Why Our Mental Health Needs To Be Prioritised!
Last Saturday was World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to heightening awareness of the causes and effects of mental ill-health. If you are a subscriber to Tonic’s well@work app, you will already have access to October’s Wellbeing Topic – Mental Health. It is packed with content, insights, research and tips to help you better understand and prioritise your mental health & wellbeing.
Here at Tonic, we want positive mental health to be on your agenda all year round. We are committed to helping you on your journey to achieving optimum mental and physical health; in the workplace and at home.
Mental Health: We All Have it!
When you think about Mental Health what are your initial thoughts? Do you think about positive mental health, good mental health or do you think about illness or perhaps even worse? Unfortunately for some, it is still a subject we shy away from.
In current “COVID-19 times” the Tonic Team feel this is a subject we should all be able to talk about; and know enough about it to be able to recognise – both good and bad in ourselves and our friends, families and colleagues.
When it comes to mental health, the TRUTH IS: WE ALL HAVE IT; we all have times when we feel stressed, anxious or nervous (this couldn’t be truer during this current time of fear and uncertainty). However, for many of us, and most of the time, those feelings pass; unfortunately for others it can develop in to mental ill-health.
World Mental Health Day
Every year, World Mental Health Day falls on the 10th October. This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day was: ‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment, Greater Access.’
According to mind.org: “Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.”
2020’s World Mental Health Day Patron, HRH Princess Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah says:
“Mental health, quality of life and wellbeing should be seen as additional indicators of standards of living. This is the level that we should aspire to as we move towards the ‘new normal’… We can always do more to strengthen mental health response and support in our communities.”
Find out more about this year’s theme by visiting the WFMH website.
How To Achieve Good Mental Health
When it comes to our own mental health and taking care of it, it often gets pushed way down our list of priorities. However, our aim is the help change this. Here are simple but effective behaviours you can change to help achieve good mental health…
Talk about your feelings
Talking is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it can help you maintain your mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It is true what they say – ‘a problem shared is a problem halved…’
Research proves that physical activity is great for both the mind and body. You don’t have to join a gym or run a marathon to get active. Simply getting outdoors and going for walks (little and often) still works!
Eating a balanced diet can affect how we feel in the short term as well as in the long term. Foods rich in nutrients will have a better affect on your emotional wellbeing. Feel good superfoods including leafy greens, carrots, nuts and blueberries are just a few you should be adding to your diet.
We all know how busy life gets, and how wrapped up we all get in our work and home life. However, taking short amounts of time out for yourself each week can have a big affect on the way you feel. Make time to try something new, revisit a past hobby or just relax. Put yourself back on top of your to-do list.
Making time in your day to do the things you enjoy is a good way to distract yourself from the “Covid” news cycle. Take an hour out of your day to go for a walk, read a book or listen to music!
Back in March at the start of lockdown, the Tonic team produced an effective and informative document detailing the things you can do to ensure you continue to take care of yourself during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the pandemic still ongoing, we feel it is still as relevant as ever.
Mental Health in the Workplace
For many of us, the workplace is a major part of our lives. It is where we spend most of our time, where we earn our income and often where we build friendships. Having a fulfilling job can be great for our mental health and general wellbeing. Adversely, being unhappy at work or indeed being out of work can have a negative impact!
According to Business in the Community, recent studies show that:
- One-quarter of employees have considered resigning due to stress. A further one in ten has done so.
- More than a third (34 per cent) of line managers still feel un-empowered in their roles and would welcome any move to increase their independent authority.
- Four in five employees have reported that an inclusive leader had improved their performance and productivity.
- According to CIPD’s Employee Outlook survey, being under too much pressure at least once a month makes individuals feel depressed or anxious, and most say it reduces performance.
- Presenteeism from mental ill-health alone costs the UK economy £15.1bn a year, almost twice the business cost as actual absence from work.
Tonic’s Mental Health Awareness workshop is an ideal starting place and suitable for all members of staff. It covers helpful definitions of mental health; the impact of mental ill-health; overcoming stigma; recognition of mental ill-health; signs and symptoms; interventions and recovery. Ultimately this two-part workshop ensures staff are better equipped with general strategies to help support themselves and others.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or contact us via our website.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, please remember that you are not alone! Wherever you are on the continuum there are many of us that are struggling, feeling low and/or anxious and “not quite ourselves” at the moment. The more we talk and open up, the more likely we will feel less isolated & better able to cope.
Stay safe & take care
The Tonic Team x