Working in the New Normal

Self-Care for Seniors at Work

14 July 2020  |   4 min read

It is heartening to learn that many organisations have continued to observe stringent safe distancing measures over the last few months, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread among their workforce

However, COVID-19 is still contributing to a unique set of stressors and worries for seniors aged 60 years and above, as there is a higher risk of developing serious health complications if they are infected (MOH, May 2020).

To encourage continued efforts in caring for the mental well-being of our seniors in the workforce, Changi General Hospital has developed this guide as part of the #CopingwithCOVID19 care series. The guide focusses on the possible mental health impact of COVID-19 and recommended self-help strategies for seniors to build resilient and thrive in the workplace.

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Mental Well-being

As we adjust to the COVID-19 situation, remember that it is normal if you experience some of the changes listed below.

 

Thoughts

  • Fear of contracting the virus while at work and spreading it to family members
  • Worry about health and mortality
  • Worry about unemployment
  • Concern over access to healthcare
  • Worry about the rapidly evolving nature of the virus and its impact
  • Difficulty in keeping up with swiftly evolving restrictions and information

Emotions

  • Feeling confused and helpless due to the unpredictable situation
  • Feeling scared and anxious due to the higher level of risks on personal health
  • Feeling sad and isolated due to the physical distancing measures with colleagues, family and friends

Physical

  • Headaches
  • Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Changes in weight

Behaviour

  • Difficulty in staying focused at work or at home
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Sleep disturbances

If you are experiencing prolonged distress or it makes you feel dysfunctional, do seek help early from a mental health professional to improve your mental well-being.

For a complete list of services and resources for Seniors in Singapore, please visit: https://aic.sg

Recommended Self-care Strategies

  • Making Sense

Consider what we are able or unable to control and note it down.

  • Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings

Offer kind words to yourself and others.

  • Be Mindfully Present

When we bring our attention to our body sensations, we are drawn to the here and now instead of past and future. Take a moment to connect with your physical body.

  • Be engaged in what you are doing

We often bring thoughts of our past or future into our tasks. Challenge yourself by practicing to focus on the activity you are engaging at the present moment.

  • Finding your daily dose of joy and meaning

Pick an activity that you enjoy and make a plan to complete it on your non-working days. Try out a new activity that interests you! 

Here are some printables on the above strategies.

For more self-care resources, please visit https://www.cgh.com.sg/centres-services/tracs/Pages/TRaCS-Resources.aspx

 

This guide is contributed by the Department of TRaCS and the Community Psychogeriatric Programme team at Changi General Hospital.

For more details, please contact Department of TRaCS, Changi General Hospital at