All of us have had to deal with a huge amount of disruption, changes at work and added stresses due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, especially those in HR who are in the front line when it comes to supporting staff with work-related as well as personal issues. Supporting others whilst juggling increasing workloads can take its toll, so below are some tips from GroceryAid’s Helpline partner Care first to help alleviate some stresses you might be facing. This is all advice you will be giving to colleagues, but a reminder to you to practice some self-care.
1. Take regular breaks
Whether you are at home or in the office, proper breaks are essential to maintain focus and produce good quality work. Getting up from your desk to take a few breaths, stretch and disconnect for even a few moments will help you to maintain productivity throughout the day and reduce the effects of mounting stress.
2. Stay active
It is important to make sure that you stay active to reduce stress. If you are not able to get to a gym, then you could engage in moderate exercise at home, just 30 minutes a day can be very beneficial. Exercise is one of the best ways to fight symptoms of mental health problems, and people who are less physically active are at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.
3. Learn to switch off
Fighting the temptation to finish off a few things in the evening, especially if work is particularly busy can lead to regular behaviours. However, having an evening ritual or routine can help you to switch off from work and concentrate on your own time. If you work at home, it can help if you close the door to the room where you work and relax in a different room if possible.
4. Stick to a routine
Routine and structure are crucial to managing stress, and that starts with your sleep. Resist the urge to hit the snooze button. Research shows oversleeping can dampen your cognitive function just like sleep deprivation can. Do something positive with the time you saved from your commute if you work from home, such as cooking a healthy lunch or going for a jog. If you have returned to the workplace, maybe set an earlier alarm so you can exercise before you leave for work.
5. Plan your day
Review your to-do list and outline your day’s tasks. This will help you to be more productive and focused in the time that you have.
6. Try to avoid carrying emotions from work
In HR you will likely have been dealing with staff who are in emotional situations. It is natural for us to be affected by this as we are all human but try not to carry others emotions with us. Try to remind yourself that you’re doing what you can to support them and if it wasn’t for you, they might not be getting that support – so be proud of what you’re doing, and this will help to ease stress.
7. Don’t try to be all things to all people
It is okay to say no. If a friend asks you to do something, but you feel overwhelmed or too tired, then say no and reschedule. It is important to set aside time for you to have space and unwind from work.
8. Prioritise your tasks
You may have a large list of tasks to complete. Categorising tasks to identify which are urgent and which are less important can help to manage a busy period. Remember to take your time, you can only do so much.
9. Dedicate time to yourself
It can be tempting to bury yourself in your work when going through a difficult time in your personal life. This can result in your work taking over the entirety of your time. Make sure you set aside time regularly for yourself, whether that be to take part in hobbies or simply to relax in front of the television.
10. Remember GroceryAid can support you too
GroceryAid is here to support you and the colleagues that you support. Being in HR you will often be the first point of contact for colleagues when it comes to work and personal related issues which can take a toll on you personally. Utilising the support available through GroceryAid to help can make a difference. Signpost colleagues to the Helpline for support from a professionally trained counsellor.
And if you are struggling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. In partnership with Care first, who provide free, confidential support through our Helpline 08088 021 122. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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