Working in a stressful environment can affect your mental health in many ways. Above all, your mental health is vital to your optimal health. Here are ways you can put your mental health first in a stressful work environment:
Establish Healthy Habits
Most people spend about eight to 12 hours in an office environment, approximately five days a week. For many, that is more time than they spend at home with their family and friends. As a result, many find themselves eating fast food or vending machine food to get through the day. This type of junk food can be detrimental to your health, both mentally and physically. Instead, bring healthy food from home to reheat, and you will see that your productivity at work will be much higher.
Having a strict order or project that needs to be completed by the end of the day could leave you feeling there is no time for a break. However, this puts you under so much more stress because you did not walk away for a short time. Taking periodic breaks throughout the day helps you to stay more focused and is beneficial for your mental health. Most importantly, though, you should never feel guilty about taking a small break. In fact, most companies schedule them for you to take.
Listen to Podcast at Work
Some people may argue the point that listening to a podcast, like one from The 200 Project, while you are at work could be a distraction. As you probably already know that no one person function in the same manner. So, this may be true for some but not for all. In fact, there was a scientific study done that discovered that a small amount of people felt coworkers talking was distracting to them. Whereas, a more significant portion of people preferred to listen to music on a podcast in order to block out the distractions around their cubical.
Get Work and Life Balanced
It is a shame, but many people take their work home with them. In fact, most check work emails from personal electronics, answer texts from co-workers who have questions, and respond to work-related calls. It is important to realize that this can affect your mental state of mind. It also can keep you away from important family functions. To avoid this, make it a point to keep home life alive at home and work at work. Set a time to turn off work email notifications or even your phone as soon as you step through your front door. Take an honest effort not to think about work during those shut-off times.
Mental health is critical to your well-being. Don’t let anyone try to convince you into believing anything different.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.