Employee Guide to Better Mental Health
Mental Health is a cornerstone of overall wellbeing and it can have a profound effect on our attitudes and productivity levels in work. Here are some tips to help maintain positive mental health on a daily basis.
Four tips for mental health self-care at work
1/ RECLAIM YOUR LUNCH BREAK
Lunch breaks are there for a reason. It can be tempting to eat at our desks and work through lunchtime, especially when we’re working towards a deadline, but mental health professionals advise against this habit. Taking your full 30 minutes or hour to enjoy your food, catch up with colleagues or tick something off your personal to-do list will help you relax and enable you to be more focused for the rest of the working day. Think of your allocated lunchtime as your personal time and see how this makes a difference to your day.
2/ SHARE THE LOAD
Sometimes we feel like we have to take on all the burden of our workload by ourselves, but excess pressure often leads to increased stress levels which has a detrimental effect on our mental wellbeing. Where possible, share some of your workload or delegate some tasks to other people on your team. This can go a long way to helping you complete your task to the best standard possible without putting your mental wellbeing in danger. If you notice someone else struggling, always remember to ask them if there is anything you can do to help.
3/ GET INVOLVED
We spend most of our week in work, so it’s important that the workplace is somewhere we feel we belong. A sense of community can not only help to create a stronger and more positive team, but it can also do wonders for our mental wellbeing. Volunteer to join the social committee, take part in charity events, or even simply start going for coffee or lunch with your colleagues. Feeling as though you are part of something gives a sense of belonging and makes your work environment more enjoyable; these are both essential in minding your mental health.
4/ LEAVE WORK AT WORK
It’s understandable that there are times when we will need to check our emails or perhaps take a call outside working hours, but if this becomes a regular occurrence our mental health tends to suffer. Work-life balance is important as we need to make sure our personal time is being filled with things that bring us joy or addressing tasks that are essential, like paying bills or cleaning, for keeping our stress levels at bay. It’s widely recommended that you disengage with work-related activities on your downtime in order to maintain a healthy frame of mind and positive attitude to your job.
1 in 6 employees experience stress, anxiety or depression at any given time, 40% report being regularly stressed and yet 70% of employees do not feel they can speak openly about these issues.
Anxiety is the body and mind’s natural reaction to threat or danger. This helps us to survive in stressful or dangerous situations; it can even help us perform to the best of our abilities. Anxiety can become problematic for some people, or develop into a disorder, when a person’s response is out of proportion or debilitating, or if it is generated when there is no danger present. One person could go through life events and not experience high levels of anxiety, while someone may experience the same thing and be affected negatively. For some people there is often no clear trigger or identifiable cause.
Recent research shows that there are a number of factors that impact our mental wellbeing, from positive relationships and friendships to sleep. Here are some tips that may help you manage your anxiety levels and mind your mental wellbeing.
Three tips for understanding and managing anxiety by Dr Sarah O'Neill
1/ AVOID AVOIDANCE
Avoidance maintains the cycle of anxiety. It may seem sensible to avoid something that may be distressing, however with anxiety, the more we avoid the situation the more we reinforce the anxiety. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
2/ DEVELOP AWARENESS
Educate yourself on anxiety as a condition and develop an awareness of how and when it affects you. It’s important to gain an understanding and awareness of the condition in order to manage it effectively.
Talking with people you trust can be very helpful. Whether that is a friend, a GP or a Counsellor, talking can help to alleviate the worries that might be causing your anxiety.
Who is Dr Sarah O'Neill?
Dr Sarah O’Neill is a counselling psychologist and clinical director of Spectrum.Life. She and our team of mental health professionals oversee, develop and deliver
our EAP service, mental health programmes and digital content.
Employee Assistance Programme
Mental health and wellbeing is an important part of our overall health. It affects everyone but not everyone benefits from access to expert wellbeing help or even knows how to access it.
Spectrum.Life’s Employee Assistance Programme provides the employees of our customers with free access to the most comprehensive service of its kind. You and your spouse or partner, and any dependents in your care over the age of 16 can access immediate support. Our helpline and live chat are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year round. Each person who reaches out to our EAP team will be assigned a case manager; an accredited counsellor who will ensure that you are given the correct information and set on the right path to coping with the problem for which you require assistance. As well as this, our service gives you and your loved ones access to a nationwide network of fully qualified and experienced clinical counsellors should face-to-face counselling be advised by your assigned case manager.
Our EAP is not just a mental health support helpline, but a tool to help you manage wellbeing in various aspects of your life. We offer a range of additional services to help you to address areas of your life that may be causing you distress or difficulty. These include career counselling, legal assistance, life coaching and financial wellbeing; each area catered for by an experienced professional in their respective field.
With immediate and effective access to mental health support, you will be able to rely on Spectrum.Life EAP in times of distress or when you are simply looking for guidance in particular areas of your life. The service can be accessed easily by phone or through the Spectrum.Life web and mobile apps.