Building Wellness at Work this Mental Health Week

Author:  Janet Hopkins Date: 09/10/2017
Building Wellness at Work this Mental Health Week

Breathe new life into the way your workplace thinks about mental health and wellbeing this Mental Health Week.

It’s Mental Health Week and this year we are being asked to reimagine mental health in a more positive light. Which seems like a great opportunity to celebrate wellbeing at work.

As a Mindful Employer, what can you do to improve wellness in your workplace?

Obviously education is important and that's where our training comes in. Education helps us understand signs and symptoms and how and when to step in to help others (and ourselves) when things are starting to go off track. But, we can also support and encourage the habits and practices that help us stay on track...that help us stay well. We’ve put together a suite of resources with ideas to raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and most importantly, build wellness.

Every workplace is different so we encourage you to mix and match the activities that best suit your workplace. Use these as inspiration and build from there.

Why not create your own #WorkplaceWellnessWeek? As today is National Mental Health Day, this would be a great day to kick it all off!

Here are some activities you could try this week:

  1. Get started by making a #MentalHealthPromise and encourage your staff to do the same.
  2. This daily task has been shown to train your brain to scan for the positive. Just write three things you are grateful for, each day. Perhaps make this the first thing you do at your desk in the morning.
  3. Write about one positive experience you’ve had in the past 24 hours, however small. By doing this, you give your mind and body the chance to relive it. You could alter this one by sharing your positive experience with your team each afternoon or once a week.
  4. Get out of the office and exercise! This isn’t exactly a new idea and yet most of us are still spending entire workdays inside.  Grab your colleagues and do a lunchtime walk. Organise a walking group. No running shoes necessary! Just get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
    • For an interesting addition to this one, get outside for a mindful walk or outdoor gathering. Actively notice five things that you can see, smell, and hear in your surrounds and share these with your colleagues.
  5. Mindfulness. Commit to a daily mindfulness practise with your colleagues. Maybe sound a bell at a given time each day? This is a time to be silent, be present, and most importantly, tech free! There are many sites out there but Calm is a good place to begin.
  6. Random Acts of Kindness are good for the brain. Send one piece of positive feedback or encouragement to a colleague each day, or week. You can do this with email, social media, over the phone, on a post-it, in person. Your choice, but whatever you choose, stick to it!
  7. Take breaks!  Freshen up your brain. Try Pomodoro's Technique by taking a break for a few minutes every 25 minutes! If this seems too disruptive for you, try 5 minutes every 90 minutes. Whatever you decide, commit to it, and don’t forget to set your alarm.

Perhaps you don’t have the time to create a program of activities. Why not display Mindful Employer’s wellness suggestions somewhere in the office or send them to your team as an email to help build awareness and give your employees the opportunity to contemplate wellness?