SSP offer support for their employees through BlueCall!

“The importance of mental well-being has risen in SSP alongside physical well-being. We see our employees as holistic individuals without distinguishing between well-being at work and well-being at leisure. Our number one goal is to take care of the safety and health of our employees.” Says Anne Immonen, Director Ops and HR at SSP Finland.  Pia Axelsson, HR Director at SSP Sweden, continues: “Our employees are performing extraordinarily and we want to show our appreciation and caring by offering support and methods to prevent and handle stress, anxiety, changes in sleep or eating patterns, fear and worry about our own health and the health of our loved ones. We know that employee wellbeing is linked to employee engagement and productivity.”  The current crisis in the world has led to an overall increase in mental health issues. For SSP, it is a given to provide their employees with tools to handle the situation and their well-being. “Times are hard and we all feel it. People around the world are facing increasing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can’t control the ongoing pandemic or other forces of change, we can control how we respond and position ourselves to survive and even thrive in challenging times.” States Pia Axelsson. Anne Immonen agrees: “The flood of news, rapidly changing circumstances and concerns for your own and others well-being are straining mentally. Our employees at cafes and restaurants meet many people every day and those encounters make you think about your own health.” Caroline Rödén, CEO of BlueCall, is happy to welcome SSP to BlueCall: “It is great to see a global company like SSP take responsibility for their employees mental health in these uncertain times. BlueCall’s digital tools help employees improve their mental health by being preventative, accessible and modern.” “As the digital age progresses, we feel that BlueCall is the perfect complement to our traditional occupational health care. With BlueCall we can prevent mental illness and sickness at an early stage and improve daily mental well-being and engagement. We appreciate that BlueCall is so easy to access anywhere, anytime and that all employees can use the service for both private and work-related situations. With easy access we want to make it easy to ask for help!” Pia Axelsson, HR Director at SSP Sweden, concludes. 

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Lär känna en av våra fantastiska terapeuter: Helena Haugen! 

Först och främst, vem är du?  Å, min favoritfråga! Idag är jag en ganska enkel person att ha att göra med. Men det har varit en lång väg att gå när det gäller att hitta mig själv, den jag är och vill vara. Att praktisera tacksamhet har hjälpt mig att inte ta saker för givet och att utforska mina värderingar. Eftersom livet varit generöst mot mig vill jag gärna ge tillbaka det jag själv fått i form av hjälp, stöd och motivation till andra.   Finns det något område du är särskilt kunnig inom? Jag är duktig på relationer, både i det privata och i arbetslivet. Jag har varit fokuserad på knutar och mönster i hur man förhåller sig till varandra. Efter en tid på BlueCall har jag dock insett att jag kanske är ännu bättre på att coacha till ett ökat välmående, något jag också brinner för att få göra.  Vad tycker du om att jobba på BlueCall?  BlueCall är fantastiskt eftersom det erbjuder lättillgängligt, anonymt och flexibelt stöd till de som behöver samtala. Flexibiliteten är viktig, att jag kan anpassa tiderna efter användarens behov. Det allra bästa med att jobba på BlueCall är helt klart användarna. Jag är så lyckligt lottad som får följa med en liten bit på deras livsresa. Alla mina användare är fantastiska på sitt unika sätt. Att användarna också lärt mig så oerhört mycket är jag också väldigt tacksam för.  Vad kan du hjälpa våra användare med? Jag hjälper användarna att öka deras tillfredsställelse i livet. Genom våra dialoger hoppas jag att användarna förstår hur värdefulla de är och hur viktigt det är att de prioriterar sig själva och sin hälsa. Att öka livstillfredsställelse kan också handla om att ta risker och även då kan man behöva någon att bolla tankar och drömmar med – då finns jag också såklart tillhands!       Varför är det viktigt att arbeta förebyggande när det kommer till psykisk ohälsa?  När man inte har det bra med sig själv eller med livet i stort är det viktigt att söka stöd och hjälp i tid för att kunna motverka att måendet försämras. Att exempelvis få hjälp att sätta ord på känslor och upplevelser för en utomstående kan många gånger leda till att man ser saker ur ett annat perspektiv. Att förändra sitt förhållningssätt till ett bekymmer kan vara en förlösande upptäckt. Men ju längre tiden går, desto svårare kan det vara att be om hjälp. Genom att arbeta förebyggande kan vi jobba med problemen innan de utvecklas och tar för stor plats i livet.  Har du något tips på hur man tar sig igenom pandemin och den ändlösa svenska vintern?  Pandemin har varit förödande för många av oss och har även inneburit förluster av nära och kära. Men den har också gjort att vi blivit tvungna att stanna upp. Jag har tagit tillfället i akt att verkligen rannsaka mig själv, mitt arbete och mina relationer. Mitt tips är att försöka se det lilla ljuset i mörkret, att fundera över hur du vill att livet skall te sig efter pandemin. Vad från pandemin kommer du att vilja ha kvar och vad kommer du att aldrig mer ta för givet?  Även vintern är lång och mörk men ger oss möjlighet att varva ner. Unna dig att läsa böcker, tända ljus och ta promenader när det väl ges möjlighet. Gör helt enkelt det du mår bra av och som bidrar till att du för en stund kan öka ditt välmående. 

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For a smooth return to work after a relaxing vacation

Find your work-life rhythm During vacation, it is very relaxing not having to be a slave under the clock but instead give yourself the freedom to eat and sleep whenever the body wants. However, when the vacation is coming towards an end, it is good to start finding your way back to those everyday eat- and sleep routines. It will feel a lot easier when the alarm goes off on your first day of work if you have let yourself lean into the routines in advance.  Give yourself a smooth start  Coming back to a full email inbox which constantly keeps piling up and demanding answers can feel stressful. Keep the automatic reply saying you are on vacation for a few days, or change to a message saying you recently got back and are working through the pile. That way you can catch up on your prioritized tasks at your own pace without the stress of someone waiting for your immediate response.  Plan for something to look forward to Plan for some highlights in your everyday life to have something to look forward to! Maybe a lunch date with a dear friend, an after work with colleagues or a fun exercise class. These highlights will ease up the autumn and make you more motivated in your everyday life.  Prolong the summer feeling You may be back working, but the summer still has lots to offer! Make use of the weekends and evenings and stick to some of your enjoyable vacation habits, such as the evening swim in a lake, trips on the weekends or ice cream after lunch. By continuing with these habits you will prolong the vacation feeling which will make the return to work much easier.   

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Get the staycation you deserve

Unplug and relax Allow yourself to completely unplug from work during your vacation to give the brain and body maximum recovery without reminders from work. Create an automatic response on your phone and email saying you are on vacation and when you will be back. If you need to be available during your holiday, make a clear schedule over when you will be connected, and when you have time to relax.  Create variation Make a contrast to your everyday life to give your brain a clear signal that it is vacation time. According to stress scientists at SU, recovery does not have to mean inactivity. The essential part is that your brain and body get variation to what you are usually doing. If you have a very passive job where you mostly sit still, have an active vacation, and vice versa.  Adjust your expectations Your vacation this year will not be what you expected, but you can still have a relaxing, fun, and adventurous staycation! Instead of feeling disappointed, create the right expectations in advance by focusing on the possibilities that you actually have. “Hemesterguiden” shares many tips on what to do in Sweden and in your area during this summer, for example, hiking trails, outdoor activities, and DIY projects. Read more about “Hemesterguiden” here.  Plan for a smooth start  To decrease the stress of going back to work, we recommend that you plan for a smooth start in advance. For example, take your vacation on a Wednesday and return on a Wednesday, it will mentally feel much easier to start with only half a week. Also, try not to book too many meetings during your first week, give yourself time to find your way back to your routines, your everyday tasks, and to go through your emails. 

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Social på distans – så värnar du om dina relationer

Read the article in English here.

Relationen med medarbetare

  1. Boka in regelbundna samtal med medarbetarna! Börja och avsluta veckan med personliga möten, antingen 1-2-1 eller i mindre team så att samtliga känner sig sedda.
  2. Starta möten med en check-in! Ta ett varv under dagens första möte och fråga hur alla mår, låt medarbetarna prata av sig innan ni går vidare till mötesagendan.
  3. Uppmuntra virtuella umgängen! Hjälp dina medarbetare att skapa sätt för att umgås online, exempelvis fikapauser över video. På så vis kan du som chef fortsätta ha relationsbyggande samtal med dina medarbetare, som ni brukade vid kaffemaskinen.

Relationen med kollegor

  1. Håll vardaglig kontakt! Använd er av chattforum där ni hälsar på varandra och småpratar under dagen, precis som ni gjorde på kontoret!
  2. Upprätthåll de sociala mötena! Planera in luncher, kaffepauser och AW’s tillsammans via digitala kanaler. Dessa träffar är viktiga för att behålla och utveckla er relation.
  3. Träna tillsammans! Ta en promenad eller organisera ett träningspass tillsammans, antingen via länk eller utomhus så att ni kan hålla distans men samtidigt umgås.

Relationen med nära och kära

  1. Prata över video! Hörs ofta, och gärna över video så att ni kan se varandra. Att se ett vänligt leende skapar större lugn och inger trygghet.
  2. Gör aktiviteter ihop! Det finns många digitala kanaler där ni kan göra samma aktiviteter som ni brukade göra innan Corona. Exempelvis titta på film tillsammans med Netflix Party, laga mat ihop över video eller spela spel med varandra via någon av mobiltelefonens många appar.
  3. Träffas utomhus! Ta en promenad i skogen eller ha picknick i en park tillsammans, men håll avståndet även ute i det fria.

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Social from a distance – How to preserve your relationships

The relationship with your employees

  1. Schedule regular meetings with your employees! Start and finish the week with individual meetings. Either 1-2-1 or in small groups so that everyone feels acknowledged. 
  2. Start your meetings with a check-in! Start the first meeting of the day with asking how everybody is doing. Let the employees have a small chat before moving onto the agenda. 
  3. Encourage virtual hangouts! Help your employees to create ways of spending time together online, e.g. coffee breaks over video. That way you can continue having the relationship building conversations with your employees that you used to have around the coffee machine. 

The relationship with your colleagues: 

  1. Keep everyday contact! Use a chat room to greet each other every morning and make small talk throughout the day, just like you used to do in the office! 
  2. Keep up with the social activities! Organize lunches, coffee brakes and after-works through digital channels. These meetings are very important to preserve and develop your relationship.  
  3. Work out together! Take a walk or exercise together, either over video or outdoors where you can keep the physical distance but still spend quality time with each other. 

The relationship with your near and dear ones

  1. Talk over video! Talk to your loved ones often, and preferably over video so that you can see one another. Seeing a friendly face will make you feel calm and closer to each other. 
  2. Do activities together! There are many digital platforms where you and your near ones can do the same things that you used to do. For example watch movies together with Netflix Party, cook together over video or play games with each other in one of the applications in your smartphone. 
  3. Hangout outdoors! Take a walk in the forest or have a picnic in a park together, but keep the distance even when out in nature!

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Leading yourself and others through a crisis

1. Plan and structure For employees: Write a to-do list to create structure. Also, it gives the brain a reward when crossing assignments off the list! Create a home office, a place your mind can associate with productivity. Keep the balance!Make a distinct difference between work and free time by starting and finishing the workday with for example a breathing exercise or a walk. 

For managers: McGregor and Doshi recommend following this weekly rhythm, which was proven to be successful during the finance crisis in 2008. Monday: Hold a performance cycle meeting covering the past week’s lessons and this week’s challenges. Tuesday-Thursday: Individual check-in with each of the team members or smaller groups. Ask about what has felt challenging, rewarding and if they need any help. Friday: Reflect upon the week that has gone by. What is the situation like and how are the employees feeling?

2. Communicate

For employees: The key to successful self-leadership is to get access to the information needed. Clearly express to your manager and colleagues what you need to be able to practice self-leadership and to feel safe during the crisis.  For managers: Communication is one of the most important tools within crisis management. Being clear and transparent is crucial to create trust among the employees. Show yourself available, present and keep regular contact with them.  3. Motivate For employees: Stop and reflect on your dreams and goals, both personal and professional. Do you need to make a change or are you on the right path? By focusing on your goals, you can regain motivation and pursue your personal development.  For managers: To engage the employees by letting them take part in solving important issues showed to be a successful way of increasing motivation during the 2008 crisis. Take in suggestions from the employees to find assignments that engage them. This will help you in your crisis management but will also make you as a team come out even stronger on the other side. 

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Get the most of your workday from home

  1. Begin your workday as you normally would Remember the morning routine you had before the Corona crisis and continue with that same routine even when working from home. Make sure to get ready in the morning just as before, take a shorter morning walk to get some fresh air and structure your working day. 
  2. Create a home office Create an ergonomic and dedicated place in your home where you delimit that space to work-related tasks. Organize that area after what brings you harmony, e.g surround yourself with plants and sit in a room with a lot of natural light to increase your energy during the day. Try to avoid working from your bed or the couch, as your brain associates it with sleep and recovery. 
  3. Schedule your working day Make sure to schedule your working day, planning creates a feeling of order and control which makes you more productive during your day. Don’t forget to make time for lunch, training, and regular breaks to recharge your batteries.
  4. Maintain social interactions It’s of importance to maintain social interactions with your colleagues during the time you spend so much time at home. Therefore, you should make sure to have regular lunches and coffee breaks with your colleagues by using the available technology.
Would you like additional tips on how to optimize your working day from home or do you need help with something else? We would love to help you! 

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Take control of your concerns about the Coronavirus

 
  1. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR WORRY Anxiety and worry are the body’s and the brain’s alarm system that causes us to take action. That’s good as long as the anxiety doesn’t get overwhelming, so you engage in behaviors that aren’t helpful to you. One way of creating balance can be, for example, to search for news about the Coronavirus for only 30 minutes per day.
  2. STOP CONCERN & DWELLING If the concern and dwelling don’t lead anywhere, it’s time to stop. For example, you can test the “two-minute rule”. If you have spent two minutes thinking about the Coronavirus, you can ask yourself if you have come to any new insight or solved a problem. If the answer is no, the worry is completely unnecessary to you. Then it’s time to stop the dwelling process by doing some other type of activity, such as taking a walk, listening to music or talking to a friend.
  3. GET HELP SORTING YOUR THOUGHTS Sometimes it can be challenging to stop thoughts by yourself, especially if you have struggled with them for a long period. Research shows that it’s very effective to put words into one’s emotions. It makes it easier for you to regulate your anxieties or fears. It can be helpful to talk to a professional therapist who can help you manage the concerns and create acceptance for the situation.
Through your employer, you have access to prepaid and anonymous sessions with a therapist via the BlueCall app. You will always get a time within 24 hours. Download the app and we will help you.

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Get in control of your emotions in six easy steps

There are several human emotions; positive, neutral and negative. Joy and interest belong to the positive, surprise to neutral and to the negative emotions include fear, anger, guilt / shame, disgust and sadness. These emotions lead to impulses to act in different ways, for example, the feeling of fear can cause us the impulse to escape, anger to attack, shame to isolate oneself.
  1. NOTICE THE FEELING IN THE BODY The first step is to start observing what feeling you’re getting in the body in a situation. Sometimes it feels direct, and sometimes the feeling can occur much later. Try to recall a situation you’ve been in lately that gave you a strong feeling. What happened? How did it feel in the body? What thoughts emerged? What kind of impulses did you get?
  2. PUT FEELINGS INTO WORDS Did you feel anger, fear, worry, irritation, joy or guilt? According to research it’s very effective to put feelings into words to regulate emotions. When you become aware of what you are feeling, you get better contact with your bodily signals, which in turn leads you to a greater extent to eg. Get recovery or set limits for yourself.
  3. ALLOW THE FEELING Feelings can be scary and sometimes we become scared when we feel strongly about different situations. But let’s clarify one thing: emotions are NEVER dangerous. Therefore, try to allow it, if only for a short while. The feeling usually fades in strength if we do nothing to strengthen it or push it away.
  4. CREATE AN UNDERSTANDING Why did you get this feeling in the first place? Do you want to change something in the situation or in your behavior that can help you avoid these types of events, or act smarter in the future? Do you need to ask others to do something different, say no to others or ask for help? Then it may be appropriate to make a plan to implement the intended changes.
  5. GIVE YOURSELF COMFORT Comfort yourself if it was a situation that was uncomfortable or painful for you. Sometimes it can be painful to be human, but that is exactly what it means to be human. Emotions give a signal that something has happened and help us to direct our attention.
  6. ACTIVATE YOURSELF It is time to activate yourself and let yourself be met by what life has to offer. Do what you intend to do, whether it’s paying bills, having a party for the kids or going out with friends. The feeling may linger for a while, and it’s just as it should be. Let it do, but don’t let it decide on how you act.
If you would like more tips on how to regulate your emotions or have something else you would like to get help with, we are here for you!    

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