Community | 15 May 2018 - by Ian Midgley

How to take care of your mental health at work

Do you know the warning signs of stress? Would you realise if you were pushing yourself too hard or notice if any of your employees were finding it difficult to cope?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May 2018) across the UK which aims to shine a light on stress and empower employees to create a mentally healthy workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – it’s part of everyday life. But when you’re overwhelmed by stress it may lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Here are some useful ways you can start to make positive changes in your workplace – for a healthier, happier, more productive business.

Make space

If you want to reach peak performance in your workplace, you need to make time for staff mental health.

It’s a mainstream issue – organisations are only as strong as their people they employ and the wellbeing and motivation levels of every single worker are key to this.

Why not start by asking staff how they’re getting on? Making space for employees to ask questions and raise issues can have powerful results. You can do this at an individual level in regular catch-ups or at a team level in team meetings.

Be active

Encourage your staff to make some time to get some fresh air during the day.

Evidence shows that there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing.

Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

Managing hours

Managing when and where you work can be helpful, says Rachel Farr, senior professional support lawyer at Taylor Wessing.

Since 2014, all employees (not just parents and carers) have had the right to request flexible working for any reason, and this can include switching your shifts, working different hours and sometimes working from home, says Farr.

Working from home, for example, can mean you skip the commute and instead spend that travelling time with your family, exercising or even getting up slightly later (while still getting to work on time).

For more details about Mental Health Awareness Week click here.