Mental Health Within The Workplace
The last 3 years have been quite the whirlwind of challenges and uphill battles. The global pandemic felt never-ending, political unrest persisted in varying forms, affecting countries across the world, and the place we call home was ravaged by natural disasters. A silver lining from a time of extreme hardship was seeing humans come together and provide for each other. We are now witnessing a movement towards addressing the stigma we subconsciously attach to mental health and mental illness.
The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is, “Our Minds, Our Rights” which aims to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect mental health as a universal human right. This theme feels quite relevant to the last few years we have had.
In 2020, mental health support went from a nice-to-have to a true business imperative. We realised we can in fact do our jobs from home and maintain a work-life balance. Fast forward to 2021-22, and the stakes have been raised even higher thanks to a greater awareness of the workplace factors that can contribute to poor mental health. Now in 2023, we are experiencing a culture change, with some workplaces introducing mental health days, four-day work-weeks, and enhanced counselling benefits or apps.
As we approach World Mental Health Day this October 10th, the Twenty Two team is reflecting on how conversations around mental health are becoming more normalised in our networks both online and with our loved ones. However, giving our mental health the same amount of attention we give our physical health is something we are constantly working on. So, we have put together our team tips for maintaining a good mental health headspace at work. We hope this inspires you to incorporate a tip or two into your work day!
- Take your lunch breaks, better still, take them outside! Spending time in nature removes unnatural stimuli, restoring our attention and helping us to focus better. 🌯🌳
- Rally your workmates together and take a lunchtime walk. Working in an office means we often go through the day without breathing in fresh air. Also, you’d be surprised at the random spots you come across by taking a walk around your area. 🚶🏻♀️🍽️
- If you’re feeling extra productive, you could even squeeze in some exercise during your lunch break. Be it a quick lap at the local pool, a run or a 30 min gym sesh! Be we understand that takes a certain kinda person! 🏊🏻♀️😅
- Make yourself a tea! We have a grand tea selection in our office and honestly just making ourselves a hot cup of tea is such a great way to calm our mind and settle our nervous system. 🫖🍵
- Chat with your work friends! Sometimes just having a 5 min chat with a friend in the work kitchen can be an easy pick-me-up. Don’t underestimate the power of social connection! 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏽
- Practise mindfulness - however that might look to you. It could be as simple as writing 3 things you are grateful for or journaling about any new experiences or struggles you’ve been dealing with. ✍️🧘🏻
- On that note, introduce ‘End of Week Wins’ to your workplace. This is a team favourite at Twenty Two as we find it really helps us reflect on what went well in the week! 🏆🙌
- Develop a healthy way to release anger or stress such as tuning into a podcast, meeting with a friend for a catchup, or phoning a family member during your commute. 🎧📞
Remember, maintaining your mental health also applies when you leave the office! As we find ourselves chronically online, we have to make the active effort to disconnect from work emails and calls. But switching off our mind from unfinished business and detaching from that go go go grind-set (get it?!) is easier said than done. We like to get stuck into a new TV series or make ourselves a yummy dinner while playing some music or an audio book! To get into this non-work related mindset and reject the repetitive cycle, we kick off our Friday’s by sharing our weekend plans. We find this is such a nice way to set the tone for the last day of the working week!