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Brought to you by Bupa Global
It’s 2021, and we have quickly reached the one-year mark for one of the worst pandemics in recorded human history.
Our fatigue, spilt over from last year, still looms heavy, weighing down on our everyday lives. Recent data from the Bupa Global Executive Wellness Index found that 70 percent of high-net-worth individuals experience some symptom of poor mental health, with 21 percent experiencing fatigue, 23 percent enduring anxiety and a low mood, 21 percent experiencing anger and impatience, as well as 22 percent losing or having poor quality sleep.
Medical director of Bupa Global and UK Insurance, Doctor Luke James, ascribes the source of such distress to the “sheer amount of information provided on a daily basis during the pandemic, from social media and traditional media.” He adds that “one shouldn’t underestimate the impact on our mental health of watching or reading the news with stories of death, suffering and illness on a day-to-day basis throughout the crisis. We also have to remember how many people may have lost relatives to Covid-19 during this time and the subsequent impact of this.”
Based on the trajectory of worldwide cases, the continued trend of unceasing restrictions and further lockdowns seem to be the most likely path we are all going down. To ease your stress and lower your anxiety for the future, here are some tips you can always draw to for comfort in upcoming times.
Though you may be sighing at the prospect of not knowing what to expect, it is helpful to reflect on the rapid progress we managed to fit within the previous year. Businesses like Microsoft, Deloitte, and P&G have quickly adopted technologies that facilitate at-home work, whilst also implementing mental health support mechanisms.
Now, having been through a few trials of lockdowns and various restriction protocols, we certainly have a rough idea of how to approach even more challenges. Luckily for us, our minds and cognition are re-shapable through reinforced habits. Experts suggest more family time, no more commuting, and increased community spirit as several things we can start off with being grateful for. Limiting time spent on social media is also an effective hack.
The effects from multiple waves of social distancing, coupled with the 6 pm dining ban are particularly risky in causing people to overeat or consume a little too much alcohol. Over-reliance on (typically not so healthy) takeout meals and a dip in motivation to cook are culpable subjects to blame.
It sounds as simple as common sense, but leading a balanced lifestyle is the key to improving your mental state. The first step to healing from within requires you to get moving on the outside. Per Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, it was found that 32 percent of high-net-worth individuals who have turned to exercise as a daily pandemic-stress alleviation ritual have shown improvements in mental health concerns. Executive leadership coach Alister Gray adds to this by reiterating the important habit that we shouldn’t forget to adopt: “Be kind to yourself. Become aware of the words and language you use today and set the intention to be a little kinder to yourself with every thought and word you speak.”
Several common issues that arise in a work-from-home setting include the lack of motivation, as well as a constant feeling of being on the edge—as if you are on-call twenty-four-seven. A blurring of the lines between our typical home versus work distinction causes this kind of heightened anxiety and burnout. We never truly feel like we have left the office, as it has now firmly overridden our resting space it seems.
In agreement, Doctor Pablo Vandenabeele suggests that leaders should take the initiative to create structured guidelines around their teams’ hours, allowing a switch between working time and offline time to be spent with family and loved ones. He also encourages employees to establish boundaries that work for them, asserting that “the word ‘no’ can be incredibly effective when used correctly. Spreading yourself too thinly or allowing work issues to consistently creep into your home life can often lead you to breaking point.” Boundaries are important, and should be outlined clearly.
A physical separation should not mean completely cutting off others in our network. Doctor Bullock, a GP for Bupa Global, notes the correlation between chronic isolation with heart disease, high anxiety, and depression as a detrimental factor to the workforce. Due to socially distanced settings, our workplace bonding and connections have faltered a lot. Another concern is the tendency for many to hide their struggles in the hopes of managing such woes on their own.
It was discovered that 31 percent of individuals in their investigation have delayed seeking help due to the pandemic. It is inevitable that there will be dips in our navigating the pandemic situation, but asking for help should not be a shameful thing, and reaching out to someone whose struggling will only help to uplift both parties. It only takes a short telephone call or a sweet text message to feel deeply connected and reassured that we will get through these times together.
Bouncing off the previous point on asking for help, many of us take for granted the tools that we are able to draw upon when in times of need. When feelings of doubt and concern start to rise, breathe deeply, and take a step back to evaluate who you can call to for assistance. Customers of Bupa Global have the right to access their Healthline service, which covers access to general medical information regarding Covid-19 as well as other medical conditions.
Referrals to health professionals for advice and a second opinion are also available. Bupa Global’s global virtual care (GVC) service allows customers to make virtual appointments with their network of doctors, at any time of day in almost any language. Find out more on how to access the GVC service by visiting the Bupa Global Covid-19 information hub.
Similarly, members of companies providing Bupa Global through the employee assistance programme (EAP) are also entitled to everyday resources provided. Policyholders can receive guidance and care in the realm of mental health via online appointments from worldwide health professionals at any time and in multiple different languages also. Sessions that are part of the GVC and EAP services all remain confidential of course.
*Global Virtual Care is provided by Advance Medical, a Teladoc Health Company, and Everyday Resources is provided by Workplace Options LLC who are both service providers for Bupa Global. Bupa Global is not responsible for any actions or omissions carried out by these third parties in the provision of these services.
1 Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, Sept 2020: https://www.bupaglobal.com/en/your-wellbeing/inside-bupa/wellbeing-index (opens in a new window)
3 Tugade MM, Fredrickson BL. Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004;86(2):320-333. doi:10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1990 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3132556/ (opens in a new window)
4 Cohen S, Alper CM, Doyle WJ, Treanor JJ, Turner RB. Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza a virus. Psychosom Med. 2006 Nov-Dec;68(6):809-15. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000245867.92364.3c.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101814/ (opens in a new window)
5 Ashby FG, Isen AM, Turken AU. A neuropsychological theory of positive affect and its influence on cognition. Psychol Rev. 1999 Jul;106(3):529-50. doi: 10.1037/0033-295x.106.3.529..https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10467897 (opens in a new window)