6 Tips To Look After Your Mental Health At Work
Published: 16 May 2018
As part of Workplace Wellbeing month here at Only Marketing Jobs, we are going to be looking at a number of issues that can affect us during our time at work. As it’s Mental Health Awareness week, we thought it would be fitting to focus on some key mental health issues for the next few days. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people in the UK every year, and if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’re likely to know someone who has. It doesn't discriminate, so make sure you look after yourself at work with our top tips:
If you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health, bottling it up is one of the worst things you can do. Through talking, not only will you feel better for offloading but you’ll discover that you’re probably not alone either. Just being listened to can provide an awful lot of support and, in turn, can help you make sense of how you’re feeling. Whether it’s your boss, a colleague or a dedicated mental health expert, it’s important to open up to someone at work if you're not well.
You can’t expect to perform in your job if you’re running on empty all the time and there really is no such thing as being too busy to eat. It’s important to start your day with a healthy breakfast and keep yourself nourished throughout day through mealtimes and snacks. The brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to function properly and there are strong links between what we eat and how we feel. A healthy, balanced diet includes:
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Wholegrain cereals and bread
- Nuts and seeds
- Oily fish
- Lean meat & poultry
Curb your alcohol consumption
Turning up to work hungover is never the one, so this should be motivation to reconsider your alcohol intake during the working week, although admittedly it's harder for some than others. The effects of alcohol can have a hugely negative impact on your mental health (not to mention a number of unpleasant physical symptoms) and certain feelings, such as anxiety and paranoia, are best kept out of the workplace. Cutting down your drinking brings a wealth of health benefits, so think twice next time you’re tempted to go for a mid-week beverage.
Ask for support
If you’ve become unwell, asking work for help and support is one of the best things you can do. The last thing you need if you’re struggling with your mental health is to lose your job. Opening up to people at work can really help to eradicate the pressure of hiding your struggle and, in turn, give you a higher chance of getting better. Your workplace might already offer mental health support, which is brilliant, but if they don’t, it’s not cause to fret. Simply allowing you the time to attend appointments where necessary is just one way that your workplace can support you.
Use your holidays
So many people are guilty of overworking, so much so that they don’t take all of their holiday throughout the year. Taking holiday doesn’t mean you need to book a luxury trip abroad each time and spend lots of money. Holiday can mean you simply spend a week at home, doing nothing. It’s so important to switch off every once in a while. This will mean that you’ll go back to work recharged and re-energised, improving not only your performance but how you feel about going to work in general. Time off is vital; don’t neglect this necessity.
Do a job you’re good at
This sounds like an obvious point, but if you’re in a role that you hate because you’re just no good at it, it’s definitely time to find a new job. This kind of stress can really take its toll on your health in general, but it's also something you have control over. Look at your strengths, qualifications and preferences to find out what kind of job is right for you. It might mean that you need to undertake an internship which may impact you in the short-term financially, but in the long-term it could work wonders for your career.
We aren't experts but, unsurprisingly, a few of us have had our own experiences of working whilst struggling with our mental health, so it's not a total stab in the dark. We really hope that these tips are helpful and have given you little food for thought where your job is concerned!