Life can feel like an uphill struggle sometimes for anyone, and if you’re struggling at work it can have a major impact on your daily mood because we tend to spend a large proportion of our time at work/working. It can seem like an overwhelming task to work out how we can be happier/more productive/more settled in our daily jobs, but actually, it’s surprisingly simple. It follows that to increase your basic level of happiness it just takes a basic level of effort to see these changes being made. Trying to make sweeping changes in your life and diet is rarely an effective way to start moving forward, it’s very easy to overwhelm yourself.
Thanks to PMAC for providing these tips to help you take care of workplace mental health. Taking part in mental health awareness training is an excellent way of introducing the vital concepts of creating and maintaining good mental health in the workplace. Having solid strategies in place to recognise and accommodate employees who struggle with ill mental health is crucial to managing good business performance.
Quick mental health tips
- Make the most of your lunch break. It’s tempting to stay at your desk, glued to TikTok and eating a crisp sandwich, but try getting out and about and plan your lunches in advance so they’re vaguely healthy at least. It doesn’t have to be haute cuisine, a pasta salad with your choice of protein is quick and simple to make and far better for you.
- Watch your work/life balance. This can be a large area that you need to overhaul, especially if you’ve fallen into the trap of bringing your work home with you. Try setting an automatic out-of-office message up on your email so when you shut the door at the end of the day, the work stays behind it. Or if it’s necessary for you to work in the evenings then set a specific time period and after that time close the laptop and silence the phone. Creating clear boundaries is an excellent way of ensuring that you have that all-important downtime.
- If you’re stressed at work and struggling to focus because of people around you, have a pair of earphones handy so you can pop them in and help to refocus yourself. It’s very easy to get distracted by other people talking or loud music playing.
- Start a ‘to-do’ list. A simple initiative that can help you streamline your time and prioritise tasks, meaning that you feel more in control.
- Use the time on your commute home to wind down. Read a book, listen to music, try getting off the bus/train one stop early so you can fit in some exercise, anything like this can really help you switch off.
Four important steps to improved mental wellbeing at work
These are just four simple steps to improving your mental wellbeing on a daily basis. Following these is an excellent way to start thinking about how you can improve your daily working life.
There’s strong evidence that feeling close to and valued by others is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. Time and time again social relationships have been shown to be critical for promoting wellbeing and acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. Try and increase your personal interaction with others around you: pick up the phone and speak to someone rather than email, ask someone how their evening/weekend was and really listen to the answer, put five minutes aside to ask someone how they’re getting on, consider sharing transport with a colleague to and from work.
2. Be active
Regular physical activity has been associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Study after study has shown how essential it is to stay active, especially when it comes to slowing age-related cognitive decline and promoting mental wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be intense or excessive, even slow-paced activities like walking and golf are a good form of exercise. If you want to up your activity level, you could try:
- Walking during your lunchbreak.
- Taking the stairs rather than the lift.
- Walk to work (or part of the way).
- Organise a work sporting activity.
- Fit in some simple exercise before work, stretching or yoga are good ones to try, you can find free tutorials on YouTube and you don’t need an enormous space to do it.
- Walk to someone’s desk rather than emailing or calling. A simple change, but it might help you rack up those steps!
3. Take notice
Taking notice of your surroundings can strengthen and broaden your awareness. Just having this awareness of what is taking place right here and right now directly enhances wellbeing and savouring the moment can go a long way to re-affirm your life priorities. It’s all too easy to get stressed and start doubting yourself, but if you force your brain to slow down and appreciate what’s around you it can lower stress levels and leave you feeling more positive and re-energised. Put a plant on your desk, make time to clear any clutter from it, walk a different route to work or try somewhere new for lunch.
4. Ask for help
If you feel that your workload is spiraling out of control, take the opportunity to discuss it with your manager/supervisor, they should be willing to listen and help you where you need it. If you can’t resolve the problem of unrealistic goals, organization issues or deadlines in this way then remember – you DO have options. Go to the personnel department, approach a trade union rep or contact other relevant members of staff. Don’t feel lost, there will be help out there for you.
We are the experts when it comes to interacting with others for workplace solutions. We recognise that not everyone has the necessary skills for maximising their professional performance and we have a range of courses designed to help both employee and employer deal with situations that require top-notch communication. Get in contact with us today to find out how we can help your professional and personal development in the workplace.