How To Improve Your Mental Health At Work
Did you know that many of us will spend most of our lives at work? Work is one of the major aspects of our lives, which is why it is so important to make sure we are always mentally healthy when in the workplace. When work is a fulfilling experience, it can significantly improve your mental health. Plus, an employee’s mental well-being can affect their work performance, productivity, communication, and their ability to maintain a safe workplace.
Stress and pressure at work can lead to a significant decrease in mental health both at work and at home. As with any job, it is inevitable to experience some stress. But, unchecked chronic stress at work can lead to serious long-term mental health problems like depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and more. Not to mention physical health issues, like Madeline, a patient of Catherine Gildiner (host of the Good Morning, Monster podcast) So, let’s go over some ways you can keep your mental health in tip-top shape in the workplace.
How To Improve Your Mental Health At Work
Begin your day with meditation.
Research shows that regular practice of meditation can positively impact your mental health at work in many ways. It improves memory, increases productivity and focus, and boosts your energy levels throughout the day; all of which contribute to a stress-free workday!
Start each day with a positive mindset.
Beginning each day in a positive mindset is easier said than done. But, it can have many benefits on your workday. It can reduce stress brought on by negative thoughts and help you maintain a more positive mindset throughout the rest of your day. Start your day off with a positive mindset by meditating, practicing gratitude, or doing something you enjoy.
Set realistic goals.
As with anything in life, in order to achieve success, you must set realistic goals. So, as you plan out your workday or even your work week, set small, easily achievable goals and work to achieve them at your own pace. For more tips on goal setting, check out our article about how to set clear goals in life.
Maintain a good work/life balance.
We often feel the most stressed at work when we forget to take some time for ourselves outside of the office. To maintain good mental health awareness at work, it’s important to learn how to properly balance your work and life schedules. If this is something you struggle with, be sure to check out these 30 time management tips for work/life balance.
Make wellness a priority.
The first step to overcoming any mental health issue is to make your mental health a priority. This means realizing the issue and taking productive steps towards recovery. Not sure where to start? Check out these 7 ways to show up for yourself!
Make daily connections.
Research shows that there is a significant connection between making daily connections and increased mental health. Benefits of regular human interaction at work can include reduced blood sugar spikes, decreased depressive symptoms, and even decreased cardiovascular issues. Alternatively, little or no social interaction at work can lead to feelings of anxiety, social isolation, and a decrease in overall mental health.
Get plenty of sleep.
Research shows that an irregular sleep cycle is directly associated with increased mental distress. To improve your mental health at work, be sure to get to bed by a reasonable time and get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy diet.
In a study on the connection between diet and stress, results showed that diet has a direct effect on mood, productivity, and focus throughout the day. So, not only can eating a healthy diet made up of essential vitamins and nutrients improve your physical health, it can improve your mental health, too!
Exercising for mental health can have many benefits on your overall life, including at work. Exercising reduces anxiety, stress, and depression. And, it can improve cognitive functioning, productivity, and mood throughout the day. Incorporating just a few workouts into your schedule each week can make a huge difference in your overall mental health.
Tidy up your workspace.
Research shows that those working in a cluttered or messy work environment tend to experience more stress throughout the day. But, those who work in a clean and tidy environment tend to be more productive and make fewer mistakes.
Make time for friends and family.
When battling mental illness or low mental health at work, it’s important to reach out to your friends and family for support. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a great way to improve mental health as well as ensure that you have a good support system in times of need. Not sure which friends to reach out to? Read this article to help you decide which of your friends are true ride-or-die BFFs.
Take breaks often.
To avoid getting overwhelmed and overly stressed at work, be sure to take small breaks often. Small breaks are a great way to clear your mind and avoid getting burnt out too quickly. As you take your breaks throughout the day, try to incorporate some nature. Research shows that contact with nature throughout the workday can reduce stress and anxiety and increase efficiency and focus.
According to this research, practicing gratitude is directly linked to an improved outlook on life. And thus, reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. To practice gratitude, you can keep a gratitude journal, give thanks through meditation, write thank you notes, give a gift to a friend, and more!
Use healthy lighting.
Working in a poorly lit environment can have significant negative effects on your mental health. From increased likelihood of developing seasonal depression to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, artificial office lighting could be contributing to increased stress at work. Try to always work in a well-lit environment with as much natural light as possible.
Take social media breaks.
Spending long amounts of time on social media has been linked to increased stress and anxiety throughout the workday. To avoid this extra stress, try taking frequent social media breaks. Depending on your needs, these breaks can be for just a couple of hours up to whole days or weeks.
Being open-minded to spontaneous plans and new ideas throughout your workday can improve your mental health in many ways. Not only can it increase your chances of making new friends and participating in fun activities, but it can also present the opportunity for learning how to complete tasks more efficiently. All of these things contribute to a happier and healthier overall outlook when at work.
Find a creative outlet.
To reduce stress at work, try to find a fun and creative outlet outside of work. This could be your favorite hobby, painting, creative writing, gardening, and so on. Not sure how to apply your talents? Try one of these hobbies that can help you earn some extra cash on the side.
Do something nice for a coworker.
Creating a positive work environment is one of the best ways to improve mental health in the workplace. A great way to improve your work environment is to create a positive atmosphere by doing something nice for a coworker. You can offer to complete a task, purchase lunch, or purchase them a small office decoration.
Switch your phone to ‘do not disturb’.
Like taking a social media break, taking a break from your phone in general can also have many positive effects on your overall mindset. In a study published on the consequences of digital technology use, results showed that reduced cell phone use reduced feelings of isolation, improved symptoms of attention-deficit disorder, and promoted a healthier sleep cycle.
We know it sounds cheesy, but laughter really is the best medicine. Especially when it comes to staying mentally healthy. On those low mental health days, don’t be afraid to laugh and joke with coworkers, look at funny memes on social media, or watch some hilarious reels to perk yourself up.
Improving mental health at work is one of the best ways to improve mental health overall.
When we’re happy at work, we’re so much happier at home. If you’re experiencing chronically high-stress levels at work, try to implement some of these easy changes to your lifestyle – we know you won’t regret it! Not only will these changes improve your mental health condition, but they will also make the workday pass quicker and leave you feeling excited and motivated about work, instead of tired and burnt out. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to take a mental health day – you deserve it! If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to drop them below! And for more awesome blogs like this one, be sure to head on over to the Dear Media Blog.