The workplace is a common source of stress, and this can impact our mental health. Left unchecked, this will inevitably affect our physical health too, and reduce our ability to do our jobs. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You are ultimately responsible for your mental health at work. Sometimes all you need to do is make a few small changes. By following these 5 strategies for coping with stress and protecting mental well-being at work, your work environment will become a happy place again.
Combat Stress with Nutrition
When we are stressed at work, we often resort to comfort foods and unhealthy habits to deal with that stress. Sadly, this makes the problem worse. Convenience foods and fast-food takeaways do little for our health, and can in fact cause many health problems long-term.
There’s a healthier way to deal with stress through what we consume. Consult a nutritionist, and ask them to draw up a balanced eating plan for you. A healthy diet reduces the negative consequences of stress by strengthening the immune system and lowering stress-induced elevated blood pressure.
Add a supplement regime to your diet, too. The best supplements for stress will support both your body and mind, improving your mood, cognitive function, and overall health. Best of all, they are natural and much more beneficial than most other stress-coping mechanisms.
Aim for a Healthier Work/Life Balance
Mental health issues, and even some physical health conditions, often stem from unresolved stress. This can collectively affect your ability to perform at work. And yet, a lot of the time, that stress is due to an unhealthy work/life balance. So, how do you get out of this vicious cycle? Get the balance right!
Speak to your supervisor or HR department about a remote work option, or even a hybrid of in-office and remote work. This will allow you to have a healthier balance of both work and home environments, and may even boost your productivity.
Remote or hybrid work models are not always possible, and your particular industry and occupation will be the deciding factor. If you have to remain fully in-office, look at other ways to achieve a healthier balance. Stop working weekends when it isn’t required in your contract. Take time out to rest and enjoy leisure activities, instead.
Communicate Your Needs
Without communication, no problem is ever adequately resolved. The same goes for work-related stress. Think about what is causing you to feel uneasy at work. Is it your job itself, or perhaps just your workload? When employees remain silent, employers sometimes load their work schedules until they become overwhelmed.
If you feel that your current workload is unmanageable, unreasonable, or out of alignment with your work role, speak up. Staying silent about the issue will only worsen the problem. If you feel that you need help tackling your workload, speak to your supervisor about an assistant.
If the problem is not temporary, but rather an ongoing imbalance in work responsibilities, approach your HR department and ask them to do a review of everyone’s roles and responsibilities. It may have been an oversight on their part, and raising the issue in a non-confrontational way should see it addressed, fast.
Manage Your Time Better
If you regularly feel that there’s not enough time to complete tasks at work, you’ll soon start to feel stressed and anxious. But a lot of the time, you just aren’t practicing good time management. Break your to-do list into smaller, more manageable segments and you’ll soon feel calmer about your workload.
Racing around the office, juggling several tasks at once, is not a sign of efficient multitasking. It’s a silent cry for help. So do yourself, and your mental health, a favor. Learn to be more responsible with your time.
Set schedules for things like email inbox management, and project-related discussions. Ask your supervisors about software to handle your admin duties. Try to stick to these schedules whenever possible, focusing on one task at a time. This will help you feel more focused and less frustrated.
Take Regular Breaks
Sometimes all you need when it feels as though the walls of your office are closing in around you is a break.
According to research into this topic, taking regular short breaks throughout the workday can boost your well-being as well as your performance. Unfortunately, too few people take the breaks they need. Or they don’t take the right type of breaks or take them often enough.
Incorporate more breaks into your day. And we don’t mean a quick coffee break in the office, we mean a change of view and a few breaths of fresh air. This will help you refocus your mind before commencing with the work duties ahead.