The pandemic is causing more and more people to experience anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life. However, if it is not kept in check, it can damage your mental and physical health. If unmanaged, anxiety can take a physical toll weakening the immune system and reducing the ability to fight off viruses, like COVID-19, and other illnesses.
The travel restrictions and safety measures, such as self-isolation and social distancing, that are so important to protect our communities can leave us vulnerable to feelings of loneliness and anxiety. For these reasons and many more, Bidvest Noonan has implemented new measures to safeguard its peoples’ mental health during the pandemic.
Good communication is critical. We established a well-resourced pandemic safety communications team to ensure our people receive clear and expert guidance on measures they can take to protect their physical and mental health. These communications are issued frequently, and in real-time as needed, using multiple media formats such as guidance booklets, toolbox talks, emails and videos.
We have to know how to help others to cope. Our EHS teams provide our people with the information they need to identify signs of distress and the steps they need to take to ensure colleagues are well supported. We put systems in place to enable people to seek help and advice from managers, HR and EHS experts.
Feeling safe and secure is very important. We supplied our people with the PPE they need and made a wide range of operational changes to keep them safe while they work. We provided clear explanations about why we made these changes and how they reduce the threat of infection.
It is critical to know the signs and symptoms of anxiety.
Emotional signs and symptoms include:
- Fear of Leaving the House, Social Withdrawal
- Unwarranted Fear of Particular Situations or Things
- Changes in Personality, e.g. suddenly becoming angry or suddenly bursting into tears.
- Depression or Suicidal Thoughts
- Difficulty relaxing
Physical signs and symptoms include:
- Compulsive or Repetitive Behaviours
- Irritability, nervousness, restlessness
- Excessive sweating, perspiration, feeling cold or overheated
- Increased smoking or drinking
- Aches and pains
- Changes in appetite
- Light headiness, headaches, dizziness, weakness
- Upset Stomach
- Changes in sleep patterns, fatigue
- Trouble concentrating and taking in information
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing & hyperventilation
- Rapid heartbeat, palpitations, and chest pain
If you have signs of anxiety disorder over an extended period, see your doctor or make an appointment with a mental health professional.