The virus outbreak has taken a toll on almost everyone. It hit like a black swan and left us grappling with unprecedented changes in every sphere of our daily lives. While change is inevitable, tackling a situation that alters the way you operate can be traumatic. The pandemic has triggered multiple stressors simultaneously, thereby hampering one’s overall well-being. In light of these events, a sharp increase was noted in the number of people turning towards trauma-informed care. At workplaces, HR professionals have marked that employees are considering mental health and well-being a top priority.
Right from our eating patterns to our decision-making, everything has undergone a paradigm shift. In the past two years, several trends have emerged, with the sole focus being to help people deal with the current times in the best possible way.
Richa Vashista, Chief Mental Health Expert, AtEase shares her insights on whatSHElikes. Let’s take a look at what 2022 has to offer for better management of our mental health –
Social media detox
Social communication platforms are rightly called a necessary evil. Though they are promising solutions that keep you connected, informed and entertained, sometimes these channels affect you negatively. For instance, during the second wave, the country’s medical infrastructure was highly burdened, and many people took to the internet seeking help and expressing their hardships. The social media sites were flooded with grim news. Constant exposure to such content can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and panic. In 2022, a majority of the population will be seen taking a break from social media, at least for some time.
Demand for flexible work policies
As most offices are operating in hybrid or work-from-home models, this new year will witness a rise in demand for adjustable and dynamic work policies. Many employees believe flexible work structures are crucial in present times. It allows them to focus on every aspect of their lives. To improve retention, productivity and performance, employers must adopt an employee-first approach. Companies providing their workforce with greater autonomy regarding how they do their job will witness increased loyalty.
Quitting toxic work environments
Today, employees are looking for jobs that support their professional and personal goals. Organisations with unfair policies, poor communication structures and stressful work environments will register greater resignations against those that look after the needs of their workforce. During these difficult times, managers should be more understanding of their subordinate’s mental health. Companies that encourage a wellness culture and ensure open communication will be preferred by potential employees.
Rise in journaling
Pent up feelings often lead to frustration. Some people find it difficult to reach out to others and talk about their feelings. For those struggling to voice their thoughts, journaling will make a comeback. Penning down your thoughts often provides clarity. You can even use this practice to bullet down your to-dos (will help declutter); try creative styles of writing, and express your emotions, among other things. It helps in organising and future planning too. Maintaining a diary or journal is like creating a safe space to vent your feelings.
Focus on health
There has been an increase in well-being consciousness. People are switching to healthier lifestyle practices. One should remember that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Adopting regular exercise and eating nutritious food is a great way to kick-start your wellness journey. Keep a track of your sleep cycle. Make sure you get sufficient and peaceful sleep daily. It will even help in boosting the immune system. Habits like alcohol consumption should be kept in check. For a healthy life, you should practise mindful drinking. It is a concept that encourages one to be intentional about the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption.
With this new year, we will notice a rapid rise in the demand for virtual mental health resources. The various travel restrictions and lockdowns make it difficult to reach out to a mental health professional in person. However, using online tools, mediums and platforms, you can easily consult an expert and seek the necessary guidance. Mental wellness is crucial. Make sure you don’t ignore it!