As we began the new year, we knew that it would be full of unknowns and nothing like any other new year we have experienced before. The pandemic made its mark in history and has forever changed the way we work, play, and live. Many of us came into the new decade feeling ready to tackle anything ahead, that is anything but a pandemic. We rang in 2020 with hugs, cheers, fireworks, and goals. All of that changed before the first quarter was over. The #newyearnewme is a thing of the past as many of us in HR (or allies of HR) continue to feel nothing but worried, stressed, and tired.
That being said, HR has been the unsung heroes of 2020 and even though 2021 started with vaccine distributions, the future us still an unknown for many of us. HR professionals continue to be stretched thin. We are still the program coordinators that now must reimagine what virtual programs look like. We are still processors of all employee benefits but now with a higher volume for COBRA benefits and unemployment claims. On top of it all, we are the internal contact tracers. And when these vaccines make it to our workplaces, we are the list maker, promoters, educators, and planners of vaccine prioritization.
So, if you are human, you are exhausted. You are Zoomed out, tired of after-hours calls for COVID-19 scares, and lonely because you can’t be social. None of us want to contract COVID-19 and be that HR person that spread it. So, what can you do?
Self-care is more important now than ever before for HR professionals. We are the people that coach employees to take care of themselves. We need to take our own advice. Can we do that? How and when do we do that? I had the same questions and let me just say that answers to them are easy. Besides using your employee assistance program (EAP) or taking a few days off, there are other options. And before you tell yourself you do not have time, cannot learn new technology, or do not think it will help; I ask you to be open. Do not be afraid to admit you need to self-care.
At work, you are still the voice of reason. Your organization, your leadership team, and your department depend on you so let’s take care of YOU! The best part is that these app solutions can be taken in short periods and confidentially. If done right, you will feel better and sleep better.
Headspace – provides mindfulness basics anytime, anywhere. You can learn the essentials of mindfulness through bite-sized guided meditations, animations, articles, and videos.
Calm – has tools for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. To calm your mind there are videos on mindful body movement including gentle stretching and nature scenes and sounds to enjoy while relaxing, sleeping, working, or studying.
Insight Timer – gives tools similar to the ones above but also has a section for parents and children.
The list of apps to support you can go on for pages. The #newyearnewyou can be in the simplest form by just taking a few minutes to put yourself first. It does not have to be a big strategic plan, involves others, or be an unattainable diet or workout plan. Let’s start with you for just a few minutes.
You got this! Be well and stay safe.