Mental health as a subject has become an important subject in recent times. The importance of our mental health and wellbeing has been enhanced with various campaigns encouraging people to ‘speak out’ about any struggles they may be facing.
As the message about mental health spreads, various sectors and industries are creating awareness about the subject and we’ve seen a rise in campaigns in a bid to get us to recognise the importance of our health and wellbeing. Mental health in the workplace has not always been a topic in which employers and employees have felt free to speak about.
Research has shown that 1.47% of employees experience mental health problems within the workplace. Evidence also suggests that 12.7% of sickness absence days in the UK is due to mental health conditions.
At Blu Digital, we take the wellbeing of our staff and candidates very seriously. There are various reasons why an individual may suffer with mental health. The work environment can move very quickly. There are projects, day-to-day tasks, long hours and as a result it can leave many feeling burned out.
The current world we’re facing has made many businesses change the way in which they work. Remote jobs have become a high possibility with employees stating they feel more ‘productive’ when working at home. That may see the days of the ‘traditional office environment’ being put away and a more flexible approach to working, being introduced.
You won’t be able to perform at the level you want if you’re weighed down or burnt out. Here are a few ways in which you can prevent mental health issues and stay on top of your game.
Having a good work/life balance is the first and a very important step in combatting any mental health concerns. One of the biggest causes of mental health issues in the workplace, is being overworked. Endless tasks, meetings and projects can leave us burnt out. Try and leave work for your working hours and have time for life outside work.
Set a work schedule and stick to it. Turn off emails and notifications after working hours. Enjoy some time with family or doing one of your favourite hobbies; including sport, socialising or having some quiet time to yourself.
Our previous point on sport brings us to our next point: regular exercise. This could apply if you’re working in either an office or from home. Exercising regularly can boost your self-esteem as well as help your concentration. Exercise doesn’t always mean taking up a sport, it could be taking regular walks during your break. Some find that exercising before their day starts helps set their positive mood.
When you have a day off from work, if you’re sporty, take a club a physical exercise you enjoy such as: cycling, running, attending the gym or playing a sport of your choice.
Being able to communicate any difficulties you may have is necessary, but not easy. If you feel overwhelmed or you are struggling in any way, communicating this to a line manage, supervisor or colleague may help. Being able to open up to someone may help to ease the burden and that way, you and your colleagues can find a solution that will help in the long term.
This can be seen as a normal point to make but it’s still so important. In order to feel refreshed, breaks are necessary. There are days where there’s one task after another and not enough hours in the day, but you need to take breaks to function well.
Step away and get some fresh air into your system. Read a book and have some quiet time. Some work environments have gyms, maybe pop in there for an hour. If you’re at home, even better! Sit back, have a coffee and relax.
Your diet plays a key part in your mental health. What we eat can affect our moods and of course, our general health. Eating during your day is very important. You may be having your busiest day ever, but taking time out to eat is necessary. Recharge your batteries with a satisfying meal and be ready to go! It’s a good idea to if possible, eat way from your workstation.
Working for long periods of the day can lead to snacking, which is fine. However, it’s the snacks we eat that we should consider. Ensure you have a good lunch, and if needed, snack on some fruit and nutritious treats.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that has become popular in recent years. Many people practice it everyday to support any physical are mental struggles. Worries and concerns can often overwhelm individuals and by Practicing mindfulness for 10 minutes each day, or in the middle of a tough situation, can make a big difference to overall wellbeing.
The way in which we work may be seeing major change moving forward, which perhaps will see a more flexibility for employees and employers alike. However, the effects of mental health on your day-to-day schedule will certainly not improve things. Wherever you are, ensure you are taking the steps to maintain positive health and well-being which will set the tone for you and your colleagues.