Never have we, as business owners and leaders, needed to be more aware of our own mental state, in addition to that of those who are in our business community. Our staff members, colleagues, partners, peers, suppliers, and, most importantly, our customers are all human, and should be treated as such.
It’s vital that we protect the mental health of ourselves and one another, not only from a humanitarian perspective, but from a financial and productivity perspective.
Here we’ve listed 8 ways to improve mental health in the workplace.
- Stay out of the noise of news and social media. Managing your own mental health starts with filtering the noise that is coming in. Take control of the content you are consuming. Choose the people, channels and platforms that serve you well.
- Define what makes you happy. Without values or purpose behind the work that you do, then life will be a struggle. Working yourself to the bone serves no purpose, without purpose. Find what brings you joy day to day.
- Stop caring about what others think. Many years ago, I stopped caring what others thought about me. It’s one of the greatest gifts of freedom when you get to that place. Once you realise that it’s YOUR life you’re living, not theirs, it becomes easier to let go of other people’s expectations. And sometimes what you THINK they think, is a narrative of your own creation.
- Be of service. When your work or business becomes about serving others, there’s little room left for unhappiness. If you have a natural aptitude for a certain task, creative outlet, or industry, and you tie that to helping people at scale, then the outcome is a naturally balanced state of mental health.
- Edit the script. If you are doing something that doesn’t make you happy, no one is making you do it. You have the power to rewrite your life story.
- Communicate. If you’re concerned that your team is feeling less than ok, ask them if they are ok. While RU Ok Day is an excellent conversation starter, and a powerful movement, this is something that should be monitored constantly. If they aren’t ok, listen. Then provide support. Then check in. Some people won’t be prepared to share, and that’s ok too. The point is, you’ve told them that you care and you’re there for them.
- Be Patient. With the length of the lockdowns and the state of the world, there will be many people who are struggling to remain optimistic. Be patient and empathetic during this time.
- Thrive. Support your team – and yourself! – to live a healthy lifestyle. Encourage movement, outdoor breaks, loads of hydration, and healthy eating. At one of my companies, we used to have a fruit box delivered every week and the team loved it!
While awareness of mental health issues is increasing, there are still some stigmas attached. Staying aware of your own mental health and others is the first step to improving the health, and ultimately the growth, of your company. After all, without people, what is a business?
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