Keeping a Handle on Your Mental Health at Work

Once reaching adulthood, much of the ‘life you lead’ is spent at work, so it’s no surprise that this can have a huge influence over your well-being. Employment presents many opportunities to feel fulfilled and satisfied, however, it can also cultivate feelings of being stressed that may jeopardise your mental and physical health. Let’s have a look at some methods to promote well-being in the work-place.

Communication is key

If you are experiencing pro-longed discontent or struggling with your mental health at work, it is important to voice these concerns to a line-manager so that they can be addressed and hopefully resolved. Without an open discussion, changes are unlikely to be made and your working day – working week – the life you lead can become a serious barrier to your well-being. Equally, employers can promote healthy conversation by creating a safe environment to do so and ensuring their employees are aware of this facility.

Stress is something that effects everyone differently, stress is best combated not by a quick fix, but by truthfully expressing your concerns with a line-manager and working to resolve them at the time and in the long run.

To lunch or not to lunch? The answer is to lunch!

Most of us know the answer to this question is to lunch, however we may not quite know why. Psychology Today has a great articlediscussing the benefits of taking regular breaks and how these can help your brain. For example, ‘taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative’ and ‘just a 5-minute walkabout break every hour can improve your health and well-being.’

The next time you feel yourself becoming distracted, un-motivated or stressed, consider taking a short break. Just a couple of minutes. Leaving your work behind to take a proper lunch break is also very important, however, if a full hour is just not feasible, make the effort to take a few 10-15-minute breaks from time to time throughout the day. Whether you make yourself a drink or step outside to get some fresh air, simply leaving your desk space is a great tool to unwind and rejuvenate.

Creating a successful work-life balance

Logging in at 9am, out at 5pm and forgetting work beyond these hours certainly isn’t the reality of employment and isn’t the solution to creating a work-life balance. A good start is to create a clear distinction between your working-life and your home-life and setting barriers that work for you. Many people commit to staying at the office for an extra couple of hours to avoid taking work home. An effective way to separate work from your home-life is to remove your work emails from your phone or to turn the notifications off at close of play. If you must check your emails in the evening, restrict this to checking on a laptop or desktop and avoid working in spaces such as your living room or bedroom.

Another beneficial barrier to create, one that can be especially challenging for senior positions is really ‘being on holiday’ when you take annual leave.  If you feel that your emails and workload really cannot be put on pause until your return, perhaps this is a conversation you should have with your employer. Outline any concerns that prevent you from leaving your work during holidays and discuss potential solutions that would allow you to do so.

Our time at work should be taken into consideration when checking in with our well-being. Sometimes, even a small change can make a big difference and steps such as an honest conversation or some fresh air can really add up to promote good mental and physical health.

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