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You first - how to put your needs back on the agenda

Time 43 days ago Comments 0 comments

We’re spending more time in our homes than ever before. Even for those whose home environment is usually a safe, happy and comforting space, the restrictions of lockdown can change things.

Perhaps you usually like to get out to the gym, to make spontaneous social plans, or have routine medical check-ups to give you reassurance - plans you now have to miss out on. Maybe you’ve experienced the breakdown of a relationship during lockdown, and remain in the same household - with little opportunity for space.

Whatever your home setup, whether with others or alone, support is available to help you manage.

Protecting your own mental health

Revitalised, an organisation supplying digital wellbeing solutions for companies all over the world, has published a simple list of practical steps we can all take to protect our own mental health during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

Try working through the list, step by step. By doing so, you’ll build healthy habits that you can use in a balanced way.

The first three are:

  1. Limit the news – this includes avoiding misinformation and only checking the news a few times a day
  2. Have a break from social media – including muting keywords and unfollowing accounts that aren’t good for your mindset
  3. Keep in touch with people – stay in regular contact, even if there’s not much to say

We think they’re a great start! You can find the full list of tips on the lockdown wellbeing support page.

Managing your relationships with others

Vita Health Group, our new employee assistance programme (EAP) provider, has produced a short video on managing home relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EAP suggests that the key to keeping relationships happy and healthy is understanding, kindness and acceptance. Sometimes acceptance comes in the form of knowing that disagreements will inevitably happen. You can watch the full video here.

Should you find yourself in a position where a personal relationship has become unsafe, please seek help. This can be done quietly and confidentiality, without the need to even speak.

For emergency situations, the Silent Solution is a method of getting help.

For anybody suffering, help is available to you freely, quickly and without judgment (despite what you may think or be told).

You can visit Domestic abuse support (UK) or Domestic abuse support (ROI) and get fast, easy to access, professional advice.

Takling loneliness and isolation

The more isolated we feel, the more we can get locked up in own our thoughts, getting stuck in an unhelpful cycle.

For those living alone, our EAP suggests posing the following question: “I need to stay inside, so how can I make this work for me?” This can be achieved by keeping a routine, staying in touch with others, or doing something every day that helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment.

You can check out more tips on tackling isolation and loneliness here.

And, you can connect with your Sodexo colleagues at the ‘Brew Club’ – established by Sodexo's Diversity and Inclusion team as a monthly, informal way to meet new people, growing our network and replacing the casual co-worker chats we’ve all missed whilst working remotely.   

Disabilities and lockdown

Those living with a disability may have experienced changes to the way their home setup works for them and feels during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Access to regular check-ups, support, rehab or physio may not be as straightforward, and the home may be presenting challenges that are new or intensified.

Firstly, it may help to get up to speed on the latest Covid-19 guidance for you. Disability Rights keep an up to date account which you can check.

You may also wish to join Sodexo’s disability employee network where you can speak openly about challenges with other employees, and contribute to important national works like the UK Disability Survey, sharing your experience of how Covid-19 has affected you.

Free mindfulness sessions for all

Regardless of our home circumstances, we can call benefit from learning and practicing mindfulness. The University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre is offering free, highly accessible introduction to mindfulness for life courses, including written materials to support.

You can access three sessions, one per week, led by fully trained Mindfulness Teachers at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, by visiting their website.

Tell us how you're getting on

The saying goes that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, well, we think we can help with that.

We’re looking to support colleagues with relevant resources and information throughout this lockdown period, so tell us what you need in this short form. We’re also looking to hear from people with skills that could be used to support peers.

Let’s get through this together.


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