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Mental health tips in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month

May 12, 2017

Human Resources

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Human Resources

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We at the Employee Assistance Program encourage workers and their families to practice self-care and set work-life boundaries. 

Right Direction is a free resource to raise awareness in the workplace about depression. We have been rolling out this initiative across departments over the past few months and will continue to do so. You may have seen us out and about presenting about mental health in the workplace at your department. This is a topic that is near and dear to us. It is very important that City employees and their families have access to mental health support in the workplace.

Right Direction has generated a list of 31 strategies to be more aware of your mental health while at work. Check out the tips below and share them with your colleagues. As always, our team is here to support you. 

  1. Make a to-do list. Lists help keep your mind organized. There’s also something quite satisfying when you can cross things off!
  2. Keep and maintain a planner. Whether you prefer using your smartphone or a traditional planner, keeping an up-to-date daily schedule will help you block out the time you need to complete your to-dos.
  3. Break up big tasks. Dividing projects into smaller parts can keep you organized while helping you decide which steps to tackle first.
  4. Prioritize your tasks. Determine which assignments are the most critical, and which ones can wait for the time being.
  5. Keep a clean work space. A disorganized area creates unnecessary chaos and causes distraction.
  6. Stop over-checking your emails. Resist the temptation to stop what you’re working on each time you receive a new message.
  7. Delegate. Find ways to divide tasks among others – when appropriate.
  8. Calm down. Being upset can affect your thoughts, feelings, body language, and those around you.
  9. Step back to reflect. Clearing your thoughts will help your mind reset before tackling the tasks at hand.
  10. Take time for recovery. Don’t let work consume other parts of your life.
  11. Look toward the future. Set some goals you want to achieve. They’ll help you stay inspired throughout the day.
  12. Work with others. Partnering with other people – when possible – can provide meaning and reasons to stay energized.
  13. Don’t expect perfection. To keep a positive attitude, it’s better to have realistic expectations.
  14. Don’t forget why you’re here. Remind yourself what you’re working for – financial independence, personal growth, your family. It will help keep your mind in the right place on the job.
  15. Find something you’re passionate about. Doing something you like at work gives you the boost you need to maintain a positive focus.
  16. Listen to someone else’s experiences. Hearing another person’s story can help you gain perspective.
  17. Help those around you find motivation. Assisting others in discovering their passion may help bring encouragement to you, too.
  18. Avoid repeating past problems. Don’t let past issues – such as lack of energy to complete a task – rear their ugly heads.
  19. Compliment those around you. Brightening someone else’s day just might brighten yours.
  20. Be bold. Take a shot at something new.
  21. Communicate when you’re troubled. Let another person know when you’re upset about something rather than taking no action.
  22. Walk away if you’re angry. Take time to regroup from a conflict.
  23. Find private time to discuss conflict. Don’t try to resolve an issue in a public place or a setting where others can overhear your conversation.
  24. Remember – different people have different personalities. Not everyone has the same agenda or priorities as you. Learn how to work with them.
  25. Get enough sleep ... Studies suggest problems getting to sleep during the night can have a direct impact on depression. Aim for a solid seven to nine hours.
  26. ... But don’t sleep too much. Research shows too much sleep may lead to issues with daily functioning.
  27. Establish a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. This includes weekends.
  28. Get enough exercise. Research suggests physical activity increases self-esteem and decreases stress.
  29. Make healthy choices on your lunch break. Bad eating habits can negatively affect your stress levels.
  30. Watch your coffee intake. Too much can make you feel anxious or jumpy in the morning while you’re working.
  31. Meditate. According to The University of Michigan Depression Center, research shows meditation can play a key factor in reducing stress.