When we talk about mental health in the workplace, we're referring to how our working environment affects us either positively or negatively. Poor mental health impacts our ability to do our job and decreases the overall quality of life. This is why it's important to recognise the importance of balancing your mental wellbeing at work using mental health self-care tips.
Managing work-induced stress is really important. And therefore, in this article, we bring you some good mental health tips that you can use in the workplace.
Why is Mental Health Self-care Important?
Employee wellbeing is about optimising the overall health of all employees, not just their physical health. This includes their mental, social, and financial health.
Here is why mental health and wellbeing are so important for employees:
- It improves individual and team mood and morale
- Happier workers work better and are more productive
- It leads to lower absenteeism
- The cost of inaction by employers can be substantial.
- It increases loyalty and retention
Mental Health and Wellbeing Self-care Tips for Employees
Here are some of the best mental health self-care tips that workers can follow to maintain their well-being:
1. Discuss your feelings
Speaking to a trusted family member, friend or confidante about painful or challenging emotions can help keep you healthy and prevent you from getting burnt out.
It helps to know that there are people around you who will understand and listen to what you have to say. It’s not a sign of weakness to talk about your feelings – instead, it shows a proactive desire to identify and solve the underlying issue.
It can be tough to talk about feelings at the office. If you have someone you trust or an empathetic supervisor, it can really help. If not, look for anonymous company-facilitated resources for counselling.
If you decide to speak to a colleague, plan the conversation in advance. Think of where and when you should approach them. Decide how much you want to reveal and what your expectations from them are. Basically, go prepared.
Have you taken Manah's free emotional wellbeing assessment?
2. Be more active
Another mental health self-care tip is to get frequent exercise. This is known to help one's self-esteem and can lead to a range of very desirable benefits such as better concentration, improved sleep, and a more toned body.
Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym, playing sports, or doing a hard workout at the gym. Most people should do about 30 minutes of exercise on a regular basis. If you can, try and make physical activity into a part of your day that you enjoy.
Without your day-to-day routine, it can be hard to stay positive. Work can be exhausting and mentally draining, but leaving your desk and having brief exercise during the day can improve work-life balance.
3. Eat healthy
What you eat can affect you in more ways than one. For example, when it comes to dietary health, it's good for your physical health, but also for mental health - in the long term as well as the short-term.
It can often be hard to keep up a healthy eating pattern at work. You should eat regular, healthy meals and also drink plenty of water. Planning for what to eat at work and buying food throughout the day are good strategies. Bringing food from home or choosing a healthy option when buying lunch are some other easy self-care strategies you can adopt!
When you're feeling low, stressed, or have a lot on your plate, cutting back on caffeine and refined sugar will help. Keep a selection of fruit and vegetables handy along with healthy snacks like nuts or trail mix to make sure that you can be fueled up on nourishment throughout the day.
4. Address difficult work relationships
Sometimes the source of stress is not a situation, but a person. If you don’t have a great equation with your manager, colleague or client, it can create stress. If this is the case, speak to someone (e.g., an experienced colleague or a senior leader) on how you should handle the situation. They may be able to offer you valuable advice or a fresh point of view when you're grappling with a difficult work relationship. Very often, such disagreements might be based on simple misunderstandings that can be cleared up relatively easily.
At the same time, if you feel you are being bullied or harassed by someone, it’s best to use official channels to highlight the issue and seek formal redressal.
You may also like: The importance of politeness in the workplace
5. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is a common problem during times of increased mental stress. Without sleep, we're more likely to experience anxiety and restlessness and the effects on our mental health can be detrimental. Follow these self-care tips to get enough sleep at night:
- Make use of room-darkening drapes.
- After lunch, stay away from coffee.
- Make sure the room is cool
- When you're in bed, put your electronics away.
6. Cultivate your hobbies
What kind of things do you enjoy doing? What activities can you get lost in for days on end? What were some things that you loved doing before? Enjoying a hobby can help beat stress. You’re good at it and feel much better about yourself when you achieve something.
Giving yourself the opportunity to do something you enjoy like gardening or painting will help you forget your worries, making it easier to deal with stress. Even the best have their moments of stress, which can make it difficult to focus on your hobbies and interests.
7. Help others
Jobs like nursing or care work have a lot of mental health benefits for the people who work in them. In this tough world, people need to feel as if they are contributing something.
Hence, our next mental health self-care tip is to lend someone a hand. Self-esteem soars with each act of kindness. If your company has a volunteer programme, sign up, or find a cause that you are passionate about. It will boost your wellbeing tremendously.
8. Improve your work-life balance
Everyone has dreamed of being able to work from home. But when it happened out of the blue during the pandemic, the limitations became clear. Increasingly, people realised that the line between work and home was constantly getting blurred.
Don’t look to your manager or boss to help you draw the line; it is something you must do yourself. If you want to know how to separate your work life from your home life, here are some work-life balance tips you might find useful.
9. Stick to a routine
One of the best ways to cut back mental strain & anxiety is to stick to a routine. It's important to maintain a normal schedule when you're feeling down. Doing so can reduce anxiety and stress (that can come from an out-of-control schedule).
Also read: A Pre-work Morning Routine to Kickstart Your Day
10. Be positive and grateful
Taking five minutes a day to write down what you're grateful for is one of the most effective ways to lower stress levels and stay happy. It's simple, free, and anyone can do it! In order to maintain a positive outlook, it's important to make time for practice and self-expression. This can be as simple as taking some time out of your day to write down what you're grateful for or try writing a journal entry with your thoughts and feelings.
Did you enjoy these self-care tips for good mental health?
Having good mental health is a fundamental right of every individual. In the workplace, your mental health determines your growth and your comfort level.
In the above article, we have discussed many different ideas and tips for office workers to take care of their mental health and wellbeing. We hope you found these mental health tips helpful. For more such content, keep following the Manah Wellness blog.