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During these uncertain times businesses are making many difficult decisions which are constanly changing and adapting with the continued restrictions. For many people, these changes will be contributing to higher levels of stress and anxiety.    

And with the current government guidance to work from home where possible we are all having to learn to adapt for the long-term. This uncertainty brings new challenges to our mental health and wellbeing.

To help combat this, we've outlined some tips on the best way to keep productive and maintain good physical and mental health during the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  

  1. Develop a new routine
  2. Stay connected
  3. Make time to plan and upskill
  4. Reach out for support

Develop a new routine

The current situation has turned our daily routines upside down, which can have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing.

We have new routines now which we are learning to work with.

It’s important to keep assessing your routine to see if it's working for you. Regardless of whether you’re working from home (or supporting staff who are) or entertaining children - a good routine can really help minimise stress and anxiety.  

  • Develop a routine for getting up and going to bed. The NHS website has the perfect night’s sleep guide which can reduce stress, improve your mental wellbeing and increase your energy levels.  

  • Eat regularly and well.  

  • Get some exercise. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when work feels overwhelming, but the BBC have put together a guide on how to stay fit at home with no equipment in their handy fitness guide

Child sitting down looking at image of red deer on handheld device

If your work situation is changing:

  • Make sure you take regular breaks including a lunch hour and make sure you take time away from your workspace. If you have to wear a mask as part of your job, find a safe place to remove it and get some fresh air.
  • Set time aside from work for a personal activity you enjoy, whether that’s reading, listening to music or even learning something new.    

  • Create a space that's dedicated to work even if that space is now shared with a partner or family member. By having a routine and space that is work-ready, you'll have an environment that's within your control, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Public Health Scotland advise supporting your staff by talking to them about how they might improve their working from home set-up. Their website is full of useful information and guides. 

Stay connected

We know that isolation and lack of contact can raise stress levels and have a big impact on our mental health. Even though we can’t see others in person, there are many apps and websites available that allow us to stay connected to our friends, family and colleagues.

  • Take a look at BBC’s technology feature, Click, which highlights the latest apps and technology for online interaction. 

  • Try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak. Use trustworthy sources – such as GOV.UK or the NHS website and our news section

 

Make time to plan and upskill

There are lots of great online resources for planning, training and upskilling your staff and being productive during this time.   

  • Access training and advice specifically focused on digital marketing and technology via our Digital Skills section, where we cover topics such as Google analytics, search engine optimisation (SEO) and making the most of your social media channels.  

  • Our list of training and events have been adapted to include online learning. Many of these events are free and cover topics such as business support, financial readiness and understanding the data.  

  • Scottish Enterprise are hosting free webinars in the learning zone section of their website. These give insight from sector and market specialists on essential topics and opportunities to help you grow your business  

  • Learn from home with the HIT Scotland app which features a collection of self-development links and activities that will help you continue to engage with the industry.   

  • There are thousand of free courses across a huge range of subjects, where you can learn something new, develop your skills and advance your career prospects at the world of work website. 

Hands typing on a laptop

Reach out for support

There are a lot of online resources specifically designed to help you cope with the stress of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you are feeling overwhelmed, help is available.  

  • The NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) page has suggestions and advice for coping with the effects of self-isolation and physical distancing on your mental wellbeing.  

  • The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) has a lot of resources and information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and your mental wellbeing. It includes help with anxiety, OCD, supporting older and younger people, benefits, and coping with distressing news coverage.  

  • The Samaritans also provide information on the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) on mental health, you can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 116 123.  

  • You can phone Breathing Space for advice and support on 0800 83 85 87. You can visit the Breathing Space website for some tips on staying connected and other information.  

  • Ready Scotland is the official channel of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Division. It provides advice on finding extra support in times of crisis. 

  • If you have school age children in your household MyTutor gives advice about teen mental health, with useful tips and advice for parents to help their teens overcome body image issues, academic anxiety, peer pressure, and cyberbullying, and links to other important mental health resources.