Researchers estimate that 80% of workers feel some stress while they are at work, and over 40% feel that this stress affects their mental health. Forty percent of workers say they are worried about the mental health of their co-workers. One way that you can help your stress in the workplace is by having a positive mental outlook. That can be difficult to do in the workplace, so how can you help yourself have a positive mental health outlook amid the chaos and stress of the work environment? We have some suggestions.
Saying No At Times Is Important
It’s easy to understand that you want to look good in front of your boss. You take on extra projects and sign up for committees to impress your boss and work towards that promotion. However, you can’t take every job that comes along. You’ll need to prioritize which projects will help you, and say no to the rest. Part of being mentally healthy means that you say no to some things to stop yourself from becoming overworked and stressed, which doesn’t help your mental health. To maintain a positive mental outlook, learn to say no.
Everyone Needs Boundaries
Not too long ago, people went home from work at five, and disconnected from their business lives. Now, however, the constant flood of emails and texts from work means that your boss can interrupt a family dinner, your daughter’s soccer game, or your date night with your partner. You need space to relax and not think about work, which is hard to do when you are looking at your phone all the time. You can make boundaries that separate your work and home lives. For example, you can have an hour in the evening to answer work texts and emails, and make a pledge to yourself to leave the other texts, posts and emails until the next morning. Unplugging from work is essential to having a work-life balance and a positive mental outlook.
Develop A Good Relationship With Your Boss
If you have a good working relationship with your boss, then you are in good shape. If you haven’t developed a good working relationship with your boss, you need to develop one. If your boss knows he or she can count on you to get work and projects done on time, it will go a long way towards relationship development. That way, when you need to talk to your boss about your workload and your mental health, he or she will be willing to listen and help.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you are experiencing an enormous amount of stress at work, you are most likely not the only one. Speak up for your co-workers, and ask for help, not only for yourself, but for them as well. Your boss may want to work on inviting conference speakers in to talk to everyone about their mental health. Your boss might also want to do some team building work to help with cohesiveness. If you are the only one experiencing mental health challenges that you are aware of, this would be the time to talk to your boss about help. Many large businesses have plans that allow employees to talk to social workers or mental health counselors. Talking with someone about your problems may be just what you need. Counselors or other social workers may also be able to suggest coping strategies or other methods to improve your mental health. You won’t know how much better it can be if you don’t ask for help when you need it.
Take a Break
When you are working on a project, you may be so focused on it, you forget to take a break to eat, stay hydrated, or give your body a way to recharge. Think about your day, and make a plan. Plan your breaks for eating, drinking and taking a physical break from work. It might be that simply disengaging from your work and stretching for a few minutes will help clear your head. You might also want to take a longer break by walking around the office building, or taking a walk outside. Physically disengaging allows your brain to refresh, and gives you a chance to destress and refocus. Exercise also releases endorphins into your system, which helps to improve your outlook and relieves your stress.
Practice Kindness With Others
Lots of your co-workers might be just as stressed as you are, for different reasons. They may have work-related problems, or they might also have stressors at home that are affecting their mental health. Think about doing something nice for your co-workers, such as bringing them cookies from home, or leaving a sweet thought on your co-workers desk. Let your co-workers know that you appreciate them, and they can come to you with a problem. Not only does that establish your role within the team, but it also makes you feel good to help other people. In fact, helping other people helps you feel better and relieves stress.
Think About Making a Mental Health Network at Work
Being in the workplace now means that many of you work in teams all of the time. If you are a member of the team, this is a perfect way to create a network to help all of you work through your struggles. If you aren’t comfortable discussing your stresses with your team, develop a network of other people at work to help you process through your stressors and issues at work. If you can develop a network of people you trust, it will go a long way towards helping to improve your mental health in the workplace, as well as improve the mental health of your co-workers.
Mental health is a serious health care issue. When you aren’t mentally healthy, it can affect your workload, your ability to disengage from your work, and even your ability to have healthy relationships outside the workplace. Having a positive mental outlook will help you improve your workload, and your ability to handle the inevitable stressors in your life and in the workplace.