Help is out there
For those of us who have gotten used to the home-work-(insert occasional recreational activity here)-home routine, the last few days have been a gigantic puzzle to solve. While we take every precaution to make sure there’s food in the refrigerator, water in our tanks and medicine in our drawers, we’re also trying to navigate the work from home situation.
Say it with me, guys: It’s a lot to deal with and COVID-19 anxiety is real. So while we prioritize the basic necessities, this is your reminder that you need to check in on your mental health, too—and there are places out there to give you help on this front.
MindNation, as founder Kana Takahashi explains, is a mental healthcare service that aims to address three key concerns: 1) that mental healthcare is not easily accessible, 2) that there’s a stigma surrounding seeking this type of support and 3) the that some companies are unable to provide this type of support to their employees. With a pre-assessment survey, MindNation is able to match individuals with the proper mental health consultants based on personality, goals and apprehensions.
Kana tells us that safety and security are the top priorities during these times, which unfortunately means that empathy and putting value in one’s own mental health take a back seat. “Distress causes great anxiety,” she explains, “For those working from home, there’s pressure to perform. Remember to clock-out and connect with a professional or someone you trust.”
We know what you’re thinking, “Even if I wanted to go out and seek help for my COVID-19 anxiety, how am I going to do that locked inside my house?” Well, MindNation is currently offering 500 free 30-minute consulations via video or voice calls until March 27; all you have to do is book your appointment. And in case you’re reading this after those 500 consults have been used up, you can just message their Facebook messaging hotline—anytime—so that you have someone to talk to.
MindNation's focus on Philippine employees is not a bias; it’s a current hunger that needs to be filled. Work disruptions, the pressure to succeed and stay productive, significant dips in personal finances, the weight of not knowing when things will get back to normal or if we’ll have the ability to get back to normal—these are very real pressures that we’re all dealing with. As Kana says: “The show must go on.”
Meanwhile, Doctor Ronald Del Castillo has this to say about the importance of understanding mental health, specifically in our careers: “When we expand our thinking around mental health, we can expand where we can rally and integrate, including the workplace—and not just when things go ‘wrong’ but also when things go ‘right.’” Putting importance and helping erase the stigma can spell the difference between a feeling of overall helplessness and a finding fulfillment and purpose in life.
The worst case scenario
“For others, they show up to work but feel purposeless.
There is a lack of meaning and joy in what they do. It seems incurable.
Imagine going through life, going to work day-to-day, and experiencing a persistent fog of loss.”
The best case scenario
“True, [good mental health] might translate to more productivity, profits and all the bells and whistles that might matter to management.
But what is really happening is people being validated, respected, and supported.
When empathic leadership prioritizes mental health at work, it sends the message that employees are worthy of human dignity.
And that is the kind of workplace you want to be in.”
So what can we do to help keep COVID-19 anxiety at bay? While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, Kana and Doc Del Castillo have some suggestions:
|Educate yourself. Share only factual information. Always fact-check.||Get help. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, talk. There is help.|
|Understand the common reactions. Everyone is adjusting to the situation; be mindful of how others react. It’s a time to help and empathize with each other.|
|Stay connected. Maintain communication with the people you hold dear and respect.||Take a break from social media. Too much information is stressful, especially when not regulated.|
|Stick to your routine as much as possible. They might be predictable and boring, but we need that in changing times. Whatever you can still do now that you did pre-quarantine, do it. Eat properly, get sleep, exercise, do your chores, get entertained. Do what you can to make yourself feel normal.|
It gets hard to maneuver ourselves during these times, but we’re all in together. Despite the need for isolation, you’re never really alone in dealing with all the COVID-19 anxiety, even when we’re working from home. MindNation has made sure of this.
Art Alexandra Lara