Employee Assistance Program Blog: Refocus and stay productive to break cycle of stress

By Drew Henderson DLA Land and Maritime Employee Assistance Program Manager

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Hello Land and Maritime! We are at the two-month point of the stay-at-home situation. While many of us have gotten used to the situation and are fairly OK with it, there are stresses associated with staying at home. The following are some things to be aware of to help.

1. Reframe “I’m stuck in my house” to “I’m safe and I can finally focus on my home and myself.” As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the work-from-home policy as a chance to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize or create something you’ve always wanted to. Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.

2. Set a routine that is as close as possible to your normal routine. Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier; however as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking. Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen and get out of your PJ’s. I repeat, get out of your PJ’s!  Do laundry as usual. Not only will sticking to a normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.

3. Spend less time watching the news. Endless coronavirus coverage encourages us to focus on the negative and can lead to fear and anxiety. Watch just enough to stay current, then turn it off!

4. If you find yourself becoming anxious or depressed, reach out!

Contact your EAP. Drew Henderson, Land and Maritime’s on-site EAP is available by phone or email. Call him at 614-692-2000 or email drew.henderson@dla.mil.  Another option is to call our EAP contractor Magellan Ascend at 866-580-9046 or visit their website.

The EAP is an agency-paid, confidential program available to all DLA civilian employees and their dependents at no cost to help deal with concerns related to areas such as mental health, financial or legal matters, alcohol or drug abuse, work-related stressors, marriage/family and caregiving issues, illnesses, accidents and relationship troubles. EAP provides initial telephonic consultation, problem assessment/clarification, short-term in-person counseling, and referral to appropriate resources, if needed. EAP is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

Try to remember that you are not alone.  If you want to talk about whatever is on your mind, call your EAP.