Work is a large part of our day-to-day lives, so much so that our jobs can feel as though they define us. When this happens, we can become vulnerable to workplace stress. This is when it becomes critical to learn how to care for your mental health at work and reduce overall stress. Protecting your peace should be a priority, and there are a few strategies you can use to help you do just that.
Take Every Moment You Can for Yourself
Your job is your livelihood, and people rely on you to do your job, so it’s important to do your tasks and do them to the best of your ability. However, there’s no need to put extra tasks on your plate for the sake of adhering to the intense grind mindset. Whenever you have a moment to yourself at work, take it. Eat lunch outside or do mindfulness exercises in between tasks. Take what peace you have and be selfish with that time. If you fulfill your duties and meet expectations, there’s no shame in taking you-time.
Make What You Enjoy a Priority
One of the first signs that depression and anxiety are beginning to take hold is when you stop doing the things that make you happy. To care for your mental health at work and reduce stress, you need to hold on to the things that you enjoy and make them a priority. The things we love are an integral part of who we are, and when we start to lose our sense of self, our mental health can quickly go downhill. Even if you have to force yourself to do what you love, the feeling of not doing it and regretting it is worse than being a little tired.
Self-Care Is Non-Negotiable
Self-care tasks can feel like regular tasks, and we may not want to do more after working all day. Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean setting up the jacuzzi, making a gourmet dinner, or splurging on those concert tickets—it certainly can for some, but not everyone. One of the first things to go when we begin to become depressed is hygiene. Self-care can look like making sure you brush your teeth, wash your hair, or put your clothes in the wash. If you struggle with these things, don’t be afraid to accommodate yourself by keeping floss by your nightstand or using some dry shampoo.
Know When Things Have Gone Too Far
Knowing the signs of a mental health crisis can ensure you get the help you need before things get out of control. If you’re isolating yourself, making destructive behaviors, can’t sleep or are sleeping too much, are under- or overeating, or are having serious mood and energy swings, it’s time to seek help. There may be many reasons why you’re having a mental health crisis at work. You may have an undiagnosed mental illness, or you may be in a hostile work environment. Whatever the reason is, we all have only one body and one life, and it’s up to us to get the help we need and take care of ourselves the best we can.