To close out Mental Health Awareness Month, we are talking about how to feel your best at work. Mental health can be difficult to approach in a work environment, where often overworking is prized over taking care of ourselves. Feeling your best doesn’t have to come at the detriment of your work performance- in fact, you may even see an increase in productivity and efficiency. Here’s how to prioritize your mental health at work:
1. Use Resources
There are many resources to aid in taking care of your mental health. First, delve into your healthcare plan to see if therapy is covered or wellness perks like acupuncture and massage fall under an FSA or HSA account. Be sure to schedule appointments in advance and leave ample time in your day to focus on them, and not be rushed.
Look into formally educating colleagues with an online seminar from Mental Health First Aid, which will help make your work environment more inclusive and better equipped to handle topics surrounding mental health. Most importantly, don’t forget to use those sick days! If we have learned anything during these times, it is that we need to stay home when we are sick to protect others and not push our bodies to the limit.
2. Reduce Stress
Stressors at work can build up to negatively impact our mental health. While some degree of work stress is typically unavoidable, do what you can to mitigate and it from spilling into your personal life. Hire a virtual assistant, stand up and move throughout the day, incorporate plants and other calming elements into your workspace, and try a new productivity hack to increase efficiency.
3. Take Time Off
Taking advantage of paid time off policies (or giving yourself a day if self-employed) isn’t just for beach vacations or attending another wedding. Personal days are important for resetting, even while working from home, without the pressure of needing to be online, checking email, and responding to messages. A personal day can be for any reason from working on your mental health, to accomplishing personal admin tasks like virtual appointments and grocery shopping. Whatever the reason, give yourself permission to take a break to focus on you.
4. Create a Wellness-Based Workspace
Above all, foster a workplace environment where wellness is a top priority. As a leader, work to ensure that people are comfortable taking time off, having proper breaks throughout the day, and providing mental health resources. If you're not in a decision making position, focus on what you can change such as your physical workspace and incorporating activity into the day. For those who fly solo, balancing work with pleasure can be the biggest challenge. To stay on top of your mental health, create distinct boundaries, and communicate them to clients and colleagues.
A tip from AdvantEdge Workspaces to celebrate "Wellness Wednesdays"
An easy step that works to reduce the stigma around mental health in the office is to choose a workspace that supports your values. At AdvantEdge Workspaces, we focus on providing amenities and events to our clients that reduce workplace stress and help promote wellness. Call answering and reception helps to free up more of your precious time while events such as lunchtime meditation and access to massage chairs provide stress-reducing breaks.
Let this Mental Health Awareness Month serve as a reminder that you deserve to feel your best while working. Utilize resources, don’t be afraid to take time for yourself, and discover what a wellness-focused workspace like AdvantEdge can offer!