• Carrie Goldstein

Mental Health Breaks During COVID-19

During this incredible time of self-isolation, the lines between your personal and professional life have blurred completely. You are likely without the support and natural breaks from both sides of your life, whether that’s through commuting, school drop-off, time with family members or lunch with colleagues. You need a break, we all do!

This is beyond just self-care 101, this is truly finding the moments in each day, as impossible as it might seem, to take a break. Here are some tips that might help you find the balance you need to care for your mental well-being during this stressful time.

  • Set Expectations for Yourself: Humans live in communities for a reason. You cannot expect yourself to suddenly fill in for every support role that makes your life work smoothly on a normal day. Define what is important to you, your household and your manager or team, and what can be put on hold until we are back to a normal pace of living.

  • Set Expectations with Others: Be transparent with everyone – from your team at work to your team at home – of what they can expect from you during this time. Some of what you normally give to others will not be feasible at this time, and that’s OK.

  • Advocate for Your Needs: Take the time to think about what you need – whether that’s time dedicated to speaking with your close friend uninterrupted or the space to work on an essential project – and tell your family and your manager or team what you need.

  • Find a Pocket: When weekdays blend into weekends, it is harder to find the time for yourself. Whether it is waking up earlier, taking a silent lunch break or going to bed after the house is quiet, it is important to find a pocket of time for yourself every day.

  • Treat Yourself: Think about what is going to help you be centered and find moments of peace. Cheer Partners colleagues have bought new loungewear and others started a gratitude journal to give themselves comfort and bring some joy to their days.

  • See Outside Daily: This may feel impossible based on the new ways of living, but take a short walk, stand in the sunshine, feel the snow in your hand or open a window to change your environment, which can help to change your mindset.

  • Check-in On Others: Whether it’s an old colleague, your child’s teachers, your neighbors or your friends, make a point to reach out via text to let others know you are there, you are thinking of them and that they are not alone. You are doing them and yourself a service, because checking in with them will make you feel better, too.

Remember, we will not live in self-isolation forever. It is hard not to know when this will end, but it will end. Work-life balance is still achievable, and your well-being during this time is imperative.