How to care for your mental health and wellbeing at work

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Most working professionals spend one-third of their lives at work. No wonder then that our job can have such a huge influence on our overall mental health and wellbeing. From a never-ending to-do list to after-hours emails, not to mention the challenges of COVID-19, work can seep into our personal lives and impact how we think, feel and behave.

In fact, according to findings in our new Hays Barometer Report, the proportion of employees reporting positive mental health during the pandemic has declined to just 42%. Given this, here are some ways to care for your mental health at work:

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself: Firstly, if you do find yourself struggling at any time, do not be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge your emotions, then talk to someone, whether a friend, your boss or a professional.

  2. Don’t compare yourself to others: Everybody’s circumstances are different. Rather than comparing yourself to your colleagues, think about how you are today compared to how you were last month or last year.

  3. Set a routine: A regular schedule allows you to take control of your life where you can, such as the time you get up, arrive or log into work, take lunch and finish work each day.

  4. Be aware of your stress levels: While a certain level of stress is normal, such as when you are working towards a deadline, if it becomes excessive and long-lasting it can lead to burnout.

  5. Become a better time manager: Time management is a skill that, like all others, you can learn. If you find that your workload has become excessive, prioritise.

  6. Maintain work-life balance: Switch off work at the end of the day and transition to home life. Avoid the temptation to check emails in your down time.

  7. Take regular breaks at work: Take an occasional break to clear your head and let your brain and body relax.

  8. Maintain your physical health: Get up from your desk to stretch your legs and walk about regularly. Take a lunchtime walk or exercise class. Don’t skip lunch and don’t compromise your sleep.