Mental wellbeing at work
Why not make the most of that precious hour – or half hour – by trying some of these suggestions...
Organise a picnic
Take advantage of the summer sun and make the most of clean air and good food with your colleagues.
Hold a group activity
If there’s a green space near your workplace why not organise a game of rounders or football, hold a guerrilla gardening session, or a group walk? Take time to enjoy the outdoors and get re-energised for an afternoon of productive work.
Take up a challenge
Local sponsored walks or marathons are a great way to keep active. Sign with your colleagues and train together during lunch breaks. Participating as part of a team can give a communal sense of achievement when you complete the challenge. You could even support Mind’s work by signing up to one of our running events.
If you’re feeling stressed, listening to a calming song can take your mind off work for a few minutes and help you unwind and refocus. Research has found slow, quiet music can encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety.
When you’re working hard to complete a task, music can also help eliminate distractions around you. By blocking out the noise of your fellow workers, machinery or bleeping phones you can focus easier on the task at hand.
Listen to your favourite song as a simple treat to yourself. Rewarding yourself is a great way for your general wellbeing, giving you some added motivation so you can better tackle a big workload.
Our magical music suggestions:
- Check out this selection of relaxing music or choose your own soundtrack to relax to.
- Have a look at the most popular songs that make people happy
- Here are some great sites that can help you select music play lists according to your current or desired mood.
Are you often the last to leave work?
We know you’ll have times when you need to work overtime to meet deadlines, but try to make this the exception not the norm. Long hours means you may be working harder, but not better – they’ll quickly take their toll on your concentration, productiveness and health.
Create clear boundaries between work and home
Try not to let work spill over into your personal life. If you need to bring work home, designate a separate area for work and stick to it, you’ll find it much easier to then close the door on work.
Start a To Do list
At the end of each day, go over your list and write up one for the next day, when your thoughts are down on paper, you’ll find it easier to not think about work.
Use the time on your commute home to wind down from work
Read a book or listen to your music to set aside some time to yourself. Maybe try cycling part of your journey or getting off a stop early to take a shortcut through a park or quiet streets. These little actions can really help you to switch off.
Ask for help
If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control, take opportunity to discuss it with your manager or supervisor. If you can't resolve the problem of unrealistic goals, organisation problems or deadlines in this way, talk to your personnel department, trade union representative or other relevant members of staff.
The new economics foundation pinpointed five essential steps to improving wellbeing on a daily basis. They're a great way to start thinking about how you can improve your daily working life.
Nurture relationships with your friends, families and colleagues. Research has shown that people whose goals in life are focused on family, friends and colleagues have increased wellbeing compared to those who focus on career and money.
- Find some ways to get to know your colleagues better. Start an end of week connected team meeting, one that’s dedicated to the team as individuals – avoid all work related topics! Encourage everyone to share what they have learnt about each other during the week.
Exercise has been proven to lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Find an activity that suits you, walking cycling, dancing or running - anything that gets you moving.
- Does your workplace have a sports team, yoga class or a bike-to-work scheme? If not, why not set one up?
Actively building your awareness of your everyday feelings and experiences has been proven to be good for your wellbeing.
Take time to reflect on what has happened in your day and be curious about the world around you.
- Take ten minutes at the end of each working day to review what you’ve done well and what you might do differently tomorrow.
When you’re young learning is a key part of your development, it quite literally forms the person you are when you grow up.
Learning purely for the sake of learning is extremely beneficial -achieving goals you’ve set for yourself can increase your confidence and help you to feel more optimistic about the future.
- Volunteer to take on a new responsibility at work, learn to cook a new recipe or read a Wikihow article on a totally new topic to you.
Co-operating with other people has been shown by neuroscientists to stimulate the reward centres in the brain
By giving and receiving, people build trust which helps boosts everyone’s mental wellbeing.
- Could you organise a donate day, sponsored activity or cake sale for Mind?
If you're interested in reading the full Five Ways to Wellbeing report, it's online here.