How to support your mental health at work

6 Oct 2021

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, supporting your mental health at work is vital for many reasons such as productivity and your general wellbeing at work. We explore some of the best ways in which business owners and employees can support mental health at work.

How to support your own mental health at work

Remote working and mental health

This recent shift in where and how we work means that many of us now spend the majority of our time at work working remotely, instead of in an office or work environment. Pre-pandemic, your workplace was a  space to socialise, share worries or work issues, and generally spend time with colleagues but with many more work teams working remotely, this dynamic has changed.

It's important to consider mental health and wellbeing even if you’ve carried on working remotely or are managing remote teams. Some tips to incorporate into your working day to keep minds healthy include:

  • Keeping lines of communication open. This is a key point to supporting everyone and making sure they’re listened to. Whether that’s a daily check-in and ensuring you ask your team questions that encourage responses past ‘how are you?’

  • Try flexible hours. This is a big take-out from remote working over the last 18 months so if you’re in charge of teams or manage your own working hours, including flexibility is vital for helping mental health. 

  • Being considerate of individual circumstances. Everyone in the team has different priorities and circumstances, whether that’s school runs or caring for family. Being mindful of this is a great way to reduce stress and concern amongst teams. 

  • Take holidays and days off.  We all feel better after a break. Regularly check holiday requests and prompt people to take them or book some days off for yourself!

  • Create clear boundaries. Make sure your manager or employer understands your working hours and don’t respond to things outside of your set hours.

How to create a healthy working environment for your mental health

Whether you work from home full time, spend part of the working week in an office or work on-site full time, there are ways that you can create a healthy working environment for your mental health that will keep your mind- and body in shape. Being mindful of your mental and physical health is the first step to creating a healthy working environment, whether you’re running a business or are working for a company.

Just like physical wellbeing, we respond differently to activities but some of the top tips for everyone to try includes:

  • Regular breaks. Whether that’s away from the screen or off the shop floor, it’s important to take 5 minutes to breathe.

  • Being active. Before or after work, create some time for yourself to move. Walking, running, cycling or simply stretching, helps to gets those endorphins flowing and feel great.

  • Eat and drink regularly.  Being hungry or dehydrated, directly impacts how we feel and how our mind works. If you’re hungry or thirsty, it’s likely you won’t be able to concentrate. Carry a refillable bottle with you at work and make sure to keep sipping throughout the day whether that’s in your own home or in an office space, have a dedicated space for yourself to sit quietly or concentrate

  • Get some sleep. We all know how good sleep is for our mental and physical wellbeing but it can be hard to get enough. Try setting a bedtime too and incorporating a ‘wind-down routine to avoid screens 30 mins before bed.

What to do if you need support

Our charity partner mental health charity, Mind, have some excellent resources on staying well at work. If you feel overwhelmed by anything work or life-related and feel stressed, anxious or unable to cope, there is always somewhere to turn. 

Remember, if you are struggling and need support, contact Mind.

Zoe Cornish

Chief People & Operations Officer

Zoe Cornish is the Chief People & Operating Officer at Funding Options. Zoe has an extensive background in human resources and in developing and implementing people strategies within companies, covering employee engagement, performance management, organisational culture, coaching, as well as policies and practice. Prior to Funding Options, Zoe was the COO at Emerald group (acquired by Mind Tools).

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