We are in the middle of Mental Health Week in Canada. A week meant to raise public awareness to alert each and every one of us to the importance of taking care of our mental health. We all have a mind and feel emotions. So just as much as we are tought to take care of our physical body’s health, we should also learn to pay attention to our mind’s health. How would you rate your state of mental health right now? Do you think you have a well-balanced life?
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes it as:
Mental health is about more than mental illness. It’s more than being happy all the time. It’s about feeling good about who you are, having balance in your life, and managing life’s highs and lows. Everyone deserves to feel well, whatever their mental health experience. And we all need a support system to lean on.
Mental health at work
Work is one of the first places where you need to pay attention to your emotions and general state of mind.
For one, work is where you spend the larger percentage of your time. And two, it just so happens that a lot of factors in the workplace can impact your state of mental health.
- Your workload – Does it lead to stress?
- The way demands and expectations are managed – Too much pressure at times?
- Your contribution to the team – Feel you belong?
- The type of feedback you get – Does it make you feel good about yourself?
- The quality of relationships you have with your boss and colleagues – Is there respect?
Just to name a few.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, in 2011, “…mental health problems and illnesses among working adults in Canada cost employers more than $6 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.”
For your information, “presenteeism” means depressed employees who are physically present but mentally absent.
How to look after your mental health
The trick is how you deal with these various situations in order to stay balanced and thrive in your career.
An article by the Health Service of the University of Michigan provides great advice about how we can improve our mental health. Out of 10 things we can do, they recommend to treat yourself with kindness and avoid self-criticism. That is certainly one area where I personally have to pay attention. To volunteer to do something tangible to help someone else — which I agree is an automatic feel-good trick.
They also remind you to set realistic goals and avoid over-scheduling your agenda. Something that may seem obvious right? But don’t we all do it at times? Another favorite of mine is meditation. Even though, I admit, I haven’t started incorporating it in my routine, it is just a matter of time before I do so. As I am convinced of its benefits on overall health.
Curious to evaluate your state of mental health to see how you are doing right now? Answer these questions put together by the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Remember – Mental health is just as important as physical health!
Do work on your mental health just as you take different actions to be physical healthy. Make it a habit to stop, take a deep breath, and assess how you feel. So you can readjust what seems out of balance. And if required, seek support from a professional or the people around you. With a healthy mind, you’ll be able to manage the ups and downs that are part of life. You will feel good about yourself and will have the energy to reach for your full potential in your career.
Cheers to your mental health!
#GetLoud is Mental Health Week’s message they want to spread. Let’s talk about it!