According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in six adults could encounter an issue linked to mental health in any given week. This means that within a workplace, friendship network, sports club, or even family, someone could be facing difficulties that affect their happiness; and they could be coping in silence.
In the workplace, factors such as long hours, increased pressure, and lack of sleep can all accumulate with one another and be damaging to the way in which human beings cope with stress. It is important not only for individuals to be aware of their own cognitive status; but for employers, colleagues, friends and family members to look out for the ‘elephant in the room’ when it comes to those who may appear to be suffering in silence. Making minor changes such as altering sleeping routines to feel more energised or seeking the support of a personal coach could have the desired effect in improving mental wellbeing.
In 2018, Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation takes place between the 14th and 20th of May. This year, it is set to focus on stress as the main theme. Some of the tips they have for coping with work-induced stress include:
- Take scheduled breaks at work and avoid continuing tasks throughout your break. Try getting some fresh air away from your place of work.
- Make time to regulate your diet and engage in some exercise. This could be in the form of some extra fruit per day or parking your car slightly further from the office to increase cardiovascular activity by walking.
- ‘Work smart, not long’. This means prioritising the most important tasks and allocating a certain amount of time per task to avoid workload increasing.
With regards to your employer, there are actions they can take to improve staff wellbeing:
- Endorse awareness surrounding balancing work and outside of work life to employees
- Promote an open culture with regards to discussing workload and productivity. Let employees feel as though they can speak to someone if the pressure increases.
- Make sure the workload of each employee matches the hours they are contracted to.
- Allow staff to attend counselling and support services during working hours as they would for other medical appointments
- Treat counselling and support services for those who are seeking help, as any other medical appointment
- Seek the support of an executive coach who can visit your office during work hours periodically to give advice and guidance to those struggling to manage stress.
- Introduce activities or events that encourage socialisation and good health, such as workplace massages, or break-time exercises.
Work related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year, which will clearly have a negative effect on the economy, but what is more worrying is the effect it has on human lives. If you would like to learn more about this year’s Mental Health Awareness week, visit their website.
Alternatively, for specific personal coaching on achieving optimum work-life balance, Anne Taylor is a qualified coach with extensive experience. If you would like a chat regarding the personal coaching services available, you can get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call for a chat on 02031 516 830.