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Love Your Mind as Much as Your Heart

colleagues chatting over a coffee

We all know how important it is to keep active. And when it comes to getting physically fit, there are clear programs you can follow, with visible results. Your mental health, on the other hand, can often feel a bit more… mysterious. But it’s just as vital and deserving of your love and attention, and luckily, there are several ways to build good habits into your day. Here, Kristin Finkbeiner, Psychological Wellness Coach with Zevo Health, shares advice around taking care of your mental health in the workplace.

1. Communicate

First and foremost, bottling up negative feelings isn’t good for your mental health, and this applies as much at work as at home. “Learning to communicate empathetically but assertively is key,” Kristin begins. “You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can learn to express yourself actively.” If something’s bothering you at work, speak up. If you worry you won’t be able to articulate yourself clearly, jot down some notes in advance of the meeting, or practise with a friend or colleague in advance. Learning to effectively deal with conflict in this way is a great skill that will benefit your home life too. “If you feel conflict arise,” Kristin notes, “it’s important to express how the situation makes you feel, and also empathetically look at where that other person is coming from.” Keep this in mind the next time you and your partner or family member feel you might be on the brink of an argument! 

comforting a colleague

2. Set Boundaries

Knowing your boundaries and being comfortable with them is also key to maintaining good mental health. “We all have our limits,” says Kristin. “Figure out what you’re able to handle and how much you’re comfortable taking on.” Worried you’ll come across lazy or not a ‘team player’? You won’t. In fact, the opposite is probably true, as Kristin notes; “If you’re able to do that for yourself, you’ll be a much more efficient worker and supportive colleague.”

3. Be Realistic

Nobody’s perfect, so don’t be too hard on yourself. “Often we set unrealistic goals for ourselves”, says Kristin. “Remember that you’re human and failures are ok.” So, if something goes horribly wrong at work – a disastrous meeting or negative client call, don’t be too hard on yourself! Instead, ask yourself what lesson you might learn from the experience, what you could have done differently, and importantly, what you had no control over.

woman writing at work desk

The A, B and C of Self Care

The term ‘self-care’ might conjure up images of a luxury spa, but actually, it’s something you can build into everyday moments – whether you’re at work or at home. “I like to think of the ABC’s when it comes to tuning in to self-care,” Kirstin says…
Awareness: This is about becoming aware of what you need, your limits, the emotions you’re facing and the resources you have available.
Balance: It’s vital to remember the delicate balance between work and personal life, and periods of activity and rest. Try not to do everything all at once.
Connection: Tune into whatever connection might comfort you during a stressful moment. That could be your colleagues, support system outside of work, or maybe something bigger than yourself; a community you’re part of, or even a higher power.

Emotions are Contagious

Kristin’s final piece of advice is to lead by example when it comes to mental health at work. “Demonstrate yourself as somebody who cares for their mind and is good at setting boundaries and working through mistakes,” she advises. “Being that leading light in your workplace can help build morale and mental health throughout your company, and be a really positive inspiration for others.”

Find out more about Zevo’s offering here.

Created August 2019.

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