Mental health is still seen as an elephant in the room but research has now shown that two in three people have experienced a mental health problem at some point in their life. Our mental health is a key area to our wellbeing as well as our physical health. It is important to maintain both areas but often our mental health can be neglected.
The advantages of having good mental health can allow us to make the most of our potential, cope with what life throws at us and play a full part in our relationships, our workplace, and our community.
However, we all have times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. These feelings usually pass, but sometimes they develop into a mental health problem like anxiety or depression, which can impact on our daily lives.
Mental health problems can happen to anyone. Our mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can fluctuate as circumstances change and as we move through different stages in our lives. Working in stressful environments can also have a detrimental impact on our mental health.
Early signs of our mental health deteriorating at our workplace could be things such as noticing that we are more tired than usual. We might also make uncharacteristic mistakes; find it hard to motivate ourselves. We might also find that we are speeding up or becoming chaotic and taking on more work than we can manage. Other signs could be that we become short tempered and find that we are isolating ourselves and avoiding colleagues.
What can we do to look after our mental health?
There are ten steps that you can improve your mental health:
- Talk about your feelings to someone you are comfortable with.
- Keep active during the day or before or after work.
- Eat well, and try to have your lunch away from your desk.
- Drink sensibly, and recognise that drinking to get rid of fear, loneliness or anxiousness is only temporary and can result to a more serious problem if you become alcohol dependant.
- Keep in touch with colleagues, building relationship with your colleagues and having a supportive team behind you will be very beneficial.
- Ask for help when you need it, we cannot do everything by ourselves. There is no shame asking for help from your supervisors and colleagues.
- Take a break; it could be a short five-minute break at work or some time off on holiday. It is important to recognise when your body needs a break.
- Do something you are good at, doing something that you enjoy and good at will assist in relieving stress from your work life.
- Accept who you are and be proud, it is important to recognise that everyone is different and that you are good at things that others may not be.
- Care for others, working life can provide opportunities to care for others; you may have the opportunity to make others feel valued.
Identifying early warning signs, and taking action can help improve your mental state. Early intervention can help reduce the severity of an illness and it may even be possible to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether. So, if you are ever in this situation, confide in someone, keeping the elephant hidden away is only likely to make the matter worse. Do not be scared to speak about your mental health, as you may find that others might be going through the same issues or have tackled these issues in the past.
Navin Bundhoo, Paralegal
Posted on Wednesday, 11th October 2017