Helping Maintain Mental Well-Being During Quarantine

How can we help employees maintain mental well-being during quarantine? 

Mental health has a staggering effect on the workplace. Times of crisis amplify the need to take action. Communicating with employees during this time will help them feel connected. Employers may want to send out the following tips to employees to help them as they discover a new normal.

In this Article: 

  • 6 Tips to Maintain Mental Well-Being
  • Practical Advice for Sending Workers Home to Work

6 Tips to Maintain Mental Well-Being

1. Keep a Routine

One of the best things that you can do to preserve your mental well-being is to stick to a routine. For example, if you're used to going to the gym before work, try to wake up early and get an at-home workout in before you go to work or start working at home.

Maintaining as much normalcy as possible with your daily routine can help keep your mood as lifted as possible and prevent boredom and distress from taking over.

If you have children who will be at home now, then creating a routine for them is also important. Implement a structured schedule for them, whether they are practicing virtual learning with their schools or if they are just at home, so they know what your expectations are. Try to limit screen time as much as possible and incorporate learning activities throughout the day.

2. Get a Good Night's Sleep

This goes hand in hand with sticking to a routine. While you're at home, it can be easy to go to bed or sleep in later than you typically would. Breaking your normal sleep routine can have negative effects on your overall mental well-being, so try to stick to your typical sleep schedule.

3. Spend Time Outside

Get outside periodically throughout the day. This could involve going out in your backyard or taking a walk around the block. Being outside also helps to promote higher levels of vitamin D, which the body makes when skin is directly exposed to the sun. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so exercising outside can be a great way to correct that.

4. Leverage the Power of Technology

When in quarantine or self-isolation, feeling lonely is common. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it easy to connect with others without having to be in physical contact with or in close proximity to them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends using technology to reach out to loved ones to reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and to supplement your social life while you're quarantining or social distancing. If you're feeling down, use video-calling technology or social media to get in touch with friends and family.

5. Don't Obsess over the News

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by watching the news and reviewing the updates of the COVID‑19 situation. While it's important to be informed, you should not obsess over the news. For example, instead of monitoring the news all day from home, consider checking for updates once a week.

6. Practice Positivity and Gratitude

Taking five minutes a day to write down the things you're grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive. While you're quarantining or social distancing, it's important to build time into your routine to practice positivity or express gratitude, to improve your mindset and boost your mood.

Summary

Your mental well-being plays a huge role in your physical health and well-being, and it should be prioritized. These six suggestions may help you maintain your mental well-being during a quarantine but shouldn't be considered medical advice.

If you have concerns about your mental well-being while you're in quarantine, please contact your mental health professional or companies employee assistance program's mental health services, or use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's national helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).


Practical Advice for Sending Workers Home to Work During a Crisis

1.  Establish open communication: Choose someone with in the company that can help reduce employee fears and and deal with logistical concerns. If you have an Employee Assistance Program remind employees of this service.   

2. Change your mindset: As an employer understand productivity levels may change during this time. Be flexible on arrangements as this will increase employee motivations and promote work/life balance. 

3. Be Secure: It’s never too late to update virus protections and remind employees about safe remote work processes, especially if they’re using their personal laptops for official business. If possible and needed conduct a crash course of cyber security.

4. Apply policies consistently and fairly: With many states asking employers to allow telework business may need to make decisions. possible deciding who can work from home and who would need to come into the office. It’s not illegal for an employer to decide that some jobs lend themselves to remote work while others don’t, but any employer that makes a call about who gets to work from home and who goes without a paycheck must be able to show a legitimate business reason. 

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