Mental Health at Work: A Bigger Priority Than Ever Before
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Now, more than ever, each of us needs to take care of our mental health, how we feel, react, and deal with different situations. No one should feel alone, without support or needed help. We are spending around 40 hours per week at the workplace so having an excellent working atmosphere, great team and fulfilling job can significantly influence our overall well being.
If you feel good, you will be able to:
- fulfill your full potential – be focused and motivated, learn new skills, have a good work performance
- be able to go through different challenges, ups, and downs
- be an integral part of your team, company, and wider community
However, sometimes a person can go into distress when they aren’t coping with the challenges. How would you know if you were feeling distressed?
- You are making uncharacteristic mistakes
- Looking or feeling very tired or drained
- Feeling hopeless or find it hard to motivate ourselves
- Having trouble sleeping or eating
- Feeling worthless, useless, and like a burden to others
- Isolating yourselves, avoid colleagues or appear distracted
- Experiencing outbursts of anger or emotion
Please pay attention to all those signs considering that they can tell you something is not going well. In case you are reading this and have in mind your coworker, give him\her your support.
But what can you do about it? There are some steps that we can take to improve our mental health and build our resilience.
- Be kind to yourself – you cannot always be successful in everything – failure is part of life, and it is ok to be down. Have self-compassion and give yourself credit for everything you are doing or going through.
- Talk to others – identify someone reliable and feel comfortable to share your thoughts, fears and feelings (colleague, manager, friend or family member). Talking about your feelings is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- Take a break – changing the focus, environment, or surroundings can do good for you, so feel free to have a lunch break outside, read a new book or schedule a long weekend for a traveling adventure.
- Do something you love – do you have a hobby or have work tasks that you are good at and love doing it? Include it in your daily routine. Maybe some of your hobbies you can share with your coworkers
- Ask for help – sometimes the best idea is to go to someone objective and unbiased, someone whose job is to help others overcome obstacles, encourage you to address issues and strengthen your coping mechanism.
It is natural to feel differently in different circumstances and move through different stages in your life. We are all going through challenges, and just remember, it counts when you’re down as well as when you get up.