Mental Health In/Out of the Workplace
As a society, we’ve made great progress when it comes to talking about and understanding mental health. However, there is always something more that we can do. Although mental health problems have always been present, they’ve become a lot more prevalent and obvious in today’s day in age. Covid-19, social media, television, and so many more aspects have had a detrimental impact on mental health. Although we have done better with beginning to normalize these problems, it’s important to talk about mental health before it’s too late, especially in the workplace where a person’s work ethic, as well as their physical health, is at risk of being jeopardized.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. A person’s internal struggle can be just as impactful on their wellbeing, if not more. A very obvious consequence of mental health issues in the workplace is burnout. When burnout begins to happen internally, it starts to show externally as well. Fatigue, insomnia, and high blood pressure are just a few examples on the long list of health consequences that come from burnout. A person may lose their motivation or passion for the work that they do, which will decrease their desire to work and their career will begin to suffer.
What To Do…
So how do we stop this? The first and most important thing to do is to be open and kind. Willingness to talk about mental health and compromise with people and their situation is of the utmost importance in the workplace. If an employer is not willing to do this, they will begin to suffer too. Employees struggling with mental health issues will become unproductive. Unproductivity is damaging to the workplace and can potentially hurt an employer’s reputation. Above all, an employee is still suffering in silence.
A great thing to implement into a workplace setting is mental wellness programs. Mental wellness programs essentially incorporate all types of wellness, including offering fitness classes for physical health or information on how to deal with mental health. In my personal opinion, I think offering these wellness programs is essential. When an employee is feeling their best, their work will show it. Personally, I’ve loved having my professors throw little mental health tips at the end of their lessons, or my college campus offering mental wellness activities, such as craft or movie days. It’s always a reassuring feeling to know that you’re not alone and that there’s always someone out there to talk to, and I don’t think that should stop once people get to the “real world”. A workplace could offer these mental health activities, whether it be a slideshow or fitness class, something can always be done to make sure your employees are feeling their best.
Let’s say your workplace doesn’t offer these types of programs, what do you do then? It’s important to always take your mental health into consideration. One of my favorite ways to feel back in control of my mind is yoga. Yoga can be a free option when it comes to bettering your mental health. There are many tutorials and videos on YouTube with instructors that will teach you breathing techniques, stretches, and many other things to put your mind at peace. There are also local community classes that you can take, some free and others that you can pay for. Yoga is a great way to meet new people and do something other than work, but most importantly, get your mind back to a healthy place. One of my favorite breathing/beginner yoga tutorials to calm anxiety and stress can be found here.
Another thing to try out is turning away from technology, just for a little bit. Our world has become so technology consumed, which is great, but it also has its downfalls. Social media is more damaging to our mental health than we may think. Constantly comparing yourself to others, whether it be their physical appearance or their intelligence, is downright exhausting. Allow yourself to turn off your technology for a couple of minutes a day and turn to a book or go for a walk. You’ll be recharging yourself without even realizing it. When it comes to books, there are a plethora of options on mental wellness. Hearing from other people’s experiences is beneficial and reassuring that we are not alone. Learning from others, whether it be coping mechanisms or learning from their mistakes, is something we should all learn to do. A list of mental health books can be found here.
Keep an Eye Out
When it comes to helping those struggling with mental health issues, you may not know where to start. Seeing behavioral issues at work or a person’s productivity decreasing is not the time to get angry or upset, it may be the warning signs of a person struggling. According to the Mayo Clinic, “confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, and extreme mood changes of highs and lows are just a few signs that a person is starting to be consumed by their poor mental health”. It’s in everyone’s best interest to offer help when these warning signs appear, not to look down upon these feelings or take them lightly. Offering suggestions or just being a listening ear can be more beneficial than a person may think. Saving someone from being alone in their battle with mental health is crucial. Having a counselor they can go to in the office or a fitness class they can attend is helpful, as well as just acknowledging the fact that you can see they are struggling and offering to talk is an important step.
There are so many things you can do when it comes to helping both yourself and others keep their mental health in check. Being healthy mentally is just as important as physically. Take every step possible and never be afraid to reach out. For more tips, you can use the link below.