Happy New Year, another year is over and we start 2018 afresh. However, according to a YouGov survey last year, three in five employees have experienced mental health issues in the past year because of work; below we outline five steps that can be taken to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
1. How to identify your triggers
Mental health charity Mind says, working out what triggers stress or poor mental health can help you foresee problems and think of ways to solve them.
Take some time to reflect on events and feelings that could be contributing to your poor mental health. You might be surprised to find out just how much you’re coping with at once.
Triggers may well be problems with certain tasks at work, one-off events like doing presentations, as well as regular issues such as attending interviews and appointments.
Also be aware that not having enough work, activities or change in your life can be just as stressful a situation as having too much to deal with.
2. Manage your time
Managing when and where you work can be helpful, since 2014, all employees (not just parents and carers) have had the right to request flexible working for any reason, and this can include switching shifts, working different hours and sometimes working from home.
Working from home, for example, can mean you skip the commute and instead spend that travelling time with your family, exercising or even getting up slightly later (while still getting to work on time).
3. Switch off that mobile phone
Unlike in France where employees have the right to disconnect, in the UK many people feel they can’t switch off, which can be detrimental to mental health.
There’s no such thing as work/life balance, most people think about home life when at work and work life when at home so they become integrated. But that doesn’t mean that you need to be “constantly on”; scrolling through work emails or your work social media accounts 24/7 doesn’t give your brain a break and can lead to problems.
When you leave work, actually leave work, this means turning off your work phone. Like a laptop, we need to switch ourselves off and recharge and it’s vital not to have your work phone near your bed at night, as it interrupts your sleep.
4. Eat, sleep, exercise – repeat
When you’re not at work, pack in plenty of healthy, nutritious food, sleep and exercise. We all know that these things can boost our mental and physical health.
Being outside can help, going for a 15-minute walk during the day helps clear the mind according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, even if it might be difficult to take breaks at work when you’re stressed, it can make you more productive.
5. Don’t be hard on yourself
Of course many people have demanding jobs and when you’re caught up in a cycle of relentless hours, it’s easy to be hard on yourself.
Often we don’t need our boss or colleagues to give us a hard time as we’re good at doing that ourselves. If you’re struggling at work, give yourself some space. This could mean taking a few days off, requesting flexible working or getting some support outside of work but once you’ve had some space, you can make good choices.
If you need any further help or guidance on wellbeing in the workplace, get in touch.