With World Mental Health Day being held this month, we wanted to try and theme this week’s blog post around this important topic and help to spread awareness in some small way.
We spend the majority of our time at work; this work in itself often causes a lot of stress and tension and an inability or unwillingness to take enough rest, which has massive repercussions for both our physical and mental health. The majority of people are more concerned with their physical health, which is more obvious to us, than their mental health, which is surprising when you consider that your mind is responsible for the way your body works, so needs to be kept healthy.
When we are stressed and we don’t give ourselves time to recharge, we start to struggle at work and at home and our physical health starts to decline too.
Experts suggest switching off your daily routine regularly and giving yourself a break from work in order to re-energise. The same work routine for a longer period of time is not good for your mental health, and there are a number of ways you can break these bad habits at work:
How to switch off at the work place:
1. Do not over burden yourself
The first tip would be to stay away from additional stress at work. There might be a lot of work to do in the office and obviously you are getting paid to do that work BUT is that work more important than your health? Think about your workload and how you can work smart. Learn to say no, so that you focus on the most important work and deal with the biggest priorities first.
2. Go for a walk
If you’ve been squirreling away on your laptop for hours, or if you find your attention is starting to wander after going through your inbox or after a particularly taxing phone call, then stand up, go for a walk and really stretch your body. Feelings of bored and frustration and an inability to work efficiently may simply mean that you need to relax your mind. Getting some fresh air releases all kinds of stress. You will feel lighter and more willing to complete the remaining work – and who knows maybe whilst working you’ll come up with a couple of additional creative solutions.
3. Try to laugh
Working in an office does not means that you have to be serious and stern all day – you are not a machine! Build a relationship with your colleagues and crack a joke occasionally. This will help you divert your mind from work, giving you a brief break, removing any tension and releasing endorphins which may even help you to enjoy your work more!
4. Avoid too many distractions
If you have a stressful job, think carefully about how you use your phone at work. In today’s hyper-connected world, getting a constant barrage of WhatsApp’s, texts, social media alerts and tags and personal emails, can actually lead to increased stress, whilst at the same time distracting you from your main focus and thereby reducing your efficiency and creating yet more stress. Try to keep your phone on silent mode while working and limit your notifications. This will enable you to concentrate properly on the job in hand and limit additional stress – you can always check your updates when you take your walk!
Ultimately, these tips are not rocket science, or difficult to perform, they just require a bit of commitment and recognition that they are important for our health. Hopefully by spreading the word, and supporting initiatives like World Mental Health Day we can help others to improve their mental health too.