We all have days at work when we feel stressed out or anxious. But what should you do when this starts to cross over into something more? Here are our top five tips for looking after your mental health at work…
Act sooner rather than later. If you can, do something about how you feel as early as possible because it might stop you from becoming unwell. Try and speak to someone to let them know how you’re feeling and, if a colleague comes to you saying they have concerns about you, listen and take onboard what they’re saying
Help others to help you. If you feel like you are struggling with a mental health issue, try and let someone in your workplace know, whether that is your line manager, someone in HR or someone else. If you feel like a particular task, team, work environment or time of the day is linked to how you're feeling, let someone know.
Get your work life balance right. If you’re always the last to leave and you let work spill over into your personal life then it’s time to do something about it. Create clear boundaries between home and work, write a to-do list for the next day at the end of each day and try to leave on time when you can.
Stay active. Regular physical activity is related to lower rates of anxiety and depression across all age groups so try to keep active throughout the working week - and during your down time. It doesn’t have to be high intensity activity, anything from going for a walk at lunchtime, taking the stairs rather than a lift and walking to a colleague’s desk rather than emailing them could make a difference.
Coming back to work. If you’ve had time off work due to your mental health and you’re feeling almost ready to return, talk to your manager and agree a plan ahead of going back into your workplace. You may feel like you need some support or changes in your role to make it easier to go back. Talk to your manager about these so you can work together to make sure the plan covers everything you need it to.
A few things to keep in mind…
Mental health charity Mind can help with more information.