May is mental health awareness month, and it’s the perfect time for personal growth. Throughout this month, we must embrace our physical and mental well-being to achieve optimal health and happiness. One way to accomplish this is through mindfulness practice. With mindfulness, anyone has the ability to strengthen connections within themselves and others while building the skills to manage stress and anxiety, improve focus, and enhance their overall well-being. That’s why we must highlight the importance of mental health awareness month and provide a few useful tips for employees to empower their mental health.
4 Tips To Promote Mental Health In The Workplace
Educate And Provide Resources
Educating employees on dealing with mental health issues doesn’t have to be a grueling process. We encourage you to share quizzes, videos, or other engaging content to help educate your employees about mental health. Make sure employees know when and how to access any resources provided to them. Go beyond simply providing information and lead by example. One way to create an accepting environment is by sharing a personal story. Share an example of how you or a loved one were affected by a mental health issue and encourage employees to open up themselves. This process will help break down some of the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Try Reducing All Sources Of Stress
One great way employers can support mental health in the workplace is by fostering a stress-free atmosphere. Encourage your employees to give and receive constructive feedback to one another. You should also encourage managers to use positive reinforcement to prevent feelings of stress or anxiety. One of the reasons employees would feel stressed in the workplace is a lack of communication and uncertainty with tasks. Tackle this problem by creating a workplace in which employees are encouraged to speak up and ask questions.
Promote Work/Life Balance
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many employees are faced with extra stress trying to create a healthy balance between work and life. Especially for those who work remotely, the line between work and life has become blurred. Employees cannot work efficiently knowing they have something to take care of in their personal life. Therefore, let them know that you understand there will be times when they need to take time off work to manage their daily lives. Telling them this will create a more productive workforce knowing that they have an employer who cares about them.
Prevent Employee Burnout
Employee burnout is defined as a state of physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion combined with doubts about one’s value to the workplace. The impact of employee burnout on organizations can be quite significant. Burnout results in lower productivity as well as higher levels of absenteeism and turnover. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure employees feel valued and aren’t drowning in work. One way in which employers can do this is by giving employees a day off for mental health. When employees know their manager supports them, it helps alleviate their apprehension over asking for a break. Another useful way to prevent burnout is by ensuring the workload is distributed fairly. Performance goals and responsibilities must be communicated clearly to employees. This effort will help prevent burnout and improve employee retention.
Improving Mental Health Through Mindfulness
Mindfulness in the workplace is a popular trend that has even caught the attention of large companies such as Google. However, mindfulness is still not widespread among smaller companies. Mindfulness in the workplace can have numerous benefits for not only your employees but also your entire organization. As we highlight the importance of mental health throughout May, here are a few ways mindfulness can help:
- Reduces feelings of stress: Many studies have shown that practicing mindfulness helps reduce stress. It allows one to step back and approach situations through an alternative perspective. Breathing techniques, in particular, are effective in slowing down your heart rate and relaxing your mind.
- Creates awareness: A common cause of employee burnout is the feeling that every day is the same cycle. This is where mindfulness can come in handy. Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment. By taking the time to actively engage in the present moment every day, you are preventing autopilot from taking over.
- Improved cognitive flexibility: Another mental health benefit of mindfulness is that it can give employees greater cognitive flexibility. This can be achieved through mindful meditation. Those who meditate on a daily basis may develop the skill of self-observation. Mindful meditation also activates the region of the brain with adaptive responses to stressful or negative situations, which will help employees manage tasks at work while maintaining their well-being.
Why Mental Health Awareness Month Is More Important Than Ever
It has been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, yet we still find ourselves in a battle against the pandemic. As we approach the month of May, focusing on mental health issues is more important now than ever before. A mental health poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of Americans (45%) say that their mental health has been directly impacted by COVID-19. This stress just adds to the worry employees regularly go through with work. While some individuals may benefit from professional help, most can utilize mindfulness to help them improve their mental health and create a productive work environment.
Branch Out And Develop Your Mindfulness Skill Set
Any experienced employer can tell you that putting your employee’s needs first is key to operating a successful business. This goes for their mental health as well. Prioritize your employee’s needs and they’ll prioritize yours. For employers looking to create awareness towards mental health this May, contact us to discuss our different programs and resources to bring mindfulness into your workplace.