It’s hard to believe it’s December already. As another year closes, I ask you to consider, what has 2021 shown about your general wellbeing, particularly your mental health?
Although we have lived through another year of Covid, lockdowns, varying restrictions and for the last several months, a return to some sort of normality, this has been another challenging year for many. After all, Covid has impacted every single person one way or another. We are now seeing the benefits of an effective vaccine roll-out which has significantly reduced number of deaths. Here in the UK, people are adjusting as businesses implement phased returns to the office, some offering hybrid working permanently. Of course, there is still the need to manage ongoing Covid cases, flu and other illnesses, both visible and invisible.
If you were to draw a graph from January to December, how would your wellbeing look? Would it be a stable line, or would the graph be similar to the ups and downs of a mountain range, reflecting key hurdles in your personal and working life?
Covid aside, all of us face and manage our daily responsibilities, as well as the challenges that life throws. At times, there can be an accumulative effect, where the impact of dealing with repeated obstacles can become overwhelming, stress mounts up and we can struggle to complete the simplest of tasks as our mental health deteriorates. For many, there is a level of pride and professionalism, so we continue to operate at full speed, or perhaps there is a situation or several things that rock the feeling of stability and we struggle to process.
How attuned are you to your body’s signals? Are you aware of becoming forgetful, having varying degrees of brain fog, perhaps developing physical ailments, tiredness, headaches, pain, mood swings, poor sleep – sound familiar? This doesn’t mean you are failing or weak. What it does mean is you need to pay attention, and take action to help your health and wellbeing.
We are not helping ourselves in the long run by ignoring the warning signs.
Take the courageous steps to voice your concerns to your trusted support network, and seek medical help where required. At work, it’s also important you contact your HR team as early as possible, flag where you see issues so adjustments can be made to best support you where necessary.
I urge you to put your health and wellbeing first.
What better gift could there be this Christmas than enabling yourself to face 2022 both mentally and physically stronger, with a far higher sense of purpose? A priceless gift to be enjoyed – with your loved ones, of all ages.