Supporting World Mental Health Awareness Day: how to stay mentally healthy at work
Every year one adult in four, along with one child in ten, will have a mental health issue. These conditions can profoundly affect literally millions of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work.
World Mental Health Day aims to help raise mental health awareness. At the GEM Project we know how important this is. Many of our participants either have had or still do suffer with mental health issues, but if supported well, this needn't be a barrier to work.
GEM tips on how to stay mentally healthy at work
It's really important to work with your employer and to talk to them if you think you are struggling with your mental health at work. It's also really important to stick to your employment arrangements with them, but most employers should be supportive of the following tips:
- Take your break – sometimes we all get busy, and it can be tempting to work through lunch, but everyone needs to take a break. Stick to the time agreed with your employer, but make the most of your break to give your mind and body a break.
- Get outside - if you can get outside on your break, do it. The health benefits - mental and physical - of some time in the fresh air are countless and will make you feel refreshed and ready to carry on.
- End the day with tomorrow’s to-do list. It’ll help you shut off and refocus for the next day.
- Focus on your role – there are lots of things in the workplace that can make you feel uncertain. Focus on your role and skill sets and be proud of delivering.
- Trying to stay in control and on top of things at work will be a huge help for you. However, this won't always be the case, so this it's important to be able to ask for help.
- Play music — on a headset in your break, on the way to work or on the way home. Listen to music that relaxes you and helps you to feel at ease.
- Get your work–life balance right — when you're not at work, try to switch off and make time for you and your family and friends, or join a a local interest group.
- Have something to look forward to – it is easy to feel stuck in a cycle and it is important to have some non-work events to look forwards to from a meal out to your annual holiday.
- Healthy body, healthy mind – ensure that you are well rested and physically healthy. Issues with concentration, memory or vision maybe related to stress so see a doctor if things change.
- Talk – though it may seem like a big step, sharing your feelings or concerns could make a major difference especially if people don’t know you’re suffering. They could offer support in terms of workload or simply help by talking things through.