The workplace can be a source of stress, pressure, and burnout for many people. With long hours, tight deadlines, and demanding responsibilities, it's no wonder that so many office workers struggle with their mental health. However, there are ways to improve mental health and wellbeing at work.
Continuing our series of ways to maintain our mental health for the month of May (because guess who's still harnessing the power and purpose of AI: US HUMANKIND), we explore five office activities that can improve the mental health of office workers - whether in the office, or not.
1. Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgment. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase feelings of calm and wellbeing. Encouraging ourselves and our teammates to take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation can have a big impact on everyone's mental health.
2. Exercise breaks: Exercise is a natural mood booster, and it can help reduce stress and anxiety. Taking regular, scheduled (as in block it in your calendar) exercise breaks, whether it's a quick walk outside or a yoga session in a dedicated space, can help improve mental health and productivity.
3. Group activities: Engaging in group activities can help a team feel more connected and supported. Activities such as team building exercises, group lunches, or after-work events can help build relationships and create a positive workplace culture, and are easily implementable when scheduling in-person "office days".
4. Creativity breaks: Engaging in creative activities can be a great way to reduce stress and improve mental health. Encourage individual employees to take breaks to engage in creative activities such as drawing, painting, or writing. (Note, also, the power of doodling.) This can help improve mood and increase feelings of wellbeing.
5. Learning and development opportunities: Providing opportunities for learning and development - especially for teams with higher level HR resources - can help employees feel more engaged and fulfilled in their work. This can include training programs, workshops, or opportunities to learn new skills. Engaging in learning and development - or "up-skilling" - can help improve mental health by increasing feelings of competence and confidence.
There are many office activities that can help improve the mental health of office workers, and these five are very simple activities that any-size team can implement easily, whether formally or informally.
By promoting mindfulness meditation, exercise breaks, group activities, creativity breaks, and learning and development opportunities, you can help create a positive and supportive workplace culture. These activities can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of wellbeing, ultimately leading to happier and healthier employees.