For many of us, we form a stable relationship with work and our workplace becomes our second home. It is a major part of our lives, where we spend most of our time, and what takes most of our energy. Having a stable, fulfilling job can make one feel happy and content, but what if it becomes otherwise?
Work-related stressors such as impossible deadlines, confrontational workmates, and difficult circumstances can be bad for mental health in the workplace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health issues affect business and their employees. Mental health problems such as depression are associated with high rates of unemployment, and affect a person’s ability to complete tasks 20% of the time, and affects an employee’s cognition by 35%. These statistics show how important it is to have good mental health in the workplace for productivity and efficiency.
Signs of Poor Mental Health at Work:
- Feeling excessively drained at work
- Make a lot of preventable mistakes
- Difficult to find our motivation and easily distracted
- Excessive absences from work
- Poor organization and time management ending up in procrastination
- Irritability and hotheadedness towards workmates
- Isolation at work
A toxic workplace can be detrimental to workers’ mental health and paradoxically lead to decreased efficiency and work output. It is important to make the work a conducive and protective environment: for those with existing mental health problems, for those at risk, and even for those who aren’t.
On the other hand, good mental health in the workplace has been strongly linked to increased productivity. When we have good mental health, the following things are expected:
- Better stress handling
- Ability to carry out tasks and participate in work-related activities
- Improved communication with coworkers
- Overall better daily functioning
Ways to Promote Good Mental Health in The Workplace
Mental health awareness has been increasing in the past few years. However, the workplace commonly becomes a place for discrimination against those with existing mental health problems as well as a source of potential triggers of mental health problems.
Here are some ways we can create a workplace wherein mental health is protected and promoted.
1. Talk About Your Feelings
Many people with mental health problems keep it to themselves for the fear of being judged and scrutinized – major reasons why people do not open up about their mental health problems. It is helpful to create workplace cultures where people can be themselves; it is easier for people to speak out and easier for them to reach out.
- Identify people you can trust and are comfortable within the workplace to whom you can talk with and open up.
- Share about your struggles, educate people, and increase mental health awareness among colleagues
- If you can’t find anyone at work to talk to, make sure you have one back at home.
Being open about our mental health issues and concerns to those who have issues themselves can reassure them that they aren’t alone, and for others, it can make them more aware.
2. Take A Break
Extended periods at work can be draining to any employee. Anyone who feels overworked will be more prone to developing mental health problems like depression. Giving yourself some time during work can do good to your mental health, even just a few minutes will help improve your mood at work.
- Take a 10-minute coffee break at the pantry and take in the scenery around you
- Enjoy a 30-minute lunch break with colleagues and talk about non-work related things
- Sleep is essential to maintain well-being, so go on and take that 5-minute power nap
If you are fortunate enough to have employers who offer leaves for your well-being, take the opportunity and spend it wisely. These long breaks are sure to make you feel recharged once you resume work.
3. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle has long been proven to help and improve mental health. Our diet and level of activity can affect our moods to some extent.
- Bring home cooked meals or choose healthy options when buying your meals
- Try to cut down on your sugar and carbs at work
- Remember to hydrate and drink plenty of water
- Exchange your chips for some healthy fruit or vegetable snacks instead
- Provide opportunities to exercise at work: set up a ping-pong table if the workplace allows it, take a brisk walk during lunch break, or a quick workout if your workplace has one
We may develop unhealthy eating habits at work, such as eating junk frequently and dehydrating ourselves. These aren’t very good practices and we should avoid them.
4. Promote Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is vital in promoting mental health in the workplace. Having work-life balance reduces stress levels and prevents burnout at work
- Offer flexible work hours, especially now in the midst of the pandemic
- Build and maintain friendships at work and form your clique of trusted colleagues
- Socialize when you can – grab a coffee with colleagues, go out for the night, or enjoy your days off together
A good work-life balance is less likely to lead to anxiety and depression problems in the workplace.
5. Ask Help
We all get tired from all the work we have. When things get overwhelming, asking for help and guidance is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it shows you are in control of your feelings and emotions. Seeking help from a professional will help you take control of your mental health.
If you need help or know someone who does, contact MindShift Psychological Services near me. We are a place where you can be safe about your feelings, and we will help you rebuild yourself and address your mental health concerns. Schedule an appointment with us today or contact us at (714) 584 9700.