Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Hospitality workers are having a tough time of it at the moment. First we're working, then suddenly we're not, then we are and now we're not again. By the time you read this, we might be back at work again. This can be hard to handle, and it comes as no surprise that our sector is one of the hardest hit with high numbers of mental health issues right now.
Given these ups and downs, it's important to try and maintain a sense of wellbeing as much as possible so that we can deal with the few months ahead in the best way and be ready for any changes and challenges that may present themselves.
1. Seek out reliable information
The internet and social media is filled with conspiracy theories, negativity, rumours and speculation. Everyone seems to have an opinion - often based more on emotion rather than reality. Rather than spend your hours flicking through social media and news posts, get your information from the NHS website which contains all the facts you need to know. If particular pages, friends etc are making posts that are increasing your anxiety, why not mute them for a while (they'll never know and you can pick up again when you're ready. IF you're ready). Or you could simply unfollow or unsubscribe - do you really want to expose yourself to someone or an organisation that causes you stress?
2. Stay in touch with people
If you have to self-isolate or are in lockdown, don't let that be the reason to shut down from the outside world. Use social media, Zoom, HouseParty or the very many various and similar platforms to meet. WhatsApp is a great tool to keep in touch whether through video or audio. Or, if you wish to have a screen break due to some of the negativity outlined in point 1, just use the telephone or text!
3. Remember you are not alone
If it's getting too much, speak to your family, friends and/or work colleagues. Chances are, they are going through the same and talking it through could help both of you. If you are feeling like you can't do that, then contact a helpline such as Hospitality Action that is open 24/7 and have helped thousands of people in hospitality who have been or are in the same situation as you are. Their number is: 0808 802 0282. There is no problem to big for them not to be able to help.
It seems like a cliche but it is a fact that being active reduces stress, improves mental alertness, inreases energy levels and helps people sleep better. Being active doesn't mean having to slip on running shoes and go jogging in the pouring rain. There are plenty of ways you can get active and fit from your own home. The NHS website provides some great free videos and staying helathy tips as well as free well being plans for people of all levels (links below)
5. Join a Community
Loneliness is often the biggest cause of depression and anxiety so it is a good idea to join an online community of like minded people. Perhaps join a group or class of people who share your interests? This could be gaming, Tai Chi, Yoga, Book Club etc The list is endless. Can't think of one? Then why not set up your own - you could even set one up with some of the people you work with - after all, chances are you are all going through the same or similar experiences. It doesn't even need to be expensive - all you need is a WhatsApp account.
There are many more tips that could be added but following these 5 will provide huge benefits to your mental health and well-being.
For more help and information, check out episode 6 of "Timothy, Put The Kettel on" podcast provides some extra tips and FREE resources that can help you.
Whatever is happening for you at the moment, and no matter how you are feeling, you are truly not on your own and help is available.