How to stay mentally healthy at work

We all have the tendency to work-work-work and forget about ourselves. That’s okay on occasion, but not on the long run, so it’s good to keep your mental health in check to avoid running into health problems. Here are 6 tips to stay mentally healthy at work.

1. Fresh air and physical exercise

Fresh air and physical exercise can have a huge impact on mental health and has been proven to prevent and manage depression. So instead of sitting at your desk (at home or in the office) for your lunch break, make sure you get up and get outside for a quick walk to refresh both your body and mind. If you can do this with a friend or your partner, then it will help you relax. If the weather is too bad to go outside, get away from your work area and relax. Anything that takes your mind of work is good.

Did you know?

Poor mental health increases the risk of burnout. According to 2019 data, 5 out of 10 people has experienced a burnout, in most cases caused by the lack of control and power, boredom or chaos, a heavy workload, or a combination of these causes. If you’re mentally healthy you’ll be able to cope better with these workplace problems.

2. Plan and organise

Being disorganised can add to stress levels, reduce your productivity, and cause you to fall behind with work projects – which can make your workload seem even more overwhelming. Take a few minutes at the beginning of your workday to plan out your work for the day. Use this time to ensure long-term projects are scheduled properly so that you have enough time to do everything effectively. If you manage others, make sure their workload is organised properly too, and that any deadlines and commitments are clearly defined.

Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of the target

3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated

Eat at least four healthy lunches in a working week and keep a water bottle at your desk to drink at least a litre of water a day. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of the target.

4. Keep things in perspective

It’s easy to make mountains out of mole hills at work. This is particularly true when either our job is very important to us and/or when we have been in the same work role for a number of years. In both cases it’s easy to blow things out of proportion, when we should just be letting some things go.

Remember where work ends and your home life begins

5. Allocate time for the things you enjoy

Whether it’s reading a book, practising yoga or joining a night class to develop a new skill you’ve always wanted to learn, finding activities that you enjoy and that enable you to relax outside of work is incredibly important. It’s all about scheduling in some ‘me time’, just as you would any other appointment or commitment.

6. Balance your work and personal life

Work the hours required and create mental and physical boundaries to reduce work/home spill-over stress. In other words, remember where work ends, and your home life begins. If you work from home, keep work-related items in a room where you can shut the door at the end of the day, so closing it away and keeping it separate from your home environment.