Conversations Uncovered – Mental health in the workplace

Feeling burnt-out recently? Dragging yourself to work? KNOW that it’s more than just the Monday blues (Tuesday blues? Thursday blues?)? When the conversations around mental health are already so censored around us, more so at work where we are expected to be composed, how do we identify when we need help and how do we get this help? This article lists 5 signs YOUR mental health may need a shoulder to rest on in the workplace, why this may be so and how you can cope. It won’t be won in a day, it’ll take perseverance and a little bit of focus.

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1. Unnecessary fear, worry, or anxiety:

People with mental health problems can be paranoid about their coworkers or employers. Usually, these worries go beyond normal nervous jitters.

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2. An unkempt appearance:

People with mental health problems often have problems keeping up their appearance, have poor hygiene habits, and find getting dressed up formally for work a daunting task.

3. A decrease in productivity:

Be it because of fatigue, lack of sleep, anxiety, or something else, mental health problems make it hard to focus and be productive. Many may just need a day off when suffering from a mental health problem and not associate it with a sign of something bigger. You may even face forgetfulness or lapse in judgment, familiar tasks suddenly become impossible to overcome, and get easily distracted.

4. Withdrawal from social situations, especially with co-workers:

Employees who seem withdrawn from co-workers and the social culture at the company may feel that way as they struggle with issues with their mental health. There’s a lot of loneliness, isolation, and self-loathing among people with mental health issues.

5. Mood swings, emotional roller coasters, and erratic behavior:

Mental health problems can result in mood swings and inconsistent emotions, where there may be extreme highs and lows. Behaviours can seem strange or turn unusual fast. Because of mental health problems, people can easily get irritated or frustrated. It shows in how they handle projects, act around colleagues, etc.


Here are five things you can do

1) Don’t be afraid to take days off! Trust me, your future self will thank you for it. After all, you can only perform at your best if you’re feeling good. Taking a day off now won’t hurt you as much as having to give up your job later. Make your mental health a priority too!

2) Find ways to release your emotions.

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Take a boxing class on weekends, binge on movies on Friday nights, hit the gym every day after work, or go out for dinner with friends. Bottling up how you feel is only going to make you feel worse and increase the likelihood of you accidentally snapping at someone at the wrong time.

3) Make a priority list. You’ll kick your mental health into high gear when you’re buried in emails and tasks at work. If you write down what your top priorities are, and when they need to get done, it’ll be a lot easier to deal with it.

4) Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s second nature for many of us to compare ourselves with our colleagues. It may seem like they’re moving smoothly throughout the day, but you never know what’s going on in their head. Dealing with mental health problems is hard, and watching someone who isn’t facing that same challenge will just frustrate us. Rather than beating yourself up, accept that you are doing your best. This doesn’t make you any less capable than them.

5) Asking for help is okay. It doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of extra support sometimes even if you think you can handle it on your own. The best way to discover what your triggers are at work and how to get rid of them is to find a safe place where you can air out all your worries.

Life gets in the way sometimes – and as an adult, it’s usually about or most obvious at work. We have to make sure we protect that value by addressing mental health at work for those with issues, for those at risk, and for everyone else. A toxic work environment can be corrosive to our mental health. It’s a skill you have to practice. The first step towards taking care of those around us who take care of us is to take care of ourselves.

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