Workplace Wellness Week at Self Care Central

Self Care Central is a free, subscription based service, for the occupants of Bath Road Central. Each month, a newsletter is sent to our subscribers regarding a popular topic surrounding well-being and self care. This month, for Workplace Wellness month, we got in touch with Corporate and Executive Coach Marianna Alfar, who has given us some tips on how to maintain our well-being during COVID-19.


Many of us exited the stage of shock and grieving. We now entered brainstorming and search for clues about the ‘recovery stage’ imagining our work life after the lockdown. We allowed enough space to ourselves to stay numb and observe or find ways to escape the bitter essence of reality of the past weeks. The broader focus these days is to see how everything in our life connects. Ultimately, we question whether we trust ourselves and whether the suffering can be a way of creating opportunities for a more fulfilled life. Whatever hunts our minds, one thing that inevitably comes up is the imagination of what the life will look like once the crisis comes to an end. As we fight the thought we are unable to control, we also admit that recovery is not about the destination, but rather about the journey and we force ourselves to come up with first small steps to move forward. But where do we even start?

We feel the need to go back to ‘normal’, but was that ‘normal’ good enough?
Let’s look at some statistics of the ‘normal’ we lived that were gathered earlier this year prior to the crisis:

• The closest relationship that 95% of us had was with our mobile phone. On average we used it 14 hours per day. Research confirms that we averaged around 150 emails per day and 50 other forms of a messages. We spent 7 hours per day on average looking at a screen – mobile or computer. We spend only 1 hour per day talking to our partners.
• Our bodies are designed to mentally concentrate for a full 4.5 hours per day and we were averaging 7. We were literally stressing our bodies each day.
• 34% of employees felt unwell because of their work
• 45% were concerned about their lack of sleep
• 80% of workers felt stress on the job, nearly half of them admitted they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% said their co-workers need such help
• Only 12.5% of employees were positively engaged in their work compared to an average in the world’s leading organisations which was 70%. At the same time, most businesses accepted that talent was being lost at a far faster speed than they desired.
• Over 60% of people were struggling with anxiety which they believed affected their performance

Now, is this the world we want to go back to living in?

The definition of wellness describes an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

No matter who we are and what role we’re returning or not returning into, there is something to celebrate. We have been feeling a need for change for months, maybe years now, but had too many excuses to make it. Being forced to pause and get clarity on our values and true needs has been undoubtedly the most productive time of our lives.
We will soon take ownership of the future by committing to the actions that portray the future we want. We shall find our purpose and align those actions with our inner values.

Our focus is asking ourselves the right questions as a start:

• How will we proactively measure mental wellbeing in teams/organizations?
• Which resources do we share to stay productive while working remotely?
• How will we manage the technology dependency while combatting loneliness?
• How specifically can we input empathy and sense of community into the daily life?
• How accessible are basic services and people we know to us?
• How will the crisis experience change our recruitment processes?
• What support or practices do we plan to use to motivate others?
• How do we expand our intellect to create new road maps and strategies?
• What practices will we introduce to our lives and work environments to support the mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing?
• Which strengths will we use to rebuild the life we want?

We are not there yet, but before we strategise the recovery of our economy, our companies, jobs or those habits we may have lost for a period of time, let’s pause and reflect on who we were first and foremost and define who we want to be moving forward. We owe it to the planet, to each other and to ourselves.

Marianna Alfa is a Corporate & Executive Coach.
She has spent 18 years in all leadership roles within the hospitality industry.
As qualified coach she facilitates a guided journey during which the individuals evolve and flourish, build their confidence and self-esteem, grow resilience and adapt to change and unlock their own potential to the fullest. She helps companies thrive by increasing their productivity levels and creating healthy cultures.