It’s Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand and it seems timely that we observe this with importance – this year hasn’t been easy, so looking after our wellbeing is more critical than ever before. 

We all have mental health and just like physical health, it’s a treasure and something to look after and take seriously! Studies show that there is a four to one return on investment in mental health in the workplace. We all want to feel like we are engaged in meaningful, fulfilling work in an environment that is supportive, inclusive and safe. If you feel engaged in your work, you’re more likely to be productive and have higher morale and job satisfaction.  

It’s important to acknowledge it has been a difficult year as a result of the pandemic, it’s important that we acknowledge the effect it has had on us professionally and personally, but with challenges comes opportunity. I, for one, have become a lot more attentive to my own well being and more mindful of how I am feeling day to day. 

Of course, sometimes there are things that impact our mental health and wellbeing that we can’t control and this can make life difficult. But we can take conscious steps to control our mindset and behaviours in order to improve our overall well being. Tyler Wren has put together some ideas for daily practices on improving your wellbeing in the workplace:

Feel good for free: 

  1. Get out at lunch time for a walk around your area, on your own or with your colleague. Getting fresh air and being away from your desk for a short while can do wonders for your energy levels. We are lucky to be based near the Auckland viaduct which makes for a great lunch time walk when the suns out, especially if the office dogs join us.
  2. Sharing positive experiences and celebrating the small wins in the office, we are all on the same team with one common goal.  
  3. Encourage your colleagues to take a break, look out for them and their wellbeing. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down with work and go hours without coming up for air, which is not sustainable and can be quite damaging on productivity in the long run. 
  4. Passing genuine compliments to others and practicing kind speech – this can go so far in lifting someone’s spirits.
  5. Playing Music that lifts the mood in the office – we often have banter around our questionable individual preferences but everyone is encouraged to play what they like. 
  6. Engaging in activities as a team, Friday afternoon quiz or bringing in a shared plate of food. 
  7. Listening to podcasts on the commute to and from work can help to pass the time and distract you from the traffic. Currently I am listening to the Mindset Mentor with Rob Dial and can highly recommend it.  
  8. Celebrating our cultural differences, we have a very diverse team in our office and a lot of us are immigrants, remembering that we are not alone helps during the tough times away from family abroad. 

This week’s a good reminder for everyone to practice compassion in the workplace and in life in general, and engage in activities and conversations that help uplift people’s mental wellbeing. We are all in this together!

If you’re worried you or someone at your workplace needs some support, please visit this page for resources. Report this