Mental health is an important issue that affects everyone, especially in the work place. Unlike a physical ailment, mental health is far more insidious and difficult to recognise. So it’s up to us as individuals to not only be alert for changes in behaviour in those around us but also to keep our mental health strong.
Alot of the advice on being happier and healthier always seems to sound the same; get lots of rest, stay hydrated, take breaks, meditate etc. And these are all fantastic suggestions. Sleep is seriously a cure all! But I have come up with a list that will help to put the spring in your step and lead to better overall mental health.
So, here are my top ten unusual tips for better mental health at work.
- Feng shui your work space. De-clutter, reorganise and clear out your desk, filing cabinet – even your digital space like your email inbox. There are some tips here about actual feng shui for your workspace.
- Get to work super early and organise your day. To avoid any feeling of overwhelm or anxiety, come into work a bit earlier than normal so that you have the space and time to mentally get on top of things before everyone else gets into the office.
- Have a nap during lunch. This is perfect for those who drive into work – go to your car and have a 20 minute disco nap. If you don’t have the solace of a car to sneak off to, is there a meeting room you could hide out in? Or even a sick bay?
- Do menial tasks. For those days where you left motivation at home and your brain feels fried, do the tasks that don’t require lots of thinking. All jobs come with their boring tasks and it’s days like these that you should take advantage of that.
- Work in 20 minute chunks. If you have no more menial tasks to do, instead of chaining yourself to the desk all day, work in 20 minute chunks with a small refreshing break in between. Set a reoccurring alarm on your phone and go to town. It’s easier to tackle a big “to do” when you know that in 20 minutes you will be taking a break.
- Leave on time. It’s ok to work back late when there is a big project due and everything is on the line. But don’t make that a habit. Leave work on time and during your commute home, switch off your mobile phone.
- Get social. If you work on your own, go down to your local business centre and spend some time working amongst other entrepreneurs. If you are in a company, make an effort to chat with people outside of your immediate team. Start a social club and organise a fortnightly group outing.
- Create a career plan for yourself. Knowing where you want to go can really help increase motivation and engagement levels. So ask yourself, where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Talk to your boss about your thoughts and get them on board to help support you through that path. If you can’t talk to your boss, check out local business mentor programs. Or even have a chat with me! (I love planning!!)
- Decorate your desk. Have something on your desk that makes you smile each time you look at it. It could be a picture of your family and friends, a beautiful potted plant or even a goldfish named Henry Winterbottom the Third.
- Help someone else. I love the saying “when you are feeling helpless, help someone”. It is the best way to lift your spirits and widen your perspective on life in general. Who around you could use some help, a shoulder to cry on or simply an empathetic ear? And who knows, you will probably help increase their mental health too!
Now I’d love to hear from you. What do you do at work to pull yourself out of a funk? And what tips above will you try – I’d love to know how they go for you!
Remember, nothing is more important than your health. So take care of yourself and the rest will be taken care of.