Men­tal well­be­ing at work

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Informed -

Work­place is­sues can take their toll. If you start to feel like work is tak­ing over your life or a work is­sue is get­ting you down, it’s best to ad­dress it early rather than let­ting things get worse. Try these steps for get­ting the bal­ance back:

» Limit ex­tra work­ing hours: Work com­mit­ments can get crazy some­times, but when long hours be­come the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion, it can neg­a­tively im­pact our health. If this sounds like you, have a chat with your man­ager first.

» Sched­ule meet­ings dur­ing work hours: Ar­rang­ing meet­ings to be­gin and end only within core work­ing hours will help to en­sure your pre­cious ‘out-of-hours’ time is pro­tected.

» Take reg­u­lar breaks: A solid bit of graft is re­ward­ing, but be­ing busy all the time will ul­ti­mately lead to burnout. There’s more re­search than you can shake a stick at that says tak­ing breaks, both phys­i­cal and men­tal, can boost our pro­duc­tiv­ity.

» Try not to take work home: Adding an ex­tra hour or two at home to tidy up a work pro­ject can quickly be­come a habit, but again, think of it as the ex­cep­tion and not the rule. Down­time is vi­tal for a healthy work-life bal­ance.

» Take your hol­i­day leave: A com­plete break from work has big men­tal and phys­i­cal health ben­e­fits. Tak­ing a hol­i­day can help to re­duce work-re­lated stress, pre­vent anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, and in­crease work per­for­mance and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

» It’s okay to say ‘no’: It can be dif­fi­cult to say, but ‘no’ isn’t a dirty word as far as your work­load is con­cerned. Be gen­uine and state your rea­sons clearly. In the long run, the out­come will be more pos­i­tive, and you’ll be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to say yes the next time.

» Have a tech ‘switch off’ time: Re­sist the pres­sure to look at work emails out­side of work hours. This can be a creep­ing habit in lots of work­places – lead by ex­am­ple and don’t let the late-night email scroll be­come part of your work cul­ture.

» Make use of EAP: Many em­ploy­ers of­fer an Em­ployee As­sis­tance Pro­gram (EAP) to help em­ploy­ees with per­sonal and work-re­lated is­sues that may im­pact their job per­for­mance, health, men­tal and emo­tional well­be­ing.

» Ex­plore flex­i­ble work­ing ar­range­ments where pos­si­ble: Mak­ing work fit bet­ter into your day-to-day life can help to im­prove your gen­eral well­be­ing. Work closely and ne­go­ti­ate with your em­ployer – you will need to be able to do your job in an ef­fec­tive man­ner that works for both of you.

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