May is mental health awareness month. Now is a great time to reflect on self-care, work-life balance, a thriving company culture, and mental health in the workplace. Mental health impacts everyone and deserves the same level of visibility and urgency as physical health, as mental health is certainly just as crucial and critical to overall wellbeing.
After the last 2+ years and in today’s environment of ongoing global issues, there are many new and ongoing challenges facing individuals, such as transitioning from a work-from-home focus to hybrid/return to office, transitioning back into the office itself, managing childcare and family support dynamics, addressing health and safety concerns related to being around people and socializing again, general uncertainty about broader issues and more. In 2020, about one in five American adults experienced a mental health issue. Collectively, globally it is in the best interest of all to take responsible actions to ensure robust mental health, for business and personal reasons both.
We’re encouraging our associates and work partners worldwide to set aside time for their own personal mental health agenda this month!
What are some ways you can participate in Mental Health Awareness Month in the workspace?
- Consider taking a mental health day. Just like you take a day off when you’re physically not feeling well, it can be a great practice to set aside time for a day of self-care activities such as yoga, spending time with loved ones, reading, or whatever it is that helps you relax! PTO means ‘personal time off’ and the benefit is intended to support the full health of you and your colleagues.
- Set routines to encourage healthy habits. Scheduling a 15-minute mindfulness break during the workday in your calendar is a great way to make you have a designated time to take a deep breath and check in with yourself.
- Encourage yourself to set boundaries and work together to support an effective workday. Sometimes a walking meeting with a co-worker when you need some fresh air or re-setting the time of one more conference call, when you need some time to regroup and collect your thoughts, can make a world of difference! It can be difficult to advocate for yourself but prioritizing your health allows you to bring the best version of yourself to work.
- Make your desk a Zen space you look forward to sitting (or standing) at. Whether you are back to the office full time, in a shared-office space part time, or working from home, do a few things to make the space your ‘success space’ for work. You could bring framed photos of your friends and family, keep a live plant on the desk, keep your favorite mug handy, or even find a brain teaser game to have around. If you rushed into an at home office during the last few years, this could be a great time to rethink the space and make it work better for you!
Practicing self-care at work and outside of work helps maintain mental and emotional health while preventing stress and burnout. Managing your mental health allows you to show up more focused, relaxed, and authentic. Take care of your human self, and your work self will appreciate it!