Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Without much warning, the outbreak of the Coronavirus dramatically changed life as we know it.

The government-imposed guidelines asking us to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus could cause many of us to feel isolated, bored, frustrated or lonely. You might also be feeling low, worried, anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or your loved ones.

It’s ok to feel like this – everyone reacts in their own way to challenging events and uncertainty.

Although the Coronavirus itself is affecting people’s physical health, the uncertainty associated with the situation could have a negative effect on your mental health too.

We’ve put together some guidance to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing over the next few weeks.

Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home

The government has told us to stay at home where possible and only leave the house for food, health reasons or essential work. If you’re used to spending large parts of your day around people, this can be a huge challenge to adjust to.

Try to view this as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one. The new rules have changed our rhythm of daily life to become more relaxed (think no stressful morning or evening commute) and has freed up time we didn’t have before.

Use your new free time to read or watch films, do those jobs around the house you’ve been putting off, or make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby (or start a new one) if it is something you can still do at home.

Your physical health makes a huge difference to your mood and helps you sleep better at night. Try getting out the house once a day to go for a walk, or take part in group exercise classes online – like the ones the Body Coach, Joe Wicks is live streaming daily on his YouTube channel). Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and remember to drink enough water. 

Create a new daily routine that focuses on your wellbeing. Writing a plan for your day or week which sets out the professional and personal goals you want to achieve can help you stay motivated.

And remember, although staying at home might be difficult, this is only a temporary measure and you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

Stay connected to your friends, family and colleagues

In times of uncertainty and stress, we rely on our friends and family for company and support. Now more than ever it’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones.

Whether it’s through phone and video calls, messaging or social media, maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Lots of other people are finding the situation difficult, so staying in touch could help them too.

Many of us will be missing the social interaction we get during our normal daily lives. Luckily lots of businesses have formed social groups where you can chat to people online instead of meeting face-to-face.

If you have children, ask them what they have heard about the outbreak. Explain the facts as truthfully as possible while avoiding over-exposure to the coverage of the virus.

Manage how you follow the outbreak in the media

With so many news sources available to us and extensive news coverage about the outbreak, it can be overwhelming to continually read about the virus.

Although it’s important to stay informed and educate yourself, if you find the news is causing you huge stress, try to find a balance between staying informed without experiencing information overload.

Rumours and speculation within the media can fuel anxiety and do your mental health more harm than good. Stick to reputable sources for information on the virus. The government’s website, gov.uk has lots of good information and is updated regularly.

Although social media is a great tool for staying connected, it can also be a place where news is sensationalised and cause increased anxiety. Consider unfollowing or muting people or accounts that make you feel anxious.

Don’t stay glued to the news. Try to limit the amount of time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak. Think about turning off breaking news alerts on your phone or set yourself a specific time to read news updates.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Service Continuity Plan

COVID-19 service continuity plan

Customer Notification: Covid-19 Coronavirus Service Continuity Plan

Dear Customer,

Over the last few weeks we have kept you regularly updated with our responses to the new government guidance and the work we are doing to keep Exactrak fully operational. We would like to reassure you that Exactrak is continuing to operate as normal, including completing new installations and providing software support.

As the safety of our employees is of paramount importance, several measures are in place across our business to allow us to continue to operate safely. Our aim is to continue to support you with as little disruption to your usual service as possible.

All our office-based workforce are now working remotely, including members of our Service Response Team who are ready to take your call, should you need us. This has greatly improved our team resilience and helped to maintain our high level of service to you. Every effort has been made to create awareness around appropriate actions to limit the risks of Coronavirus amongst our workforce, including regular handwashing, work area sanitation and social distancing. All our employees have been requested to follow the government and NHS guidelines on self-isolation if either they, or a person they live with has displayed any Coronavirus symptoms. We have also requested the adherence to the travel advice outlined by the FCO in the UK and the DFA in Ireland for all our employees and contractors and all non-essential business travel has been postponed.

As an Exactrak customer, maintaining our high level of service for you is our primary focus and our engineers are doing all they can to meet your business requirements. Although we are not currently seeing a risk in our performance against our contractual obligations to you, should we be in a situation where our service becomes restricted, we will narrow our technician focus to equipment installations and agreed service repairs.

Our service engineers have been advised to act in guidance with our customer’s own continuity procedures and maintain strong hygiene regimes while on customer sites. We will be contacting you prior to all appointments so you can keep us informed of any new procedures you may have implemented since our last visit.

We have also asked that our engineers are mindful about taking social distancing measures, we ask that you please take this into account when greeting, inducting and registering them on site, as well as in their working environment.

If you have concerns over our engineers attending site, please speak to one of our team members on 0845 246 2778.

Our Customer Support Team are available as usual and along with our approved partners, we will continue to support you with any portal or software related issues as they arise.

We are requesting that where possible, all site meetings with our Account Managers are conducted over video conferencing or telephone call. If face to face visits are required, then we ask that social distancing is maintained and that a minimal number of people attend the meeting.

We continue to monitor our stock levels of both product and spare parts and believe our supply chain to be robust and in our control. We are continuing to review our core stock supplies daily, and should a change in our situation occur, we will be able to notify you again with our updated contingency plan.

As we continue to receive regular government updates regarding the Coronavirus status, we will be working closely with our partners to ensure you are informed of any changes to our business continuity plan. Until then, we will endeavor to provide our usual high level of service and should you have any further queries regarding our support during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 246 2778.

Yours sincerely,

Pam Shields
UK Business Unit Manager – Avery Weigh-Tronix

*Updated 05/05/2020

Who really gives a grit?

Keeping drivers safe this winter season

The 19/20 winter forecast has predicted a cold snap which will cause the usual problems across the roads of the UK. But whether our roads receive a light dusting of snow, or a Beast from the East 2.0, local authorities have a responsibility to keep roads – and drivers on the roads – safe.

Say ‘drivers’ and the first thing that springs to mind is usually the general public. But it’s not just the public who need to be protected…