How to Cope with the “New Normal”

by Emese Graham

While now is an ideal time to get ahead of the game, evaluate your travel program, and plan ahead, it’s important to acknowledge that these are uncertain and unsettling times. People across the world are finding themselves locked down in one spot, and it’s essential to make sure that both you and your travellers’ wellbeing isn’t overlooked.  

To help you make the most of this time and get to the other side stronger than ever, we’ll step you through some ideas on how you can strengthen your team’s mental health and stay productive while you work during the ‘new normal’. 

Here are our top tips to help you use this time to come out stronger:  

1. Loneliness and isolation 

Some people can go days without talking to anyone when you don’t have an office to go to each day. You miss out on the social aspect of chatting and venting about work and life when you are working from home. It can be hard to translate this over a messaging system like Hangouts or Slack 

What you can do about it:  

  • Book in some time each day to have a video chat or phone call with a co-worker. It doesn’t have to be about work; you can have a tea break (or even a late afternoon glass of wine or beer if your work is ok with that!) 
  • Talk about how you are feeling to a trusted colleague. Chances are they’re feeling the same and it’s a healthy way to validate how you are feeling. 
  • Take your laptop outside while on the call – it’s amazing how some time in the fresh air can help improve your mood! 

2. Anxiety, stress and pressure

Working from home can bring a pressure to hustle 24/7 to show your team leader that you are actually working. This can mean that the boundary between work and home life blurs, especially for those who work in the same area they sleep in. 

What you can do about it:  

  • If possible, make sure your work area is away from your bedroom, so you have a space you can escape to and rest. 
  • Set boundaries – unless your job means you need to be on call 24/7, make sure you log off at your usual finishing time. Shut down your laptop so the urge to constantly check your email is lessoned (who wants to keep starting up your computer multiple times?). 
  • Switch your phone to do not disturb for a few hours so you get a break from notifications. 

3. Depression 

Depression can kick in when you feel stuck, or you feel like you aren’t achieving as much as your co-workers. If not kept in check, anxiety, stress and isolation can lead to depression or make it worse.  

What you can do about it: 

  • Actively manage your anxiety and stress levels. Find healthy ways to do this, like going for a walk, speaking to a friend or co-worker, eating foods that boost your mood and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (with water…not alcohol!) 
  • Reach out to your family doctor or a therapist to discuss further steps you can take to investigate how you are feeling, and to find solutions to help you manage it. 
  • Make the most of any benefits your company may offer – you may have access to free counselling and resources, so dive right in! 

More Resources 

The Government of Canada along with provincial and territorial governments have recommended a number of resources to help Canadians manage their mental health. You can view the resources available in your area here 

There are also hundreds of apps and websites to help you manage your mental health. We’ve cherry picked our favourites to get you started:  

Read Next:

Top Work-from-Home Tips from Your Travel Managers

Top Tips for Running Your Business Meetings Remotely

Retooling to Save on Business Travel In the New Normal

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