The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has put together a resource pack and podcast to advise journalists about how they can look after their mental health in the coronavirus crisis.
While many newspapers have been reporting on mental health initiatives and resources for readers during Mental Health Awareness week, it is important that journalists – whether experiencing stress from reporting on the pandemic, anxiety as freelancers, or facing any mental health issue large or small – can also access specific resources to support mental wellbeing.
The NUJ podcast introduces mental health week to address the importance of acknowledging how mental wellbeing affects working: mental health is the leading cause of sickness from work, according to mentalhealth.org.
The advise includes:
- Establish a routine. Get up and get dressed in the morning and eat at regular times. Mark the beginning and end of work time.
- Have regular catch-up sessions with managers, colleagues and those whom you manage.
- Develop a regular exercise routine, even if that is not usual for you.
- Find some moment in the day when you can do something that is just for yourself; something restorative. Make time to do something that will allow your brain to calm: meditation, visualisation, mindfulness, prayer, yoga, tai chi, gardening…
- Establish good mental health habits: exercise, eating nutritious food, moderate alcohol and sugar intake, adopting good sleep habits.
- Talk about your feelings. The emotions you are feeling right now (anger, sadness, fear) are normal responses to an abnormal situation.
The full pack with further resources for employers and freelancers can be found on the NUJ website.