The end of the year is a good time to reflect on how the past year presented us with new opportunities and challenges. Many of us have found that the stresses and disruption to our lives from year 2 of the pandemic have continued and even worsened during 2021.
So how are we doing?
The World Health Organization defines mental health this way. “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to contribute to society.
In 2021, vaccinations were the good news. But rising rate of adult burnout and stressed out kids still schooled at home were the bad news. The waves of new variants upended our hopes that the end of COVID was in sight. Will 2022 just be more of the same?
Psychologists are concerned about the widespread, long-term effects of the pandemic on children, on vulnerable populations, and on overworked health care workers. Added to pandemic stresses, there have been more severe weather events and natural disasters. The incidence of post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and substance abuse has been on the rise.
How are YOU doing?
It’s time to give yourself a personal mental health check-up to recognize and understand how you are doing with your mental health.
Here are several questions to ask yourself:
- Has your sense of well-being improved or declined over 2021?
- Are you spending more or less time getting physical exercise?
- Have you maintained a healthy diet or have your eating habits worsened?
- Do you have digital fatigue from increased time on computers and devices?
- Are you motivated to do your job, or do you feel burned out?
- Are you abusing substances, including food, as a coping mechanism?
- Do you feel isolated from friends and family?
- Are you participating in fun activities with other people?
- Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic about 2022?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 where one is a low sense of well-being and ten is a high sense of well-being, where are you?
Now is the time to determine strategies to prepare for 2022, and to set goals that will help your mental health improve. Recognizing that your physical and mental health are closely related, set goals to improve your sleep, your diet, your amount of exercise. Spend more time outdoors, with friends and family. Take short breaks during the day, away from work activities. Learn to turn off your phone, and not check your email one hundred times a day. Disconnect from electronics so you can reconnect with yourself and with your loved ones.
In other words, take the best possible care of yourself that you can!
At Health Risk Services, we believe in understanding Mental Health and Mental Illness and how it has and will affect Employers and Employees, and as a result, we have a strategic partnership with Homewood Health to provide our clients with an Employee & Family Assistance Plan. For all our HRS clients and their employees that currently have their EFAP in place, we encourage you to contact Homewood to discuss options available to you for support should you need it during the holiday season.
In 2022, HRS will be reaching out to all of our clients for discussion as to just how valuable these EFAP programs are to you and your employees…as well, stay tuned for an amazing new HRS EFAP Support Initiative that we will be rolling out.