Why looking after your mental health during lockdown is so important

The Staff Canteen

As the Coronavirus lockdown is extended for a further 3 weeks the importance of staying positive and looking after your mental health has become even more prevalent.

Isolating on your own when you are used to being in a busy restaurant surrounded by people can be tough which is why reaching out to others either online or via video calls to keep those relationships intact is so important.

Andrew Clarke and Doug Sanham are the founders of Pilot Light campaign, it was launched to give people a platform to share their own mental health stories and aims to support those in the hospitality industry who may need advice on where to get help or for employers who want to make the working environment a safe and open place.

Despite big plans for the charity being put on hold due to Coronavirus the pair are still working hard behind the scenes.

“We’re still here for everyone,” said Andrew. “And we are still offering support, still trying to get people talking and get everyone in a positive frame of mind.”

He added: “This is the perfect time is anyone wants to share their story with us we will gladly put it on our website.”

Andrew and Doug are currently working on a pack which you will be able to access online which will offer advice on what you can do if you are on your own.

“The pack will build on the notion that we have more time than we had before,” explained Doug. “It’s about building routine and when things do go back to normal people can carry these good habits back into normal life.”

Keep it simple – easy ways to start looking after your mental health

As an industry we need to look after people, and Andrew says ‘chefs particularly are our most important commodity these days’.

Andrew said: “I feel like we are going to bounce back as an industry with even more strength. “I hope people can use the time well because particularly in hospitality, we don’t really get much free time. Not that it’s the best circumstances but let’s try and use the time wisely.”

Doug added: “There will be a weird transition mentally going from working flat out at a hundred miles an hour, to not working at all, to then going back to working flat out again.

“Remember there are places you can reach out to talk about the anxiety that will come with that whether it’s us or Hospitality Action, we are here to offer support.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st April 2020

Why looking after your mental health during lockdown is so important