Business guide to Coronavirus

5 tips for building wellbeing while working from home

To quote a rather well-used phrase at the moment, these are unprecedented times. I would say they’re times for questioning the way we do things and with a bit of luck, find ways to do them even better.

So here are a few tips that approach working from home in a slightly different way to boost your wellbeing.

One

This is by far the most important tip to keep in mind. Social isolation is the very thing we are using to kill off COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19 however, mental illness thrives on social isolation. When people suffer from depression or anxiety, they tend to withdraw from society – to alienate themselves from others.

So apart from staying in touch with others as much as you possibly can, you have to keep a daily check on your mental health. A little anxiety or feeling a bit down is only to be expected, but if these moods persist, do something about it. This is the worst time anyone could choose to simply try and soldier on. 

Share your feelings with friends, family or colleagues or, better still, contact your GP. Such mental health issues are no to be scared or ashamed of as you’d be amazed how many other Australians are feeling this way too. 

Two

Make sure to get out for some exercise every day (while adhering to the government’s restrictions). It will help you build resilience against mental illness and prevent cabin-fever. And when you do go out for your daily exercise, make a point of saying hello to people you pass in the park or the other side of the street. They’ll love it and be happy to respond with a happy wave. Just remember, we are allies not enemies, so go out of your way to inject some warmth. The more you do so, the better you’ll feel.

Three

Stay flexible in your attitude to work. Yes, you have a business to run, but you also have people to live closely with for the foreseeable future. If your toddler wants to play or your partner wants to chat while you’re trying to master Microsoft Teams, think twice before telling them you don’t have time. The truth is you have all the time in the world, you just need to be flexible with it.

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Four

Remember your employees are going through COVID-19 too. There has never been a more important time to be empathetic and to lead them by example. This is a time when you could win the loyalty of your people forever – if you are flexible. It’s only natural you’ll have a bundle of frustrations, but be careful how you show them.

Five

This may sound strange when we’re all being asked to stay at home but consider volunteering. I’m not talking about joining the Red Cross, just thinking about others a little more. You know that elderly lady at the end of the street for example – the one that finds it hard to get to the shops (and even harder to wrestle over toilet paper)? Give her a ring and see if you can pick anything up for her. The very act of doing something for someone else while expecting nothing in return will do wonders for your wellbeing, and help you build even greater resilience for the further hurdles we may be yet to face.

And if you’d like to see a few more ideas for staying well, you can’t go past Beyond Blue

 

Business Australia is on hand with a range of resources to help businesses navigate this difficult time, with practical advice and information to help you develop strategies to maintain and sustain. Visit our resource hub to find out more. 

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Business Australia. 

David Westgate

Mental Health Speaker, Westgate & Friends

David has worked in advertising for nearly 40 years. He has managed multi-national clients, creative departments and runs his own agency. David has achieved all of this while suffering from a rollercoaster-like mental illness known as bipolar 1.

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