It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you try to hide it, you can’t run from mental illness. It can be especially difficult if you are suffering whilst at work.
Your day is filled with deadlines, presentations and back to back meetings all day so it can feel like the world is closing in on you if you leave it too long!
Here are some tips for dealing with mental health within the workplace…
1.Let your manager know as soon as you’re feeling symptoms
It doesn’t matter what mental illness you are experiencing at the moment; everyone has different symptoms. There is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment to illnesses either.
As soon as you feel a little ‘off’ and that you are struggling to function at work, make sure you let your manager know as soon as you can!
Unfortunately, you can look completely fine from the outside no matter how awful you are feeling inside. It is a manager’s priority to make sure their staff are feeling their best and they will decide if you need a couple of weeks off work to rest and seek help.
2. Drink sensibly
It can be tempting to go on work nights out during the week or ‘have a glass’ when you get home. This sounds like a great idea at the time however, this behaviour can be quite addictive, and you end up adding to your problems since frequent alcohol consumption can heighten anxiety making you feel a lot worse.
Also, if you are on medication – drink is also a big NO.
3. Step outside for 5
Sometimes work can get a bit too much or maybe you’re experiencing an anxiety attack. If your body is telling you to leave the building to get some fresh air then your body is probably right.
If you have already spoken to your manager about your recent feelings, they won’t mind you going outside for 5 minutes to catch your breath.
Those few minutes can make ALL the difference.
4. Eat well
When you aren’t feeling yourself, it can be tempting to binge eat junk food however this is only going to make you feel worse in the afternoon and less alert. Try mixing up your lunches – throw in some fruit and veg!
You’ll feel much more energised!
5. Seek support at work
As mental health is becoming more of a public health concern, more and more companies are bringing on board confidential counselling schemes. Arrange a meeting with your manager and talk about these options – they are completely free!
Sometimes you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends and family about your feelings.
Speaking to a stranger can be surprisingly cathartic!
If you feel as though you are unable to reach out to close friends or family, Samaritans are here on the line 24/7. If you are in a bad mental state, don’t suffer in silence as there is always help available!