Looking after yourself

Amy Linfield

Head of HR

It is important to remember that this is an exceptional time we are living in and even if we are fortunate enough to have jobs that we can still carry out, this is not a time of ‘business as usual’. It is therefore important for each of us to be realistic with what we can achieve, at the moment.

Support for working parents
If you are a working parent, you will now be trying to balance the responsibilities of your work with those of your children’s happiness and wellbeing. At times, this may cause you to feel stress, anxiety or even guilt. If you experience any of these negative feelings, you should always have an open conversation with your line manager as they will be able to assist you in a range of ways; working hours, workload, your approach to work, utilisation of holiday or time under your Company’s Time off for Dependants policy.

If your Company has an Employee Assistance Programme, you will be able to access a wealth of guidance notes and counselling services. These are not just for those experiencing serious mental health issues; they are a fantastic resource that can act as a soundboard or sign post that most people can benefit from at different times of their lives and careers.

Likewise, if necessary, talk to your children’s school if you have any concerns around their education or what your role should look like at the moment. There are and always have been, various ways for children to learn; the classroom style of learning is just one of them. There are many different and creative ways you will be able to keep your children stimulated. The British Council have published a helpful toolkit and you can also access BBC Bitesize or local Facebook, or other social media, groups who may have different ideas to try.

A fresh approach to time management
In your regular working day, there will be times where you stop to talk to a colleague at the printer or as you make a coffee. It is important, when working from home, to aim for trust with your manager that you will deliver an output rather than have a pressure to be ‘online’ every minute of the working day.

Always remember to put your wellbeing high up on your priority list. Take that hour walk, go for that bike ride, look up some yoga routines that you have been keen to try and get creative in the kitchen. Without our daily commutes, we have been given a gift of time; take that time to do something meaningful to you.

Whilst you may feel you have days where you’re the not ‘perfect’ employee or parent because of the current situation, please remember that all you can attempt is your best and there will always be support you can utilise.

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