Both physical and mental health are pivotal for your performance and wellness. As a professional, what can you do to boost mental health awareness within your organization?

During this Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s explore strategies to bolster mental health and well-being within the workplace. We take you on a journey to understand burnout and how you can enhance your well-being and aid your colleagues in doing the same.

 

Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month at Work

It’s possible that some of your colleagues experience mental burnout and would want to do something about it, especially this month. While mental health awareness is being prioritized as more people speak and advocate for overall wellness, there’s still so much we can do. This month is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with your peers and support mental awareness initiatives. We’re here to guide you on how you can integrate health and wellness into your daily routine.

While Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to focus on this important topic, creating a truly healthy workplace for everyone takes consistent effort over a longer period. It’s not a one-time thing you can check off a list. Instead, advocating for mental health should be an ongoing practice within your organization, embedded year-round. The good news? Even as an employee, there’s still so much you can contribute, from simply talking openly about mental health to participating in wellness initiatives.

 

Strategies to Support Mental Health at Work

Start by highlighting issues like burnout, work-life balance, and performance pressure that may already be causing concern for some of your colleagues. These may not be a challenging endeavor for you, but some may be struggling in this regard.

Simply opening these conversations will give you insights into how you and your coworkers can cope with stress. It also opens discussions on how these challenges can be improved. For example, a slight change in your daily routine can significantly impact your well-being, such as adjusting your sleep, taking breaks, chatting with a colleague, or walking in the park. However small it may be, your actions could lead to a grand change in your workplace’s overall environment.

Fancy programs and workshops are not the only way out of mental distress. The simplest practices and perspectives can significantly impact your well-being and your teammates. Here are some strategies you can apply to support mental health in the workplace:

 

1. Destigmatize Mental Illness

Everyone deserves to feel supported at work, regardless of their mental health. Sometimes, a lack of understanding can make creating a positive environment tricky. That’s where you come in!

You can help your colleagues bridge that gap by reducing the stigma around mental illnesses. Be more intentional when you talk about mental health and challenge your peers. The goal is not to offend anyone but to educate and impart a new perspective toward your colleagues. You can do this by simply walking the talk:

  • Be an active promoter of empathy, understanding, and acceptance.
  • Be empathic to other colleagues and inspire them through kindness and understanding.
  • Contribute to your organization by building a culture of respect and acceptance.

Seeking help is a sign of strength – not a weakness. This is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. While not everyone will be comfortable enough to discuss their concerns, knowing that someone will listen to their needs can be extremely empowering. By offering support, your colleagues know that there’s someone they can talk to. So, be ready when they do.

This goes both ways. If you’re feeling burnt out, talking to your peers will also be helpful. People come from all walks of life, and you might be surprised by the support you find. Try discussing your concerns with those close to you or even your manager. They may even offer a solution and help you solve your problems. Even if they can’t, having someone listen to your concerns can provide comfort – and maybe that’s just all you need.

 

2. Connect Better to Reduce Alienation

Connection and engagement ensure everyone is not alone or alienated. You don’t always have to discuss emotional and personal matters, but in the time that you do, your connection has already formed strong bonds.

It’s evident that people feel less isolated and detached if they’re more attuned to their coworkers. This sense of belonging will help strengthen your relationships and create a more supportive workforce environment.

Social support within the workplace will play a crucial role in alleviating stress and promoting mental well-being. Whether through project collaboration, offering a hand to a colleague, or a friendly chat, your actions will matter in fostering a thriving workforce. Moreover, personal and professional connections within the team increase employee engagement and motivation.

Open communication is essential! Talking to your colleagues isn’t a one-way street. Explain how a strong team spirit benefits everyone. After all, no man is an island. While everyone has their own workload, it shouldn’t be an individual burden. By building connections, your workplace can become a thriving community, not just a place for transactions.

 

3. Supportive and Psychologically Safe Work Environment

A supportive and psychologically safe work environment is vital for employee well-being and job satisfaction. If you feel valued and respected at work, you are more likely to be engaged and motivated in your day’s work. You will be more satisfied in your role, aim for growth, and hit all your targets with enthusiasm. Ask for support and give support to make this idea a reality. Here’s how you can contribute to making every individual feel supported and safe:

 

Ensure all feedback you give is constructive. Feedback should be provided in a respectful and supportive manner, focusing on areas for improvement while acknowledging employees’ strengths. Make it a workforce-wide priority.

 

Acknowledge and encourage a culture of empathy. Aim to support and understand your fellow workers. Embrace their human capacity and capabilities. Understand that people make mistakes and there are shortcomings along the way.

 

4. Identify Work Burnout

How do you recognize signs of burnout?

Early detection is key! The sooner you identify these burnout indicators in yourself or your colleagues, the easier it is to address performance and well-being. Here are some signs to watch out for:

 

Decreased Productivity and Performance

Burnout may cause you to struggle to meet deadlines, make errors, or exhibit a decline in work quality.

 

Increased Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Burnt-out employees might take more sick days or mental health days. Or, at times, you may engage in presenteeism, showing up for work but being physically or mentally absent.

 

Physical Symptoms

Employees experiencing burnout may report physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia.

 

Emotional Withdrawal

Burnout can manifest as emotional detachment, cynicism, and disengagement from work-related activities and colleagues.

 

Reduced Job Satisfaction

Burnout often leads to a decreased sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in one’s work, contributing to feelings of disillusionment and disengagement.

 

5. Strategies to prevent burnout

Now that we know what to watch out for, let’s explore some effective strategies to combat burnout in the workplace.

 

Regular Self-Check-Ins

Track your performance to monitor well-being patterns, explore how your performance at work might affect your well-being, and identify early signs of burnout.

 

Proactive Mindset

Proactively address burnout concerns by supporting colleagues who may be struggling with burnout. Point them in the direction and resources suitable for their needs.

 

Ask Management for Help

One of your best allies in combating burnout is your organization. Approach your supervisors and ask for help, whether in workload, deadlines, or growth opportunities.

 

Look for Alternative Ways

Look for ways to refuel your energy levels and rethink your priorities. It could be through:

  • Meditation
  • Self-regulation
  • Proper diet and sleep

Whatever you do, keep in mind that there are many other ways you can try to help yourself address burnout.

 

6. Encourage Self-Care and Work-Life Balance

Self-care practices are not just planned but applied. Small efforts like regular exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques can significantly impact your well-being and performance. You can share these methods with your peers so that they can also benefit and have a healthier lifestyle.

One of the most overlooked resources employees often forget is that they can take vacations and leave of absence. Usually, these become a last resort when employees are already at their wit’s end. Instead, cultivating a mindset that prioritizes rest and breaks as part of the workflow is vital. Time off isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity! Disconnecting from work allows you to recharge your energy, approach tasks with fresh eyes, and ultimately achieve a healthier work-life balance.

 

Find Employers Committed to Your Well-Being

Ready to take your career to the next level? Partner with ACS Professional Staffing to find the right fit for your professional growth and well-being. With our extensive network and commitment to your success, we’re here to help you find the perfect role for your skills and ambitions.

With decades of experience and a mindset that prioritizes your success, we can help you find a company worthy of your expertise. We don’t simply find employees and fill a role; we help employees form meaningful careers with our partner clients.

Reach out to us today, and let’s make your career goals a reality!