Five Tips for Good Mental Health in the Workplace
29th August 2019
A lot of us spend most of our time in work, which is why it’s important to ensure you’re taking care of your mental well-being so it doesn’t become something you dread. The Mental Health at Work Report 2017 found that 3 in 5 employees (60%) have experienced mental health issues because of work. Although mental health awareness is growing, a survey by Time to Change found that 60% of employees still say they’d still feel uncomfortable discussing the topic with their employer. The Mental Health Foundation report that addressing mental well-being in work increases productivity by as much as 12%.
Here are some simple things you can do to help improve your mental health at work.
- Take a Break
It’s not uncommon for people to work through their breaks to try and squeeze in those extra few minutes of work. However, experts have said that taking a step back from your work will actually increase your mental well-being and productivity. Even though you may think it’s better to just work through your breaks, it can be causing you more harm than good.
Listening to music or reading a book is a good way to disconnect yourself from your work. Even better, if the weather’s looking good why not go for a quick walk? By giving yourself that breathing space away for a few minutes it can really put you in a better mindset for the rest of the day.
- Leave work on time
It can often feel like there’s no escape from work and that it’s become the only important thing in your life. However, its crucial to your mental health to have that work-life balance, starting with leaving work on time.
We understand that sometimes there’s deadlines that have to be met and you’ve got to put in a few extra hours, but this shouldn’t be every single day. Whatever can wait leave until tomorrow and get home on time instead. Studies show that working extra hours can actually result in sloppier work, so it really is better to wait.
Does the thought of everything you’ll have to do the next day stay with you all night? Write it all down in a to-do list before you leave work to help you stop thinking about it at home.
- Talk to your employer
If your employer doesn’t know you’re suffering from a mental health issue, it can be difficult to find a solution to it. Opening up to your manager about how you’ve been feeling can be more helpful than you might think. This can result in a few simple yet effective changes being made, such as moving you to a quieter part of your office or even working from home some days. If you bottle up your emotions, it’s near impossible for people to help.
- Use your commute to relax
The words ‘commute’ and ‘relax’ don’t ordinarily go together. After a stressful day at work, the commute can be the tip over the edge turning your day from bad to worse. Why not use this time to unwind so you’re nice and relaxed by the time you get home?
Doing simple things such as listening to music and reading a book can help you to switch off from work. You could even try going a different route home and walking through a park to get that extra dose of relaxation.
- Get Active
It’s a well-known fact that exercise itself makes you happier and reduces stress, which is why it’s a good idea to try and work this into your day.
This may seem an impossible task if you spend your whole day sat at a desk, but there are actually ways you can fit it in. You could try doing a quick workout before work to get you ready for the day, or after work to help you wind down. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you could even just try going for a walk during your lunch break.
While these may seem like simple tips, think about how many of them you could actually apply in your workplace to improve your mental wellbeing. Remember, your mental health must always come first.
How Kays Medical can help
Kays Medical can offer a range of Occupational Health services that can help employers and employees deal with mental health in the workplace. Kays Medical offer a number of different Mental Health First Aid courses which can help employers and employees to; identify at risk individuals and communicate with those in crisis, design and implement a basic plan of action for individuals at risk/in crisis and offer advice on positive changes which can be implemented in the workplace to help improve mental health. These courses can help ensure your staff stay mentally fit and able, and get the help they need if they ever do suffer from any mental health issues. Contact us today to get more information on how we can help you and your business.