Reasons to care about your mental health in the workplace can seem trivial. Until you’re having a full-on mental breakdown in the office bathrooms. I’m talking crying, shaking, the whole nine yards.
Suddenly, it’s not so trivial anymore.
So funny story, when I was doing research for this blog post, there wasn’t a single post on how employees could take care of their mental health in the workplace. At least not on page one.
The way I see it, it’s almost like employees are being painted as these helpless creatures that have no power of their own.
I think that’s the problem.
You are not a victim. You have a choice. Your mental health is your responsibility. Your mental health is in your hands. You can do something about it if you’re feeling too stressed or even depressed.
That’s the first thing I want to go on the record before we get into the benefits.
If your workplace doesn’t care about you or your mental health, you can make the choice to leave.
I know that you have been brainwashed into believing that leaving a paying job would end the world as you know it, but I’m here to tell you that the sun will still shine.
The earth won’t be swallowed by a black hole, and your life as you know it won’t be over.
Great, with that out of the way, let’s get into the reasons why you clicked on this post.
Table of Contents
6 Important reasons to care about your mental health in the workplace
According to the 2021 State of Mental Health In America report, anxiety has reached the highest level since the pandemic began, and the depression rate has tripled.
Our mental health impacts all the areas of our lives. This is the case whether we are aware of it or not.
This is why we have to guard our mental health with everything we have because if we don’t, all the areas of our lives pay the price.
That being said, here are five reasons why you should care for your mental health in the workplace.
The first reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is your productivity.
The CDC’s statistics show that depression interferes with an employee’s ability to complete “physical job tasks about 20% of the time.” It also can cause a 35% reduction in cognitive performance.
Productivity in the workplace boils down to an individual. However, most of us take great pride in being super productive.
That means that when we can’t deliver because we are too stressed or burned out or depressed, it only fuels the fire.
This is why caring for our mental health in the workplace is paramount.
Things you can do to increase productivity for improved workplace mental health
2. Job satisfaction
The second reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is job satisfaction.
Hard to be satisfied at your job when you’re battling burnout and depression. Or when you’re feeling overworked and underappreciated.
Gone are the days when mental health was stigmatized. Well, it might be as recent as 2017, but still, that’s no longer the case.
Mental health in the workplace is something that we must work harder to normalize. This is what will protect and safeguard the jobs we love.
3. Professional growth
The sad reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is professional growth.
For you to look for opportunities to grow professionally and improve professionally, you first have to be in a healthy state of mind.
You must be relatively happy at your job and feel satisfied and fulfilled. Without these emotions in place, your mental health might be suffering.
Without these emotions, you won’t have the focus to evaluate your skills objectively and look for ways to improve them. Look for ways to add to your skill set. Look for ways to become more competitive with yourself.
4. Work-life balance
The fourth reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is work-life balance.
With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships, and family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests, it’s no surprise that more than one in four Americans describe themselves as “super stressed.”
In our rush to “get it all done” at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships.
Things you can do to achieve work-life balance for improved workplace mental health
- Set clear boundaries
- Learn to say ‘No’
- Set manageable goals
- Use the Pomodoro technique
- Take breaks when needed
- Communicate challenges clearly
- Unplug from work
- Don’t take work home
- If you work from home, leave your laptop in your home office
- Take time to relax and enjoy your family
- Share the load with your partner
5. Physical health
The fifth reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is your physical health.
Over time, stress weakens our immune systems. This makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments, from colds to backaches to heart disease.
The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack. That statistic alone is enough to raise your blood pressure!
At the end of the day, keep in mind that while you need your job, they don’t need you. They need your skill set. That means that anyone who can do what you do can replace you at any time.
On the other hand, you can’t replace yourself to yourself, to your friends or to your family. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take your job seriously. But it does mean that you should care more about the things that actually matter, like your health and your relationships, which we discuss in the next section.
Things you can do to maintain good physical health for improved workplace mental health
- Schedule a workout session at least three times a week
- If you work from home, workout in the morning and evening in place of commute time.
- Take breaks to stand from your work chair and stretch
- Watch what you eat
- Incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Start with 10 minutes a day.
- Get enough sleep, at least seven hours a night.
The sixth reason to care about your mental health in the workplace is your relationships.
Who doesn’t love to compartmentalize? I know I do. And it sure makes things easier. But we can’t always compartmentalize everything.
When our work-life is bad and our workplace mental health is suffering, all that bitterness and bile starts sipping into our relationships outside work.
Our relationships with our spouses, our children, and our friends all start suffering because the negative emotions we are harboring from work are spilling over.
While this is normal, it shouldn’t be encouraged. We have to protect those we love from the ugliest part of ourselves that they in fact have nothing to do with. We do this by managing our workplace mental health, and we do that, by being aware of our mental health.
We need to know what good workplace mental health feels like so that when it starts turning sour, we can take a step back and either ask for help or re-evaluate what might be causing us to have bad workplace mental health.
Reasons to care about your mental help can seem trivial until you realize that you hate your life, your job, your friends, and everything about being alive.
Work plays such a huge role in our lives. So much so that if we’re unhappy in the workplace; that anger and frustration quickly Sips into other areas of our lives.
Therefore, to be happy all around, you have to care about your mental health in the workplace.