- During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to address your mental health needs, as well as the needs of those around you.
- Reach out to people and focus on retaining your social and professional network.
- Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk shares advice on staying positive, including keeping to a routine and focusing on “the other side”.
Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk shares advice on how to stay positive during these challenging times.
As the reality of home working for the foreseeable future sinks in, usually sociable and outgoing property professionals need to address their mental health.
Many of my colleagues chose property as a profession because it’s highly sociable, but now we are isolated from that social network, and these are tough times for everyone.
The Government drills home every day the importance of getting exercise, and many are out and about walking, cycling and running. However, the sudden and very instant nature of the lockdown has the potential to hit some in the property profession harder than they might realise.
The difference to work and life over the last month has been let’s say – brutal. Most of us in property have come from a vibrant, booming and highly social workplace, down to working from home in isolation. It’s a shock to the system and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Many firms are utilising technology to help their employees work from home, whilst others have been ‘furloughed’ – the creative phrase for being temporarily laid off.
This combination of both semi-redundancy with no work to do, and those under pressure to continue as normal working from home carries a huge mental burden.
Everyone I’ve spoken with is having to be creative to cope with life now. The pressures some people are under both financially and mentally are huge; we need to talk to each other and know that when you have a wobble, someone is there for you – because everyone will at some point.
It’s crucially important not to under-estimate the stress of the current situation. It’s horrendous for us all. My advice is, get into a positive routine, speak to people and plan for the future, because we need to come out of this in the best possible form to take advantage of the opportunities it will create.
10 Tips to Maintain a Positive Mindset
Jonathan offered these suggestions to help others take a proactive approach and retain focus during the working week:
- Routine: it’s vital if you want to be motivated that you set a routine. Make sure you get up at a decent time and start work at 9am.
- To do list: Start by writing a small list of work to achieve, lower your expectations and work towards ticking all those goals, even if they are small.
- Talk to someone: If you have a work buddy you’d usually chew the fat with, why change? Give them a call, maybe first thing in the morning. It helps you both realise you aren’t alone.
- Food and drink: Make sure you eat properly and stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Fresh air: At lunch time take your daily walk or sit outside, put your phone down, look around and enjoy the peace and quiet.
- Finish at 5: Don’t be tempted to work into the evening. Try and finish up around the same time as you would normally.
- Put the phone down: After “work” is over, try to forget about it. Enjoy time with your partner or family.
- Wine o’clock? It’s tempting to hit the wine each night, especially when you’re under stress. But given the circumstances and the fact we are in the middle of a health crisis, it’s better to reduce the alcohol, not increase it.
- Sleep: Turn in at a decent time and try to get 8 hours solid sleep if possible.
- Plan for the other side: This will end, and when it does you need to be in the best shape possible to seize any opportunities. Get planning!
Jonathan Ratcliffe is a senior broker at flexible workspace search service, Offices.co.uk.