It can be really easy to get bogged down with work and forget that you need to take care of yourself. Although it is the responsibility of your employers to ensure you are safe, happy and well looked after part of the responsibility also lies with you. You need to make sure you are making an effort to look after yourself in the workplace in order for you to have a good mental and physical well-being.
Looking after yourself in general life is important and it’s very common for people to overlook how crucial it is for them to look after themselves at work too. It’s surprising that so people forget to do this, especially as most people spend at least thirty hours a week in the workplace. Your working environment is one of the key contributors to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to make sure you are making a conscious decision to improve it. Unfortunately, we can’t just quit our work and jet off to somewhere sunny to live the rest of our days but we can put an effort it to make sure we are comfortable and looked after.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can look after your mental and physical health while int the workplace:
Take A Deep Breath
It might seem small and a little bit simple, however, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of stepping back and taking a breather. If you’re tackling a stressful situation or are feeling anxious, running through some simple breathing exercises can help to calm you down and relieve stress that comes with general work. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, take five minutes and practice some breathing exercises.
Go For A Walk
Depending on the nature of your job, you may find that you’re stuck behind a desk for the majority of the day. This can have major implications on both your mental and physical health. It’s best to take a break every now and again and go for a walk when you can. Even if it’s just a short walk to go and get a cup of tea or coffee, it will give you the time to refocus and destress. Going for a short walk on your lunch break can be a great way of keeping fit and clearing your mind.
What Benefits Are Available For You?
Most companies will offer a variety of different benefits to their employees. From bonus schemes, cycle to work schemes, gym memberships through to free health checks there are plenty that you may not be aware of. If you work on a computer, many companies will have employee’s vision benefits on offer, so it’s definitely worth researching what your workplace can offer you. If your employer doesn’t offer many benefits, there is no harm in pointing them in the direction of government schemes or suggesting rewards that may motivate you and other staff. Many employers are constantly on the lookout for ways to look after their employees, make them more productive and motivate them.
Communicate With Your Manager
There is a massive stigma around speaking up about your mental and physical health, however, if you have a good relationship with your manager, or feel comfortable to speak to them, it can be really useful to talk to them about your needs or concerns. Ask for a short meeting, this way you can let know how you are, and if there are any additional needs that you have. They will be able to offer you advice and but steps into place to help you feel more comfortable at work.
Confide In A Colleague
If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your manager, you may have a colleague that you are close to that you are able to confide in instead. Although this isn’t likely to help with putting steps in place to solve any problems. If you’re struggling with mental health it can feel like a weight being lifted by just letting someone in the workplace know what you are going through. It can be incredibly freeing to just ‘talk’ or even write it down in an email, they may be able to give you advice or help you to find ways to feel better.
Take A Day Off
If you woke up with the flu or a migraine, you would most likely take the day off work. However, many people still find it taboo to ask for some time off if they’re struggling with mental health or physical problems in the workplace. Many won’t even consider it as they feel like they will be frowned upon. This is something that more workers need to do, and feel confident doing so. If you continue to push yourself, especially when it comes to mental health, you’re only going to make it worse, sometimes just taking a little time away can help to create a more positive working experience. Even if you just take a morning or afternoon away from work, coming into work when you’re mental health is having an effect on you, can make it much worst. You’re going to be less productive and it could lead to you having a complete burnout and needing more time off in the future.
Ask For Flexible Working
If you struggle mentally or physically, which can be unpredictable, you want to feel as though you have the flexibility to still be able to perform at your best. If you’re having a bad morning, or by the afternoon your back is in pain due to sitting at a desk, having the option of flexible working could be better for you. Why not speak to your boss and see if this is an open option for you. Remote working is becoming more and more popular, with companies taking a positive view on offering their employees the freedom to work from home. This has to be a huge turn around for people who suffer from conditions such as anxiety, as it has meant they can take the time they need at home while still completing the work that they need to.
Work can have a huge impact on both our mental health and physical health, but it’s important to take the time to look after your wellbeing. If you ever find yourself struggling, these steps should help. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to look after yourself.
How do you make sure you look after yourself in your workplace? Do you have any other ideas to share in the comments?