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If there is one thing that has connected us all over the past few years, it is discovering the role that mental health plays in our lives. While there is still stigma around talking about mental health, more and more workplaces are making the effort to check in with their employees. There is also a growing number of resources that are accessible for individuals who are struggling and need support. The first step towards taking control is to be aware of how we are really doing in terms of our mental health. It is important to remember that no matter what we might be struggling within our lives or at work we are not alone and there are others who understand and want to help.It is important to remember that no matter what we might be struggling within our lives or at work we are not alone and there are others who understand and want to help. Click To Tweet
Challenges To Workplace Mental Health
We may wonder why it feels like collectively our mental health at work has been suffering. Part of the increase in anxiety, depression, and burnout comes from the fact that we have been asked to work in new ways. Sometimes this has looked like having to find effective ways to work from home while at other times this has looked like learning how to hold events, benefits, or galas online. Since there have been so many changes to our day-to-day work patterns, organizations have been putting an emphasis on employee mental health and making sure that employees are being taken care of. Part of the reason for the emphasis is stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout all negatively affect businesses. Mental health is one of the most common reasons for productivity loss.
Creating Sustainable Careers
One question that we have been asking is how we can make sure our careers are sustainable in the long term. For organizations, this often ends up looking like a focus on employee engagement and work life balance as indicators of mental health. If we do not have support, we can become burned out which decreases our productivity. The importance of mental health at work is part of the reason that a growing number of organizations offer some form of counseling that we can take advantage of for free or a small fee. Organizations are learning that if they take care of their employees’ mental health, they see higher employee investment which leads to better economic outcomes.
Taking Control of Our Mental Health
To take control of our mental health it is important that we recognize when we are struggling and what might be the cause. We will find that the mental health challenges of working from home are different from the mental health struggles of going into an office every day. The key is to face our struggles head-on and know when a challenge is too big for us to handle on our own. When a struggle becomes too much it is a good time to reach out to others for support. Sometimes this means talking to human resources, talking to our boss, or talking to our coworkers about how we can redistribute some of our tasks so we can do better at our jobs while also being less stressed.
Ways To Strengthen Our Mental Health
Sometimes we want to be proactive and work on our mental health before we face a crisis. The good news is there are a wide range of mental health practices. These practices can include meditation, deep breathing, or yoga as well as using journaling or art to process what we are feeling and experiencing. Sometimes simply finding a way to get out whatever is boiling up inside of us can make a big difference. Finally, sometimes we find that we need additional support to work through a particular challenge and need to seek the help of a therapist. Seeing a therapist is a sign of strength. Going to a therapist means we have the self-knowledge to know we need help and the courage and strength to get that help.
Improving our mental health at work is a complex challenge and involves us working with our employers. It also involves our employers being able and willing to listen to our struggles and be able to connect us to others who can help us. While more and more organizations are putting programs in place to support the mental wellbeing of their employees, we can always take steps to improve our mental health on our own. Mental wellbeing should be part of all our days instead of being something that we only think about when we are suffering.