Our personal and collective mental health is so critically important and has implications on all areas of our lives.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2017 is WORKPLACE WELLBEING.
As a business, the implications of having a healthy workforce are huge. So, whether you are an individual looking to boost your own wellbeing at work or an employer interested in advice on supporting your staff, here are some bite size snippets of information that we really hope will help!
• Educate yourself on mental health and understand the symptoms of stress and depression so that you give yourself and your team the best opportunity to recognise what’s happening early and ultimately offer practical and helpful support. Appropriate training for Line Managers has been proven to be an important way of investing in your most important asset – your staff. As an employer, consider signing up to become a MINDFUL EMPLOYER - http://www.mindfulemployer.net/
• Here are some signs of stress that we all need to know about:
o Erratic Moods: Being constantly stressed out can make your moods erratic. One minute you might feel happy and relaxed and the next minute you could feel sad and depressed.
o Trouble Concentrating and Remembering: Being stressed and overwhelmed can make it difficult for you to focus on the task that is in front of you and/or remember the details.
o Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep: When you are stressed you may find it difficult to fall asleep or even have trouble staying asleep. You should find it easy to fall asleep, so if you are struggling with this – you could be stressed.
o Constant Body Pain: Stress can cause you to have constant and persistent body pain, regardless of what you take or what you do to relieve the pain. It can cause headaches, migraines, muscle pains, tense and sore muscles and even chest pains.
o Staying Poorly: You stay sick for a long time or it seems that you either always have a sore throat, a fever, a cough, a cold, or anything that makes you feel rubbish.
• Stress is something that we all deal with, whether that is day to day or something that happens to us once in a while. When we are stressed, the brain produces the chemical cortisol which if levels are too high, becomes a poison and is very dangerous to your health. The recovery period for your body after a cortisol flush can be anywhere between 20 minutes and 2 hours. When you recognise a body is in stress mode, support yourself or your colleague at this vulnerable time. Breathe deeply. Remind yourself that you are a human machine, prone to periods of disharmony as all living, breathing organisms are. Breath, drink water and go out for a walk.
• Changing habits, attitudes and cultural expectations does not happen quickly. Be kind and patient with yourself, accepting where you are at this moment. Create change in your life by starting off very small and making one change at a time. Only when you have nailed that change and it has become a steady part of your life, should you move onto the next change.
• Be observant to the culture of your work environment. Is there a blame culture? Are your managers approachable and do they have time to effectively support their teams? Do you have leaders or managers working for you? What is the staff turnover ratio? Is there a central point of contact if a member of staff requires some support? Has this been communicated to your staff?
• Seek the counsel of people you trust and are inspired by. Share with them how you feel and ask them for their help during this challenging time. Ask them to check in with you to monitor how you are getting on. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the birth place of connection, courage, empathy and creativity. If we want greater clarity in our lives, vulnerability is the path.
• Learn to breathe correctly i.e. fully and deeply. So many of us don’t breathe to the best of our ability. This one simple piece of information can have a lasting and powerful effect on your life and how you live. Check out this video from Mind, the Mental Health charity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=31&v=nr_sN_G-F7Q
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