World Mental Health Day is an international day, recognised on October 10th every year. The day was created to raise awareness of mental health issues and to promote better education about mental illness; it also serves as a reminder that good employee wellbeing is an essential element in any workplace environment.
To recognise this day, we explore the ways in which you can look after your mental health at work.
A Deloitte survey revealed that 91% of respondents referred to stress as negatively impacting the quality of their work. There is clearly importance in prioritising self-care and mental health while at work.
How to look after your mental health:
- Maintain a work-life balance. It can be difficult to disengage from work when you leave, especially if your job is particularly challenging or mentally tasking. Whatever it takes – redirecting your focus to other tasks, spending time with friends, or turning off your phone and devices – disconnecting for a while can help you renew your energy and invest in other important aspects of your life. This allows you to create boundaries between your work life and personal life.
- Create routines in and around work that meet your needs. Just like a work-life balance, establishing routines in and around work is an important part of creating boundaries. Personal rituals such as going out, engaging in a hobby, cooking nourishing food, will allow you to create a strong investment in your personal life, and possibly incorporating these routines into your lunch and breaks could benefit you.
- Do relaxing activities. Everyone needs some time away from their everyday responsibilities. You may like to take a walk, visit friends and family, watch a movie or your favourite TV show, whatever it is that allows your mind to rest, make sure to keep it up.
- Walk it off and change environments. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, try changing scenery. Even a brief walk around the office or getting fresh air and eye rest will allow you to come back feeling refreshed. If you’re working from home, consider even working in the garden if the weather permits, or a different location such as a local coffee shop.
- Try and get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Experts recommend that for individuals who are stressed, prioritising sleep hygiene such as turning off devices, reading before bed, creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom, are factors you can control to make sleep easier and more restful.
- Be honest and communicate. If your workload is too much or your deadlines are too soon, there’s no harm in letting your manager know. Being honest adjusts expectations, and when you are feeling stressed, it may be nearly impossible for you to keep pushing with a task you are not currently capable of doing. You may have to be resourceful but learning what you can and can’t do in different mental states will allow you to tend to your needs.
World Mental Health Day is a reminder for people to prioritise your mental health at work. Taking care of yourself is essential to give your best to others. It is easy to become suddenly overwhelmed, so implementing self-care will prevent burn out, giving you more energy to give to yourself, life, and important responsibilities!