Maintaining resilience while working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for everyone. Just as doctors and medical professionals have been working tirelessly to make a vaccine, psychologists have been working hard to make sure that we all stay sane and mentally healthy. That is why OutLeadersip member firm, RBC Capital Markets hosted psychologist Rob Archer and RBC’s very own, Christopher Louney and Megan Schippmann on a discussion on how to maintain resilience while working from home.
Chris and Megan start it up by expressing their struggles about working from home. Chris explains that learning how to be a leader during a crisis all the while through a computer screen was a huge challenge. Megan explains that she had a very close knit team and not being able to work with everyone face to face was also another challenge. The isolation and the battle between trying to be physically alone but mentally connected plagued both Chris and Megan.
Stages of Crisis:
To help work-from-homers understand their brains psychological response to the pandemic, Rob broke down the “stages of crisis” we experienced and are still experiencing.
Stage 1: Humans will go through a pattern of psychological responses.
Active stress: high emotions, high adrenaline. People become highly focused and get a lot done. The negative is that this adrenaline makes sleep more difficult.
Stage 2: Chronic stress : fatigue, more mistakes are made. Mood in this stage starts to dip, sometimes depression symptoms arise.
Usually during stage two a thing called “post traumatic growth” happens. People become stronger because they survived the crisis. People also are able to reevaluate and reconnect to their values during this time.
Rob breaks down the three main needs in each state:
— Rob Archer (@RobACareerPsych) June 25, 2020
Tools and Techniques:
Chris opens up about how he is combating isolation and the trauma caused by the pandemic. He explains that his days started to blend together so he made sure to throughout the day keep track of the time and ask himself the question, “what time is it? What should I be doing right now?” This allowed him to easily separate his work hours from his non-work hours which helped manage his stress levels as well as his battle with isolation.
Following Chris’s input, Rob explains some tools and techniques physically and emotionally that he recommends to stay resilient while working from home.