Mental Health Awareness Month

May is ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ and I’d like to talk to you about mental health and well-being in the workplace.

Not so long ago, words like mental health, stress and depression were almost whispered and rarely taken seriously in the workplace which left people feeling worried to admit they felt overwhelmed and struggling. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way, and mental health is now considered just as important as physical health.

Even if we love the work we do, when our batteries run low it can be difficult to remain productive and focused. We all have an idea of ‘best practices’ to help our mental health and well-being and there are also so many resources and self-help guides out there but how many of us have the time or headspace to put them into practice?

Here are some quick mindfulness tips you can practice during your working day to give your mental health and well-being a boost:

  • Meditation:

Contrary to belief most teachers believe sitting upright is the best position for meditation, you can practice in your car, in the office, at your desk or kitchen table.

Focus on 5 minutes of deep breathing, clearing your mind and letting go of the tension in your body. Focus on different parts of your body and relax each one, for example, you might start at your toes and work your way up the body, focusing on your breathing.        

You can follow a guide (there are many ‘desk meditation’ videos on YouTube for example, or, you can play some soothing music (think ocean waves) to help you focus on your breath.

  • Exercise/Fresh air:

Just 10 minutes of walking each day can reduce health risks significantly and help to improve your basic fitness and overall mood.

The benefits of connecting with nature are becoming increasingly well-known and understood, it’s been shown to have a positive impact on our nervous systems, immune systems and our mood. A study in 2019 found that having contact with nature for at least 120 minutes (24 minutes each day of the working week) each week was associated with good health or well-being.

You can combine meditation and walking, or you can use the time to catch up with a colleague or podcast – whatever helps you to feel relaxed. Ask for help:

Doing any kind of ‘self-care’ can feel indulgent and sometimes impossible when you have an extra-large to-do list or a workload that seems never-ending. Being a business owner, it’s really important to consider your employee’s well-being, which sometimes leaves no room for your own…and with nobody actively encouraging you it can be hard to take your foot off the pedal and focus on well-being.  LJM VA Services have 11 highly experienced and award-winning VAs that are available to help, allowing you to take some much-needed time to focus on your own positive mental health in the workplace, contact us to find out how we can help.

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