It is Lockdown 2.0 and the majority of us have now worked from home for over 7 months. The vital importance of social support and interaction with family, friends and colleagues for a healthy mental state has been re-emphasised to me.
Whilst coaching senior leaders, it is apparent that overwhelming pressure and workload stress is being heightened by the current home-working environment.
Recurring themes among leaders are:
- missing the banter and interaction from colleagues and the office environment,
- bearing heavy workloads and long hours,
- feeling overwhelmed by a constant stream of emails and virtual meetings.
We too easily neglect social interactions after a long day online. Psychologists have warned us of a mental health time bomb.
According to Dr Brian Marien, the brain needs social interaction. This clip explains why we should change ruminating thoughts of anxiety to overriding thoughts of optimism. He suggests:
- Switch on your good genes
- Replace negative cognitive circuits with beneficial, optimistic thoughts of gratitude and social connectedness
- Create something with a greater purpose outside of ourselves
- What we are constantly thinking of, strengthens our neural circuits (from ‘footpath to autobahn’)