Mental Health Awareness Week

May 18, 2020 | Other

NFSP

As a subpostmaster you are doing so much to support your communities and look after your staff and customers during this pandemic. It’s important not to forget about your own mental health. Many members are going above and beyond the call of duty but are, on occasions, also on the receiving end of abuse from customers. Whilst this is unacceptable at any time it only serves to increase the strain on your mental health.

This is Mental Health Awareness week and whilst we, at the NFSP, can’t meet with you directly in the current situation, we are here to help you with HR, finance, etc. and at the end of the phone if you just want a chat (01273 452324).

We have been working with ‘Mind’ and ‘Time to change’ since signing the Time to Change pledge last year and here are some tips to help you look after your mental health:

Tip 1 - CONNECT WITH OTHERS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS

  • Speak to someone you trust, another postmaster perhaps who will understand what you are facing on a daily basis.
  • Join in the regional conference calls being regularly run by the NFSP, these are a great way to build connections and find support

Tip 2 - PLAN YOUR TIME

  • Try to follow routines as much as possible.
  • Get up at the same time even if you are working reduced hours. Wake and sleep at regular consistent times even at the weekend.
  • Plan activities for different days and make sure you stick to these plans if possible.
  • If you are closing early, then do so. Manage your customers’ expectations by making sure they know. Put up clearly visible posters. This will help prevent your customers from becoming annoyed and aggressive.

Tip 3 - TRY TO KEEP ACTIVE

Sit less and move more by finding an activity that suits your lifestyle. You’ll release those ‘feel good’ hormones and gain more energy.

  • Walking or cycling are great ways to exercise in the fresh air even if it’s only once a day.
  • You don’t need sports equipment at home. Try these ways to be exercise:
  • Cleaning around the home (do this to music as it can almost be fun)
  • Dancing to music
  • Just simply going up and down the stairs
  • Mr Motivator/Green Goddess on TV

Tip 4 - BE CREATIVE

Take time to relax and take notice of the present moment. Leave work behind and try something new or something you have not done for a while.

  • DIY
  • Arts and crafts
  • Mindfulness and meditation (there are great downloadable apps for these)
  • Puzzles and podcasts

Tip 5 - SLEEP

The World Health Organisation recommends 7-9 hours’ sleep per night. Lack of sleep impacts health, decision making and can cause mistakes or accidents. Try these ideas:

  • Avoid caffeine late in the day which can stay up to 6 hours in your bloodstream. Have a decaffeinated evening coffee instead.
  • Cut down on alcohol at night to help prevent disrupted sleep.
  • Relax and clear your mind in the evening.
  • Improve sleep quality by using relaxation techniques: listen to music, take a hot bath, or use a relaxation app.
  • A few drops of lavender on the pillow can be calming and help relieve sleep issues.

Mental Health Champion Course

Prior to the coronavirus, the NFSP was going to run ‘Champion’ training courses for members interested in raising awareness around mental health. We now hope to run the course online in small ‘bitesize’ chunks. Held once week, these meetings will last between 1 and 2 hours. At the end of 4 weeks, we would then register you with Time to change as a Mental Health Champion.

Planning is in the early stages, and if you are interested in joining a course, please email wendy.burke@nfsp.org.uk. You’ll then receive a short form to complete with your branch, contact details, etc. Further information about the course will then be emailed to you.

Tags: Health, Health & Safety