One of the aspects of our work that we often overlook is our mental health. Considering how much time we spend at work, it’s not surprising our work environments play such a huge role on our mental health, especially as working women.
According to this 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), one in three employees report being stressed out at work. Less than half of those surveyed felt their well-being was supported by their organizations.
However, being mentally healthy at work is not only important, it’s crucial to our well-being and success. Here are a few ways you can protect your mental health at work:
1. Start your day with a smile!
When your day starts with you snoozing the alarm clock and rolling out of bed exhausted, chances are the rest of your day may actually get worse. Which risks affecting your mental health in return. Instead, consider waking up a bit earlier, sipping on a cup of coffee or tea, having some time to yourself, before jumping into your day. It will help you be more relaxed at work and avoid the negative mental consequences of rushing into your day, every day
2. Surround yourself with things that calm you!
You already know how much your environment influences your mental well-being. You can actually reduce the amount of stress you experience by placing soothing objects around you. You can do this in your immediate work area as well. How about placing pictures of your loved ones around you? Or investing in plants or motivational quotes if these help you feel more balanced?
3. Reward yourself!
A large part of the stress we face is due to our feeling constantly challenged. Instead of always feeling short of our goals and objectives, choose instead to reward yourself every time you accomplish something. Plan a reward for each significant task you accomplish and watch your stress melt away!
While you may be motivated to hit the gym to get rid of those last five pounds, exercise is also a powerful way to keep mentally healthy. Make room in your calendar for exercise at least three times a week. Commit to moving more so you can feel (and look) better!
5. Take a mental health day
Those vacation days shouldn’t just be reserved for that long-awaited trip to the Florida Keys. Instead, consider using some of your vacation days as mental health days as well. Take a break, relax, read a book, go to a spa. Whatever you decide to do, alleviate the stress you may be under and take care of you!
6. Be grateful
Gratitude is not just for good karma. Seeing the positive in your life and career is a great way of keeping stress at bay. The more gratitude you practice, the more you learn to feel grateful daily. Being grateful for where you are on the way to where you’re going goes a long way towards keeping you balanced, fulfilled and mentally healthy.
7. Give back!
There’s power in giving back! Not only does it help others, but it also fills you with a sense of purpose and happiness! Seeing other people happy makes us happy as well. Help that co-worker with that challenging project. Volunteer at a soup kitchen for the evening. Do something for someone else.
Solange Lopes is an author, CPA and founder of the women’s career, business and lifestyle website The Corporate Sister.