Managing your mental wellbeing whilst getting back into work

Managing your mental wellbeing whilst getting back into work

Getting back into work often leads to starting a new routine which can be exciting yet overwhelming. Time management is important in these cases, both inside and outside of work to ensure we can perform at our best.

Maintaining a great work/life balance is important, meaning managing time outside of work is important too, to ensure you have time to do things that bring you peace, help you relax and that make you happy.

When starting a new role, be sure to check with your line manager or HR who the key contact is to speak to, should you come across any issues or need any support with either workload or personal issues. Have regular, perhaps, quarterly check ins with this key contact to discuss anything that might be on your mind, or simply have a coffee (it’s always refreshing catching up with others!).

Drive new initiatives. If there is a particular aspect of the role that is bringing you down, or you think can be improved, speak about it with others, welcome new perspectives and collaboratively discuss pain points that you can then find a solution for. To show further project management skills, it might be useful to set time aside every quarter to catch up on how initiatives you have kicked off are currently evolving, if they need amending, as well as discussing any further pain points may have arisen. Educating yourself and others around the importance of understanding mental health in the workplace will also help overcome common barriers and create more of an open working environment.

Being relatively new within a company might also add slight pressure in terms of working hours; making you feel like you should be working around the clock. It is important that you do not do this, and you set boundaries so your team and colleagues know your working style, whilst perhaps also realising they might even need to cut their own working hours! Work smart, meaning be productive. Don’t sit at your desk till 10pm just to prove to somebody that you’re online. It doesn’t mean you’re productive and can often have the opposite impact. Think about when you’re most productive at work, and work around that.

 If you are working from home, it is very easy to slip into working earlier or later because we are already at the comfort of our own home, however it is even more important to think about logging on and off on time, to allow yourself to switch off from work properly. When working from home, it is easy to feel like all aspects of our life, from work, cooking, relaxing, kids.. whatever your life consists of, pretty much turns into one big blur. This can have a negative impact on us as individuals as it can feel like there is no escape. I would therefore encourage to set some time aside to find your happy; whether that be a long walk, listening to your favourite podcast or even just indulging in your favourite ice cream in front of the tv.

 Mind have put together a great summary on how to maintain your mental wellbeing at work here.

By Priya Tank

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Accepting the ‘Carer’ Label

Accepting the ‘Carer’ Label

The benefits of identifying yourself as a carer: Around 10% of the UK population are unpaid carers to a loved one. However, for many, they do not identify themselves as carer’s and see looking after a vulnerable person who is close to them as just ‘something they do.’ Around 1 in 4 carers took over 5 years to identify as a carer.

For those who do not identify as being a carer they may perceive the support they give as a normal part of the relationship they have with the person they are caring for.

There may also be a fear of intervention if the carer label is accepted.

However, failing to recognise that you are in a caring role can make it difficult to get the vital support you need to enhance both the lives of yourself and the individual(s) that you care for.

Here are some valuable benefits of identifying as a carer that help will reduce the burden and increase the quality of your life.

Finances

If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible for Carers Allowance. This provides financial support of £67.60 a week. For each week you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll be entitled to get National Insurance credits. There are also other potential benefits such as support from your local council or a Council Tax Reduction.

Reduce isolation and loneliness

If you recognise that you are caring for someone, you can access a wide range of compassionate networks that are there to listen, support and assure you that you are not alone in your journey. You can seek advice and exchange experiences with others who identify as caregivers through local support groups, which might help you feel less isolated.

Physical health

Caring for someone can be physically demanding, such as lifting them on a frequent basis. By identifying yourself as a carer, you may be eligible for practical assistance that will improve your physical well-being. This assistance may include equipment to make caring for a loved one easier, such as a hoist to assist with lifting, and can be accessed through your local council.

Employment

Employers being aware of your caring role can help them to be more understanding of your position. You have a lot of obligations to juggle, and if your boss is aware of this, he or she will be more sympathetic to your needs. They can provide helpful solutions to reduce the burden of being both an employee and a carer through ways such as flexible hours which you are entitled to request after six months within your role.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Back to work nerves? Starting a new job?

Back to work nerves? Starting a new job?

Returning to work after a long time might be overwhelming, and can often lead to feelings of anxiety and nervousness; it is normal.

The best way to deal with this, is to not push away these feelings, but deal with them by reminding yourself just how brilliant you are, and regaining confidence that you are able to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of your job.

Nervousness and anxiety can stem from many things, whether it is attending work for the first time (in a long time), leaving family members at home, or just being around new people. In order to become our best selves, we must be confident, calm and open to learn. There are also practical techniques here, which you can practice to manage feelings of anxiety, to find your calm, and to relax.

Self confidence isn’t something that comes naturally to some of us, and it often requires a lot of self care and self awareness. So, before you start you job, perhaps think about the following:

– Recognise what you’re good at. Remember they hired you for a reason, and remind yourself of your skillset and what you are capable of. What do you want to achieve? This focus will encourage motivation which will  help being proactive at work.

– SELF – CARE. When do you feel most at home, where is your happy place? When you are lying in bed peacefully? During meditation? Exercise? Music? Find your home. Whatever it is that makes you feel at peace, do that.

– Be open to try new things, open to learn and open to build new working relationships.

– Instead of comparing yourself to others, think about what you can learn from them, and what they could learn from you.

– If there is an element of your job you’re worried about, read more about it, search it on YouTube and make a few notes.

– Take care of yourself. Get a good nights sleep and drink plenty of water.

More importantly, be present and enjoy and embrace everyday. Understand that you are still growing and learning, working on ourselves all the time so don’t be too hard on yourself if you make any mistakes. Mistakes are essential whilst developing in our careers!

If you want to read more on how to build yourself self confident at work, you can click here.

By Priya Tank

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

First day (back) in the office

First day (back) in the office

Feeling anxious about meeting your colleagues for the first time or feeling overall nervous for your first day back in the office?

After a few years of uncertainty, it is important to highlight that you are probably not the only one feeling these nerves, and settling into a ‘new normal’ is as aspect of life that many of us havefeared as it marks a new beginning. New beginnings do tend to be daunting, and landing yourself a new job comes with new colleagues, new roles and responsibilities and a new office! Change is exciting, and an aspect of life that should be embraced, as it often leads us to new opportunities and depths of ourselves we wouldn’t reach without it.

A few top tips:

Be prepared:

Be organised; the day before, plan your day, your outfit, your commute and even the small things like what you will have for breakfast. If it helps, you could make a note of all of the things you’d like to get done during the day, a to-do list is always helpful, more so for the satisfaction of crossing things out once they’ve been actioned! If you’re feeling anxious the night before you attend the office, be sure to read the NHS top tips, and get an early night.

Take time for you:

What makes you feel at peace? Is it yoga, meditation, a simple walk? What about listening to your favourite song? What makes you feel grounded? Whatever it is, do that. It is often difficult to make time for yourself, especially after caring for somebody else, but it is evermore important to do this to ensure nerves are relaxed and we can perform at our best. Whatever your peace is, utilise it to the fullest.

Stay hydrated:

Water contains natural calming properties which help when feeling anxious, and can also provide feelings of relaxation. In addition to this, having a cold shower also encourages the release of cortisol which is also a stress-inducing hormone. You can read more about it here. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you throughout your day!

Once you’re in the office, I would recommend asking lots of questions, be aware of your body language, and be available to your buddy/manager to ensure you are learning lots and doing your best to fulfil your role. Take notes when you can, and if you can’t ask a question there and then, make a note and be sure to ask your manager at a more appropriate time. indeed.com have some useful tips here.

By Priya Tank

 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Caring for Carers: How to reduce workplace stress

Caring for Carers: How to reduce workplace stress

Working carers face stress and challenges both in the workplace and at home. There can be a lot to balance as with working comes significant responsibilities and pressures. For carers it is critical to address workplace stresses to reduce the burden they carry.

17.9 million working days are lost due to work-related stress, with 828,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2019/20. With a tremendously difficult couple of years as a result of the pandemic, for carers it is now more essential than ever that they prioritise their happiness and reduce the strain of working.

It is important for carers as they care for others to also care for themselves. Here are some useful steps to help carers combat work related stress and reduce the burden working has when also caring for a vulnerable person.

Taking time to recharge

It is important to remember that taking time to recharge is productive too. Work can be draining and balancing that with being a carer can be a lot to cope with. You may feel prone to focus your time and efforts on others and your job but taking time for yourself can help protect your wellbeing and mental health.

Doing something to relax after work such as taking a warm bath, listening to music or baking a cake can be a great way to soothe your mind.

Practicing mindfulness can help you relax and manage stress. Mindfulness teaches people to manage their stress by paying attention to the present moment. Meditation in a span of six to nine months can reduce anxiety levels by 60% and so can help reduce the anxiety that can come with balancing being a carer and working.

Flexible Working

Flexible working could help you to balance your work and caring responsibilities. If you have been with your employers for 6 months then you have the right to request flexible working. This could provide more flexible working hours, job sharing or teleworking which may be more suitable to your needs.

Support network

Being able to confide in a friend, family member or colleague means a problem shared can be a problem solved. Letting them know when you’re stressed regarding work and responsibilities can be an effective way to get advice and support.

We at Harrow Carers can provide a devoted support network to help when caring and working becomes stressful, through advice and support we aim to reduce the burden and increase the quality of your life.

Let go of mistakes

Letting go of mistakes and not being too hard on yourself can help reduce the potential stresses of working. Nobody is perfect and people make mistakes in the workplace, it is valuable to acknowledge that you are doing your best. You need to resist the urge to be a perfectionist, if you’re working as well as caring for someone, it can be a lot to handle at once so remember to give yourself credit for that.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.