By Dr. Hayfaa Mohammed
Have you been experiencing mental health issues at work lately? Then keep on reading, this column is for you.
Even though work-related mental health issues are becoming increasingly common, many still have difficulties talking about it, which leaves them suffering in silence. With so much time spent at work, taking care of your mental health is crucial for creating the life you really want to live.
Mental health has an impact on the world economy as well, thus governments and organisations have put forward rules and regulations to protect their employees’ well-being. According to a report by the World Health Organisation published in 2022, “depression and anxiety are estimated to cost the global economy $1 trillion each year, driven predominantly by lost productivity”.
It is true that we all experience difficult feelings such as stress, anxiety, and fear. If you let those feelings linger around for a long time, they can develop into mental health problems, which require support and treatment.
Mental health problems at workplace have several outcomes. For example, they can make us feel tired and drained, cause us to make frequent mistakes, get distracted or procrastinate, have a short temper, and feel a lack of motivation. I myself was no exception. At one point in my career, I suffered from anxiety, which impacted my progression and forced me to abandon my career goals prematurely.
What made me overcome the tough turns that life threw at me was not only my strong will and a powerful and optimistic mindset. The biggest impact on my recovery came from my commitment to understanding and improving my mental health. Resuming my career and leading people made me take my commitment more seriously, as now I am also responsible for others, including their mental health. Honestly, it is not an easy mission in today’s aggressive business environment.
Good knowledge and work experience are insufficient to achieve your career aspirations if not coupled with good mental health. Listed below are some evidence-based techniques that shall improve your mental health at work:
-Accept yourself: Be proud of who you are. Accepting yourself means loving yourself and loving your life, recognising and accepting the things you may not be good at, taking criticism constructively, and focusing on what you do well instead.
-Pause and Reflect: Life is unpredictable. So when you feel overwhelmed, sit back and just observe the situation from an outsider’s perspective. This will help you to become more self aware and learn from your mistakes.
Practice self-care: To recharge and rewind, set aside the time to do the things you love the most and stay active. In addition, sleep and eat well, as having a poor sleeping routine and diet can also trigger mental health problems.
Talk about your feelings: If you are unable to talk about your feelings at work, find a friend or a family member to discuss work-related pressures. It is important to talk to positive-minded people, as negative people can make matters even worse. Remember, your mental health is your responsibility.