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Workplace Mental Health Summary:
- Mental health is the ability to cope and thrive as a productive member of society through the normal stresses of life.
- Workplace mental health is very seldom discussed but a key factor in employee engagement and success of the company.
- Addressing and taking care of our own mental health through acts of self-care (list included).
How are you doing?
That is a loaded question, yet the answer is always, “I’m good. How are you?” More often than not, that is an accurate answer, but more and more, society is being honest with themselves.
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a state of well-being where an individual realizes their own abilities to cope with the normal stresses of life, work effectively and productively, and be a contributing member of society. What’s more, mental health is important at all stages of life; childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illness in America with major depression being the number one most common mental illness overall.
Mental health is important (and just as important as physical health) because it is how you cope with life and adapt to changes. It is the very aspect of life that impacts our behavior, emotions, and thoughts.
Contributing Factors to Workplace Mental Health
Employee engagement and corporate wellness aim to achieve a safe and fruitful environment for employees. But what does a company without such initiatives in place look like? These are factors that contribute to work-related mental health turmoil:
- Low employee engagement initiatives.
- Inflexible schedules.
- Low autonomy.
- Poor communication and management.
- Unclear direction and responsibilities.
- Insufficient health and safety policies.
A good company mental health initiative addresses and works to alleviate contributing factors to workplace mental health turmoil.
Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace
Productivity and effectiveness in life – relationships, school, work, etc. – are reliant on workplace mental health. The workforce spends about one-third of life at work. The workplace is one of the top places where mental health is seldom discussed.
Work is good for mental health, but issues and stress from work can cause mental and physical health problems. So, what can employers and leaders do to create a healthy, supportive environment to walk into or sign onto every day?
Creating a program that supports employee wellbeing does not have to be difficult. As simple as it sounds, addressing and supporting workplace mental health is the first and most important step. Employers and leaders who neglect the mental well-being of employees can expect increased absenteeism and reduced productivity. Promote and welcome open communications through an open-door policy and give employees a voice.
28 Self-Care Ideas for Off Hours
Self-care is a concept often looked over. Society does the bare minimum; eat and sleep, but even then, there is room for improvement. (There is something to be said about a good night of sleep, and when it comes to your diet, did you know there is a correlation between gut health and mental health?)
Acts of self-care do not have to be work-related, and it works out better that way. This is where you find balance. Take time to understand yourself – what do you need to continue to produce and perform in life? Think about acts of self-care in four different categories: rest/relaxation, expression, health, and companionship. From there, find your trusted acts that fulfill those needs. What works for one, may not work for another.
Aside from a good night’s rest and a well-balanced diet, keep reading for a tried and true list of just some of the easy acts of self-care to enhance your mental (and physical) health for improved mood and overall well-being:
- Practice breathwork.
- Reorganize your space.
- Aromatherapy (candles, essential oils, etc.).
- Take up a new hobby or revive an old one.
- Creative writing.
- Draw, sketch, paint.
- Create a vision board.
- Listen to music.
- Create playlists for different moods.
- Sing and dance in the mirror.
- Exercise – move your body.
- Do a yoga flow.
- Take a nap.
- Do a spa night (Yes! Men, too).
- Play a game.
- Call a loved one.
- Meet with friends for coffee or lunch.
- Create a support group.
- Look through old photos.
- Cook and follow a recipe.
- Order your favorite meal.
- Sit in the sun.
- Get outdoors.
- Watch your favorite movie.
- Clean up your social media.
With all that said, last and certainly not least, have compassion for yourself. Mental health has been swept under the rug for too long. Now, with our ever-changing, ever-challenging world, it is imperative we take care of ourselves, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.