Practical Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health at Work
Have you noticed how normalized poor health (mental and physical) is in the workplace?
Thousands of jobs require you to sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, and only a limited number of companies invest in standing desks or ergonomic desk chairs for their employees.
Coworkers brag that they only got a couple of hours of sleep the night before. Microwavable soups, frozen meals and takeout are the most popular food options for work lunches.
Sedentary jobs, specifically office jobs, actually increase the chances of a person developing a mental health disorder. Knowing how to take care of your mental health at work is essential.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to do it.
Mental health, wellness and the workplace
For most of us working full-time in the United States, over a quarter of our lives will be spent in the workplace (for those who regularly work over 40-hour weeks, it’s closer to one-third).
For those not working remotely, they’ll spend more time in the workplace than they do at home. They’ll see and speak with their supervisors and coworkers more than they will their families.
Employers have a responsibility to be aware of the psychological impact that workplaces can have on employees, and take the necessary steps to reduce any harmful influences.
While some organizations do prioritize providing the appropriate resources and opportunities for employees to care for their mental and physical health, many companies still fall short when it comes to implementing these components.
If your organization provides no such resources, you’ll have to find your own. The good news is, we’ve done the research for you and figured out the most effective ways to take care of your mental health in the workplace, whether that’s in a traditional building or your home office.
Mental health tips at work
Burnout is what happens when employees are overworked and overstressed. It’s a condition that’s characterized by extensive physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, and often results in a lack of productivity and efficiency.
Around 90 percent of employees experience burnout annually, over 20 percent of them report that their organization provides no resources or support for managing it and 40 percent of these employees quit their jobs as a result. If your employer isn’t going to help you, you have to help yourself.
The top mental health tips for employees include:
- Set professional boundaries with colleagues
- Use your vacation time to refresh your body and mind
- Engage in regular exercise (especially if you have a sedentary job)
- Opt for healthier, more nutrient-dense lunches
- Seek professional help when you need it
Within these last few years, as remote work skyrocketed amidst the pandemic and resulted in countless companies implementing permanent remote jobs, we’ve seen the rise of new mental health difficulties develop with it.
Mental health tips for working from home
Working from home has been an incredible gift for many people, providing them with more personal and professional freedom, the ability to spend more time with their families, and even enabling them to enjoy their work more. It’s even full of countless benefits for the companies.
As with everything, though, working from home does have its own challenges. Without the proper tools and resources for navigating them, a person’s mental health can suffer.
The best mental health tips for working from home include:
- Begin your day with gratitude (not checking your work email)
- Set boundaries with yourself about how much you’ll work each day
- Meal prep to ensure you not only eat but eat well
- Keep your work environment separate from where you sleep (if possible)
- Take mindful breaks (exercise, go outside, disconnect from technology)
If you’re having difficulty juggling your mental health care alongside your professional responsibilities, you’re not the only one. Reach out to us; we’re ready to help.
Speak with an advisor today
Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP is a leading employee assistance program where your success is our passion. We specialize in equipping and empowering employees at all levels of the workforce with the tools and resources they need to achieve personal and professional success.
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