Mental Health: Strategies for a Healthy Workplace

Did you know that mental illness is the leading cause of long-term workplace absence in most developed countries? The stigma surrounding mental health makes it not so obvious, but with 45% of Australians experiencing a mental health problem in their lifetime, it is likely that at some point, every worker will be affected by mental illness, either directly or indirectly.

After doing some online research, I discovered that work-life is a significant factor in mental health. Lots of conversations around work-life balance emerge, as juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships, family responsibilities, as well as trying to fit in time for outside interests, are all major contributors to stress. Now stress is normal in moderation as it spurs as along to meet our goals, but not maintaining a healthy work-life balance can lead to high and unhealthy stress levels.

Here are a few practical steps we can all take to reduce stress and maintain a healthy balance in our lives:

At work:

  • Set manageable daily goals
  • Take a breather
  • Be efficient with your time
  • Communicate efficiently
  • Give yourself a break

At home:

  • Get support
  • Stay active
  • Treat your body right
  • Don’t over commit
  • Unplug

These practical steps are great for maintaining a healthy balance. When we lose this balance, it can feel like the everything in the world is acting against you. You have to remember it isn’t, and having the proper checklist in place can serve as a reminder to take a step back and give yourself the break you deserve.

Personally, I like to remember that I have a beautiful family that loves me unconditionally. Another thing I like to do is stop, go and sit under a tree, and take in the full beauty of the world. I always try and listen to music to calm myself down as well. I know these things are quite simple, but they work wonders when you need to re-balance.

If you feel like work is taking a toll on you, the best thing to do is to talk to one of your managers and let them know what’s going on. Your manager will be able to help you find the best opinion to help you get back to the best version of yourself. I know that might sound stupid, but it honestly does help a lot.

Please remember there is help out there everywhere. If you feel like you can’t reach out to any family members or friends, there are a lot of organisations that are there for you as well.

Some of the best organisations you can reach out to include:

1. Lifeline
2. Black Dog Institute
3. Beyond Blue
4. Reach Out Australia

Annastasia Brown