With mental health being such a hot topic, especially in the world of work, it is important to have coping mechanisms in place to be able to deal with the pressures of an office environment.
The following article aims to highlight 5 simple yet efficient ways to improve our mental health within the workplace.
We spend the majority of our week at work, often under some amount of pressure or stress which inevitably we end up taking home with us from time to time. Work related anxiety can be a difficult one to manage as stress can sometimes be unavoidable in work situations. However, by undertaking some or all of the following steps, you can make progress towards managing some of that workplace anxiety.
If there are aspects of work causing you undue stress, then it may be worthwhile discussing these concerns with a member of your team, your manager or even a HR professional within your organisation. If you fail to raise the issues you are having within the business, the less likely they are to be resolved.
While employers and employees alike may be more comfortable discussing physical health, the same can’t be said when it comes to mental health. However, attitudes are changing and more and more people are beginning to make mental health a priority at work. Mental health initiatives and programmes are on the rise in the workplace. If this isn’t on offer within your organisation at the moment, then perhaps it’s something which could be brought to the attention of HR as something which you feel may be of benefit to you and your colleagues.
Physical exercise is proven to release happy endorphins and promote positive mental health. Engaging in some form of physical activity (even if it’s just 30 minutes) every day can be hugely beneficial in improving your mood and the way you feel. If you struggle to find the time before or after work, then why not try get in a walk or head to the gym during your lunch break? Once you get into a regular routine of practicing exercise regularly, you will notice an improvement in your mood and general well being very rapidly.
There is no point in keeping your body physically healthy through exercise if you have a poor diet. What you put into your body has a direct effect on how you feel, both mentally and physically. Avoiding too much sugar and junk food, and bringing in a homemade lunch even 3 out of 5 days a week can result in overall healthier choices and hence a healthier mindset. Avoiding excessive alcohol use, particularly midweek, can also help with your mood. By following a healthy diet and exercise plan you are putting yourself in the best possible position to manage your mental health.
If you feel isolated at work, it is not going to help your mental health. As you spend a copious amount of time at work, ensuring that you have healthy relationships with your colleagues can make a significant difference in how happy you are within the workplace. If you make an effort to integrate with others in the office, and not just those on your team or in your department, it can make things a lot easier in the long run, and will also mean there are more people available for you to discuss any concerns or issues you may be facing in the workplace.
Getting involved in work committees or initiatives can be a great way of meeting people. Social club committees are an example of something which can be found in most workplaces and can help you build relationships with those around you.
Following on from the previous point, regardless of your role or level in work, being mindful of others’ mental health is also very important. It will also help you strengthen your relationships with others as discussed above, and help other people to empathise and relate with you.
Not only that, but it will help create a positive atmosphere within the office, and take away some of the stigma which still remains surrounding mental health within the workplace. Talking about an issue, no matter how small it may seem, can often be the key to resolving it.
Sometimes, if problems persist or become overwhelming, you may need to seek professional help, whether that be from a GP or a counselor. You may be able to source this through work, and in some cases such options are subsidised. It can be worthwhile having a chat with a friend, colleague or family member first to see which option may be the best for you at a particular time.
Trying the above steps before going ahead and seeking professional help may be worthwhile for some to see if it makes any difference. If not, then make sure to be aware that help is always available, and particularly if your mental health issues are predominantly work related, it can be worthwhile speaking to a HR professional or figure of authority within the business.
We hope that you find some of the above 5 points beneficial and that they may help you someway in terms of improving your mood and managing your mental health within the workplace. As mental health is becoming more and more of a commonly spoken about topic, it is therefore important that you are proactive in addressing issues which may be bothering you in and outside of work.