How To Look After Your Mental Health At Work

We spend the majority of our time at work, but work can be super-stressful, so it’s vital that we take steps to guard against the negative effect which work can have on our mental health.

How To Look After Your Mental Health At Work

One thing that we need to do is to take regular breaks. They don’t need to be long, but we do need to stop and rest so that we can re-boot and come back to the task we’re on with strength and serenity. Having a five-to-ten minute break, during which you get some fresh air and stretch your legs, for every forty-five minutes or so of intense work will help to lower cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone).

Knowing to switch off and take a break is important, but it’s also important to know when to switch off. If you do access work emails outside of the office, set yourself a personal cut-off time after which you won’t open work emails. Whatever it is, it will keep until tomorrow morning.

As well as making sure that you’re taking enough time for breaks and time off, another really key thing to do is to nurture relationships at work and at home.

At work, try not to eat lunch on your own at your desk. Take the opportunity to invite a friend to meet you for lunch, or even just eat in the canteen with your colleagues. Talking face-to-face is becoming less common, but it shouldn’t be. We need that human connection.

Crucially, if you are feeling overwhelmed at work, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Talk to a trusted colleague, a friend, a partner, or (if you have one) a wellbeing officer at work. Acknowledging when we’re feeling in need of help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s one of the most courageous and self-compassionate things you can do.