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Mental Health in the Workplace

October 10th is World Mental Health Day each year. The day is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and for organisations working in mental health to talk about what needs to be done to improve access to and provisions for care and services worldwide.

The theme for 2017’s World Mental Health Day was mental health in the workplace. So, at Health Exchange, we teamed up with partner organisation the Living Well Consortium for a ‘Food and Mood’ event. We’d like to say a big thank you to Marks and Spencer for kindly donating the delicious healthy food!

We strongly believe that one of the ways a person can start to improve their wellbeing is through food. A healthy diet is not only important for a healthy body, but also for a healthy mind. There is a growing body of research pointing to a link between nutrition and mental wellbeing. It seems that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by diet and people who report mental health issues tend to eat unhealthier diets (Mental Health Foundation).

The idea of our event was to start a conversation amongst employees about how we can improve our wellbeing at work. Suggestions included bringing in a healthy packed lunch, taking a brisk five or ten minute walk as a break, sitting with good posture and having a friendly conversation with a colleague.

 

Our Senior Practitioner Rosemarie offers this advice on other ways to improve health and wellbeing:

Connecting – with other people

Learning – something new so we feel challenged and stimulated

Exercise – keep yourself moving to reduce stress

Acts of kindness – helps us feel good too

Notice – our environment and the positive things in life

CLEAN

 

For some work-specific advice, she has the following tips for stress management:

1. Make time for fun and laugh as much as you can.

2. Be flexible with the things you have to do. The task may be a constant but you may be able to change the environment.

3. Break things down in to manageable chunks.

4. Ask for help when you need it.

5. Don’t be afraid to talk to an external professional. No problem is too small or insignificant. If it is bothering you then it’s worth talking about.

Even though work can be a stressful environment, there are many small things you can do to make it easier. Doing just one good thing for yourself each day can improve your wellbeing. Give it a try and see how you feel!

References

Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/diet-and-mental-health

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