Managing Mental Health in Lockdown
Mental health is on a lot of our minds in the current pandemic. LSCA president Vicky Andrew discusses how she is coping in the current climate and strategies she finds helpful.
Last month Kirsty Lilley from CABA outlined ways in which we can look after our own mental health and boost our resilience in these difficult times.
ICAEW has also reported about how practising accountants are providing mental health support to clients.
I have been thinking about how we can support one another as colleagues.
Why not start by following the principle “put on your own oxygen mask first”? By following the seven principles in Kirsty’s article and looking after our own mental health, we may be better placed to take care of others.
It can be difficult knowing when and how to offer support to others.
Sometimes, it may not be a case of offering direct support. Another person may appear to be rude or hostile, but there could be something going on in his/her life which has nothing to do with the immediate scenario. Simply pausing and thinking what might be going on gives us space in which to reflect on our own situation rather than responding in kind.
Working remotely can have a detrimental effect on our relationships with others.
Something which made a difference for me was when a colleague phoned me recently and said “I could see you were upset in the meeting – how can I help?” The colleague took a risk in doing that – but it made all the difference, because I felt supported; someone was listening to me and someone had my back.
No-one is immune from mental health problems. It can be difficult to know whether it will help to share one’s own perspective, or whether that will amount to “over-sharing.” We all have to decide for ourselves the best path for us. As a very minimum, I try to follow the guideline “be kind”.
I am no expert, but what I have written here is based on my own experience. Readers are encouraged to visit the CABA website for mental health and other types of support.
I welcome any thoughts you may have about this article.