FEATURE — Mental wellness at work is an essential part of overall well-being that is often overlooked.
Any job can be stressful, even if you love what you do. Some stress can be healthy, such as motivation to perform well, but long-term and unmanaged stress can be harmful to both physical and mental health. While everyone’s approach may be different, finding strategies to help with your mental wellness can help you meet both personal and professional goals. Consider these tips to start prioritizing your mental wellness at work.
Track your stressors
Identify situations that cause stress and record how you respond to them. This can help you find patterns between your stressors and your reactions. Experts recommend keeping a journal for one to two weeks to track your thoughts, feelings, information about the environment, people and physical settings as well as how you reacted.
Choose healthy reactions
Rather than raising your voice or heading to the vending machine, opt for a healthy way to nurture your mental wellness when you feel stress or tension at work. Some examples include any form of physical activity, mental strategies like meditation, or taking time to socialize. To learn more about healthy stress management strategies and why they work, click here.
Take time to recharge
Protect your mental wellness at work and take time to disconnect and replenish. Whether you schedule short breaks throughout the day, take time off to unwind or “switch off” when you’re not engaged in work-related activities, find a way to recharge that you enjoy and that fits your needs.
Create a positive work environment
Regardless of the setting, we all experience and contribute to our work environment. There are many things that affect it, such as the physical setup or stressors that also affect our overall well-being. Fortunately, there are ways we can set ourselves up for success, like staying connected to colleagues or setting up a comfortable workspace. Click here to learn more about contributing to a positive work environment.
We all need help from time to time, and there are many community or workplace resources we can take advantage of when workplace stressors become too much. Examples include employee assistance programs, mental health professionals or reaching out to friends and family.
Written by EMMA PARKHURST, Utah State University Extension assistant professor.
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