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Self-care During Tough Times

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team

·

March 16, 2022

Self-care During Tough Times

By Evelyn Kwong, Content Manager at PERKS

What’s an entry on wellness doing in a blog about People & Culture?

Let me explain. I’ve always been an optimist, but as mentioned before I’ve overcome some struggles with anxiety-depressive disorder. I consider myself a fairly resilient person, but the past month has been full of many challenges personally. While these circumstances have affected my mental health to some extent, my community has rallied around me and I’m grateful for the understanding I’ve received from the PERKS team.

I want to share my experience with the process of grief and uncertainty as honestly, everyone can relate. Perhaps it’s fortuitous as our editorial team explores the ideals of the People Experience. What does it look like to succeed individually in the midst of hardship? How does a team succeed when members are struggling? Should success be measured differently whilst people are going through challenges? I believe our perspective shapes our reality. These are some practices that have shaped mine.

Be intentional
You already know this, but some days or even hours are harder than others; some are better. What matters is that you “show up” and are present to the best of your ability. Communicate what you need with your manager or People & Culture team so they can find coverage, point you to the right people or resources, etc. Don’t feel bad asking others for help or receiving it when offered.

Focus on results (over hours worked)
This came up recently while preparing for a podcast episode, and I think it’s significant here. There may be days where it’s exhausting to be fully present for the typical 8 hours, and it’s alright to admit this. For instance, your team would rather see you make a full recovery from sickness instead of responding with something that was half-intentionally delivered. Be responsible and keep your team members in the loop, but don’t be afraid to ask for space when you need it.

Pay attention to your body 
Physical fitness is admittedly not a strong point of mine, and I’m afraid my healthy habits have taken a back seat recently. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a little time to get back on track. Simple things like eating breakfast, limiting your caffeine intake (which strongly impacts anxiety, FYI), and going to bed a little earlier all assist your body with managing the stress it has taken in. If you need to stay accountable for taking regular breaks, I recommend the GuineaPig app, which sends you reminders using your Slack or Microsoft Teams to stretch or get your blood flowing.

Don’t neglect psychological health 
Your mental and emotional health need strengthening just like your physical body. Does this look like speaking with a professional or scribbling thoughts in a journal? There are many ways to exercise mindfulness, and you can find what works best for you in the PERKS marketplace.

Find your people
Without sounding like a PSA, you’re going through a lot but you don’t have to go alone! Friends, family, and mentors can’t take away the hardship of what you’re experiencing, but they can be there for an emotional support call. Alternatively, if you know someone who is dealing with some stuff, could you be the support they need? A good friend ordered soup to be delivered to me while I was sick and yes, it met a physical need, but it also reminded me that I was seen and valued. This is the human component of culture done well!

To answer that original question, wellness is a part of the People Experience in the sense that we don’t exist separated from our colleagues and other people. What matters is that we look out for one another as a team and cover when needed - regardless of whether it’s personal or professional. We all cope differently with hardship or pain, but my hope is that you can take these suggestions, make them your own, and even provide support wherever you see it needed.

I’m rooting for you! Any thoughts or questions you have regarding mental health and people support, please tag us @getperks_io on Twitter.