how to improve mental health at work

Your mental health is a function of your emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Have you ever tried working when feeling stressed or emotionally disengaged? Were you able to focus for the entire time without your mind wandering? Good mental health positively influences productivity and boosts progress in an organization. This article seeks to feature helpful tips you can employ to improve mental health at work. The article is divided into two sections, which are improving your mental health and improving the staff’s mental health at work.

Improving Your Mental Health at Work

 Manage Your Emotions

Neurological research depicts that emotions are major distractors of focus. Being aware of your emotional state will help assess why you are feeling a certain way, which will cognitively assist in finding a solution. When feeling tense or angry, you can control your breathing patterns to calm down. When sad or disappointed, console yourself that how you’re feeling will pass and that things will get better. You can introduce meditation or yoga into your daily routine to help manage emotions.

Take Periodic Breaks from Work

Depending on your work schedule, you can take a recess after or during work to rest. Periodic breaks can include taking a ten-minute walk or nap or planning a future vacation or social event. Avoid any work-related activities during your rest or leisure time to reenergize fully. If you find it difficult to take breaks, it would be best to assess your workload or to talk to your manager or supervisor regarding this issue.

Talk to Somebody

The age-old adage “A problem shared is a problem is a problem half-solved” is authentic in its meaning. When you are feeling distressed, talk to a trusted colleague, supervisor, or counsellor. Your colleague might have gone through something similar themselves and have a solution for your stress if it is work-related. The simple feeling of knowing you are not alone in your struggles reduces distress and motivates an individual to keep pushing for better days.

Eat Healthy and Balanced Diets

Eating well has a positive impact on both your mental health. Healthy diets improve fitness, body immunity and prevent lifestyle disorders, which makes one feel they are leading a good life. Eating healthy meals will boost your self-esteem and state of mind.

Keep Active

Engage in a quick exercise before or after work. Jog or walk around the work premise during shifts. Keeping active can refocus your mind and makes it more constructive in solving work-related problems. After a day’s work, do a physical activity that you enjoy, whether swimming, running or playing basketball to cool off and to keep your mental health in check.

Improving Staff’s Mental Health at Work

Organizational success is a team effort, not an individual effort. As you improve your mental health, assist your team or colleagues in improving theirs too by:

Raising Awareness on Mental Health

Staff in the workplace might be afraid to talk about improving mental health. Leaders in the organization are best to address this topic. You can raise your views on the importance of caring for mental health to a senior manager. If you are a manager, lead by example and talk to your team. Hiring a health consultant might increase the staff’s mindfulness of mental health.

Establishing a Good Work/Life Balance

A strenuous work/life balance deteriorates mental health. Working long hours might make one think they are hardworking, focused and competitive, though it is not sustainable. Long work hours cause burnouts, reduce staff morale and decrease overall productivity. Encourage your team to work sustainable hours and to take advantage of leave and off days.

Ingraining Mental Health in the Organization’s Health Policies

Converse with leads in the health department, if there is any, on embedding mental health in the organization’s health policies. This can include holding company wellbeing days where employees can discuss mental health openly.

From a management perspective, speaking about mental health during pieces of training or induction is a significant way to show new and current employees that employee wellbeing is an important part fo your businesses’ corporate culture. Gaining support from a health official or a senior manager will motivate staff to be mindful of their mental health.

Involving Staff in Decision-making

Involving staff in organizational discussions makes them feel like their contribution matters, which motivates them to work harder and better. Staff involvement improves team cohesion and raises employee’s worth making them less prone to distress at work. More so, your team might enlighten you with their ideas on growing the organization.

Establishing a Good Work Environment

Working in a noisy, cluttered, dark, hot or cold environment might cause distress and reduce staff morale. While making your judgement, ask your team how the current work environment is affecting productivity, then plan to make changes that suit them. A change as simple as increasing lighting could brighten one’s day.

Improving mental health at work might be challenging and will require support from management. In the long term, however, the improvement will increase performance and lead to organizational success.