The work we dedicate ourselves to is one of the most significant parts of our lives. Not only do we spend a large portion of our days, weeks, and years earning an income, but it is also a potential source of relationships and joy, which is why it is essential to ensure that our work lives are positive contributors to our mental wellbeing.
Even in comfortable and fulfilling roles, there are aspects, such as deadlines and workloads, that can bring our mood down or inspire stress. Other roles can demand significant portions of our time, leading to frustrations to spill over into our personal lives. Office spaces can become toxic and new responsibilities can lead us to confusion, both resulting in worse mental health. Then, furthermore, especially during times of economic recession, there are the fears and anxieties of losing or having lost a job too.
It is because of this large potential influence on our mental health, that our workplaces should be given the utmost consideration to ensure that they are conducive to positive wellbeing.
Recognising An Issue
As with many mental health issues, it can be difficult to identify symptoms as they may at first appear subtly. If you begin to notice a generally lower mood, one that lasts more than a few weeks, or if you feel unable to manage your personal life because of residual thoughts and feelings from the workplace, you may be experiencing mental health issues. Other signs, such as sluggishness, distractibility, and a lack of motivation may also be indicative of worsening wellbeing.
Work-related mental disorders can also manifest much more severely, affecting those around you, both at work and at home. If you find yourself struggling with your mood and energy, or even having thoughts of suicide, then it is essential that you seek professional help.
Looking After Yourself
There are many ways you can look after your mental health in the workplace.
Physical Activity – if your work is stationary, be sure to balance yourself with exercise
Communicate – feeling alienated or isolated from others leads to mental ill-health
Balanced Diet – without a balanced and healthy diet, our bodies and minds suffer
Seek Support – your workplace should be able to offer or advise professional support
These activities can improve your working environment and make a substantial difference in your motivation. However, if your low mood continues, you may need to make more significant changes.
There are numerous laws that protect employees from inhospitable environments, including those that affect mental health. If you begin experiencing mental health issues at work, you are entitled to request reasonable adjustments to your working environment, workload, and schedule. Making such changes may improve your wellbeing, restoring health and productivity. If, however, they do not, you may be struggling with a deeper mental disorder.
Should you wish to seek support on your workplace-related mental health issues with Bristol counselling, I am available to arrange an initial consultation. This preliminary session will allow us time to discuss your situation, outlining any potential issues, and to see if we are a suitable match for counselling.
I can be contacted via the Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy website, or via phone and email, with online video sessions available.