At APHC, we know that a career on the tools is rewarding but also very demanding, even at the best of times. With the added pressures resulting from the impact of COVID-19, for many the going is pretty tough.
So how can you go about managing the pressure?
Personal perspective and initiative are perhaps the most important factors in coping with your mental health. Understanding how to manage stress and self-help can make a world of difference.
Knowing the signs
Acknowledging that you may be beginning to struggle is the first, and probably most difficult part of coping. Noticing the warning signs is a crucial first step before working up strategies to mitigate stress. For example:
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Bad temper
- Working late
- A worsening diet
- Withdrawal from conversation or group activities
It also helps to talk things through with someone in an environment where you feel you can speak freely. Unburdening emotions can often provide clarity of thought and lead to a decrease in the levels of stress and pressure that you’re feeling. The individual you talk to needs to understand that they must listen and give you the time and space to work things through, without trying to tell you how you should think and feel.
Talk to your people
Likewise, if you recognise these signs in a colleague, be the person to provide a safety net and check in with them every once in a while. Offer to help where you can, invite them into your group, include them in activities outside of work and where possible, ask if they’ve considered or are aware of the support available through charity services such as Samaritans. Being able to start the conversation can make a huge difference to someone struggling to cope.
Employers should seek to understand from employees whether there are any aspects of their work which are negatively impacting their mental health, as there could be things done or put in place which could help without adversely affecting the business.
As employers, we have a legal and moral ‘duty of care’ for the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and when it comes to their mental health the first step is to be able to recognise when someone might be struggling.
Change doesn’t happen overnight and individual relationships between employees need to be developed over time, but employers can start by taking an active interest in their employees’ mental health by asking how they are.
If you’re feeling down you can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 or email email@example.com.