5 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health At Work
Published: 26 Sep 2017
It's no secret to anyone who has ever landed on our insights page, that I am a huge advocate for destigmatising mental health and especially its place among the modern workplace conversation. Our mental wellbeing is crucially important, especially when navigating a career which, for most of us, will span almost 50 years. Our minds are just as precious as our bodies and it’s vital that we look after our mental health. So, how do we look after our mental health to make us more effective at work?
This is particularly important for anybody who is currently working in a sedentary job (basically every office worker.) It can be difficult to take the time to get up and move during the working day, especially if you’re engrossed in what you’re doing. You don’t have to start running around the office because, let’s face it, that would be slightly weird, but it can be as simple as leaving your desk every hour for a stretch or running on the spot in the toilet cubicle each time you go. Making time for the gym before, during or after work will have significant benefits and if your employer offers reimbursement towards a gym membership, even better!
I’m going to sound like such a mum right now, but how can you expect to function mentally when your body is totally starving? You can’t, and skipping meals can have an incredibly negative impact on both your physical and mental health. There are far too many opinions on exactly how much we should be eating, what and when we should eat, but in my opinion, a good breakfast and lunch is essential to functioning properly during the working day.
Do something you’re good at
This might sound a bit wishy-washy, but if you’re finding work incredibly challenging on your mental health, why don’t you do something that you’re innately good at? Not always possible, especially if your talents are more…well…specialist, but it’s worth a try. Trying hard to do something you’re not that good at can cause you an unbelievable amount of stress and it’s just not worth it. If you think your current position is having an adverse effect on your mental health, maybe it’s time to search for a new job? There is so much variety, especially when it comes to marketing jobs, that you've probably gained exposure to several disciplines. Choose your strong point.
I can’t stress this point enough. Sometimes, one of the most powerful tools for someone who is struggling with their mental health is simply to be able to speak. Therapy isn’t a waste of time, it’s a treatment for a reason. Talking about problems in the workplace can help you to deal with them more effectively. If you find that things are getting a little too much, have a conversation and let your employer know how you’re feeling. Having a supportive employer can make a huge difference, especially when mental health starts to suffer. If your employer can't be supportive, then you should definitely think about a move.
Keep a work-life balance
This includes making time for yourself. Sometimes it can be very difficult to say no to people when they ask you to make plans, but it’s important to indulge in some quiet time at home. Try turning off your phone one evening every week. Ignore Facebook, mute your Whatsapp and indulge in a little bit of PEACE. If you think this might be impossible, why don't you take up swimming? It's great for your body but it’s also one of the only activities which doesn't tolerate a mobile phone. Total escapism. Try it!
Your mental health needs as much love and care as your physical health, especially when it comes to your career. In the ever-evolving world of marketing jobs, it’s crucial to always be on top of your game because you never know what new opportunity is around the corner. Look after yourself. If you think that now is the right time for a change, update your CV, brush up with some interview tips and begin your job search today!