, pub or social event but this can still be done online.
Video conferencing by Zoom for example is enabling people up and down the country continue an element of normalcy by attending team meetings, church services, quizzes and more! It can be a lot of fun and many are finding much more productive than having to travel everywhere. You’d be surprised what gets done with people in the comfort of your own home. With the beauty of video, it’s like you’re also in the same room. Give it a try if you haven’t already…
Pause the News
With so much going on during the coronavirus, it’s easy to get sucked into a constant stream of news, and negative news at that. The most damaging news though, is all of the conjecture and analysis over what the Government might do and say next, or what this means for the future of our economy nationally and globally and for the future of our children’s children. Woah! Take a moment. Let’s just take a breath and listen and watch for the facts and take it one step at a time. It’s easy to postulate what might happen, but it’s much better and healthier to take things a day at a time. You will feel much more centred this way and avoid disappointments when things don’t quite go to plan.
Whilst our lives are on hold, take the time to stay heathy. If you can try to cut back on the smoking and excessive drinking. You will likely find you feel much better as a result and give your mood a real boost. If you like cooking, cook and perhaps cut back on the snacks if you can and treat yourself, perhaps pick Friday night as treat night. This will help give you something to look forward to and prevent each day feeling the same. After all, a healthy body, equals a healthy mind.
Work on Yourself
With life on pause, it’s a great time to learn new skills! Perhaps you always wanted to learn a new language, improve their computer skills or learn some new cooking techniques. Use this time to brush up on your ‘If only I had time I would’ items. This can have a real positive impact on your sense of achievement, and you can look back on this time as a real positive. The moment that lead to the next…
We hope you find these tips helpful. If you would like to know more about the wellbeing features not available in Road XS then please don’t hesitate to contact us.