Looking after yourself as the world changes around you

22 May 2019

We know change can be a very stressful time, and it can often impact on your mental health. Embracing change at work, however, has become a necessity as the world around us continues to change.

Here, we have compiled some simple ways to help you look after your mental health throughout periods of change and transition:

Top tips:
  • Take regular breaks during your working day. Make sure you stop and take time for water, snacks, and lunch. A good idea is to put reminders on your computer, your watch or your smart phone if you’re likely to forget to take a break. Don’t be tempted to just keep working all day because of your heavy workload. Regular breaks actually make you more productive and help stop both physical and mental burn out.
  • Establish good relationships in the workplace. Having people you can talk to during stressful periods is vital to maintaining positive mental health. If you don’t have a huge network available – is there anyone else who may be able to lend an ear? Reaching out to check on how someone else is travelling can open the door to a solid, supportive relationship that goes both ways!
  • Switch off after hours as much as possible. Spending time with your family and friends, doing a favourite hobby or playing sport can help you leave work, and workplace issues, at work. As tempting as it often is to continue with your work while at home, switching off is very important for us, and energises us for the rest of the working week.
  • Looking after your physical health is important as it closely correlates with your mental health. Exercise can also be a great way to focus and calm your mind. Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. A few tips to look after your physical health can be found on the SANE website.

  • Notice your breathing. People tend to take short, shallow breaths when they are working under stress. If you realise you are doing this, stopping and taking a few really deep breaths can break the body’s panic reaction. It’s the quickest and easiest stress relief available. If you’re feeling anxious, try syncing your breathing with this video.
  • It’s OK to say no at work. During times of change, job boundaries can get a bit blurred, so set healthy limits with the people you work with so everyone has a clear understanding of who does what. Regular lines of communication can make all the difference in helping to create clarity and a shared understanding, and if you are unable to do something, it’s important to communicate this.