Six steps to improving mental wellbeing at work
Posted on Oct 12, 2017 by Richard
Three in five employees have experienced mental health issues in the past year because of work, according to YouGov. What steps can be taken to improve wellbeing in the workplace?
Picked up this very interesting article from the Guardian on-line. It's quite lengthy, but I will try and summarise it.
Identify your triggers
Work out what is triggering your stress or poor mental health. They could linked to certain tasks at work, one-off events like doing presentations, as well as regular issues such as interviews or appointments. Remember that not having enough work or activities or change in your life can be as stressful as having too much!
Manage your hours
Managing when and where you work can be helpful. All employees have the right to request flexible working for any reason, and this can include switching your shifts, working different hours and sometimes working from home. Working from home can be beneficial to helping reduce stress by removing the commute to work, which can free up more family or You time.
When you leave work, actually leave work! Phone off and laptop off! If you work from home then close the door to the room you use as an office. Scrolling through emails after work doesn't give your brain anytime to switch off. Tom Oxley, lead consultant at Bamboo Mental Health comments, "There's no such thing as a work/life balance. You think about home life when you're at work and work life when you're at home and in truth, they are both integrated. That doesn't mean you have to be 'constantly on' though.
Talk about it
It can be difficult for people to open up about mental health concerns. Employers can easily spot someone coming into work on crutches and arrange suitable help, but it takes more awareness to pick up on the subtle signs of declining mental health. Often people are not aware that they can access confidential counselling paid for by their employer. This can be with services such as A Space For Me, where counselling costs can be directly paid by the employer or reimbursed afterwards. Talking about your mental health is proven to help, and this can begin with a talk about counselling services with your employer.
Eat, sleep, exercise
When you're not at work, pack in plenty of healthy food, sleep and exercise, says Oxley. It's well known that these can all boost our mental and physical health. Being outdoors can also help. Going for a 15 minute walk during the day can help clear your mind.
Don't be too hard on yourself
Very often we don't need our boss or colleagues to give us a hard time as we're really good at doing that ourselves. If you're struggling at work, give yourself some space. This could mean taking a few days off, requesting flexible working or getting some support outside of work. Accessing counselling can also help. Therapeutic models such as Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, providing by A Space For Me, can help you to work on unhealthy beliefs that may be behind feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth.