15 Tips for Workplace Wellbeing
Research shows that when workplaces embrace wellbeing they become more productive, experiencing better morale, improved employee satisfaction and reduced absenteeism. And we all have a part to play in creating a culture of positive workplace wellbeing.
An organisation that is serious about workplace wellbeing makes sure that its people:
- Are fairly compensated for the work they do;
- Have a safe, healthy, respectful work environment that cares about work-life balance;
- Enjoy opportunities to learn, grow and develop in their careers;
- Are listened to and consulted with on issues affecting their roles;
- Feel encouraged to make positive lifestyle choices and have access to information about healthy habits;
- Respect each other and each other’s differences.
You and your colleagues can support workplace wellbeing by:
- Making space for conversations about mental health;
- Challenging toxic behaviour, like bullying, gossip, harassment and bigotry;
- Supporting newcomers and making time to help colleagues learn the ropes;
- Maintaining a healthy work-life balance and confidently setting your work boundaries.
But today, we want to focus on YOUR mental wellbeing. In this guest post, our wellbeing partners Inspire Wellbeing share 15 top tips on supporting yourself and your mental health.
Everyone has mental health
In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need, and want, to live your life. But, if you go through a period of poor mental health, you might find that your thoughts, feelings or reactions are becoming difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in NI. However, by understanding that mental health exists on a spectrum, we can better optimise our wellbeing at work and at home.
Connect with others
We maintain our wellbeing by developing and maintaining positive, heathy connections with those around us. This creates a sense of belonging and self-worth. We should always make time to speak with family, friends and colleagues. Take the time to make a phone call or a send text message, arrange to go for a walk or coffee with a friend. These straightforward actions can do much to support your mental health.
Make time for yourself
There is never a bad time to consider your priorities and looking out for your own happiness or health doesn’t make you selfish. Many of us spend the majority of our day in the workplace. With this in mind, work should never trump happiness or health. Putting aside some time for yourself means that you get to spend time doing what you want, not what anyone else wants you to be doing. It’s a simple self-care practice you should build into your daily routine.
Change your thinking
If you find yourself disconnected from your job and lacking in motivation, it might be time to focus on the parts of your role that you enjoy, thus illustrating its valuable, rewarding elements. Pursuing fulfilling activities outside of the workplace – such as a new hobby or volunteering opportunity – is also worthwhile. New interests expand your horizons.
At Inspire, we always ask ourselves: “What is our purpose? What is our ‘Why’?” You may find purpose in your work. Perhaps it contributes to something bigger or maybe it helps other people and comes with a sense of fulfilment. Understanding the impact of your work can help develop a sense of purpose, guiding you to better mental health at work. This can have a positive affect your overall performance and mental wellbeing.
Schedule your time, on and off
Make the most of your free time by scheduling your week. If you have plans, you are likely to stick to them, starting and finishing work when required. This should help you on the job and off it. You can concentrate on what needs to be done during the day while working towards a ‘hard stop’. If things are particularly busy, commit to a 15-minute break, go for a walk, de-clutter your desk or deal with small but pressing personal tasks. This should prevent you from feeling dominated by professional demands.
Organise and succeed
Is there ever a quiet time in work? Do you always take on too much? Pause, take a minute and plan ahead, being mindful not to become overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to say “No” or ask for assistance. From pressing deadlines to urgent tasks that needs done straight away, things will go more smoothly for everyone if labour is shared and people pull together.
Stick, don’t twist
It’s easy to make plans but harder to keep them, particularly when the job throws up new objectives. Nevertheless, even if you’ve discussed work-life limits with your manager before now, don’t be afraid to remind them from time to time. If you’re still getting weekend assignments, don’t be afraid to politely point out prior commitments. Protect your personal space and time.
Close it down, shut it off
Technology is everywhere and it allows us to be connected to work, colleagues and friends – and the world at large all day – every day. On the one hand, that’s really useful. On the other hand, such accessibility can create unsociable working hours. Once you clock off, that’s your time. Close your laptop, put the work phone away and switch off.
Prioritise your health
If you want to clear your mind, induce a sense of calm and reduce stress, regular exercise and maintaining a balanced diet are absolutely crucial. Get out into the open air and go jogging, ride a bike or take a stroll around the park. If you can’t exercise, you can get a lot of emotional and physical benefits out of volunteering. Alcohol, too, might seem like a good idea when you’re stressed but its curative effects are fleeting. In the longer term, too much alcohol can make you feel worse than before.
Get some sleep
Research conducted in 2019 showed that one in seven adults are not sleeping enough, which can lead to impaired cognition and mental health. Sleep is a fundamental part of our physical and emotional wellbeing. When we sleep, our bodies and brains rest, recuperate and recharge. Sleep is also one of the most important components of day-to-day happiness. A good bedtime routine boosts focus and concentration, mood and the immune system, keeping us in top form.
Spot the signs
Lots of people experience bad days but that doesn’t mean they’re on the brink of burning out. We should all look out for the warning signals: delaying tasks or work altogether; feeling tired, empty and detached; muscle pain and poor sleep patterns. Our bodies and minds tell us a great deal about each other. We need to listen.
Nurturing yourself and moving beyond regrets, mistakes or problems can be powerful tools in staying focused and centred. Strong self-compassion helps build resilience. What’s more, these skills can be learned and honed. At its core, this approach teaches you that being perfect is less important than performing to the best of your abilities. Recognising this every day allows you to pause and appreciate the good things, spurring you on to success.
Focus on the positives
Positive thinking has been linked to less stress, improved problem-solving skills and a better sense of wellbeing all around. We should look forward, past our present circumstances and ask ourselves: what does a positive future look like? Does it involve new experiences, new jobs or new relationships? Thinking about a future vision always inspires hope and reminds us that so much of life is still to be lived.
If things are getting you down, in work or in your personal life, there’s no need to suffer in silence. In fact, that’s probably one of the worst things to do. It can adversely affect your job performance and relationships with others, as well as your own mental health. Instead, reach out for the help you need. It’s now more important than ever to talk about how you’re feeling.
If you want to find out more about Inspire’s workplace wellbeing services, visit www.inspiresupporthub.org. Details of mental health and addiction services are available there.
If you would like to register your interest in our event series with Inspire, centred around enhancing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, complete this EOI form.