Be sure to have a digital detox: maintaining your mental health under COVID-19

Luke Broomhall, Forensic Psychologist, in conversation

Luke Broomhall, Forensic Pschologist and Director of PsychCheck.

Late last month Luke Broomhall was interviewed by the South Australian Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Erma Ranieri, as part of the COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing Interview Series.

Luke, a Forensic Psychologist and Director of PsychCheck, spoke about the mental health impacts of COVID-19, working from home, and work-life balance.

‘One of the major challenges — and this does relate to mental health as much as it does to service delivery and business within the public sector — is to be agile, is to be adaptive, is to be able to say, “Well, this is the way we’ve done things for a long period of time but these challenges we have at the moment necessitate change”.

So we must think more flexibly about how we engage — not only with the work that we undertake but how that work is undertaken.’

Luke spoke about working from home, which he said could be very isolating:

‘People can crave that social contact, they can lose the boundary between work and home.

So healthy habits in working from home are really important… ensuring that you have a dedicated work space at home where work is undertaken — that’s not in the bedroom, but there’s one place where you go and sit and you work.

That you plan breaks, that you keep in touch with supervisors and colleagues. That you ensure you get out of the house and go for a bit of a walk.

That you have a digital detox at the end of the day… we’re so stuck to our phones and ipads and computers.’

And he dived into more detail on what he saw the concept of ‘agility’ as being all about:

‘The idea of agility is to be able to challenge yourself, to look at your dominant paradigms of thinking…

…Perhaps… the biggest part of agility is embracing change that is scary and uncomfortable and unknown.

And that to me is one of the biggest challenges we face: is being honest with ourselves and saying, “Look, that hasn’t worked” or “It’s not working now, here’s a better way of doing it — ok let’s move, and let’s do it, and let’s see if it can work”.’

During the interview Luke answered several questions sourced from IPAA SA members and the wider South Australian public sector.

A link to a video of the interview is available below.

On the Couch
with Luke Broomhall