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Sarah's Story

Keyworker Sarah explains how Coronavirus has impacted her work and home life, and shares some of the ways she supports her young family with their mental wellbeing.

“I work for a large department store which is currently closed, so as a result I’ve been redeployed into the food retail part of my company. As things stand, it’s very likely that the majority of us will get furloughed as sales have dropped off. I worked during the unfolding of Coronavirus in the department store and it was nerve-wracking when the government announced that all non-essential retail and schools would close. So many unsettling aspects suddenly impacted our everyday life…

the uncertainty of what would happen to my job and how my husband and I would cope with home-schooling our three kids really worried me.

When I was later redeployed to the food store, I had to familiarise myself with a job I’ve not done before, all in an environment where tensions are running high. I found that it’s even tougher to do this in a public environment, because I also have to try and enforce social distancing with co-workers and colleagues, which can make me feel quite anxious. I also had to switch to new working hours to accommodate the children being at home. Our days would normally revolve around school and extra-curricular activities, so because of this we’ve struggled to maintain a routine.

I think I’m learning that although I can’t change the things happening around me, I can always try to work on how my family can cope with it.

Some things which have helped me during this time are the Joe Wicks videos… they’ve got me and the children moving which in turn makes us all feel more positive and energised. We always try to incorporate a daily walk or bike ride in our neighbourhood, too. I have tried to find simple, regular activities for the children, which we try and do at the same time every day to build up a routine again. They’ve enjoyed writing letters and doing craft activities… Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration!!

From redeployment to changing my working hours or furlough, being open and honest with my employer has been really important, especially when I’m feeling anxious or worried.

Above all, the five of us are focussed on taking it day by day…”

If you would like to find support for any of the themes in Sarah’s* story, take a look at the following resources:
Our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Helpline – for anyone experiencing poor mental health or wellbeing challenges as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Our Free Wellbeing Toolkits – to help you find ways for the whole family to stay well at home.
@StayInWorkOut on twitter – to see videos and ideas for staying active at home without gym or sports equipment

To protect her privacy at work, ‘Sarah’ has blogged about her experiences using a pseudonym. If you would like to share your own story in this way, have a look at our blogging section

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