2021 has been a ride, hasn’t it? We’ll spare you the tally of days spent in lockdown and a recap of the highs and lows of the last 12 months; it’s not one we’re ready to relive just yet!
What we do know is that in our practice and personal lives, we’ve noticed a blanket exhaustion settling in people across all industries, sectors, and genders. Many of us are feeling like we’re sliding towards Christmas, and counting down the days until we can say goodbye to 2021. You may remember feeling like this at the end of last year too, and so it is our concern that without proper rest and the right strategies to cope with the ongoing uncertainty, the few weeks off over December and January may not be enough.
To help, we asked our team of expert psychologists for their tips on making the most of the Christmas break. Please share these with anyone you think may also find these useful.
A quick ‘self-check-in’ is a great way to identify how we are coping and feeling at the start of the holiday season. It enables us to make better decisions about the way we look after ourselves, and how best to plan for self-care activities during the holidays – as we find some down-time, moving away from the normal routine of work and daily living. Self-check-ins allow a gentle monitoring of how we are coping, and promotes greater self-awareness.
Sarah Alwyn, a registered psychologist with experience in counselling, executive coaching, consulting with organisations, individuals, groups, couples and adolescents.
Give yourself permission to have a real break. At this time of year to have a real reset, it’s imperative to get out of automatic pilot and if you can, have a change of environment.
For those who have been primarily working from home where the boundaries between work and home have been blurred more than ever before, consciously getting out of your working space is needed to relax and reset. If you’re not going on a physical holiday make an effort to do day trips.
Justine Alter, Psychologist, work-life transition expert, and Co-Director of Transitioning Well.
Firstly, take some time to appreciate what you’ve achieved in the last two years. It’s been a heck of a ride, but we are here, still standing, so really appreciating family, friends, and the chance to be together for those that are able to get together – and embrace all the cheesy things (yes, a Christmas movie marathon is being planned in my house!)
Secondly, and connected to that, many people still aren’t able to connect with family and friends, so if you can, do something to reach outside your circle – whether that is inviting someone round whose family is overseas/interstate etc, or who has had a really challenging year, donating to a cause (Father Bob, Sikh volunteers, Asylum seekers – whatever floats your boat) – just doing something for someone else is something I find useful to counteract the consumerism of the season.
Elizabeth Clancy, Senior Psychologist specialising in organisational wellbeing and stress prevention.
It takes a village to raise a child, and for many of us lockdowns robbed us of our village. No matter how much we love our kids and our family, we need a break from them. And if tensions are high and you’re wondering how much you really do love your family, then please know you’re not alone. Leave the kids with a friend or a babysitter and go on a ‘date’ with your partner, or spend some time by yourself.
Rachael Palmer, a registered and endorsed Organisational Psychologist who passionately believes that good work is good for us.
Immerse yourself in the natural environment around you. Spend at least half an hour a day in nature. It might be in the garden, at the beach, walking in your neighbourhood – breathing the air, feeling the sun – or the rain. And if it’s raining – enjoy the puddles!
Michelle Mitford, a psychologist specialising in enhancing organisational performance through people achieving measurable and sustained change in behaviour, attitudes and culture.
If you are looking for a creative way to connect your team and open up important wellbeing conversations, we recommend our Wellness Workshops delivered by our team. Having delivered over 400 webinars nationally and Internationally since the start of COVID we are well placed to support your people.
SUPPORT FOR TEAMS
As we transition to the ‘next normal’ we can support your people by opening up important wellbeing conversations including:
Re-Entry Anxiety: Normalising re-entry in a post lockdown world
Workforce Exhaustion: Combatting exhaustion and creating a fresh start moment
Hybrid Work Series Part 1: Transition to Hybrid: Navigating the early transition to hybrid work and return to office
Part 2: Making Hybrid Work: Navigating the long game of hybrid work and tools for transition
SUPPORT FOR LEADERS
We know that leaders need to be well to lead well. In an exhausted workforce, there’s a particular need to equip leaders and, in turn, their teams with the right help to support their emotional wellbeing and energy including:
Mental Health Essentials for Leaders: Looking after yourself and your team
The Great Resignation: Reducing the impact of the pandemic upon your people
Workforce Exhaustion: Practical strategies to reenergise an exhausted workforce
Flexibility 2.0: Redefining flexible work in a post pandemic world