As we all prepare for a socially distanced Christmas and family Zoom calls to see the New Year in together, there is no getting away from the fact that 2020 is going to be a memorable year for all the wrong reasons!
Since January, the world has been struggling to control the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought anguish and heartache to millions of families. Family celebrations of all kinds have been put ‘on hold’, schools and colleges have been trying to deliver lessons and lectures online and for many, work has been something you complete at the dining room table without any of the camaraderie and support you get face-to-face in the office.
The Toll of Mental Health Is Considerable
In a survey undertaken in the early days of the first lockdown, the University of Nottingham found that many found the isolation of staying at home to work difficult and those with children to home school as well found life extremely challenging. Not surprisingly the survey highlighted the fact that 57% of those questioned were showing signs of anxiety and 64% were experiencing signs of depression.
Since then, there has been a second lockdown; all towns and rural areas across England have been put in different ‘tiers’ and everyone is waiting to hear what restrictions will be in place for the festive season – especially those living in Tier Three areas where the restrictions are the toughest.
Safety measures are equally tough in Scotland, wales and Northern Ireland. Many health specialists and scientists, believe we will all be wearing face masks for many months to come. The saddest fact is that the number of male suicides is now at its highest number in the last 20 years.
With the Gloomy Winter Months to Come
Traditionally, after the fun and laughter of Christmas and the New Year, every bodies’ spirits drop as life in January feels ‘flat’ with short dark days and bitterly cold weather, including snow. This winter will be particularly hard both for those working from home and the thousands who are currently furloughed until March 2021 whose work future hangs in the balance.
The Property Sector Has Been Hard Hit
The property sector has remained surprisingly buoyant during the pandemic – probably as so many house owners and renters have spent endless hours in their homes and realised their shortcomings. Whilst some have plumped for a trip to their local DIY store so they can carry out minor renovations, many more have been planning extensions and house moves to give them the extra rooms or outdoor space they crave.
Property businesses have had all the challenges that other industries have been faced with including difficult trading conditions, members of staff on the furlough scheme, many others working from home and those who are in the office re-designing the layout to make it COVID safe.
How to Be COVID Savvy
Even though the UK is the first to launch its COVID-19 vaccination programme, the current work restrictions will continue well into 2021. As you ponder which of the supermarkets really does produce the best mince pies or which flavour Bailey’s you want to enjoy under your Christmas tree, there are some really good tips to help you ensure that your work colleagues stay mentally well during these difficult times.
The pandemic has highlighted the need to address the mental health of employees and to give them the required support – both professional mental health support and the support of work colleagues and management.
New Year COVID savvy tips:
- Have regular and scheduled catch-ups with your work colleagues so that the team spirit is maintained and nurtured.
- Look out for warning signs amongst your team. Body language is a great – and accurate- mood barometer and so is the tone of voice in telephone/Zoom calls and the written word in emails.
- If you are concerned about a member of staff or work colleague, why not set up a separate phone/ video call where you can chat one-to-one? You may well have the opportunity to get them to speak frankly about how they are feeling.
- If a member of staff is struggling, it can be a good idea to jiggle their responsibilities to lighten their load but importantly, whilst still feeling very much ‘part of the team’. If the problems seem to be running deeper, suggest that they might want to get in contact with one of the local mental health resources.
- Ensure your mental health is good. Sometimes life gets so hectic that you probably don’t get time to just step back and explore your own feelings. Have regular conversations with someone you trust who understands the demands of your work role and who will be supportive if you are experiencing challenges – either work or other.
The first step is to ensure that you have a relaxing Christmas and the second is to decide who can share that drink under the Christmas tree – like the rest of us, you will not have such a wide choice this year!
If you feel that a more workable and flexible home space with some great garden space, will definitely help you and your family in these difficult times, we can certainly help you make your dream for 2021 come true. House Buy Fast can offer you a quick house sale with our we buy any house service – we want moving house to be a happy experience for you. Merry Christmas