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How to look after yourself

Although you could argue we are becoming more accustomed to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it certainly doesn’t make them any easier. Please find below some practical advice and resources that will help you stay healthy.

Get Active

Each week you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or it could be a combination of the two. Getting outside can make a big difference to your physical and mental health with studies recognising daylight and nature as positive influencers on your mood as well as helping to keep you active. If you are working from home you are encouraged to take a break during the day, even if it’s just for a quick walk when the sun comes out. Talk to your line manager to agree what will work best for you. For those wanting to get back into exercise but do not know where to start why not try the NHS Couch to 5k.

If you are required to commute to your work location, you could consider making your commute an active one. Check out your eligibility to the Cycle to Work Salary Sacrifice Scheme or ask your line manager for details.

If you can’t get outdoors, there have never been more online resources available. Check out the Join the movement activity suggestions developed by Sport England. UK Serco employees can get 30% off memberships at Serco-managed leisure centres/fitness facilities. This offer also applies to colleague’s family members. Over 30 of our facilities have swimming pools, while most offer fully equipped gyms and a range of effective, fun workout classes. Check the map and list of facilities here, then pop into the site most convenient to you with proof that you work for Serco, such as a payslip or employee card. This offer is only available in centre.

Woman in gym kit walking along a path holding a water bottle
Thrive logo

Prioritise your Mental Health

Our mental health is impacted both positively and negatively by a wide range of factors that can include; physical health, relationships, work, and loneliness.

For most of us there are things we can do to help protect and manage our mental health including; staying active, getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding unhelpful coping mechanisms such as too much alcohol or smoking.

Other techniques such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques are proven to have a positive impact on your mental health. The good news is these techniques can all be found on the Thrive Mental health app which all Serco colleagues in the UK & Europe have access to.

Find out how to download Thrive by checking out where you can sign up with a work or personal email address or by speaking to your line manager who will be able to give you details.

Stay connected

Physical distancing restrictions are creating a barrier for supporting one another but it doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected. It’s important that teams find ways to keep connected, this could be virtual coffee mornings on Teams or social groups on Yammer.

Staying connected can also have a positive impact on Mental Health. The charity Time to Change, says: “A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference. We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.” So please check in on your colleagues when you can. Simply asking someone, “Are you okay?” can be enough to get the conversation started.

We know talking to someone can be a great way to help manage your health. You can access our free confidential helpline 24/7 with Vita Health by calling:

Man wearing glasses using his smartphone to talk to a friend
Wellbeing hub becoming an ally today

Wellbeing Hub and Allies Network

The Wellbeing Hub is a central place for support and guidance, a range of documents and materials are held here covering all aspects of health and wellbeing. Key features of the hub include;

  • MyWellbeing with resources tailored to you
  • MyColleague with resources tailored to managers and colleagues
  • MyFamily&Friends with resources tailored to supporting your family and friends
  • Critical Help with resources covering the more ‘sensitive’ wellbeing topics
  • Perfect for Printing with resources that can easily be printed

There is also a network of Wellbeing Allies who can offer support to colleagues and help point you to useful materials. The role of an Ally is to simply be someone that is friendly, approachable, lives Serco’s values and is passionate about health and wellbeing. The Wellbeing Allies are available for colleagues to reach out whenever they need any guidance or support for all things wellbeing. Wellbeing Allies are volunteers from across the business. Please speak to your line manager to find out more.