It's Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and never before has mental health had such a high profile as now. And that's everywhere in the world, not just the UK. Teams are (finally) getting better at asking each other 'How are you?'... and meaning it.
But, as an accountant, you might be finding your clients or business assuming you're the strong, solid sensible one. You're fine, right? But, several months into the crisis, how are you coping with its impact on your life? Are you feeling the effects of corona fatigue? I know I am.
You've been through the initial adjustment to either working from home (e.g. children photo bombing video meetings, working from the kitchen worktop/dining table/bed etc.) or continuing your commute whilst feeling anxious every time you step out the door.
Youíve successfully shifted gear from being organised and planning for the future to being 'strong' and 'supporting' and working to very short, constantly moving timescales (e.g. stressed, busy and overwhelmed daily with no respite).
But now, to put it simply (and perhaps a tad selfishly), it's dragging on and the endless uncertainty is exhausting. Welcome to corona fatigue.
First things first. It's okay to feel like this. And you most certainly are NOT alone. We've all been so focused on supporting our business or clients that we've not had any time to deal with the psychological effects on the situation for ourselves or thought about what happens once the initial drama has passed.
But, trust me, now is the time to press pause, take a deep breath and recalibrate our mindsets so we can adapt and adjust for life in the post-COVID world.
It is likely that we will continue to work in this way (whatever way that is for you) for some time - you will have heard the phrase 'the new normal' and that is most probably true. Mentally accepting that things are not 'going back to normal' and this is how things are going to be helps reduce the level of mental uncertainty and unrest and will provide your mind some much needed space.
It's no coincidence that acceptance is the final stage of the grieving process.
If this is how it is, what needs changing? What doesn't work anymore? Or never did work?
This is actually a great opportunity to re-evaluate and identify what doesn't work in this new world order (or perhaps never did). Whether it's your home working set up, mode(s) of transport, exercise regime, client base or those dreadfully unproductive meetings, write it all down. And acknowledge the things that you can't change as much as those you can.
It's about moving out of the transient phase you've been existing in and reducing the associated mental stress.
Now you know what you're not happy with, make a plan that addresses these desired changes. Create a new vision, change that business strategy, allow yourself to look at different ways to do things.
It's not a failure to change plans. Itís actually a real strength to acknowledge that plans change. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Carve yourself some space this week and ask yourself 'How am I?' and listen to what comes back.
Becky Reid is an author for accountingcpd. To see her courses, click here.