Stressiety the unwelcome guest in our homes, whilst sitting at our table, eating our food, wine/ craft beer/prosecco. The carousing neighbour that robs us of our sleep, invading our thoughts and actions – the unexpected consequence of COVID-19

As we all dig deep into our emotional reserves to try and find a way to navigate the new normal, many of us are having to assume the role of scrum master, procurement ninja, financial adviser, educator, head of entertainment and fitness guru. It is no wonder that we are all currently experiencing Stressiety (anxious, stressed out and emotionally bankrupt).

We are to all intents and purposes in the midst of a global state of grief and it’s only natural that we should feel a sense of loss, anger, fear and anxiety, as this is a perfectly normal reaction to change and uncertainty.

The change model below, will help you to put things into perspective and will also help you to understand where you are in terms of your ‘change ‘journey’.

2 weeks ago, I found myself at stage five of the ‘change journey’. I furloughed myself from social media, friends and family. I doubled down on my lockdown, watched innate drivel on Netflix and endured a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from inexplicable bouts of sadness to tears and anger. This phase lasted for around 7 days and I am pleased to say that I have now arrived at stage 7. Whilst stage 5 was exhausting, I somehow knew that it would pass and that it was important that I surrender to process so that I could get to the other side.

Even though as human beings we are hardwired to connect, for many working from home, will come as a welcomed respite; no early start, and no long commute on packed trains. Whilst remote working for others will only serve as a reminder of their isolation and loneliness, as work for some of your employees is an integral part of their social interaction.
Some of your employees will be struggling to manage the ‘juggle’, whilst for others, lockdown will amplify the problems in their personal relationships; whether that be a divorce/break-up, a coercive or abusive relationship, social isolation is a reminder that their home is not a sanctuary but a place of danger, further exacerbating their Stressiety levels.

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt and challenge businesses and leadership in so many ways, how you respond and treat your teams will have a lasting impact on employee behaviours, engagement, productivity, and loyalty.

Here are my 4 tips for supporting your employees to avoid Stressiety and burnout during lockdown

Demonstrate that Employee Wellbeing is a Priority

  • Revisit your current policies to ensure that they are fit for purpose; do they address the physical, mental, and financial health of your employees?
  • Remove the stigma of mental health by creating a space that encourages meaningful conversations about employee wellbeing
  • Gauge the happiness and wellbeing of your organisation during lockdown so you can understand the pain points and put interventions in place to support your teams

Use Technology as a Mental Health Resource

In 2018/19 there were 602,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, and anxiety and 12 million days were lost in the UK due to work related stress, yet many are unsure whether their company offers comprehensive mental health resources.

Consider offering

  • Meditation Apps
  • Exercise Apps
  • Virtual Counselling
  • Virtual Mental Health Education platforms so that your teams can learn coping mechanisms and strategies


Transparency is key during times of uncertainty.

  • Put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand how your employees are feeling
  • Ensure that your HR team is signposting your employees to your wellbeing resources
    • Keep asking questions
    • How can we help?
    • What can we do differently?
    • What do you need?
    • Whats keeping your employees awake at night?
  • If your business is having to pivot or make changes as result of COVID-19, get a head of the rumour mill by communicating this to your employees

Practice Empathy

Businesses are in the unenviable position of having to strike a balance between financial stability, strategy, and employee well-being. Which is why an empathetic leadership and management approach is crucial to boosting morale and reducing Stressiety.

  • Listen to what your team members are saying
  • Check in regularly with your direct reports
  • Ensure that your employees are having regular breaks
  • Encourage daily exercise or meditation
  • Set boundaries to ensure that everyone is logging off at the end of a working day
  • Encourage self-care and family time.

Yes our lives are currently on hold, but in the midst of a crisis, there is hope. There is an opportunity to spend precious time with our loved ones, look to the future, pause, reflect and reset.

If you or any of your employees need support with managing wellbeing and mental health please feel free to contact me at for further information

Take care and stay safe

Published by urlifeurbusiness

Grace Erin Reid Diversity and Inclusion

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