Mental health is an integral part of our wellbeing, but for a long time the topic has been pushed under the rug and the “stiff upper lip” mentality has won, but not anymore - that’s right, it’s finally time to actually think about how we feel mentally as well as physically!
The concept has grown more important and gained momentum over the world. Now more than ever, we're seeing people talk more openly about all aspects of mental health and influencing companies and organisations to really focus their awareness on mental health, as well as provide important information and resources about mental health.
This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is connecting with nature! So, in the spirit of promoting and providing mental health tips and advice, I’m going to give you some tips on how to look after your mental health at work, for both employees and employers, as well as take a look at how nature especially can improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
As employers, you not only have a responsibility to protect your employee’s mental health and ensure that they are as anxiety-free and stress-free at work as possible, but mentally happy and healthy employees are also more productive and passionate about their job! So, here are our 3 top tips for looking after the mental health of your employees at work ...
Create a Mental Health Conscious Workplace
The most important thing you need to do is create a workplace that’s conscious about mental health. This means bringing mental health into discussion regularly, providing mental health resources, having an open-door policy, allowing flexible working and mental health days, and not only asking your employees how they are, but truly listening to their answers and checking in with them regularly.
Specialise Support - Ask, Listen, and Deliver
Since everyone has different ways of dealing with mental health, one of the best ways to look after the mental health of your employees is by simply asking them what kind of support they need, listening to them, and then delivering them the benefits they need.
Promote Activities In Nature
Research has shown that spending time in nature reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. So, use this proven research and get your employees outside! Promote lunchtime walks, plan picnics in the park, start a running club, or provide yoga classes outdoors - whatever you do, promote your employees spending time in nature!
Taking control of your mental health can be incredibly powerful, and focusing on your mental health as part of your personal wellbeing is essential. With most of us spending over 40 hours a week at work, looking after our workplace mental health is vital. So, here are our 3 tips for looking after your mental health at work ...
Practising mindfulness can greatly impact your mental health, with one study showing that 63% of people with anxiety and depression reported that practising meditation helped them feel better daily. However, you can practice a variety of mindfulness practices to calm, centre, and ground you, not just meditation! Mindful walks, painting, yoga, and breathwork are also powerful forms of mindfulness practices!
Use your Juno points to practice mindfulness:
Spend Time Outside In Nature Every Day
Whether you pop out for lunch in the park, cycle to work, or decide to take a stroll in the forest after your workday comes to an end, make sure you spend time outside in nature every single day. When you’re amongst nature, breathe the fresh air in, brush your hand against the plants or trees around you, and take it all in. You’ll return to your desk/home with an incredible sense of peace.
Speak To Your Manager/Boss If You’re Struggling
If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, or you simply need less pressure in your work-life, speak to your manager or boss and tell them. Don’t be afraid to speak up - you deserve to work somewhere you are appreciated and your mental health is prioritised.
For Both Employers & Employees:
Finally, here are 3 top tips for looking after mental health in the workplace for both employers and employees!
Bring Nature Into The Workplace
Adding nature into the workplace, through the forms of plants and flowers, allows you to reap the mental health benefits associated with nature throughout the day - being around plants promotes feelings of relaxation and calm, as well as increases memory and focus!
Realise That Life Isn’t All About Work
One of the most important things that you need to realise is that life isn’t all about work. Your life is much more important than the job that you do, and once you fully accept this, you won’t put as much work-related pressure on yourself (one of the most common reasons for everyday stress) and you will be able to enjoy your everyday life much more!
Promote Flexible Working
Flexible working allows people to work when and where suits them, allowing them to feel more in control of their own time, and giving them the ability to focus on their own needs that may otherwise be taken over by the traditional work-day. In fact, research shows that 54% of flexible workers receive the emotional support they need to manage stress from their flexible work-life! So, if you’re an employer, it’s a good idea to offer flexible working to your employees, and if you’re employed and think flexible working could help you improve the job you do and your lifestyle, have a chat with your employer!
The Bottom Line - It’s Time To Really Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Your mental health is just as important, if not more important than your physical health, so make sure you give it the care that it truly deserves. Whether you’re employed or an employee, taking small steps to improve your mental health/the mental health of others in the workplace is not only beneficial, but crucial.