One in six adults experience mental health problems associated with their job. If you suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, it is important to take action to tackle the problem before it gets worse.
For many people, the social relationships they have with their co-workers help to offset some of the stress associated with the job. Whether you feel stressed or not, try to say "good morning" to everyone you see at the office. This may help you to build relationships with people you can turn to when you need help or support. You could go further by arranging after-work social events to help everyone get to know each other.
If you need more support than your co-workers can provide, do not hesitate to let your manager or the human resources department know that you feel overwhelmed. Many companies today recognize the importance of good mental health and have resources in place that can help you cope.
Even if you love your job, you need regular breaks from it to protect your mental health. Try to avoid taking work home, working excessive amounts of overtime or taking on more projects than you can handle. Use your holiday leave to get away from work and fully relax. Even if you do not travel, you can use your vacation time to relax - just be sure to turn off your work email to ensure you do not end up frittering your vacation on answering emails.
Taking care of your body can also help to protect you against mental health problems. When you eat a healthy diet, sleep eight hours a night and get plenty of exercise, you'll likely be in a better state to deal with any stress your job throws at you. Always pack a healthy lunch. Include fruit and nuts for snacking so you do not feel tempted to reach for sugary snacks that may leave you feeling drained and tired by the end of the day.
During your lunch break, take a short walk outside the office. Not only does the physical exercise help to keep your body healthy, but the change in surroundings allows your brain to let go of work-related worries.
When coping with work-related stress, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective. Your work is only one part of your life. Remember to keep up hobbies you enjoy and invest in your relationships with friends and family. These aspects of your life are just as important as your career - and they are essential for protecting your mental health so you can function at your best at work.
These tips can help to protect your mental health at work. If you use them but still feel stressed or depressed, see a doctor for medical advice and let your manager know you need extra support at work.
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