The nation is undergoing a huge stress epidemic. With technology enabling us to work from anywhere, at any time, many individuals are finding it difficult to draw the line between work and play. As a result, we’re more stressed, anxious and depressed, than we’ve ever been before.
The good news is the stigma around mental health is slowly starting to disappear. With many charities and organisations encouraging people to speak out about how they’re feeling, it’s become less of a taboo in recent years and more of a talking point.
If you’re finding it difficult to strike a balance between your personal and professional life, read on for our top tips on how to look after your wellbeing at work.
Take a lunch break
Firstly, you must ensure that you take a break. It can be all too easy to fall into the habit of grabbing a sandwich and eating it at your desk, but this will only make you feel worse.
A brisk 20-minute walk will do wonders for you, by increasing the amount of airflow to your brain, while also releasing those much-needed endorphins. This could actually help you to be more productive at work, avoiding that dreaded afternoon-slump.
Alternatively, sitting with your colleagues and talking about things that aren’t work-related can help you to switch off. Too many Brits don’t take a lunch break and this is something that needs to change.
Look after your wellbeing by taking a well-deserved break and see the difference it makes to your productivity.
Talk to someone
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved and this couldn’t be truer. Whether it’s your manager, a member of the HR team, or even just a trusted colleague, talking to someone at work is always a good idea.
Bottling up your feelings in the workplace will only make you feel worse and could affect you both mentally and physically in the long run.
You never know, your employer might be able to offer you further support through any particular wellbeing programmes that they offer. There’s certainly no harm in asking.
With Zoom becoming the new normal in our work and personal lives, it adds a different dynamic and also provides the opportunity to have a face to face conversation. Which might be exactly what you need!
Stop, breathe and look around you
Sometimes, when things get on top of you, you can start to feel overwhelmed. Your heart starts racing, your breathing quickens and your shoulders begin to tense.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed at work, don’t panic. It’s important to take a moment to stop and look around you. This will help you to avoid focussing on your own internal mind and negative thoughts, instead, noticing the people you’re with and what they’re doing.
Make sure that you focus on taking long, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and ensure it reaches the pit of your stomach, rather than your chest. Focussing on this for a good few minutes can help to keep you calm and relaxed.
If needed, ask your manager if you can step outside for some fresh air. The sooner you tackle it, the better.
Create a balance
Finally, it goes without saying that establishing a strong work-life balance is extremely important in today’s working world. Try and avoid checking your emails outside of work hours and if you can’t help but check it may be worth getting these removed.
Alongside this, avoid working longer hours than you need to. It’s better to work at maximum productivity between 9 and 5:30pm, than coming in at 8am and leaving the office 11 hours later.
To ensure you leave on time, why not start-up a hobby or make plans to see your friends once or twice a week. Sometimes you need that extra push to get you out of the office.
If you work in an environment where working long hours is expected of you, it might be time to consider searching for a new job.
Are you looking after your wellbeing at work?
Workplace wellbeing is extremely important. Thankfully, more employers are recognising this and are actively supporting their employees when it comes to looking after their mental health at work.
If you find that you’re not feeling 100%, why not use the above advice to create a routine and plan that works. Remember, everyone is different – so do what’s right for you, not what’s right for someone else.
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