Tips to help manage your mental health
Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. But somehow, we’re still failing to create safe spaces in which to talk about it.
To help reduce the stigma, Purple has offered to train employees to be mental health first aiders. The course is run by St John Ambulance, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, so I’m very pleased to have been given the opportunity to actually make a difference. The course has not only taught me how to support my colleagues, but also set me on a mission to keep the conversation going, raising awareness around mental health conditions.
So, here are my tips on how to manage your mental health, based on what I’ve learnt.
1. Stress management
Stress is a largely misunderstood emotion. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and is in fact essential to human survival.
Stress is also inevitable – especially at work. We all have different tolerances for stress, and if you fail to manage the symptoms, these can cause many serious mental health conditions. The good news is, there are many ways you can learn to manage it appropriately. Check out the Stress Management Society for some great tips.
Often an overlooked form of self help, a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining your mental health. Lack of sleep can create a bit of a vicious cycle, as it negatively impacts your mental health, which in turn can impact your sleep.
If you struggle with sleep, it may be worth trying to build a routine. The NHS offers some great insight and tips on what may be causing issues and how to build a healthy sleep routine.
Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. Personally, mindfulness has really helped me coping with stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep.
There are many apps and YouTube videos which can guide you through a meditation session, some even focus specifically on sleep. I particularly recommend the Headspace series on Netflix.
4. A good work-life balance
A healthy balance will look different for everyone. You need to find what works for you to make sure you feel fulfilled and content in both your work and home life.
The last couple of years have blurred the lines between work and home, so now it’s more important than ever to reflect on the balance you have created. Take advantage of your lunch break: get away from your desk and use that time to do something you enjoy.
The Mental Health Foundation can help you identify whether your balance is healthy, and if it isn’t, how to improve it.
5. Workplace action plan
There’s a misconception that you should only have a mental health action plan if you are currently living with a mental health condition. This couldn’t be more wrong. Creating a plan to stay healthy can help avoid developing a condition in the first place.
Your work should have an action plan in place, and if not, you can create one and share it. Mind has some great templates you can use.
I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before. But it is proven that alongside the physical benefits exercise helps improve mood, sleep and tolerance to stress. I’m not saying you need to spend two hours at the gym every day. Simply dedicating 20 minutes a day (the NHS recommends 150 minutes a week) to moving in a way you enjoy will be extremely beneficial to your mental health.
Clare Roshier is an Account Manager at Purple B2B and has a passion for fighting the stigmas around mental health. Please note, all views expressed are from the individual, and if you are suffering with mental health, you should contact your medical professional.