While many people are now beginning to get back to work and some form of normality, there are still millions of people across the UK who are furloughed. For those who have been furloughed since lockdown began, there is no doubt that this has had an impact on mental health for many.
In a survey conducted by quartz, 67% of furloughed workers said they had felt a decline in their mental health since the outbreak began. This is compared to 48.5% of laid off employees and 44% of remote workers.
There is so much uncertainty for furloughed employees, who are not even sure if they will be returning to their place of work after October when the furlough scheme ends. We are now over six months down the line since lockdown began, so if you are still furloughed, it is important to remind yourself to stay positive. Here are some tips to help you get through.
If you are feeling lethargic there is nothing better than exercise to give you a boost of energy and release those feel good endorphins. It doesn’t have to be intense, a brisk walk, a bike ride or just half an hour of moderate exercise is sure to have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Get plenty of fresh air
Don’t stay cooped up indoors all day, get yourself outside and go for a walk or simply sit in the garden for a while. Spending some time in the fresh air can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Make sure you rest
A good sleep routine can work wonders for your mentality. To ensure a good night’s rest, try to take a break from looking at your phone or watching the TV right before you go to sleep.
Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure you keep in touch with family and friends. It could be a simple video call or a chat on the phone. You will feel a lot better after some social contact.
Learn something new
Take this opportunity to learn something new, it may be completely unrelated to your field of work, but something that you have wanted to learn for a while. Whatever it may be, make the most of your free time to learn a new skill and add some structure to your day.
If you are keen to get out of the house, use this time to give something back. So many charities rely on the generosity of volunteers and now is the perfect time to do your bit. You could help out a charity that means a lot to you or simply look at volunteering opportunities in your local area.
Think about future opportunities
Now is a good time to evaluate your current situation and think about any future opportunities. You may want to ask yourself, what have I achieved? Am I happy in my job? What would I like to change? etc. Come up with a plan and think about where you want to be in the long term.
Spend time doing things you enjoy
It’s unlikely you will get this much free time back again, so if you haven’t been already, make sure you spend it doing the things you enjoy. This could be an old hobby you want to get back into, cooking, or even just watching your favourite TV shows that you never normally have the free time to do.
Take advantage of any help being offered by your employer
Keep in touch with your current employer and accept any help they may be offering. It can be a very worrying time if you are furloughed and employers should keep in touch now and again to update their staff and check in on how they are doing.
Update your CV
With so much uncertainty being on furlough, there is no harm in updating your CV just in case the worst happens. If you need any help getting started, read our blog on do’s and don’ts when writing a CV.
Try and take some of these tips onboard and use this an opportunity to re-evaluate and rest. If you are struggling with mental health don’t suffer in silence, talk to someone, and seek help.