A Mindful Approach to Mental Health at Work

Shayda Windle

Taking Care of Your Mental Health is More Important Now than Ever BeforeShayda Windle

A decade ago, mental health was not something discussed within the workplace primarily due to the stigma attached to it. However, this has changed in recent years, and mental health is now an open topic of conversation among businesses of all sizes around the world. Whether you are a small business owner or a Fortune 500 company, business leaders are prioritizing the discussion around mental health. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we thought it would be beneficial to share a few tips we have learned the past few years about taking care of our own mental health and finding that balance that entrepreneurs so desperately need.

Prioritize Self-Care

We get it. You are an entrepreneur, a parent, a home owner, a friend, and so on. Embrace the fact that you just cannot do it all, and that to be present for each of these important roles in life, you must prioritize self-care. But what does that actually mean? Below we've included some suggestiosn for you.

·       Make time for yourself every day, even if it's just 10 minutes. You know all those things you used to do before life got so hectic? You can still enjoy them. In fact, now with remote jobs and home offices in place, it's easier than ever to sneak away from your computer for a few minutes. So take a few minutes to yourself each day (even if its just 10) to pick up your favorite book or pencil and sketchbook and get creative. You won't regret the quiet moments anymore.

·       Exercise or go for a walk to clear your mind and get some fresh air. For many, working from home each can have its downsides, like being stuck inside behind a desk all day. Be sure to take breaks. Go for a long walk outside or call up and old friend to chat. Maybe you can even go out to lunch – you deserve to treat yourself after spending so many hours at your desk each day.

·       Eat healthy foods to give you the energy you need to be productive. There is an undeniable mind-body connection between nutrition and mental health. The more your prioritize nutrition, the more likely you are to have energy, confidence, and better physical and metal health. Many studies, including this one from Harvard Medical School, have shown there are certain foods linked to better brain health, like those high in omega 3’s, including salmon, tuna, and cod, as well as berries and leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Make sure to nourish your body, for your brain’s sake.

·       Get enough sleep at night so you can be productive during the day. This may be easier said than done if you have little ones at home, but you must prioritize sleep for the sake of your own mental health. In our fast-paced, harried lives, we have downplayed the importance of sleep, but studies have shown time and again that lack of sleep and mental health issues like anxiety and depression go hand in hand. Understand the importance of quality sleep and consider ways you can make some lifestyle adjustments to make it happen.

·       Connect with other entrepreneurs online and in person to share ideas and build relationships. One downside of working remotely is the connection we used to have with our colleagues - seeing them each day in person, chatting at the watercooler, escaping for lunch. That said, over the past few years, many have found ways to connect with others online despite the situation we have found ourselves in; it just so happens that it’s all taken place online. LinkedIn is a great place to begin if you’re looking for an online networking platform. Join an association or networking group and participate when you can. You’ll likely enjoy the camaraderie and opportunity that comes with meeting like-minded people, especially during these challenging times.

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Shayda Windle is a freelance writer, covering technology, arts and culture, health and wellness, and everything in between. Her work has been featured in Plein Air Magazine, the Fairfax County Times, and Middleburg Life magazine, to name a few.

Purcellville, VA

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