- What is mental health?
- Manage your mental health at work
- Support colleagues & staff with mental health
- Advice for line managers
- Make your workplace more mentally healthy
- Emotional wellbeing
- Make changes that actually work
- Vicarious traumatisation
- Recognise & manage stress at work
- Find balance in your life
- Wellness action plans
Get talking about how you feel
Talking about how you feel can help maintain good mental health and make you better equipped to cope when you feel troubled. Talking about feelings isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s part of taking ownership of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.
It can be particularly hard to talk about feelings at work. If you have colleagues you can talk to or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, it can be a real help.
Try to identify someone that you would feel comfortable with, that you can talk openly to and who will be supportive. You may want to think about what you want to share, who with, and when might be a good time and place to do this.
If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same – making it part of your culture at work.
If you don’t feel able to talk about feelings at work, make sure there’s someone you can discuss work pressures with – your partner, family and friends can all be a good sounding board.
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem, improve concentration, help you get a better night’s sleep and make you feel more positive.
Expert advice recommends that most people should do about 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. Remember, exercising doing have to involve going to the gym or doing sports. Think of the things you enjoy doing, no matter how small the movements may seem, and try to make them part of your day.
You may have a physical job like construction or teaching – you’ll notice if you are off sick because of injury or physical illness how quickly your mood starts to be affected by the change in activity level.
If you work in an office environment it can make a huge difference to get out for a walk at lunchtime or to build in exercise before or after work to ease you into the day or create a space between work time and personal time.
What and when we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the longer term. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
It can be hard to keep up a healthy pattern of eating at work, but try to stick to regular meals and plan ahead for mealtimes at work – you could bring food from home or choose to buy from a retailer that sells healthy options for lunch. Drink plenty of water throughout the day – it is recommended we drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.
Getting up and physically moving away from your desk to eat is highly recommended as it gives you a clear space away from distractions, making you more aware of the food you are eating. You’ll probably find that you enjoy it more too. You could even try a lunch club at work where you club together to share meals and try new things. For busy times, or times when you are feeling low or stressed, try reducing or giving up caffeine and refined sugar and instead opt for decaffeinated products. Make sure you have a supply of fruit/vegetables and snacks like nuts to help you get through the day.
Being mindful of others – some people find eating in public at work very stressful because of past or current eating disorders. If someone doesn’t want to come to work dinners, or makes different food choices in the office, please don’t pass comment or put pressure on them to join in.