Mental health is the biggest stigma in the media at the moment with more people coming forward to talk about their own challenges. According to Mind Charity, “at least one in six workers are experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.”
Stress in the workplace is one of the biggest factors to people’s mental health as we spend 40+ hours a week in our job. However, work life spirals into home life, money problems, personal issues and working relationships. This can put a lot of pressure onto people to uphold the ‘perfect’ lifestyle and be able to balance everything life throws at them without voicing their struggles. This needs to change. The stigma needs addressing and we shouldn’t feel ashamed that we’re struggling, especially at work.
There are many ways we can cope with stress and every person is different so it’s important to understand what works for you and not what works for everyone else.
Talking to someone can be the most challenging thing to do but can also be the most beneficial. Finding someone who you can trust and confide in will ensure the problems that you’re facing are not being dealt with alone. A lot of the stress that comes with work can usually be resolved and there may be other people in the workplace who are feeling the same way.
Keeping organised may come more naturally to others but keeping a tidy working area can keep your mind settled and your stress levels low. Organisation can be anything from making lists, tidying paperwork or filtering your emails into folders. The smallest change can make the biggest difference to your mental health.
Drinking 2-3 litres of water of a day can seem impossible but it’s vital that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Keeping your brain hydrated, can keep you motivated, help concentration and keep your mood high. Most of us are guilty of drinking copious amounts of caffeine to keep us going, but realistically a glass of water can have a bigger impact than you think!
As well as drinking water throughout the day, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a great way to keep your mind-set active. We all know the feeling of caving into temptation of unhealthy foods and then feeling sluggish, tired and bloated. This can have a negative impact on your mental health as you aren’t fuelling your body with the right nutrients. Keeping a healthy(ish) diet during the working day can make you feel a lot better than you think!
Whether you’re working within an office based environment, a retailer in a shop or a labourer in a factory, we’re all guilty of staying indoors for 9+ hours at work. Fresh air is a fantastic way to clear your mind and going for a walk will help pump blood circulation around your body. Taking a few minutes away from your desk or away from your working environment can have an automatic refresh on your brain and you’ll find you’ll be ready to get back into work after your lunch.
One of the biggest challenges we face with mental health is reaching out and asking for help. We shouldn’t be ashamed that we’re struggling and workforces need to support their employees if they aren’t coping well. According to Mind, “more than one in five agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how the workplace stress had affected them.” This ratio is significant and can have a knock-on effect throughout the workplace, to cover absences and the issues employees face. It is everyone’s responsibility to support each other, help when someone is struggling and confront the issues when they arise.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Stress can build up overtime and finding ways to solve the issues can be difficult but after exercising, the endorphins you release can help give you a fresh outlook on a situation or even give your mind that break it needs. Exercise is great for helping sleep better, relieve stress, improve your memory, boost your mood and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In the UK alone, approximately 1 in 4 people suffer with Mental Health problems. This means at least a handful of people around you will be suffering and whether they’re open to talk about it or not, we all deserve the same support. Ask your friends, family and colleagues if they’re doing okay and offer help where needed. This could be as simple as just listening or making them a cup of tea. The smallest gestures can go a long way, especially in the work place. Below are some interesting statistics from Mind:
If you know someone who is struggling or if you’re struggling yourself, speak out! Mind is a fantastic Mental Health organisation, we would highly suggest to take a look at their website for further information.
Mind Charity website - https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-your-staff/More news posts
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