State Manager, Business Banking South Australia, Brendan Rinaldi, says we need to pay attention to what we can control.
“I think the key bit of advice is just to control what you can control and focus on that and spend less time worrying about what you can’t control,” he says. “These conversations [about our wellbeing] were important pre-COVID, they’re super important during COVID. And they're going to be really important post-COVID.”
Bringing ourselves and our vulnerabilities to work
Shifting from office life to work-from-home life was tough for many of us. But for Journey Expert Sarah Soncini returning to work from parental leave in the middle of a pandemic was very challenging.
“When I came back from parental leave, I was plodding away, pretending life was normal and expected to get the sort of same outcomes,” she says.
“But I wasn't and I would notice that I would burst into tears over the smallest things. I think in some ways I was lucky because, before the pandemic, I made the choice to, I guess, be vulnerable and start talking about my mental health condition openly at work in front of hundreds of people.
“Every day I can get up and be myself and not fear that I'm hiding part of myself. So anyone out there who's thinking, well, I don't know if I should share who I am. I think the day that you start to share who you truly are in any sort of vulnerabilities, the day that you get to truly be yourself and happy, it's like a weight gets lifted off you.”
Like Sarah, Regional Executive Kriston Schalken also made sure to share his experiences with his team. He found whenever the team shared their personal vulnerabilities, people would check in and make sure they were ok.
“People reached out and said: ‘Are you feeling okay, how are you dealing with it, anything I can do?’ It was just very, very warming. And I think that sort of authentic approach very much is what connects people.”
Agribusiness Manager Emily Wandel is used to seeing people face to face. She challenged herself to find other ways to show her customers, colleagues and friends she was thinking of them.
“It (COVID-19 restrictions) gave me that real opportunity to consider how are we going to bring our team and our clients together and make sure that everyone is doing ok and feeling ok because I think everybody deals with mental health and mental wellbeing in very different ways.”
Emily adds “for me, it wasn't a matter of making sure I was getting my exercise or not. It was keeping my mindset right and positive and I guess looking to the future rather than sort of getting stuck here in that moment.”
It wasn’t just connecting with customers and colleagues via phone and video meetings Emily has had to balance this year. She, like many parents working from home during the lockdown, found home-schooling and working at home with a toddler to be quite a trial.