Whilst we are all living through the pandemic, the impression that everyone’s going through the same thing is inaccurate. Everyone is experiencing the pandemic differently with their job roles and their employers, their own mental health, their home lives and many other issues.
Now we are soaking up information on returning to normality, including plans to get to the pub, as well as get us back to the workplace. And this is leading to new feelings of anxiety and concern. In the same way not everyone wants a pint, individual’s emotions around this will be differing. The structure of the post-pandemic work world remains uncertain, and it may be hard to manage the needs of the business with those of the employee but what we know for sure is mental health is in a worse state now than before the pandemic. In fact, 84% of adults surveyed by ONS during June 2020 were experiencing some form of depression – that doesn’t just disappear.
The Value of Connection
What is infinitely clear is individuals need as much support during this time as ever. Touching base, regular updates and checking in with how they’re ‘actually’ feeling, as well as providing practical reminders and suggestions to keep healthy. Little things can go a long way to support people when thoughts and worries are overwhelming.
In light of this, if we talk about keeping our intake of fruit and vegetables high it may seem futile, but in fact could go a long way to improving feelings of wellbeing. Early last year (you may have missed it, there was a lot going on!) a systematic study reviewed 5,911 studies relating to fruit and vegetable intake and mental health and found: ‘The most prominent results indicated that high total intake of fruits and vegetables, and some of their specific subgroups including berries, citrus, and green leafy vegetables, may promote higher levels of optimism and self-efficacy, as well as reduce the level of psychological distress, ambiguity…and protect against depressive symptoms’.
Connection is essential for wellbeing and happiness but don’t disregard the importance of nutrition in this ever-changing world or consider combining the two! Smoothie breaks or fruity lunch and learns, healthy food parcels and regular healthy recipes can be useful tools when reaching out to your employees. We need to get back into good habits now before the next big change – however it impacts you.
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