Looking after your mental health at work

Today is World Mental Health Day. Looking after your mental health at work can be challenging but it is very important. Here is a list of things you can do to prioritise your own mental health at work:

 

1. CONNECT WITH NATURE WHERE YOU CAN

It has been demonstrated that getting outside and experiencing nature can help with mental health.

First, breathing in some fresh air helps your brain receive more oxygen, which boosts your mental capacity. Second, the peaceful environment you encounter in nature lowers tension and elevates your mood, even to the point where just 40 seconds of nature viewing can assist your brain relax and increase your sense of wellness.

So if you’re able to, take some time to spend outside during your working day – even if it’s just for a few minutes. And if you’re working from home and are fortunate to have some outdoor space, consider using your breaks to do some gardening – there are many positive affects gardening has on our mental wellbeing.

2. TRY BREATHING EXERCISES

Exercises that focus on breathing might help you relax and take charge of your emotions.

They not only assist you in gathering your thoughts but also in letting go of any tension you may be holding and calming your nervous system. Since you may perform breathing exercises whenever you choose and from any location, including your workplace, the restroom, by the coffee maker, or on public transportation, they are simple to include into your daily plan.

3. CONSIDER CHANGING YOUR WORKING PATTERN

We all have different needs when it comes to how we create our best work.

Where possible, consider changing your work schedule or routine to better suit your mental health and wellbeing, as this can enable you to feel more productive. Ask yourself, would you feel more focused if you started work earlier in the day and finished earlier than 5pm? Do you feel more relaxed when working from an open environment such as a café or a co-working space? Would these changes also give you more time to yourself and create a greater sense of balance in your life?

If your work allows, open up the conversation about flexible working with your manager or a colleague you trust, and see what they can do to support you.

4. REACH OUT TO YOUR MANAGER OR COLLEAGUES

Sharing your vulnerabilities and requesting assistance when you need it requires courage.

Reach out to a trusted colleague or your manager if you feel comfortable doing so to discuss any worries you may have, whether you are having trouble keeping up with your workload or meeting deadlines or you are feeling motivated to help your company create a mental health policy.

While speaking up and discussing your mental health at work can be intimidating, as the saying goes, a problem halved is a problem solved. Therefore, talking to someone you trust is one of the most empowering things you can do if you feel like you need help.

5. ASK FOR HELP

It may be time to seek assistance, whether it comes from a colleague, your manager, or the human resources division, if your mental health is negatively affecting your ability to do your job.

Keep in mind that you are not alone in battling with your mental health; 1 in 6.8 of us are said to face such issues at work. Your business can support you in a variety of ways, such by hosting a Mental Health Day, giving you access to helpful resources or a person you can trust, or by exploring reasonable accommodations like a flexible schedule.

6. MAKE SURE YOU ARE KEEPING ACTIVE

One of the most recommended ways to maintain your mental health and well-being is to stay active. This can be challenging, though, if your profession demands you to spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or standing still.

Think about the various simple ways you might include fitness into your workday. It’s not necessary to schedule a spin class for lunch; it might be as easy as using the stairs rather than the elevator or going for a 15-minute walk in the afternoon. To ensure you are moving during the day while working from home, try giving yourself a reason to leave the kitchen table or your home office at least once.

7. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS WHERE POSSIBLE

It is crucial to take regular breaks during the working day and week, regardless of whether you are currently stressed out or feeling mentally well.

Even though it may be challenging to get away from your desk for little periods of time if you are really busy, taking even a short break will benefit both your productivity and mental health. Try to break up the day with regular breaks and where you can, engage in something you enjoy for a brief amount of time. It could be as simple as going to the post office, reading a book that makes you feel better, or performing some stretches to change your physical state.

8. CHECK-IN WITH OTHERS

One of the simplest and most practical ways to take care of your mental health is to interact with friends or loved ones.

If you’re at work, consider having coffee with a close colleague, calling a relative during lunch, or just sending a message to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Evidence suggests that these relationships significantly impact our mental well-being by elevating our sense of happiness and elevating our sense of self-worth.

9. ENGAGE IN AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY

Even if work will take up a significant portion of your day, you can still find time for an enjoyable hobby or activity.

In addition to lowering stress, participating in your favorite activity can help increase confidence and self-esteem because we can take great delight in doing something we enjoy and are good at. Even for a small period of time, focusing on this activity can help us block out other worries from work or life and lift our spirits.

10. EXPLORE ACCEPTANCE

It’s crucial to keep in mind that we are all only human and that everyone suffers both good and bad days when it comes to our mental health.

Try practicing acceptance if you are having problems with your mental health at work. Your rough days are not a reflection of your accomplishments, and they won’t stay forever. Try to accept the way you are feeling without passing judgment and with kindness to yourself rather than mentally going over the reasons why you are anxious, overwhelmed, or depressed. Remind yourself that going through a challenging moment is normal, that it does not define who you are, and that there are many things you can do to help yourself.

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