Mental health disorders affect 12.5% of men in the UK. However, one third of these will never disclose their condition to a friend or family member, and remarkably, 78% of suicides in the UK are men. This Wednesday is World Mental Health Day and Anna Williamson is the author of the hugely successful #1 selling book on Amazon ‘Breaking Mad’. Anna found fame on kid’s television shows on networks including CITV and Disney Channel, but after secretly battling an anxiety disorder, realised there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and became an official ambassador of the charity Mind. She is now a qualified counsellor, life coach and Master NLP Practitioner. Anna currently runs her own private coaching practice alongside being the resident agony aunt and psychology expert on TV shows including ITV’s Good Morning Britain and BBC’s Inside Out. Today she give us her expert top tips to deal with Stree in the workplace.
1 – Take a lunch break – so many of us are guilty of grabbing lunch on the go or snatching just a few minutes break for lunch. It’s proven that taking a proper lunch break away from your desk makes for a more productive afternoon, so everyone wins – you, your boss and your health!
2 – Talk to your boss – your boss has a duty of care for your wellbeing at work. Sure, some bosses can be a little unapproachable, but have think about how you could communicate more effectively with your boss (or HR department) about how you’re feeling and any issues or challenges you may be facing. Perhaps an email is the first port of call, but try not to let any stressful feelings simmer.
3 – Set realistic expectations/deadlines – don’t over commit to work deadlines or projects. Be careful not to over promise or try to people please your boss or colleagues if taking on too much is going to leave you feeling pressured or stressed. Have the confidence to set clear boundaries of what you can/can’t do from the outset and update your colleagues along the way so you don’t feel the pressure of them chasing you.
4 – Explore flexible working – if family life is demanding and work pressures are getting too much, have a think about enquiring with your workplace about flexible working. It might be that working from home for a day or so could reduce stress and benefit your mental health – you’ve got nothing to lose by asking the question.
5 – Take your holiday Entitlement – it’s unhealthy for your mental and physical health if you’re taking less than three weeks of annual leave a year. You don’t need to go abroad, a stay-cation is just as effective, but make sure you allow yourself that time away from work to recharge and focus on you.