5 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health in the Workplace

This past year has taken a toll on all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic and the state of current events has been incredibly overwhelming.  All of these things can put a lot of stress on us, making it more difficult to stay productive and mentally fit. Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental health and ensure you have a healthy work life balance. Here are some ways to ensure you create balance in the workplace for an overall better well-being so can continue being productive at work.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is important in every aspect of your life, whether it’s personal or professional relationships. Setting boundaries at work is so important for your mental health and to create a healthy work life balance. These boundaries may look different to different people. If you find yourself always saying yes at work because you want to be agreeable or want to please your employer and colleagues, you’re going to find yourself overworked and overstressed. Prioritize yourself and your needs. It’s okay to say no.

Digital Detox

It’s no surprise that our phones can be a great distraction. Between our messages and social media, there are so many things that can take our focus away from work. Studies show that many people use phones as avoidance coping, which means they are using their phones as a way to distract themselves from dealing with their real feelings or problems. Avoiding dealing with things isn’t healthy for your mental health and will not help you be more productive. When you’re at work, keep your phone on silent when you’re trying to complete tasks. This will help you stay on top of your tasks and minimize constant distractions from your phone. It’s also important to limit work communications outside of working hours for a healthy work life balance. Besides for being a distraction, high phone usage has been linked to anxiety and depression. Try setting boundaries with your digital devices at home and at work. Not using your phone first thing in the morning and before you go to bed is a great start to begin to break the habits. 

Regular Breaks

Taking breaks throughout the day is so important so you can recharge and work more efficiently. Creating a structure to your day with planned breaks will give you something to look forward to and also creates better boundaries for your workday. Studies show that breaks are really important to regain focus and can improve productivity. If possible, go outside or change your environment during your break. Most likely you’ve been sitting a lot of the day so make it a point to go for a walk or stretch to get your blood flowing. When you return, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to work again. 

Healthy Snacks

When you’re working and hunger strikes, it’s easy to reach for quick snacks to satisfy those cravings, but typically they aren’t the healthiest choices. It’s important to make healthy eating choices while at work. Eating processed foods full of sugar and fats may be a quick fix, but ultimately will end up making you feel more tired and unproductive when you crash. Try snacking on things like fruit or nuts which are healthier choices and won’t bring you down during your workday. 

Stay Organized

Staying organized during your workday can help you better manage your tasks and ease stressful moments. It’s important to make sure your workspace is tidy and clean. Keeping to-do lists of your tasks is also helpful to stay on top of things and align your priorities for the day. Knowing what you need to do, and checking off tasks as you complete them can relieve stress and give you a sense of accomplishment. 

Bottom Line

Having a healthy work-life balance is imperative for our overall well-being and mental health. Finding ways to manage stress and prioritize yourself is crucial. If you’re experiencing high levels of stress or finding it difficult to create balance in your life, it may be helpful to reach out for support. MyTherapist is an online counseling service that can match you with a licensed therapist that fits your needs. They can provide you with tools and strategies to help you improve any mental health concerns you may have. 

[This post is written by Marie Miguel. Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.]