Even if you are feeling incredibly happy and like your life couldn’t get any better, there are always stressful moments regarding mental health at work waiting around the corner. It could be something unexpected like a flat tire while on your road trip to a big project coming up at work.
Mental health at work is an important, yet sometimes overlooked, factor in the business world. Not all of these issues are related to stress, but stress does play a prominent role in burnout, fatigue and more issues.
Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health at Work
So, what are the ways you can take care of your mental health at work while making sure you’re being as productive as possible?
Actually, Take a Break
The majority of jobs have their schedule laid out ahead of time and it often looks something like this:
Work Hours 9 AM-5 PM (30 minutes for lunch)
That time for lunch supposed to be a break. Not a time to get ahead on work, not a time for a meeting, but an actual, honest break. Put down the phone, step away from the computer, don’t bring any work with you and go to lunch.
It’s no secret that a working environment can bring a ton of pressure, but you can’t let all that pressure constantly wear you out. Professional athletes take a day or two off from their training regimen from time to time, so why shouldn’t you?
Use Your Vacation
In addition to taking your breaks, it’s important you actually use your vacation days. Make a long weekend trip with your college friends or go to a spa with your partner. The majority of people in the U.S. don’t even plan on taking all of their vacation days. But you should!
Having those moments where you fully disconnect is good for both the mind and the body. Plus, you’ll get to experience a new culture, try some new food and add some great photos to your album.
Make Your Office Space Yours
While in the office, you might not have the pleasure of being at home. Instead of your couch in the adjoining room, you’re stuck next to your coworker Larry who doesn’t know how to eat with his mouth closed.
But what you can do is set up things in your office to give it a homey feel. Put up pictures of your family, hang up a small poster of your favorite sports team or have a few toys to fiddle with when you lean back in your chair. Stress relief toys or balls have been proven to reduce stress by 30%. If you own the company or manage it, this is something to give to employees. These can be given at events too to stay in front of customers.
Although there could be a separate article about your physical health, the two are often intertwined and definitely play off each other.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or you look at the clock and realize you haven’t stood up in three hours, take a quick walk around the office or go up and refill your water bottle. Do some stretches at your desk to keep yourself limber and not feel like a mummy when you get up.
If your back or legs start to ache, that could add another thing to your list of worries that eventually wind you up to the point of no return.
If you’ve ever watched Parks n’ Recreation. You know that two of the supporting characters have a “treat yo self” day. That’s a day when they do whatever they want just to make them happy.
It would be great if you had a treat yo self day once a year, but you should also celebrate the small accomplishments. Business showing growth? Got your favorite restaurant. Just had your first sale? Grab a drink. Finished up that big project? Go get some ice cream.
There’s no shame in celebrating the accomplishments you have along the way, and you it’s OK to give yourself a pat on the back.
Talk With Others
One of the greatest actions for relieving stress is venting. Sometimes you don’t want anyone to really solve the problem for you. It’s just nice to have someone listen to what you’re saying.
That person can be a fellow coworker, friend or family member. You may want to just get something off of your chest that has been bothering you. If you’re looking for advice, tell the people upfront.
A quick caveat on this one: don’t always make that person the go-to for your stress outburst. Be sure to talk and listen to them as well, or else your relationship might eventually deteriorate if all you’re doing is talking about your workplace struggles. It can’t all be one-sided.