On average, you will probably spend more time at work than you do at home. This is why it’s hugely important to choose a career path that you enjoy, and an environment that you will thrive in.
Despite this, there are many occasions when it can all feel a bit too much. Whether it’s stress from a high-pressure situation in the office, or something at home is affecting your state of mind, it’s safe to say that everyone has had a bad day at work.
Mental health support is becoming a much more important aspect in many work environments, from offices to labs and warehouses. Whether you struggle with your mental health, or you know someone else who does, there are 5 key points that can help to foster a positive conversation surrounding mental health.
The first step in supporting in mental health is sometimes the hardest; talking about it. You have probably either felt too anxious to speak out about your own mental health, or perhaps have felt as though you were interfering by asking someone else about theirs.
However, talking can often help you work through a problem much more logically, especially with someone else’s advice. Whether it’ a best friend, work colleague, sibling or a professional counsellor, talking about it out loud can help you.
At work, it’s important to find a colleague who you feel at ease with, and someone who you know will be supportive. If you have a senior position within the company and you are seen being open about how you feel, it will absolutely encourage others to do the same.
2. Staying Active
It often sounds like a cliché, but doing some exercise can do wonders for your mood. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day, but this is a great idea. You can also use your lunch break to talk a walk out in the fresh air.
Staying active through the week can boost your self-esteem and will also help you to sleep better, which is a huge factor in your mental health. Encourage your team or colleagues to get involved in something sporty; making it something you actually enjoy doing is often half the battle.
Particularly if you work in an office environment, doing something active is so important after sitting in front of a screen all day.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet
What you eat can affect how you feel in the long run. If you disregard healthy foods for convenience, you can sometimes end up feeling sluggish and tired as the day goes on. Plan your meals and bring in food from home to deter from any bad habits.
Many office environments now invest in a ready supply of fruit and healthy snacks for staff to try and encourage a healthy workspace. If you feel physically healthy, this often transfers to feeling much better from a mental health point of view.
If you are feeling particularly stressed, avoid caffeine where possible as this can sometimes exacerbate the symptoms.
4. Maintain Good Relationships
When it comes to your colleagues, it’s important that everyone feels secure and confident. It’s important to be respectful of each other, as well as sensitive to each other’s moods when possible. You often don’t have a choice in who you work with, so make the best of it!
Making sure you are part of a supportive team can be incredibly helpful in supporting mental health at work. It’s also key to learn how to deal with tension or negativity amongst your team. Work politics can present many challenges, so ensure you have a few good relationships you can rely on when times get tough.
This extends to family and home relationships too. Work-life balance is a huge factor in matters of mental health.
5. Ask for Help
No one should have to suffer in silence, even if you think you should feel embarrassed about it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious or just unable to cope, it’s important that you have someone in mind you can ask for help. It is likely that your company has a programme in place for this, but if not, a trusted colleague is the next best thing.
If you need to use your annual leave and give yourself a break, you are more than entitled!
No matter how you’re feeling at work, it’s important to be supportive of each other and open the chance for a conversation about mental health.