Men's Health - Challenge and Change Working With Covid

Movember Page 001

As a man, I want to talk honestly about my health and more specifically my mental health. I suppose a relevant start line is March 2020.

Those who know me are aware that I am not the greatest tech nerd in the world! Listen, I don’t go out of my way to pretend otherwise, when someone in the office needs help with anything tech related they don’t shout RONAN! I started to panic about not understanding how zoom worked - Would I by mistake log into another organisations executive meeting? Would I land into a Senior Leadership Team meeting? Imagine that! These are just some of the thoughts that worried me at the time.

So lock down when it came, and it arrived quickly, was a real concern to me personally. I knew our team would now be engaging with large numbers of young people online. Previous to Covid-19 all of my engagement with young people had been face to face and I was more than happy for this to continue. Why?

Simply because I love meeting up with colleagues and the young people and that had now been taken away from me. Would I now be on my own?

I had to accept that this was happening and after speaking with two colleagues (my team are the best ever by the way) I now see this new way of working as a challenge. I became determined to change how I engaged with technology, the young people and with myself. I set out a routine;

  • Up early (not as early as Stephen Barr)
  • Good breakfast (porridge and fruit)
  • Always online for 8.30am
  • Always logged out (think that’s the right tech talk) at 4.30pm
  • Go for a walk (if you don’t believe me ask Kathleen Grego)
  • Reflect on how I am (am I content? Am I getting through this?)

I am writing this piece at 2pm on Tuesday 3rd November and I am in a good place mentally, physically oh 50/50. But by talking to colleagues, family and young people I continue to engage in amazing work - with great colleagues and fantastic young people.

Ronan McCaffrey

Team Leader/Facilitator on the Futures Project.



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