It’s been reported that more than one in five British workers have now been furloughed. That’s around 6.3million people who are temporarily no longer working due to the impacts of the Coronavirus.
Not all employers have been able to top up their employees pay to 100%, which has resulted in increased financial anxiety for a large proportion of people who have suddenly found themselves earning significantly less money each month.
With much uncertainty around how the lockdown will ease, how and when people will start returning to work and the major question of which businesses will survive this crisis, it can be hard to stay positive and motivated during furlough.
Establish Routine – A sudden lack of routine has a big impact on people’s mental health, we are creatures of habit after all! It might seem like a challenge adding structure to your day when we are all limited on the things we can do, so take everything back to basics. Schedule your daily walk, calls with friends and think about what you can do around the house. If you have children, throw yourself into home schooling and entertaining them or if you have a hobby you don’t normally have time to invest in, allow yourself to indulge in it. Set yourself a daily or weekly goal to focus on and try to stick to normal sleeping times.
Limit your News Consumption – Watching endless rolling news isn’t good for anyone and during this uncertain and challenging time, it’s guaranteed to increase anxiety levels. Try to limit the amount of news you are consuming whether that’s watching it on television, listening to the radio or reading statements online and social media. It’s also important to be aware of when you’re consuming “fake news.” For example, it’s so easy to get lost when scrolling on social media feeds reading a status posted by someone you vaguely know who is speculating about coronavirus and subconsciously absorbing this as news! Limit yourself to watching or listening to one news bulleting a day from a reliable source.
Learn a New Skill – If you have additional time on your hands, now is the perfect time to invest in some personal development. There are lots of free resources online, covering a range of skills and topics. Setting yourself a task like this will not only enhance your skills, it will help add to your routine and give you something to focus on. If an online course isn’t appealing, invest your time in developing an offline skill whether that’s improving your cooking, gardening, sewing, writing, drawing or whatever excites you! It’s unlikely that you’ll ever have this much spare time so spend it on things that interest you, whilst adhering to the government’s guidelines at all times.
Socialise (Virtually) –. It’s more important than ever that we make the effort to stay in touch with friends and family at this isolating time and thanks to technology, keeping in touch is easy and accessible to most. Whether it’s a phone call, videocall or group video over zoom, there’s always a way to socialise even when we can’t see people in person and it’s great for keeping positive. People have been getting inventive with how they socialise, having virtual quizzes, parties and karaoke nights so get creative and have fun with it!
Prioritise your Health – Our physical and mental health both play a huge part in how we feel overall so make looking after your health a top priority. Ensure you are getting enough sleep, speak to someone if you are feeling worried or anxious and try to eat as healthily as you can. With restaurants closed plus the fact everyone has more time, try to cook fresh and healthy food to enjoy. It’s also important to exercise and try to keep fit so maximise your daily walk and if you have a garden try to spend more time there. These things combined, will put you in the best position to mentally and physically cope with the changes we’re all experiencing. If you are ever struggling, remind yourself, this won’t last forever.
We hope you are keeping safe and that this blog has helped you in some way.