How to care for your mental health at work

There’s more focus on taking care of ourselves and ensuring we have a good work-life balance than ever today. Yet there still seems to be a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health at work.

Our jobs can have huge impact on our mental wellbeing. In fact, recent research from CV-Library found that 43% of professionals say their job is a contributing factor towards their mental health problems.

How to care for your mental health at work

It’s important that do as much as we can to take care of ourselves in any situation. So here are some positive actions you can take to recognise if you’re suffering from workplace stress, and look after your mental wellbeing at work.

Recognise the problem

Do you often find yourself doubting your abilities? Feeling anxious? Feeling exhausted at the end of every day? Perhaps you spend every Sunday night dreading work the next day and when you arrive you don’t feel like talking to your colleagues anymore? These could all be signs that you’re suffering from mental health issues. And if you don’t address them quickly, the problem could get worse.

If you recognise that your job is having a negative impact on your mental health, or alternatively, that your mental wellbeing is affecting your ability to do your job – here’s how you can begin to address the problem.

Talk to your manager

If you feel comfortable in doing so, or if you’re close enough with your manager, it can be helpful to speak to them and let them know what you’re going through.

Though it can sometimes feel daunting, they may be able to offer you help by changing up your role or suggesting other solutions that might ease the pressure.  After all, your manager wants you to be happy at work!

Take some time off

It might be helpful to take some time off to look after yourself. You might choose to go away and recharge, or even just to spend some time at home relaxing. If you have annual leave you might want to use this, though increasingly businesses are considering the idea of mental health days for those employees who are struggling. Again, it might be an idea to talk to your manager about this if you feel comfortable doing so.

Ask for flexible working

Flexible working is becoming increasingly popular, and being able to better fit your work around your private life could do wonders for restoring your mental balance.

If you think changing your working arrangement could be the answer for you, put in a request with your manager. This could be for flexi-time or perhaps even to work from home one day a week. It’s about finding a system that works for you and allows you to take care of your mental health.

Create a good work-life balance

Work-life balance is so important. If long days and little free time are causing your mental health to take a knock, it’s time you get back on track.

Limit the amount of overtime you do, and ensure you’re not continuing to work from home during the evenings and weekends. Good employers should appreciate the need to have a life outside of work and should encourage all staff to adopt a healthy work-life balance.

Confide in a colleague

Sometimes it’s helpful just talking things through, so if you’re close to your co-workers why not confide in a trusted colleague. You might find they are going through something similar or that they’re able to offer you some helpful advice from an outsider’s perspective.

Final thoughts

Our jobs can have a huge effect on our mental health, and it’s important that professionals understand how to put themselves first and take care of their mental wellbeing at work.

Speaking to a manager or trusted colleague can be helpful and as awareness around mental health continues to grow, employers are becoming increasingly understanding of the need to support any employees that may be struggling in this area.

For more advice on careers and the workplace from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, why not check out their Career Advice centre or Recruitment Insight pages

Photo by Alexandr Bormotin