MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES DURING COVID 19 CRISIS.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that one of the team is starting to suffer mental health related issues. I can attribute this directly to the COVID 19 situation. The person in question is normally dedicated, focused and very professional. As a senior manager he has been responsible for looking out for others, however his manager does not have the same approach.
I believe that leadership is key in a crisis, having a good leader allows those that work under them the empowerment to make decisions, remain focused and not suffer the ill effects of mental health.
The main thing that I have done so far is to contact my team members daily, I phone them to have a chat, I don't ask direct questions with regards to mental health, just by chatting to someone I can gauge how they are. They also appreciate the fact that a senior manager is taking the time out to make a call.
There are of course other things that you can do for your team to increase mental resilience.
Ask your team members to set goals. Setting goals will help the individual to stay focused and motivated. It will also build their confidence and help them to achieve their longer-term (outcome) goal.
When people are feeling low, they think negative thoughts. Challenge them to turn those negative thoughts into a positive. Positive self-statements increase motivation, confidence and self-belief.
Positive self-statements could include; I won't give up, I can do this, I am not going to fail.
Emotions are normal, everyone has them. Emotional triggers can't be controlled, however the response to the emotional trigger can be controlled.
Offer guidance to your team by challenging them to accept and be willing to experience
negative emotions as well as positive emotions. Encourage them to learn to manage difficult emotions and to change difficult emotions through opposite action. Increase positive emotions and protect time for positive activities daily.
The function of anxiety is to get us prepared/ready to react in an unfamiliar environment where there could be potential threats.
If you have a team member who you believe may be anxious ask them to try this simple breathing exercise:
Take slow deep in breaths (counting to 4)
Take slow deep out breaths (counting to 4)
Repeat for 2 mins.
MENTAL WARM UP
Before any event or task ask your team members to complete the Mental Warm UP.
1. Mentally go over your goal setting (event) strategy.
2. Check in with how you are feeling. Say to yourself ‘I feel …’
3. Notice how you are feeling, accept the emotion and then move on.
4. Respond to any negative thoughts with logical answers and positive
5. Then move on.
6. Visualise yourself successfully completing the event.
7. Focus on your first process goal and get ready to begin the event.
By doing this your team member should enhance performance during the task.
Remember; talk to your team, challenge them daily by going through the simple steps, focus their minds during this difficult and strange situation, recognise any mental health issues, provide support and lead your team well. When this is all over, we will need our people more than ever.