As we enter this time of uncertainty and isolation, it becomes increasingly important to focus on those around us. We are all facing a scenario we never thought we would see in our lifetimes and supporting each other at this time is crucial.
Both the health of our customers and members and that of our own team members matters a great deal to us here at FMB Insurance. We are here to support you and that’s why we have put together a list of suggested tips to help keep you positive in the coming weeks. For those that are struggling a bit more both mentally and/or financially, we have also included a list of helpful links with further information.
Tips to stay positive in isolation:
Routine – keeping to a routine through all this is hugely important. A routine gives us purpose and a schedule to stick to. Without routine, things can very quickly spiral. Ensure you’re getting dressed each day, rather than staying in your pyjamas. If you’re unable to work from home, then think about the things you can do to keep you busy, such as; taking the dog a walk, making meals, spending time with the children, starting a project, taking exercise or reading a book. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake at the same time each morning. This helps your body clock find routine. You will sleep much better and feel more refreshed each day.
Talking – this is key! It is even more important at the moment to stay connected to people. Connecting face to face through video calls such as FaceTime and Zoom is a great way to chat. Some people feel nervous of this but give it a try. It helps to see a friendly face. Apps such as Zoom also allow you to play games such as Pictionary as there is a white board feature that’s visible to your opponents. Even a game of Charades can produce a lot of giggles. If you don’t feel ready for socialising or confiding in a family member or a friend, then there are a number of helplines to offer support. We have listed some below. Employers and line managers – make sure you connect with your team individually each week via phone or video call. Check-in with them to gage how people are feeling and address any issues raised.
Social media – this can have both a positive and negative effect when it comes to mental health, especially at a time like this. Whilst it allows you to stay connected to others it can also make you feel anxious, especially if people are sharing news stories and airing their own concerns. Consider if necessary, taking a break. Alternatively, choose feeds that you want to follow, that make you feel positive and un-follow those that don’t.
Exercise – this is probably THE most important element in aiding mental health, and it matters even more so now. Government guidelines say each family member is entitled to 30 minutes per day of outdoor exercise, whether that be a dog walk, bike ride or a run. A brisk walk or even just a small run can make us feel so much more positive afterwards. If you have children, use this as an opportunity to do something active and keep fit together. Equally if you have been home schooling or working from home, then going out alone may be a good opportunity to clear your head and reboot. If running is not your thing then there are a number of yoga and keep fit instructors currently running free online sessions during this time.
Eat well- we don’t have to tell you how important this is. We all know that what we eat has an affect on how we feel. Whilst you have the time on your hands, learnt to make new recipes and approach food in a mindful way. Reaching for the sugar all the time is all too easy to slip into and we start to feel more sluggish and in turn far less motivated. As with everything though, moderation is the key. You shouldn’t completely deny yourself treats. Make sure you reward yourself from time to time.
Working from home- if you are able to work from home then make sure your work-space is both comfortable and inviting. Find a comfy chair and surround yourself with things you love such as a favourite mug, an inspiring picture or even a vase of flowers. Make sure you take breaks and step outside occasionally. If there are other members of the family around, agree a routine and a schedule for any calls you have to make to ensure you’re not disturbed.
Most importantly – don’t put pressure on yourself. This is not a normal situation. It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to let people know you are worried and to seek help. It’s ok to reach out and talk.
Useful Links and Helplines:
- The Lighthouse Construction Charity – a confidential 24/7 helpline focused purely on the construction industry - https://www.lighthouseclub.org/ Helpline Telephone: 0345 605 1956
- The Federation of Master Builders – the FMB currently have a page with regular updates for the construction industry at this time. A member group has also been set up through Facebook for those wanting to communicate with others in the same situation- https://www.fmb.org.uk/
- Mind organisation - currently have a useful help page on all aspects of Covid-19 https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#collapse025bc
- FMB Financial Advice Helpline (provided by Begbies Traynor) Tel: 0800 182 2359