Impact to your Mental Health from COVID-19, Civil Unrest, Isolation & Uncertainty

Posted on June 25, 2020 by Mitchell Best, CEO

Silotte of man with watercolor background_smallThis year has been one like no other with recent local, national and worldwide events. As a national behavioral health consulting practice, we see everything happening in the world impacting those we serve and reflect on how we can help. Here at VITAL WorkLife, we live by three core values and I share them here as I believe they bring clarity to where we fit in today’s climate of uncertainty.

  • Doing the Right Thing – We are proactive in finding ways to help individuals and organizations to focus on their well being so that they can become their best selves in their home, work and community.
  • Optimism – We give positive reinforcement when individuals reach out to us for help and we are aware this may be someone’s first time asking for help and ever talking about their concerns.
  • Collaboration – We educate, train and coach our clients to influence and inspire well being in their organizations to help employees seek the support they need to cope during these times of instability.

With that said, we all know these events are causing additional stress, and many individuals were already stressed. The added fear, uncertainty and doubt can cause more confusion, concern and anxiety for both individuals and organizations who may not know how to address these concerns or know what to do next.

It’s important to acknowledge you may be experiencing feelings of uncertainty and trauma as a result of the recent local, national and worldwide events.

What Can You Do?

For Individuals

Everyone will have a different reaction to current events and will need different strategies for coping. Here are some proven tactics that can help you navigate these emotions and practice self-care:

  • Practice gratitude. Look for opportunities to be grateful and recognize the positive stories in our communities and world. Gratitude is a mood and energy lifter.
  • Seek support from your friends, family and other community members and have open communication about the events and how you are feeling.
  • Utilize behavioral health resources that are available to you, such as your Employee Assistance Program, a counselor or crisis support line.
  • Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Meditation, getting enough sleep, proper nutrition and exercise can help relieve stress and make sure you are feeling your best.
  • Make time for fun. Smile! Did you know that laughter leads to greater relaxation, an improved immune system, better mood and strengthened life satisfaction?
  • Set time limits for engaging with social media so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Social media can be fun, but it can also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
  • To that end, turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime to allow yourself enough time to wind down and relax. When was the last time you ended your day reading a book or practicing five minutes of meditation, instead of looking at your phone? 

For Leaders

As a leader, it is important for you to be present for those whose livelihood and well being are in your care, but you must also take care of your own well being.

  • Practice the self-care tips above to ensure you are leading from a place of good health.
  • Communicate often and with transparency, understanding that you will be met with a variety of reactions and responses.
  • Encourage open and honest dialogue on topics to let people know they are not alone, and others are having similar emotional responses to these events.
  • Encourage managers to provide employees with a safe place to talk as often as needed and instill trust.
  • Make a point to show appreciation to your team. A handwritten note can go a long way toward helping employees feel valued. Here’ a short video on why gratitude matters.
  • Encourage employees to use behavioral health resources available to them, such as their EAP or a crisis support line.
  • Be flexible and understanding. Give employees a wide variety of outlets and formats to fit their personal needs. 

Resources for Traumatic Events

For Individuals

For Leaders

We Can Help

It is important to acknowledge you may experience feelings of uncertainty and trauma as a result of recent local, national and worldwide events. Reach out if you need help or support, whether it’s for yourself, a family member or a colleague.

MEMBERS:

To seek support from your EAP or Physician Well Being Resources you can contact us online at VITALWorkLife.com/ContactUs, by phone 800.383.1908 (EAP) or 877.731.3949 (Physician Well Being Resources) or through your VITAL WorkLife App.

We are here to help.

Interested in learning more?  

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