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by Sarah De Rosa 15th May, 2019
3 min read

Mental Health Awareness Week is almost upon us – and at GK, we take our employees mental health very seriously.

Mental health problems can affect any person, any day of the year. This week, I want to highlight top tips and practices for staying well at work.

Reclaim your lunch break

Your lunch break is your time to recharge your body and mind – reclaim your lunch break by taking the time to make use of summer sun and clean air. Get together with your colleagues and organise a picnic or go for a walk and re-energise for a productive afternoon of work

Music whilst you work

If you’re feeling stressed or tense, research has shown that listening to quiet and flow music can encourage mind and body relaxation to help unwind and refocus.

Music can also help performance when completing a task, eliminating distractions by blocking out your fellow workers. Machinery, bleeping phones and noise can upset your precious work flow and balance, yet music help counter such distractions and encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Listen to your favourite song and treat yourself. Rewards can boost your general wellbeing – something as small as your favourite song can give you some added motivation. Plus, you can tackle that big workload with a positive attitude.

Getting to grips with the work life balance

The big question is; are you often the last to leave work? Overtime can be a necessity; sometimes meeting deadlines is a priority and unavoidable. But this should be an exception and not the rule. Long hours usually mean you may be working harder, but not efficiently – they will take vital energy from your concentration, your level of productivity and your health.

At GK we offer a 2 hour policy. This allows employees to take 2 hours out from their working week to do whatever they want; have a lie in, go to the gym or even take a longer weekend!

Create clear boundaries between work and home life. Create clear boundaries between work and home

It can happen to us all – taking the office back into the home. We suggest designating a separate area, specifically for work which you consistently stick to – keeping the personal and work life separate and the ability to close the door on work.

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 – and Stick To it

Sometimes thoughts can be scrambled, particularly when we are mentally juggling tasks. Keep your mind and job organised and methodical by using a ‘to-do’ list.

Use the start and beginning of the day to write up your fresh thoughts and tasks. By getting them down on paper, you can leave your thoughts at work at the end of the day and working at your very best capacity the next.

Use your commute wisely

The commute can be a useful and important time of the day to wind down from work. Read a book, get some laughter with a Podcast or listen to a chill-out playlist. Use the time on your commute wisely.  You could even go about walking part of the way, taking in some needed fresh air through the quiet streets and taking a moment to just, breathe.

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.

There is strength in asking for help

It’s okay to ask for help. If workloads are spiralling out of control, connect with your manager or supervisor for a discussion on how to strategise. If you are struggling to get the problem resolved, or are finding unrealistic goals, talk to HR department of line manager. Remember, HR department and line managers are there to support you – ask for the help you need.

See more articles by Sarah De Rosa