The term mental health is almost always associated with sub-optimum mental health rather than good mental health. In contrast, the term physical health is usually associated with being either neutral or positive.
But we all have mental health. Just like our physical health, our mental health can fluctuate on a spectrum from good to poor, depending on what is going on in our lives. Mental Health and physical health are completely entwined, our mental health can have an impact on our physical health and vice versa. Good mental health is not just the absence of a mental health problem, but having the ability to feel, think and act in a way that allows us to enjoy life and deal with the challenges it presents. Good mental health is an asset that helps us thrive.
In work teams, a good practice to encourage is having voluntary well-being sessions, where employees can check in with each other about how things are going. This is especially important at the moment where many people are working remotely from home with some experiencing feelings of isolation, while others may be finding this whole period of time difficult. It can give staff an opportunity to open up and share some of the things going on in their mind. Being mindful that dependent on the team it might be more appropriate to limit sharing to work concerns, and for the manager/supervisor to check in individually with staff members on how things are for them outside work.
However, we all have individual responsibility for looking after our own mental health. There are certain things we can do to help improve our mental wellbeing:
–Avoid keeping electronic devices in the room where we sleep. Exposure to ‘blue light’ which is emitted from such devices, leads to lower quality and quantity of sleep, which can suppress several processes known to affect our mood.
–Pausing for 30 seconds after the end of one activity and before the start of another sends a message of calm to our brain. It then allows us to focus more clearly on each activity as we do it.
–When we don’t put our full focus on what we are doing in the present moment our mind becomes scattered and distracted. Being fully present and giving our complete attention to what we are doing stops our mind from wandering leading to feelings of stress and anxiety.
2020 and 2021 so far have been times of unprecedented challenges and it has made looking after our mental health and wellness more crucial than ever before. For more information on mental health in the workplace, or to discuss how Boyd HR can help you to develop best practices for your business with regard to staff mental wellbeing, contact our skilled advisors today on 074 912 3150 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.