It’s a startling statistic, but in the UK one in four people will experience poor mental health at some stage.
Not only that, in any one week, one in six adults will be suffering from a common mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety.
That means, for employers, on average a sixth of their workforce will be affected by a mental health condition at any one time and this is bound to have an impact on their performance. By contrast there is evidence to show that having good mental health increases productivity.
So, whether you work for yourself, are an employer, or an employee, it’s essential to put good mental health at the top of the agenda.
What can you do to look after your own mental health and, if you are an employer or manager, the mental health of your team?
1. Talk About How You Are Feeling
The saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ applies here. By talking about how you are feeling, or enabling your teams to talk, you’ll avoid issues being bottled up and allowed to fester.
Fortunately, there is now far more attention given to mental health, and high profile advocates like Princes William and Harry have helped to destigmatise it, making it easier for people to express how they feel.
It’s important to give people the opportunity to talk, by asking how they are, and how things are going; give them a window of opportunity to open up.
2. Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise
This can be difficult when you have long, busy days at work, but it is important to factor in breaks.
These breaks should be taken away from your desk, so you have a chance to decompress, have a walk outside, and enjoy a change of scene. Incorporating exercise into your routine, either before or after work, will also help release those chemicals in the brain that make you feel better.
3. Eat Healthily
The food we eat has a proven effect on mental health. As with any area of physical health, it’s better for our minds if we eat a balanced, nutritional diet.
This isn’t always easy, when you’re sitting at a desk all day, but you could try taking in a healthy lunch and snacks, and avoid processed, high carb foods. Try to ensure your diet includes lots of different types of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals or bread, and nuts and seeds. Include dairy products and oily fish, or alternatives if you are vegan/vegetarian. Drink plenty of water (it keeps the brain hydrated) and avoid too many sugary drinks, and too much alcohol.
4. Do Things You Love!
Whatever your passion or hobby – whether that’s bungee jumping off a bridge, or playing bridge, incorporate this into your life.
We don’t advocate card games when you’re supposed to be working (or bungeeing, for that matter) but having variety in your life, so you make time for the things you enjoy, will stimulate your brain, make you feel fulfilled, and help combat feelings of depression, stress or anxiety.
5. Avoid Isolating Yourself
Human beings are generally communal; we work and cooperate well together. The office is a great place to find like-minded people and to form friendships. You could even set up clubs with work colleagues – golf, bridge (back to cards again!), or going to sporting events – so you strengthen those relationships and enhance that team atmosphere.
If you work alone, but are based in a great serviced office centre like Rombourne, why not get to know the other business people around you. Being with and around other people is great for good mental health. It also makes it easier to find people to talk to if you are feeling low, stressed or anxious.
6. Feel Good About Yourself
We can spend a lot of time wishing we were thinning, prettier, taller, shorter, funnier, more intelligent.
If we learn to accept who we are, and love ourselves – warts and all – we’ll have a higher sense of self-esteem, and will be less likely to succumb to mental health issues.
And finally, let’s all look out for one another. At Rombourne, we love our clients and try to create a family atmosphere at our serviced office centres, so all our clients feel at home and welcome. If you are looking to relocate your business, and would like your own office, but set within a community of other businesses, why not get in touch with the Rombourne team.