Working professionals spend a major chunk of their waking hours at their work-place. Not only is it their place of earning, the desk and office are often like a second home for young professionals. This makes it crucial to work towards bettering your mental well-being at work. For companies and work places around the world it has become imperative to focus on the mental health of their employees. Even looking at the employees as purely an investment it is essential to have them functioning at their best, and that means looking after their financial as well as mental well-being. Studies in the UK have shown that stress, anxiety and depression have accounted for the loss of 60 million working days every year. In fact, the figure of the cost to employers due to the loss of productivity due to mental problems is far higher than other illnesses. The nature of work has changed drastically over the years. With changing technology and vastly improved connectivity the work patterns have changed and there are considerably larger burdens on the shoulders of professionals today than ever before. It is crucial for young working professionals to take charge of their own mental well-being at work and to take the necessary steps to achieve the same. Here are some pointers as to how you can go about doing it.
Engage with the people around you
It might seem tough to talk to someone you seemingly have nothing in common with, but keeping an open mind and genial facade can go a long way in helping you ease your relationships with colleagues. Find a common ground among different people at work, maybe you can talk to someone about sports, and about food with someone else, it is simply a question of engaging with your peers. One of the best parts about work is meeting different people, make the most of it. Strike conversations with people and make it a habit to have lunch with one or more of your friends every day. This not only helps you come across as sociable but also would help balance out any ebbing of your mood.
Ignore the politics
No work-place is without its share of internal politicking and bickering. As far as possible keep yourself away from such situations. If you find yourself placed in circumstances where you need to take a stand, be decisive and firm but as diplomatic as possible so as to avoid any flare-ups. Getting into shouting matches at work will do your mental well-being no good, nor will holding the anger in. The best way is to express it in the most adult way possible, and by that we mean mature.
Give yourself regular breaks
It is essential for the mind to have some breaks from work every now and then. Take a short walk or just go out of the office and sit under a tree for a few minutes. Taking these small breaks re-energizes you and allows you that crucial little space where you can gather yourself again and plunge back into work. Fitness freaks have taken to planking (balancing on their elbows, arms and toes for core strength) during their breaks from work. Taking breaks becomes interesting if you combine it with an activity you already enjoy doing.
Don’t forget to breathe
Being loaded down with work can literally make you feel as if you are short of breath. A continuous stream of work can often leave your breathing shallow and thus increase your heart rate. Take a few minutes out of your routine to breathe slow and deep. Doing this for a few minutes can help refocus your mind and clear the cobwebs of negativity that often overtake us during the course of the day.
Help someone out
Altruism is its own form of wellness exercise, however, at work it becomes even more beneficial. Helping your colleagues out with some problem they are facing or sharing the load of an overburdened colleague can help you feel good about yourself while earning you a meaningful friend at work. Having said that, it is important to know when someone needs your help and when you are being conned into doing someone else’s work.
Make the most of your weekends
You earn your weekends, spend them doing something you enjoy. The best feeling of the week is Friday evening when the work is all done and the weekend is staring you in the face. Indulge in your hobbies and give yourself ample rest and recreation so as to come back charged at work. There may be a lot of work waiting for you on the desk, if you know you can’t get to it over the weekend let it be. Don’t be too hard on yourself about getting the job done because work can wait, however the weekend will quickly pass by.