Looking after your Mental Health in the workplace
Published: 17 May 2018 By Illesse Uppal
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve compiled some key advice, tips and materials to help you look after your mental health at work.
Affecting one in four people in the UK yearly, mental health problems are more common than people think. Not only can it affect your personal life but can also have an impact on your work life, with 13% of sick days being linked to mental health conditions.
Considering the amount of time spent at work, it’s no surprise that work place stress can have a detrimental affect on your mental wellbeing. Here we have some steps you can take to help you deal with the pressures at work.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Stress and mental health concerns don’t carry the same stigma they once did, and more people are finding the bravery to talk about their needs. Don’t be afraid to bring this up with your manager to help prioritise work and balance your time.
Work – life balance
Having a poor work life balance can leave you feeling drained and unmotivated. There are little things you can to start to improve this such as taking short breaks throughout the day, including a lunch break away from your desk to re-energise. You should also consider booking some time or a long weekend from work to spend some time nurturing your personal relationships and hobbies. It’s important that you don’t let work become your life. A good way to manage your balance better is to develop end of day habits such as tidying your desk or creating tomorrows to do list to help you switch off for the day. For more advice on work life balance, click here.
Lack of support
Having a good support system is crucial to help you deal with your mental health welfare. If you aren’t feeling supported by your direct line manager, you can try speaking to others in your company or approaching the HR department or a trade union. Having a work friend or mentor during this time can also be great support and release when things get too much.
Looking after your mental health also means looking after yourself.
Here are a few things you can try to help build resilience and cope with your mental health issues:
- Recognise the signs when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed and communicate this with your manager.
- Once you start to recognise the signs, try a few coping techniques to help you de-stress. Here are some ideas you can try.
- Remember to breathe. Focusing on your breathing can help you calm down in a stressful situation and improve your wellbeing. Take a few minutes to try these simple breathing exercises from Mind.
- Look after your physical health. Exercising regularly can improve your general wellbeing and also help you sleep better. It’s also important to eat right as people who are feeling mentally unwell tend to lose their appetite or eat the wrong foods. Take a look at this article from Mind on how food can affect your mood.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed after trying some of these steps, remember there are people you can talk to who can help: