Mental Health Awareness Week is May 15th to 21st every year, and this year’s focus is on how to cope with anxiety.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems we face. Following a survey they carried out around stress, anxiety, and hopelessness over personal finances, 25% of adults reported their anxiety stopped them from doing what they wanted some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel anxious in some way, and as a leader, you can help your team feel confident in managing it:
- Be supportive
Money worries cause lots of anxiety for many. You can provide either support by being an advocate or giving them more information about where they can go to seek help in governing bodies such as Citizens Advice or StepChange (UK).
Anxiety can cause loneliness, so offering connection time or creating a social club that your team members would be interested in to help get them active, distracted, or talking about their worries can help ease anxieties.
- Get to Nature
We can benefit considerably from nature and the outdoors, but sometimes anxiety can prevent us from doing what we want. Offer your team incentives that appeal to them to help get them outdoors, which will relieve their anxious feelings, and boost their productivity.
How do I know if my work-life balance is unhealthy?
Working long hours and being under extreme stress is not healthy or sustainable. Recognize the importance of a balanced routine. If you are employed under a zero-hours contract, you may find it difficult to voice your concerns or must work extended hours to meet your financial obligations. Achieving a work-life balance is not a one-time accomplishment but an ongoing process for those who can make necessary adjustments.
Many of us fail to contemplate our work until a significant life event occurs, like the arrival of a new-born or the loss of a dear one. Reflecting on priorities helps align lifestyle and work habits with personal values. Recognising our emotions can guide and catalyse essential changes to address our work-life balance.
Consider what changes are necessary in your life. Ask yourself if sacrificing family time for long work hours or sacrificing social life for working on weekends is indeed worthwhile. Consider what changes you can make at work to align with your current priorities. It could involve requesting flexible working hours, utilizing all of your annual leave, or refraining from checking your emails during weekends.
Achieving a work-life balance is not solely your responsibility. Your workplace and manager also have a role to play in ensuring a healthy balance.
- Encourage transparency and open communication to support a healthy work environment.
- Managers should be trained to identify signs of stress and poor work-life balance.
- Whenever possible, offer flexible and remote work options.
- Encourage taking breaks, whether during the day or through the use of vacation time.
- Regularly assess employee workloads to ensure they are manageable.
- Provide volunteering opportunities and increase support for parents and caregivers to avoid turnover.
- Allow employees to attend counselling and other support services during working hours as they would for other medical appointments.
- Encourage stress-relieving activities such as exercise or relaxation classes during lunch breaks.
- Additionally, ask employees for suggestions on how to improve their work-life balance.
Neoskill course ‘Destress, Avoid Burnout’ offers training in emotional intelligence and communication for all levels within an organisation. To find out more, contact us here.