Mental health problems at work are really common – as you’re reading this, 1 in 6 of your colleagues are dealing with some form of mental ill health, with depression, anxiety and stress the key culprits.
No one is immune from mental health problems, but there are things you can be doing now to help improve your wellbeing and protect yourself. In this guide, we take a look at just a few easy steps you can take.
We’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but exercise really is a great way of combating a range of common mental health problems. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you get – whether you walk to work, nip to the gym at lunch, or join a work’s sport team, all exercise releases positive brain chemicals and is a great way to relieve stress.
Busy work lives can make it difficult to take the time to be sociable, but getting to know your colleagues, interacting with them and building relationships at work is an integral part of protecting yourself from mental ill health. Holding or participating in group activities, sports and social events, and taking part in sponsored group challenges is a great place to start.
Reclaim your lunch
Whenever possible, make sure you take all the breaks you are entitled to, and don’t do any work activities during this time – this will help you to relax and reduce your stress levels. Make the most of this time, doing something you want to do, whether that’s listening to music, reading a book, speaking to your friends, playing a game, or going to the gym.
Sometimes, it can feel that your workload is overwhelming, and that you simply don’t have enough time in the day, causing unnecessary pressure and stress. To make things seem more manageable, it’s important to get organised – writing a to do list, prioritising tasks, and ticking them off as you finish them will help.
Separate work from home
Often, people find it difficult to separate their work life from their home life, which can lead to it taking over and impacting on wellbeing. Use your commute to and from work to debrief, distress and process the day, so you can relax when you get home. If you have to work from home, make sure you do it in a designated area, which will make it much easier to switch off once you’ve finished.
Build a better work life balance
If you’re constantly working late, doing extra work at home on evenings or weekends, or missing your breaks – it’s time to start looking at your work life balance.
It’s important that you take the time to unwind, and do the things you like to do, and failure to take enough leisure time to spend on hobbies, and with your friends and family will have a negative impact on your wellbeing and mental health.
Don’t suffer in silence
If your work is piling up, or you feel that you’re struggling to cope, don’t suffer in silence – tell someone! Discuss your workload with a supervisor and manager, and make sure you get the support you feel you need.
Get clued up on mental health
One of the best ways of protecting yourself from mental ill health is to increase your knowledge and understanding about the subject. By taking advantage of any mental health training your workplace offers, you’ll be better equipped to recognise the warning signs, and to effectively manage your own wellbeing in the event that you start to suffer from mental ill health.
How Mindworks can help
At Mindworks, we offer a full range tailored mental health training and consultancy services, designed to help businesses to improve mental health management across their organisations.
With courses covering everything from mental health awareness and workplace stress, to performance management, our expert teams are here to help your organisation to save money, and improve wellbeing and performance.
Find out more by calling 01482 240134, or by emailing email@example.com