CABA 3 May 2019 03:40pm

Let's open up about mental wellbeing

SPONSORED CONTENT: We all experience pressure and stress in our working and personal lives. Research conducted by CABA indicates that stress is a growing area of concern for both ACA students and qualified ICAEW chartered accountants, with poor work-life balance, exam stress and career management highlighted as particularly challenging issues. And feeling overwhelmed, anxious or under pressure are all normal, natural responses to these - and other - challenges

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Caption: Stress is a growing area of concern for both ACA students and qualified ICAEW chartered accountants

But there are things we can do to improve our ability to handle life’s ups and downs. Looking after our mental wellbeing helps us understand our thoughts and feelings and manage them in a way that enables us to live the life we want. To have positive relationships. To feel productive. And to empower others to do the same.

Looking after your mental wellbeing

There are lots of things you can do to maintain good mental wellbeing. These are some of the things you can start doing straight away:

• Focus on your relationships – Strong connections with friends, family and colleagues give us a sense of belonging and security. By listening and giving our undivided attention, we can strengthen our relationships with the people that matter the most
• Open up – When you’re going through a tough time, talking about how you feel with someone you trust can help you see things differently and find solutions. You can talk to a friend or family member but sometimes it’s easier to open up to someone you don’t know, for example a counsellor
• Identify your triggers – Being aware of the things that affect your mood can help you manage their impact on your mental wellbeing. A mood diary can help you identify patterns in your thoughts, feelings and behaviours

Visit CABA’s mental wellbeing site for more tips to look after your mental wellbeing.

Spotting the signs of low mental wellbeing

Understanding the signs of low mental wellbeing can help you reach out for support when you need it and take care of the people around you too. Here are some signs to watch out for:

• Feeling irritable, aggressive, anxious or afraid
• Becoming uninterested in things you usually enjoy
• Feeling isolated and lonely
• Being unable to make decisions
• Finding it difficult to focus
• Being unable to relax
• Eating too much or too little, smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual
• Feeling tired all the time
• Experiencing problems falling and staying asleep
• Headaches, chest pains, muscle tension
• Feeling sick, dizzy or fainting

Visit CABA’s mental wellbeing site for more advice on how to spot the signs of low mental wellbeing in yourself and others and practical ways to get back on track.

Mental wellbeing in the workplace

Modern workplaces are full of potential challenges on our mental wellbeing and being aware of potential issues can help us manage their impact on us. Some common work-related causes of low mental wellbeing include:

• Change in the workplace - When poorly managed, change can have a negative impact on the wellbeing of the staff involved. But can we also see any opportunities it can bring?
• Poor work-life blend – Responding to emails and answering calls outside of office hours can make it difficult to unwind and can damage our relationships with the people that matter most.

Committing to not checking work emails or taking work-related calls in the evenings can help preserve time for friends, family and hobbies

Visit CABA’s mental wellbeing site for more advice to help you manage your mental wellbeing in the workplace. CABA also works directly with firms and businesses to support the development and implementation of employee wellbeing strategies.

CABA is the charity that supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students and their close families, around the world. Their services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact CABA on +44 (0) 1788 556 366 or online, in complete confidence.