Ways to Improve Your Mental Health at Work

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Ways to Improve Your Mental Health at Work

Between the pandemic, inflation, political unrest, and many other stressors, it’s no wonder many of us have prioritized mental health at work. In one 2021 report, authors found that mental health concerns increased over the previous two years. In the 2019 study, 59% of those surveyed reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition in that last year, a number that went up to 76% by 2021.1 While companies have a long way to go when it comes to supporting employee mental health, here are easy ways to improve your mental health at work.

How to Improve Employee Mental Health: Tips You Should Follow

Not only can poor mental health significantly impact performance at work, but it can also affect your life outside of work, which can lead to a vicious cycle of emotional distress. Additionally, considering that work is a common stressor for many people, we wanted to share some simple ways to improve your mental health at work and make it less stressful.

Know the Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

A mental health crisis is any situation in which a person’s behavior puts them at risk of hurting themselves or others or prevents them from being able to care for themselves. Sadly, the number of adults who experience suicidal thoughts has increased every year for the last decade, which is just one of the many signs that a person is close to a mental health crisis or is experiencing one.1

Understanding what a mental health crisis is and being aware of signs – like excessive worrying or fear, feeling excessively sad or low, difficulty concentrating, prolonged feelings of irritability or anger, and changes in sleeping and eating habits – can prepare you to seek help ahead of time. This is an important preventative measure you should take, especially if your job is especially stressful. Knowing these signs might even prepare you to catch these signs in a co-worker who may be struggling.

Talk to Someone

One of the best ways to combat depression is to know you aren’t alone. So if you’re feeling especially stressed or your mental health is struggling at work, talk to someone about it. Talk to your boss about taking some time away from work, or speak to your spouse, parents, or close friends about how you’re feeling. Not only is it nice to have someone to talk to about your mental health, but telling someone also enables them to be there for you and be mindful of your behavior in case you need extra support.

Focus On Your Strengths

Because a lot of us define our worth and ability based on our accomplishments – especially at work – we tend to focus on working on our weaknesses rather than building on our strengths. However, numerous studies show that people grow more when they develop their strengths instead of their weaknesses.2

So capitalize on your strengths and seek out projects that give you satisfaction. When we use our strengths, these activities feel natural to us, and we’re more likely to feel accomplished and better about ourselves. What’s more, building on and using your strengths can also make you feel happier, more confident, and less stressed.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and this couldn’t be more true. When we compare ourselves to others, we diminish all of our amazing and unique qualities. This can lead to poor self-esteem and unhappiness. It can be especially difficult to not compare yourself to others at work who may have been there longer or seem to have it all together.

But remember that everyone starts somewhere, and no one is born knowing everything. Instead, compare yourself to who you were the day before. Concentrate on making healthy improvements and measure yourself against specific goals.

Stay Organized

Lack of organization is more stressful than you realize, especially at work. If you’ve been missing deadlines or feel as if you’re being buried under a pile of deadlines, consider your organizational skills. Do you have an agenda? Do you keep a schedule?

Staying organized allows you to accomplish more and feel more accomplished. It’s also satisfying to check things off your list and feel like you’re setting yourself up for success. The organization also prevents overload and allows you to spread everything out and see what’s coming up, so big tasks don’t come as a surprise.

Go for a Walk

Getting outside is one of the oldest and most effective mental health ideas for employees and anyone! Going outside, spending time in nature, and being active releases endorphins and allows you to disconnect from everyday stressors that are present both in and out of your workplace.

One study also found that being exposed to nature improves attention, memory, and cognitive flexibility, while exposure to urban settings is linked to deficits in attention.3 So get outside. If you’re especially busy after work, try to take your lunch breaks outside.

Create Relationships With Your Co-Workers

Some people go to work, do their job, and leave without really talking or interacting with others. However, building relationships with co-workers, laughing with them, and even hanging out with them after work can make the workplace seem less stressful and bring some light to the situation.

Slow Down

Slowing down will help you make better decisions and connect with others. Make time for self-reflection and helpful methods like journaling, meditation, and simply taking more breaks. Considering the massive societal shifts that have occurred in the past few years, it’s normal to feel stressed and vulnerable right now. But, by adopting these methods, you can improve your mental health at work and feel more relaxed and accomplished in general.

Help for Mental Health at BHOPB

While companies are starting to introduce mental health accommodations in the workplace, many are still lacking in this department. However, while finding ways to improve your mental health at work is important, our tips aren’t a replacement for professional support.

If you or a loved one is struggling with their mental health, our Florida mental health services can help. Our Banyan Lake Worth rehab offers various forms of mental health care, including depression and anxiety treatment, that utilize evidence-based therapies to make recovery possible.

Call Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today at 561-220-3981 to learn more about our mental health care in South Florida and how it can change your life.

 

Sources:

  1. Mind Share Partners – 2021 Mental Health at Work Report
  2. Zapier – Work on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
  3. Sage Journals – Understanding Nature and Its Cognitive Benefits

 

Related Reading:

How to Become a Mental Health Advocate

How Anxiety Affects Relationships

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