Our mental health relies on our ability to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, but the length and the scope of the impact of the pandemic on our lives is something most of us have never experienced. Here are four evidence-based strategies to support your mental health this holiday season.
The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.
More than 2.3 million home care workers are responsible for caring for millions of Americans who are unable to fully care for themselves. It's worth considering policy options to provide them with better access to PPE, improved compensation, and formal recognition that their work is essential.
When we are feeling anxious or depressed or otherwise bad, we experience a variety of urges toward things that we think will make us feel better, but ultimately make us feel worse. Connecting with a friend, exercising, accomplishing a task, and helping others are some things that can actually help.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the impact of poorly designed jobs on the health of workers was drawing attention. Now may be the time to fundamentally rethink the design of jobs so that they promote good health and lessen poor health and its costs.
Presenteeism occurs when people work when in suboptimal health. Both presenteeism and absenteeism are key influences on workplace productivity, but presenteeism is by far the most significant. It's vital that employers identify and deal with presenteeism, for the health of their people as well as that of the organization.
As certain COVID-19 restrictions lift, and life for some begins to return to a “new normal,” employers may have the opportunity to rebuild work policies to better support those employees who want to continue working from home. This could produce well-being benefits for employees, without compromising on, and often increasing, productivity.
Governments around the world have offered furlough schemes to try to delay employers from making any restructuring decisions during the pandemic. The aims of such programs are laudable. But they may come with unintended consequences.
COVID-19 will likely have a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of employees. While many employers responding to the COVID-19 crisis have understandably been concerned with business resilience, processes, and performance, it is important that they also continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of staff.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers' mental health could be significant and may weaken the health care system's ability to resolve the crisis and survive over the long term. Interventions to promote psychological well-being should be implemented now.
People sleep better when they follow consistent daily and nightly routines. These days, the school bell isn't ringing for most of our kids, and it's up to parents to ensure that children and teens get the sleep they need during these stressful and uncertain times.
Much of the mental health support provided by employers focuses on individual staff members, but it is equally important to consider how an organization itself may need to change to effectively support employees. If an organization is serious about improving staff mental health, assessing the working culture honestly and implementing appropriate changes could be one necessary step.
The holiday season can bring with it not only the sting of cold air, but also the sting of regret. Regret is a slippery slope for mental health. RAND's Wendy Troxel shares simple, science-backed strategies to dodge year-end regrets.
Most Americans spend their daily leisure time watching screens, devoting only a small fraction to physical activity. The explosion of streaming apps is likely contributing to this problem. Streaming services could consider adding a pop-up at the end of each episode that encourages viewers to get up and move.