Coronavirus has everyone thinking about their physical health. Whether we’re talking hand washing or social distancing, we’re more aware than ever about hygiene and personal health. (For more on this, read our article about keeping safe on-site).
But your mental health is just as important. While some of us haven’t slowed down yet, lots have been stood down or lost 70% of their bookings. In times of economic uncertainty, tensions can run high and stress can mount.
We’ve been speaking with tradies over the last few weeks about what they’re doing to support themselves and their crew. Here are our essential tips:
Avoid 24-hour news — limit to twice a day.
The 24-hour media circus has never felt more present than in the last few weeks. While it’s important to stay informed about the latest government measures, limiting your news to once or twice a day can work wonders on your state of mind.
Sean, a fridgey from Victoria, found it difficult to manage all the messaging — “you don’t really know who to believe, and who not to believe. Right now, I really need to know just about my state and what I need to do.”
Share the load when you can.
We’re at our best when we’re supporting each other, and it’s proven that doing good things for other people is beneficial for your own mental health. Dave, a plumber from NSW, is taking on some more high-risk jobs personally — “I don’t have young kids at home, and I don’t want the other guys taking anything home to their families.”
If you’re a sole trader, reach out to other people in your network to see if you can help them in any way. Not only could it bring a mental boost, you might pick up some extra work as well.
Regular check-ins with your crew.
Making the time to catch up with someone each day can help keep your spirits up. Keeping it regular means bringing up problems can be less intimidating.
Michael, a chippy from Victoria, had this tip: “We have daily toolbox check-ins. We don’t just make sure that everyone’s got what they need, we also see how everyone’s feeling — physically and mentally.” If you’re a sole trader working alone, try a call or a FaceTime with other tradies in your network.
Is there anything you’ve started doing to stay positive? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!