Caring for our mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
Mental ill-health has long been an issue in the events industry.
As one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 crisis, it’s suddenly a much bigger challenge with most of us still facing a huge amount of uncertainty.
In a recent Stress Matters survey, 57% of events professionals said their employer had not taken a more proactive approach to their wellbeing during the pandemic.
A massive 77% said uncertainty surrounding their business or the business they work for was causing them stress.
It’s well known that – even before coronavirus hit – around one in three events industry professionals suffered from mental ill health each year.
According to research carried out by EventWell, last year event management was rated the third most stressful job in the UK – so problems are likely to skyrocket in 2020 if both employers and employees don’t make mental health and wellbeing an immediate priority.
So what can we do?
It’s important to remember it’s okay to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated.
The coronavirus outbreak means life has changed for us all and everyone reacts differently.
Here are some simple tips we can all follow – both employers and individuals – to help us take care of our mental health and wellbeing during this uncertain time.
Tips for employers
- Have open and honest discussions about mental health and wellbeing. Everyone should feel comfortable talking about mental health and have the skills to respond
- Ask your team how you can support them better. Listen and take action
- Encourage your employees to take a break when they need it. Make sure they know it’s okay to take a full hour off for lunch, go for a walk or attend an online exercise class
- Keep an eye out for signs of stress in colleagues – it’s important to support one another
- Provide flexible working opportunities and trust your employees to get the job done.
Tips for us all
- Acknowledge any stress or anxiety you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself – this is a really uncertain and difficult time and it’s normal to feel this way
- Don’t spend too much time on negative news stories or scrolling through social media
- Find ways to exercise and eat healthily. Get some fresh air and spend some time outdoors if you can
- Try to focus on what you can control and try to think positively. For example, use this time as an opportunity for creative thinking, planning or projects you wouldn’t normally have time for
- Talk to other people as much as possible. Share your fears and anxieties. If you can’t speak to someone you know, there are some excellent helplines you can try (see information below)
- Remember that this period will pass and ‘normal’ life will resume again.
Seeking further help
Stress Matters has set up a helpline for anyone in the events industry who needs support. You can call, text or WhatsApp them on 07481 362 111.
Further help and advice can be found at:
This blog provides common sense tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing if your mental health is generally good. If you are feeling unwell you should contact a medical professional for advice.