How to improve the mental health of those in professional services

Chris Biggs, MD of chartered accountants Theta Financial Reporting gives his tips to help with mental health strain this Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and while Brits are looking forward to a life outside of lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on our mental health. Our working environments, practices and job security have been thrown into doubt and this uncertainty and anxiety can negatively impact physical and mental wellbeing. 

Chris Biggs, Managing Director of chartered accountancy firm Theta Financial Reporting, has given his tips on how to look after the mental health of those working in the professional services industries. 

“This is a difficult time for people who have not even been directly affected by the Coronavirus, nevermind those who have tragically lost family and friends, so it is more important than ever to look after our mental health and be there for one another. In accountancy for example, the end of year period, furlough, changes to tax and VAT returns and all kinds of loans and grants have made the situation different to most other end-of-financial-year periods, giving stress and anxiety the opportunity to rear their ugly heads. Here are my tips to try and help your mental health this Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. 


Think flexibly 

Flexible working which allows people to balance their family and professional commitments gives people the opportunity to focus on one task at a time. Trying to work at home in the company of small children is difficult, so try and work, if your manager allows you to, around your family commitments. This will help you focus on the job at hand and make you more present for both your family and your team at work. 


Remember to sign off 

Working at home during the lockdown period has meant that many people have been working above and beyond their normal hours. This may look like dedicated, hard work, but after a certain point, it is simply presenteeism, so sign off, utilise your evenings to recharge and be more productive the next day.


Keep social 

While we can’t physically meet up yet, keep in contact with your team members, organise work quizzes, social video drinks or a working lunch. It will help to relieve stress and relax you and your team. End of week socials are a great thing to look forward to and can help you forget the stresses and strains of the working week.”