We recently sat down with Psychotherapist Toni Brooks, to discuss the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on product managers and everyone else. This has been a difficult time for everyone. That’s why Christina Lucey thought it’d be a good idea to bring in a professional to talk about what we can do to manage. It’s a part of our Product Talk podcast series on “The Role of Product in a Pandemic.”
The mental health impact of COVID-19 cannot be minimized. Everyone has been affected in some way. Whether it’s working from home, the loss of a job, or working where you could be in harm’s way. Toni Brooks took the time to share some tips to help manage whether you’re a product manager or just a person. If you’d like to hear the full episode of Product Talk with Toni Brooks, you can listen above. Otherwise, the highlights are listed below.
Also, check out our other episodes from this series. First, we had the Give Oxygen Co-Founder on “Innovating Products for a Pandemic.” Then we had Butterfly Network VP of Product on “Democratizing Healthcare Products.”
One potential long-term mental health impact of COVID-19
Hopefully, right now people are understanding the need for self-care and putting a focus on it. Brooks hopes it’s for good.
“I’m hoping that one of the things that comes out of this time is that we elevate the place of self-care. That people start to see how critically important it is and how much taking that time actually adds to what we contribute to the world, not detracts from it.”
On how to lead in stressful times
Leadership can be hard enough under normal circumstances. Brooks suggested one approach during this new normal.
“One of the things I’ve noticed in the last several years is that people from the business world who I work with are starting to use the word empathy. I think it’s fantastic that it’s come into the language of business. In order to have empathy, we need to be able to really listen to another person.”
On what to do if you’ve lost your job during this pandemic
The mental health impact of COVID-19 can be especially difficult for those who have found themselves out of work.
“Let the people who you trust and who you know have your back, let them be there for you. Let them support you. Take pride and put it on the shelf. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and allow yourself to be seen.”
About the host
Christina is a product leader with a passion for crafting. After six internships and four years studying computer science at the University of Waterloo, she found product management. After a few years of building a foundation in execution, she launched her first product at BlackBerry in 2011. Since then she been hooked on crafting new digital things ever since. Her efforts on growth and mobile helped propel Yammer towards acquisition. Following that, Christina headed up product at early stage companies twice. Currently she’s at Credit Karma where she is the leader for new product initiatives. When she’s not crafting products or podcasting, you can find her reading, cooking, working on her fitness, or channeling her inner Martha Stewart.