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How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

2020 was a roller coaster of stress: We experienced a rapid, unpredictable change in almost every way imaginable. As the pandemic spread, so did a secondary crisis: Mental health.

It is in these times of hardship and uncertainty that we are most vulnerable, mentally and emotionally, and it’s clear that the pandemic brought many Americans to unprecedented lows.

How Well Are You Coping?

The KFF reported that the number of adults experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and depression skyrocketed during the pandemic. From January to June of 2019, around one in 10 adults reported mental and emotional stress symptoms. By January of 2021, the number rose to four in 10. 

Americans are still feeling the seismic quakes of the pandemic and will continue to do so for months and years to come. Although there’s light on the horizon, we’re not quite there yet. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to prioritize our mental health in 2021. After all, if there is one thing we learned last year, it’s that mental health must be a priority. 

Workplace Mental Health Tips for Employers and Employees

So how can we take better care of our mental health at home and in the workplace?

For Employers: Establish a Culture of Compassion

Good workplace culture starts from the top down—and this is especially true of mental health care.

If you are an employer, it’s essential to acknowledge that your team members may be struggling physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. Your employees should feel they can communicate with you about their mental health and that it is safe and productive to do so. This isn’t a matter of “talking about feelings” with your employees (we don’t encourage discussing intimate life details). Instead, it’s about allowing them the grace, understanding, and logistical support to take care of themselves. 

Understandably, some employers may be wary of crossing that unspoken boundary with their workers. Mental health is a touchy topic, but staff needs to be able to communicate about their wellbeing. As an employer, you can provide a safe and compassionate workspace for your staff and assure them that they can seek support without fear of discrimination or retribution. Lead by example; make your stance known. Implement policies that back up your statements. Not only are you creating a healthy work environment for your staff, but you are also supporting their productivity and longevity on your team.

For Employees: Setting Boundaries

Know that it is okay to set boundaries at work, both personal and professional. A supportive organization should be receptive to your shifting needs so long as you can communicate your boundaries effectively. 

Take care to delineate between your work time and playtime, especially if you’re working from home. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it, as hard as it may be. Don’t bring your day “home” with you. Make sure to take breaks, pause to eat lunch, and rejuvenate body and mind.

When you’re at home, prioritize beneficial lifestyle practices. These include eating regularly and well, staying hydrated, getting exercise, and good rest. Developing a routine structure in your life can help you feel grounded in an otherwise uncertain and unmoored time.

Reach out today to find out how Fusion Workplaces Palm Desert can support you with professional office services.


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