I’m doing well and feeling fine!
To be honest, not totally. Although I am one of those lucky individuals who is wired happy, grateful, and hopeful, this pandemic has rocked my world.
We have had to deal with a great amount of anxiety, change, loss, and isolation in the last two-plus years. It has taken a toll on our minds, hearts, and bodies. There is so much work to do with so little time and lately, less staff, so we push forward as usual. Looking ahead, what are we to do? This isn’t sustainable and certainly isn’t good for us, our clients, or our organizations.
Ignoring the signs of stress certainly doesn’t help it go away. Forcing ourselves to push forward and not acknowledge it or deal with it, can cause burnout and that’s not helpful either. To be our best, we need to take a hard look at where we are now and how we really feel and take time to practice self-care. By doing so, we can refresh, refuel, and recharge.
It has been hard to manage employee stress during the lockdown, isolating, keeping our distance from others, and working remotely. Now, transitioning back into the workplace brings its own set of emotions and stress. We have, and are still, dealing with a pandemic that has brought on the need for more nonprofit services and support for our clients, which are crucial. It may appear that organizations just need to keep moving forward without addressing employee morale, health/wellness, engagement, and burnout. Sooner or later, most likely sooner, this will have an adverse effect on your employees and in turn, on the organization’s service levels.
The good news is that there are several ways employers can support their employees in a positive way to build resilience and ultimately improve productivity.
- Build a culture of support and awareness.
- Encourage time off and mental health days.
- Have regular staff check-ins.
- Create team-building opportunities for connectedness.
- Recognize employee achievements and contributions.
- Set personal and team goals.
- Prioritize and re-prioritize.
- Provide accommodations as able.
- Allow for regular breaks and flexible schedules.
- Provide resources and a good support system including an employee assistance program (EAP).
Also, employers are encouraged to allow and promote personal self-care as well as:
- Be gentle with one another. Employees may be experiencing difficulty focusing at this time or suffering from COVID brain fog.
- Support healthy eating habits and proper sleep.
- Focus on positive change. Be creative.
- Pause and be mindful. Remember to breathe.
- Remember to be kind to yourself and to others.
- Provide access to resources and support.
- Take care of your physical self by stretching, exercising, moving, and finding time to laugh. A good belly laugh has so many great benefits.
Though we may struggle with not seeing the end of the tunnel, we can come out of this pandemic stronger and more connected if we support one another to be our best selves.
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The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.