Welcome to Pendulum’s pre-event amplify sessions – a series of videos, articles, tools and strategies to prepare you for the world-class speakers and accelerated growth at Pendulum Resurgence on November 27th.
The theme for this session is Mental Wellness. Adapting to these uncertain times is no mean feat. Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, drastic changes to how we live and work, job losses and an economic fallout all contribute to a spiraling mental health pandemic with increased unease, anxiety and stress at home and at work. This is echoed by recent research by Mind Share Partners who found that ‘42% of respondents’ mental health had declined since the outbreak began.’
We all know that prevention is better than cure. Now more than ever, it is important for us to remain agile, efficient, resilient, unshakable, optimistic and to find opportunities in uncertainty. You must decide right now if these difficult times are going to define you, or if you’re going to take control of your own fate. The life you want of purpose, passion and success is out there waiting for YOU to take action and seize it!
Check out the videos, articles and downloads below.
Dr. Harry Barry Outlines Top Tips For Managing Anxiety And Panic
Dr. Harry Barry On Choosing the Right Therapy for Anxiety and Depression
Inspiration from past pendulum speakers
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health During COVID-19
1. Take breaks from the news.
After a certain point, it can be more upsetting than informational. Make sure the information you do get is from reputable and non-sensationalist sources. And evaluate how much is helpful for you to read in a day, and aim to stick to that limit. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly.
Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return some normalcy back to your life as much as possible. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that these strong feelings will fade.
2. Take care of your body.
Take deep breaths. Stretch. Meditate. Try to eat relatively well balanced meals, move your body regularly, get plenty of sleep and highly limit alcohol and drugs. This will help boost your immunity — and your resilience.
3. Plan for coping with a potentially sudden drop in social contact (e.g., classes & events being cancelled.)
One of the most prominent ways individuals are asked to help mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic is to practice social distancing. That means remaining out of places where people meet or gather, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet or two meters) from others.
In times of crisis, many people seek connection and comfort from others, says Kelcey Stratton, Ph.D., program manager for resilience and well-being services at Michigan Medicine, who is also a clinical psychologist. “It is important to find creative ways to maintain those connections. We might also find some comfort by remembering that we are not alone, and that we are all in this together to protect the health and well-being of our communities.”
Create new traditions for connecting regularly with friends, family and peers via messaging apps, etc. Check in with your people. Call a family member, friend or coworker. Send a text message, direct message or email. Use FaceTime or other video formats to communicate.
4. Create a new, adapted schedule taking cancellations into account.
Keep things as consistent as possible and focus on what you can control in terms of disease prevention and more broadly.
“Our control resides in taking reasonable precautions and avoiding unnecessary risks. To protect our emotional well-being, we can pay attention to reputable sources of information and adhere to the prevention guidelines of the HSE and the World Health Organization,”
5. Do a “worry drop.”
Write out all of your fears in a journal until your anxiety has dropped by half.
Make a daily list of what is going well, and remember the things that are going well. Despite the current situation, maybe you’re able spend more time with your kids, or reading a book you’ve been meaning to get to or learning how to cook.
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, these recommendations are especially important. If you have appointments with your therapist or doctor, keep them. If you aren’t feeling well physically, ask if they have options for video appointments.
*Adapted from Michiganhealth.com
7 Tips To Manage Your Mental Health And Well-Being During The COVID-19 Outbreak
Manage your expectations
This is unlikely to be the writer’s retreat that you have long dreamt of. The suggestion that periods of quarantine might bring unprecedented productivity implies we should raise the bar, rather than lower it. Do not underestimate the cognitive and emotional load that this pandemic brings, or the impact it will have on your productivity, at least in the short term. Difficulty concentrating, low motivation and a state of distraction are to be expected. Adaptation will take time. Go easy on yourself. As we settle into this new rhythm of remote work and isolation, we need to be realistic in the goals we set, both for ourselves and others in our charge.
Proactively manage your stress threshold
Try to lay a solid foundation for your mental health and well-being by prioritizing your sleep, and practise good sleep hygiene (for example, avoid blue lights before bed, and maintain a routine around your sleep and wake times). Eat well (be conscious that you might be inclined to lean on alcohol, or other indulgences, to manage stress — this is understandable, but potentially damaging in the long run). Exercise: it will lower your stress levels, help you to better regulate your emotions and improve your sleep.
Know your red flags
One way to manage moments of distress is to identify key thoughts or physical sensations that tend to contribute to your cycle of distress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Our thoughts (“Why can’t I concentrate?”), feelings (frustration, worry, sadness), physical sensations (tension, upset stomach, jitters) and actions (such as compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics) each feed into and amplify these negative emotional spirals. Addressing one aspect of this loop by, for example, actively reducing the physical symptoms (I use box breathing: breathe in for four counts, hold for four, breathe out for four and hold for four, then repeat) can de-escalate the cycle and help you regain control.
Routine is your friend
It helps to manage anxiety, and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Create clear distinctions between work and non-work time, ideally in both your physical workspace and your head space. Find something to do that is not work and is not virus-related that brings you joy. Working in short bursts with clear breaks will help to maintain your clarity of thought.
Be compassionate with yourself and with others
There is much that we cannot control right now, but how we talk to ourselves during these challenging times can either provide a powerful buffer to these difficult circumstances or amplify our distress. Moments of feeling overwhelmed often come with big thoughts, such as “I cannot do this,” or “This is too hard.” This pandemic will cause a lot of stress for many of us, and we cannot be our best selves all the time. But we can ask for help or reach out when help is asked of us.
Even the most introverted of us need some sense of connection to others for our mental as well as our physical health. Many working groups have created virtual forums where you can contribute or just sit back and enjoy the chatter. Staff teams have instigated virtual coffee groups, online book clubs and co-working spaces where you can work in the (virtual) presence of others. We are in social isolation, but we need not feel alone. Reach out to those who might be particularly isolated.
Manage uncertainty by staying in the present
Take each day as it comes and focus on the things you can control. Mindfulness and meditation can be great tools.
This will probably be a stressful time for all of us, and will test the mental-health policies and practices of many research institutes, just as it is testing much else in the world. By embracing good mental-health and well-being measures, and by relying on others when necessary, we can protect ourselves and those around us.
*Adapted from nature.com
Working Remotely: Top Tips For Team Communication
Should communication be a priority between managers and teams when working remotely?
Communication should always be a priority – especially between management and their teams – but for remote working, the need is magnified.
What tends to happen when people work remotely is that communication becomes a function of a particular need in time, rather than a more social interaction, as would happen in the workplace. It’s these random social interactions that knit together the fabric of company and workplace culture and keeps employees engaged with their company and their colleagues.
So, although you can help remote employees communicate, the quality and type of that communication becomes more important and apparent with a remote workforce. This quality tends to be overlooked by leadership, but as the workplace trend moves towards more remote working, the need to enable communication in a way that engages employees will become increasingly important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
What are some of your tips for maintaining good communication in this situation?
Try to augment one-to-one temporal communication – such as direct messaging – with group communication. Think about how employees would typically interact at the workplace and find ways to mimic this.
We see some of our customers hosting virtual coffee breaks, mini competitions during the day, creating interest groups and facilitating communication between people with similar interests.
It’s always important to recognise a job well done, but this is more important with remote workers. Go out of your way to publicly recognise remote employees. The aim is to make remote employees feel part of something bigger than themselves and to minimise feelings of disconnection and isolation.
Provide a window into other parts of the business that is easily accessible and always available. Finally, check in (not check up!) on remote employees often, making it informal and social.
Are there any major pitfalls to avoid?
As soon as a remote employee starts to feel disconnected and isolated, they’re on a slippery slope to disengagement. Don’t rely on traditional methods of communication to handle the engagement challenge.
Email, direct messaging and video conferencing can only take you so far. Look for ways to maintain a feeling of community in the minds of the remote employees. Don’t check in on these employees – that only exacerbates the feeling of isolation and adds stress to the situation, which is a fast track to a disengaged employee.
What can happen if communication isn’t made a priority?
Losing the focus on engaged communication will inevitably lead to a disengaged employee. This will affect the business in two ways. Firstly, you’ll have an employee that will be working at partial capacity and any chance of accessing creativity from that employee will be minimal.
Secondly, a disengaged employee will surely find ways – consciously or unconsciously – to let others know about it and effectively spread the negativity that fuels disengagement.
Are there any online tools or technologies that people can avail of to help them stay connected?
There is a difference between communication to transfer information and engaged communication. By providing a means to communicate via a social community, it is possible to achieve important information transfer and provide a ‘part of something bigger than me’ experience.
We have found that the combination of best-of-breed communication technologies, such as direct messaging with an employee social network (especially one that is also available to remote employees via a mobile app), keeps everyone in the loop and able to asynchronously interact with each other.
Capabilities such as personal activity feeds, posting, liking and sharing posts, shout-outs and collaboration spaces all provide the means by which remote employees can see what’s happening across the landscape of their company, hear from senior leadership and freely interact with colleagues around the world.
We have seen this elevate engagement in remote employees often to levels higher than their workplace-bound colleagues.
*Adapted for siliconrepublic.com