Managing Mental Health Within Your Workplace and Beyond

by Oct 13, 2020

These unprecedented times offer up unique challenges, no matter whether you’re working from home, in-person, or in between jobs–and each of those circumstances then produce their own obstacles. At present, you might be feeling like your situation is unmanageable, overwhelming, and out of your control. And it is truly very easy (and legitimately so) to feel that way amidst everything you have to navigate. Which is why today we’re offering up some quick and easy ways to boost your mood and attend to your mental health no matter your professional or personal context. Know that it’s okay to not feel especially okay right now. The pros we’re turning to below provide ways to give yourself a bit of relief, connect with others, and accomplish whatever it is you need to do during these times. 

 

We love these two top-tier tips from Barb Bruno from Good as Gold Training: “Take mini breaks to decompress. You could walk outside, play with your kids or dog, play music and dance, color a picture – ANYTHING other than watching the news!” Remember that you exist as a holistic human being. And that as much as we encourage you to bring your best productivity to the table, you will also need to rest and recharge along the way in order to be able to overcome obstacles. We love the way Bruno provides an array of options for small things you can do to find a bit of cheer amidst even the dreariest of work days. We also appreciate this method to further cultivate cheer, applicable to situations both in a traditional workplace and beyond: “Write down six priorities you will accomplish each day. Even if you are distracted you will feel accomplished when you check off the six most important things you need to achieve.” We really appreciate this suggestion because it provides a concrete number of tasks to strive for, rather than just adopting the approach of breaking large tasks down into smaller steps. And if six feels like too high of a number (or too low!), you can always adjust this method to your unique set of circumstances. Crossing something off of your to-do list provides its own burst of joy, so we encourage you to write down what it is that you need to do. This will also help funnel what may seem like a nebulous set of circumstances into concrete actions you can take.

 

The pros at the Mental Health Foundation also offer up a concrete method for navigating mental health in your workplace and beyond: “Talk about your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you maintain your mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. It can be hard to talk about feelings at work. If you have colleagues you can talk to, or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, it can really help. Identify someone you feel comfortable with and who will be supportive. You may want to think about what you want to disclose, who to and when a good time and place to do this could be. If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same. If you don’t feel able to talk about feelings at work, make sure there’s someone you can discuss work pressures with – partners, friends and family can all be a sounding board.” The great thing about working with a staffing agency is that you have yet another source of support, another set of ears to hear you out with regards to any circumstances you’re navigating that may be impacting your workplace performance. At Contemporaries, we’re here to be your cheerleaders, and we take that role seriously–from placing you in a position and throughout your time working with us as your employer. While you’ll want to make sure you’re still utilizing a professional framework in discussing your emotions, communicating your needs with your contact is a great way to ensure that we can intercede on your behalf with employers should you need it, especially amidst these current, uncertain circumstances. And appropriately sharing your feeling with your colleagues will additionally allow you to create a sense of workplace community, which is a great way to stave off the isolation that these unprecedented times have imposed.

 

Finally, do make sure to heed this advice from Gwen Moran at Fast Company, geared especially towards those currently based outside of an office, but also applicable to those inclined to look at their phones on breaks within their workplace: “Manage your information intake. While you’re home, it’s easy to check in on social media whenever you like and perhaps have the television on in the background. But the constant barrage of news is only going to elevate your anxiety and stress…It’s important to stay informed, but you probably don’t need to listen to every breaking news report, which just stirs anxiety throughout the day without adding anything you need to know…If you feel compelled to know what’s going on, watch a half-hour of news in the morning, then check a news website or two in the afternoon.” We love the way Moran offers up concrete increments in which to consume media, as well as intervals during the day to best absorb that information. It can be tremendously difficult during these times to detach yourself from keeping up-to-date with every single news story as it arises–but allowing yourself to be consumed by those updates will only further fuel a sense of being overwhelmed. So we encourage you to accept that some things are simply beyond your control, to know that new stories will break regardless of whether you catch them instantaneously or not. You can impose a bit of order over that chaos by carefully monitoring the ways in which you intake information. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and making time to decompress.

 

Taking that time to decompress will help you break out of the cycle of any bad mood–and even if it’s only for the moments while you’re engaged in the fun activity of your choice, that small step is still a step forward. Remember that you can and will feel better again, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. Talking about your feelings, especially with your staffing agency contact, can help minimize the negative impact on your work performance that your struggles may (understandably!) produce. And discussing your emotions with members of your workplace community and/or those in your wider support network is a wonderful way to stave off a greater sense of isolation. On the flip side, also be sure that you’re not staying too connected to harmful media. That task can be incredibly difficult, now more than ever, in these times when so many people are interacting primarily online, from afar. But it’s okay to not know every breaking development the very moment it occurs. Monitoring your news intake, and limiting it to certain times that work best with your schedule, is a great way to assert your agency amidst circumstances that are largely beyond your control. We’ll say it again: it’s okay to not be okay right now. It’s incredibly understandable to be struggling, and we’re offering up all of the above advice not to delegitimize your feelings, but to help you navigate them no matter your current employment experiences. Join us again throughout the week as we offer up even further positivity to help you get through these unprecedented circumstances.

 

 
 
Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.
 

This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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