For the majority of the past two years, we’ve dedicated a section in our monthly newsletters to placing a “spotlight on mental health.”
Each month, we share a mental health flyer (created by our benefits administrator, Creative Benefits) to help increase mental health awareness and provide mental health education.
We feel this is important because ensuring positive mental health is good for workers both at work and in all other aspects of their lives.
And as we approach the end of the year, a time many consider to be the most stressful due to changes in weather, less daylight, the holidays (and the money needed for them), contract terms/renewals, etc., the importance of mental health should be underscored.
While employers may promote their own mental health initiatives, there are ways to improve your mental health on your own behalf.
Below, we list a number of ways to do so.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Get Enough Sleep
The key to a productive and stress-free morning should start the night before. That means getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Failing to achieve this can negatively impact energy, mood, and motivation.
Studies suggest a strong correlation between lack of sleep and depression. So, ensuring you’re getting proper rest is crucial for maintaining your mental health.
Focus on Your Strengths
Feeling a sense of accomplishment is an important element towards achieving a positive mental mind frame. It can also lead to better work performance.
To accomplish such a feat, though, many suggest focusing on your strengths rather than improving upon your weaknesses.
While we may tend to see our weaknesses as more changeable, trying to improve upon them, while admirable, can cause a great deal of stress.
In terms of improving upon your mental health, strengthening what you’re already good at can lead to a happier, less stressed, and more confident form of yourself.
Bottling up your emotions can lead not only to mental stress but also physical stress.
So, find someone you can trust such as a friend, family member, therapist, or mentor and share with them what’s been bothering you.
Having an outlet to express your emotions can have a significant impact on improving your mental health.
Being outdoors is one of the greatest things you can do for your health.
Getting outside benefits us physically (lowers blood pressure), mentally (reduces stress), and emotionally (improves our mood).
When stuck inside, however, consider the type of light you’re working in. Researchers have found that direct exposure to blue light can enhance alertness and performance, while poor lighting contributes to depression.
Exercise is a scientifically proven mood booster, decreasing symptoms of both depression and anxiety. It also helps to improve self-esteem and cognitive function.
So whether you run, walk, hike, bike, lift, swim, or something else, partaking in regular exercise will contribute to higher self-esteem and overall better mental health.
One of the best ways to start feeling better about yourself is to do things for others.
People who consistently help others experience greater calm, fewer pains, better health, and less depression.
So, whether that means volunteering at a charity, offering to help with a special project, or lending a helping hand to a colleague in need of assistance, helping others can significantly improve your mental health.
Strive to Learn
One of the greatest drivers behind the Great Resignation was employee burnout. Interestingly enough, however, there are many workers who feel burnout not as an effect of being overworked, but rather as the result of being underworked.
Essentially, some workers are quitting because they’re bored.
If you find yourself “bored-out,” consider learning a new skill. By learning something new you can raise your self-esteem and boost your self-confidence.
Options include enrolling in an online course, getting certified (highly recommended), or even shadowing senior staff members.