Ten Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health During and Post Lockdown
Working in hospitality can often be colourful, creative, and certainly at times, challenging. As one of the industries hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions, the challenge of managing mental health for those in foodservice, has arguably never been more prominent.
We’ve been through the lockdown rollercoaster and in Victoria’s case, we just got another ticket to ride.
As some states continue to lift restrictions and Victoria dive’s head first back into quarantine, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on our experiences from the last time. It may seem like the easy option, but ignoring one’s own wellbeing at the expense of our businesses, jobs, colleagues and customers will be detrimental to us in the long run.
Hospo For Life, an organisation providing free access to psychologists and mental health services to members of the hospitality industry, has provided their top ten tips to looking after mental health as we navigate this ‘new normal’.
As a starting point, it’s so important for all those associated with our industry to reach out, foster healthy relationships and connect with each other to create a stronger community – now more than ever before. It is important to recognise that stress is a normal response and an understandable reaction given the varied situations we face right now. From there, enacting even just some of these tools may help:
- Focus on getting enough sleep, aim for 7 – 9 hours per night
- Keep active, aim for 30 – 40 minutes of exercise or movement most days
- Maintain your social connections (beyond just social media). Reach out to a friend, family member or colleague most days
- Think of different ways to be active – walk your dog, garden, ride a bike, play with children
- Be conscious of your alcohol consumption, aim for 4 – 5 days per week alcohol free
- Develop good sleep habits – avoid blue lights from phones and IT usage for 30 – 60 minutes before bed and stick to a regular sleep and wake time
- Manage uncertainty by keeping focus on the present – focus on what you can control
- Do something for someone else – volunteer, cook for someone, phone someone who is more restricted than you are
- Develop routines – structure is a strong strategy for managing stress
- Reach out for help if you need and talk – a psychologist, a GP, a counsellor – be proactive about your mental health just like your physical health
Hospo For Life provides free access to psychologists and mental health services to all members of the hospitality industry, facilitated by Altius Group. These services can be accessed over the phone and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to initiate interactions with qualified psychologists and health professionals. Hospo for Life provides a kind and compassionate atmosphere where hospitality industry employees and their families feel valued and respected. Find more information and contact details here.
An initiative of Fine Food, Hospitality Unites is the voice of the foodservice industry, dedicated to sharing the collective experiences and solutions to thrive in a post-COVID economy.
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