Joe Hodgson

June 22, 2020

Posted by HSE Recruitment

My Mental Health journey throughout Furlough

I bring this blog to you on day 58 of Furlough (only working days, not weekends - but they are all the same now right?)

My previous hectic life of working 40+ hours per week (part timer, I know!), weekends on the road officiating basketball matches around the country, Thursday night 5 aside football, sessions at the Gym and fitting in a social life with friends seems like a long, distant memory.

But what I would give to get back to that!

Humans are creatures of habit and for me I had created a busy, non-stop lifestyle to keep me focused on the things I enjoyed and to stop me straying and thinking too much about my Mental Health & Wellbeing. To me, being busy was my happiness and in the ‘old normal’ way of life, I never once questioned how I was truly feeling. 

Since lockdown began however, I have had the chance to stop and reflect and really find out more about myself. I’ve learnt more in these past 3 months about who I am, how I react to certain situations, how I deal with other peoples emotions and how I need to re-think certain aspects of my life, than I have in the other 27 years I’ve been on the planet.

Life as I know it now is different. It’s quiet, slower, has less for me to do. It is not me, but for now it has to be, and it’s taken me time to realise that that’s okay. I have created a ‘new normal’ for myself. This has been done through re-evaluation, reading, trying new things, creating new routines and being open and honest with myself about what aspects of my life I would like to improve.

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Mental Health is so important, I have truly learnt that in the last few months. Keeping your mind sharp and engaged and to stop it wandering to thoughts that take you away from happiness is crucial. It is something that over these past few months I have really worked hard at and will continue to work hard at to improve and maintain.

One of the biggest parts of our lives is our work and our careers. The way we are treated at work really does have an effect on our Mental Health and Wellbeing.

ENG have been great! Our Directors have kept in touch with us, our Business Leaders and Managers update us weekly with what is going on in the business. Colleagues have perhaps in some respect become closer than ever as they check up on you and look at new ways to socialise (Friday night Quiz on Zoom anyone?) and most importantly to date 0 REDUNDANCIES, which in the recruitment world is a fantastic achievement. So, from a mental health point of view knowing that the business you work for has got your back is reassuring and has eased a huge amount of pressure, which could so easily have been applied.

What I am keen to know from the LinkedIn community, especially all those who work in Health, Safety and Wellbeing is how have you personally looked after your Mental Health these past few months? Has your business been supportive and if so what have they done to help? Have you, as a senior figure in your organisation done anything to help support your colleagues or employees Mental Health? What tips could you offer someone who may be struggling right now?

Starting a conversation about Mental Health and Wellbeing can be tough. For some, opening up is s real challenge. But just know that there are so many people, organisations and support groups out there that are willing to help. I am always available to chat for anyone who feels like they are struggling, as are so many other good people in the world. It is okay not to be okay – just find that person you feel comfortable talking to.

I look forward to hearing responses on the above questions posed and seeing how individuals have gotten through mentally these past few months.

Joe Hodgson

HSE Senior Consultant