Esther O'Loughlin 11 May 2018 10:31am

How to improve wellbeing in the workplace

With Mental Health Awareness Week just around the corner, economia takes a look at a few ways to improve your wellbeing in the workplace. So from taking a digital detox to developing healthy habits, here are some tips for getting back on top
Caption: Some tips for improving your mental wellbeing

Don’t ignore problems

As the old saying goes, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. We’re all guilty of procrastination, but this tends to just make us more stressed as the tasks build up. Try keeping strict checklists to help you stick to your goals. On a day-to-day basis, small and simple goals may serve you better than impressive but unrealistic ones. Additionally, if a problem is also affecting those around you then don’t be afraid to bring it up with your employer or staff representative. While voicing concerns often seems daunting, ignoring them will only wear you down.

Develop healthy habits and schedule

Physical health can have a noticeable impact on your mental wellbeing. This doesn’t mean you must have a six-pack to be happy, but it does suggest that regular exercise and a healthy diet can help keep you energised throughout the workday. A significant perk of this is the daily sense of accomplishment that comes with forming positive habits. Try packing your own lunches, taking a walk during your break, or eating your meals or going to bed at the same time every day to help develop a schedule you can stick to.

Maintain a work-life balance

Achieving a work-life balance doesn’t mean answering emails at the dinner table or taking a conference call while helping the kids with their homework.

Case in point:

Don’t juggle. Set clear boundaries between work and home. If you are struggling with this then try removing your work-email from your phone and arriving and leaving work at the same time everyday. Be strict about it. In time, you will find yourself better at priortising and gaining perspective on those tasks that are less important. Non-work-related goals are equally as important as work-related ones.

Build genuine relationships

Connection and communication are cornerstones of wellbeing. No one is an island and being able to reach out to those around us is important when we – or they- are struggling. Try talking face-to-face rather than over the phone. Not only does this help you connect with those you see regularly but also develops your social skills and confidence. Meeting up with colleagues outside work, and not talking about work, is a great way of deepening professional relationships and creating a positive atmosphere back in the workplace. Also, while it is good to have a few close friends, it is also important to keep meeting new people. If you are looking to widen your social circle then joining a club is a great way of meeting others with a similar interest or learning about something you’ve never tried before.

Digital detox

“Be in the moment” and “don’t live your life through a screen” are common phrases heard today as the pervasiveness of social media continues. Research from the University of Copenhagen found that taking a hiatus from Facebook increases life satisfaction among users, even if you are not particularly active on your account. Being able to set realistic life goals and feel satisfied is influenced by how often we surround ourselves with the somewhat-deceptive representations of our friends’ perfect lives online. Furthermore, reducing exposure to hateful comments or trolls can be a good first step if looking to address low self-esteem. Not to mention all the things you could do with all that free time, otherwise spent scrolling through your feed.