We all know that having good mental health is essential to living a happy and productive life. Yet when we’re feeling overstressed or experiencing high levels of anxiety or depression, many of us don’t know how to fix it.
Dealing with our mental health at home can be difficult, but it can be even more challenging when those feelings creep in at work.
Ready to learn how to tackle those feelings head-on? Here are some things that you can do to handle your mental health at work better.
Establish Healthier Habits At Home
One of the best things you can do to cut your mental health issues at work is to establish healthier habits at home.
Improving your sleep habits, sticking to an exercise routine, and eating a healthy diet are the best things you can do to strengthen your body. But those healthy behaviors don’t just improve your body — they also help enhance your mind.
With the right diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, you’ll be better equipped to handle stress and anxiety when those feelings arise.
Improve Time Management Skills
Is your mental health suffering because you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed with all the tasks you have to do at work?
If so, it’s time to learn how to be more productive so that you get more done and lessen that stress factor. You can improve your productivity by merely learning better time management skills.
There are lots of small steps you can take to improve your time management skills. Start by scheduling tasks and prioritizing what needs doing first.
Analyze your patterns with time tracking apps or calendars to identify where you’re spending (and wasting) the most time. Organize your workspace (including your digital files) so that you don’t waste time looking for things throughout the day.
Plan your day by setting goals and milestones for yourself and focus on accomplishing one small goal or task at a time. Identify the things that cause you to get distracted, then figure out ways to minimize those distractions.
Commit to improving your time management skills, and on-the-job stress can be a thing of the past.
Take Breaks Throughout The Day
Taking breaks throughout the day is a great way to strengthen your mental health and reduce stress and anxiety.
No, we’re not suggesting that you take a two-hour break for lunch because you’re stressed out. That might actually get you fired (which will only bring about more stress). But we are suggesting that you take several short breaks throughout the day.
Every few hours, take a ten-minute break to meditate silently at your desk. Practice some deep breathing techniques, or stand up and stretch your body. These things can help you refocus and feel energized when it’s time to return to work.
If you feel like you’re in a deep slump, it can be beneficial to walk around the parking lot. A little bit of exercise can boost your energy levels, and absorbing sunlight will boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin stabilizes our mood and leads to improved feelings of happiness, which may be all you need when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Maintain A Work/Life Balance
We all fall behind on deadlines. We’ve all had moments where there is more work piled up than there are hours in the day to do it all. And we often think that the only way to dig out of that hole is to work late into the night or put in some extra hours on the weekend.
That approach may help you get through your workload, but it won’t do any good for your mental health.
To keep your mental health strong at work, you need to maintain a work/life balance.
One way to do that is to set a specific time to leave the office every day. When the workday is over, stop working. Don’t take work home with you. Don’t respond to emails once you’re home, when you’re on vacation, or off on the weekend.
The only way to have a stable work/life balance is not to work when you’re off the clock.
You must find the time to take care of your own needs — practice self-care. Carve out time to read or watch TV or focus on your hobbies. Spend time with your family and friends.
As busy as work may be, it cannot be your only focus in life. The more time you allow yourself to enjoy outside of work, the more productive you’ll be when you’re on the job.
Create A Network For Support
When you’re struggling with mental health issues, it’s incredibly important to have a network for support. But having family or loved ones that you can confide in sometimes isn’t enough. It’s just as crucial that you have a support network inside your workplace as well.
Find a mentor or make one or two good friends at work that you can vent to when the job is overwhelming you with stress. By establishing good relationships with your colleagues, you’ll have someone to lean on when you’re having a crazy day at work.
It’s also a good idea to let your boss know how you’re feeling. There is no need to feel shame or try to hide the fact that you’re struggling. Many employers have on-site resources for mental health. If yours does, take advantage of those resources.
The next time you feel like you need help at work, ask for it. Your boss may be able to cut back on some of your tasks to ease your burden, even if only for a few days.
We all need to take our mental health as seriously as we do our physical health. But handling it in the privacy of our own homes is often easier than dealing with it in the workplace.
To strengthen your mental health at work, here are five things you can do:
- Establish better eating, sleeping, and exercise habits at home
- Improve time management skills to become more productive
- Take breaks throughout the day to energize your body and refocus your mind
- Maintain a work/life balance
- Create a network for support, both in and out of the workplace
If you’re experiencing mental health issues, whether at home or work, address them head-on. With a proactive approach and a focus on self-care, you can learn to cope with stress and anxiety and be ready to take on any challenge that comes your way.
Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. His ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him in a successful career that now finds him leading the team at Turtle Creek.