Some workplaces will take a bigger toll on our mental health than others. Working alone for extended periods of time, working in a fast-paced or stressful environment, assisting with trauma and injuries, or even just working long hours: these can all have an impact on our wellbeing. Additionally, everyone manages their emotional wellbeing differently, so even if you're managing well this does not necessarily mean your co-workers are.
If yourself, an employee or a colleague is not managing the stressors of the workplace, take the time to utilise these 3 simple guidelines.
- A personal approach means everything. Take an informal moment through a coffee break or lunch to say, “Are you okay? You don’t seem like yourself.”. It may be difficult for the person to identify exactly what is bothering them. If they aren’t sure, stay observant, vigilant and check in with them later by asking “Are you sure you're okay?”.
- We all need to take a break. It seems silly to say we need to remember to breathe, but honestly, we need to remember to breathe. Work stress can sometimes push us to do and say things that we may not normally do. If you find yourself acting out, pushing boundaries or getting frustrated faster, it means you need to take a moment to stop and refresh. Understand the ways that you can de-stress, think about any work provisions that you may need, and don't be afraid to seek support to help you through this time. If you’re unsure, speak to your manager about an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that may be able to offer professional assistance.
- We all need to have fun. We often spend more time at work than with our friends and family. If you are not enjoying what you do for at least 80% of the day, ask yourself if you’re getting enough self-care. Utilise the time in the morning before you go to work to do what you enjoy, take regular breaks throughout the day, and organise activities for after work or the weekend. Understand what balance means for you and organise your time so that you can achieve this.
Books we recommend:
- Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson
- Is Work Killing You? A Doctor's Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress by David Posen
- Complete Self Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes
- I Don't Have Time: 15-minute ways to shape a life you love by Emma Grey and Audrey Thomas
Psychologists we recommend:
View the Inside VCPS podcast here:
Episode 1 - Meet Megan McCabe