Mental Health has become one of the most talked about topics in the media and as Mental Health Awareness Week commences, this is an opportune time for us to continue heading in the right direction of increasing awareness and understanding.
When thinking about Mental Health in the workplace, stress is one of the most topical subjects to consider. For most of us, work is where we spend the majority of our time and if we feel stressed on a continued basis, we are likely to take this home from work too. Every single person deals with stress in different ways, but understanding how people suffer and more importantly how we can help ourselves and each other is extremely important.
That being said, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some simple yet effective coping mechanisms which we hope can help. Finding ways to control your mind can have so many benefits both in and outside of work. Whether it’s openly talking about your mental health, confiding in someone when you’re having a bad day, taking a walk on your lunch break or simply organising your workspace, these can all help facilitate positivity.
- Prioritising – make to-do lists, check items off, do the less ‘pleasant’ tasks first, breaking larger tasks into smaller steps to make them more manageable can help digest information and make a stressful day seem more achievable.
- Taking a break – it’s beneficial to move away from your work environment by taking a walk around the office or even to make a drink etc. this can help take your mind off a stressful situation and put you in a much calmer frame of mind.
- Eat healthy snacks – Experts say eat little and often is healthier for your digestive system as well as your brain, this is proven to help improve energy and focus whilst preventing mood swings. A simple tip is to opt for fruit instead of other sugary snacks. It’s easy for us to think we’re hungry when in a matter of fact we’re bored or dehydrated!
- Drink water – It’s important to keep well hydrated during the day as this keeps our energy levels up and allows us to stay focused. It’s recommended that we drink 2-3 litres of water each day!
- Organise your workspace – a tidy desk = a clear mindset! Keep your workspace clear as clutter can make us feel more stressed. By making lists or organising your desk, our brain can file away tasks and help calm our stress levels.
- Be active – exercise or take a walk in the morning or at lunch, thus helps to lift your mood, increase energy levels, increase focus and think clearer. Just 30 minutes of activity each day (can even break into 10 /15-minute slots) can have a huge impact on your mood (whilst improving your shape… bonus!).
- Set yourself goals/challenges – big or small, it’s great to keep aiming towards a goal! Whether this is writing more lists, aiming towards a promotion or simply taking time away from your desk, each goal will factor into improving your mental health.
- Work smarter not longer – It’s not always beneficial to put in long hours as our brain can only focus and work smart for so long. Prioritising and focusing on the important tasks will make your workday easier and more enjoyable.
- Reach out – speak to colleagues/family/ friends and ask for support. It’s important to discuss your workload with your manager if it’s getting too much and have an open and honest conversation. Help your Line Manager understand where you’re struggling and they will be able to offer their help and support!
- Get enough sleep – its recommended to sleep for around 7-8 hours per night. Try and make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time every day as keeping yourself in a routine helps keep your mind at ease. Getting up early and waking up with a fresh, positive mind will have huge positive effects on your mind and body.
- Get organised – Arriving at work 5 / 10 minutes earlier than normal help avoids rushing around and creates a more calming start to the day.
- Be kind (to yourself and others) – Give off positive vibes can only lead to receiving positive vibes in return. Helping others and building working relationships will have strong benefits. But don’t feel pressured and don’t be afraid to say ‘No’.
- Develop ‘end of day habits’ – This can have huge benefits for ending the working day or returning the next day, whether this is tidying your workspace, washing your dishes or even making a list for the following day. This will allow your brain to switch off and feel relieved that you’re prepared and ready to go the next morning.
- Stay away from conflict – avoid conflict at work as much as possible, it can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. If something is bothering you, speak to a manager or a trusted colleague and express your feelings. This may help resolve any issues in the work environment and can be beneficial for everyone!
If you need any more information or support, take a look at https://www.mind.org.uk, this is a fantastic charity who support and offer professional help where needed. More blog posts