If you’ve had to take a break from work during lockdown, you’re not alone. In fact, far from it. Turns out, more than half of all Australians (52%) — that’s one in two — said they’d needed to take time off during the pandemic to support their mental wellbeing, according to a new study by LinkedIn, which surveyed 1000 Australians who had to work from home at some point during the pandemic.
Interestingly, the research found that the number was much higher for young Australians. A whopping four out of five young Australians said they needed time off from work to look after their mental health. And while the average Australian took two days off a month to focus on their mental health, young respondents (aged 16-24) took three days.
As for how comfortable Australians said they were talking about their mental health in the workplace, the data showed the majority of us (78%) were happy to chat about it — though, who we talked about it with varied.
Two in five (40%) Australians said they felt anxious or concerned talking about their mental health with their manager, while 36% were fine to talk to a colleague at the same level as them. Only one in four (24%) said they’d seek support from mental health services on offer in their workplace.
So, while all these stats in mind, what can those of us in lockdown be doing to better our mental health? Christian van Nieuwerburgh, a professor of coaching and positive psychology, shares some strategies for coping in detail here, top-line, he suggests you:
- Explore purpose and meaning,
- Retain your autonomy,
- Experience personal growth,
- Manage your life well,
- Invest in positive relationships,
- Learn about yourself.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.