Mental Health Week 7th-13th Oct 2018
It’s Mental Health Week and this year we are being asked…Do you see what I see?
We often appear on the surface to have it all together. We are posting happy snaps on our social media profiles, we are turning up for work with a smile. But what is really going on underneath?
For many of us, stress accumulates gradually, and we continually adjust, creating a new ‘normal’. The changes are often subtle. Sometimes we might notice the signs, in ourselves and others, that things are getting on top of us. We call it the Stress Fingerprint. Changes in our appetite, poorer quality sleep, tense and aching muscles? Trouble concentrating? Short fuse? Anxious, teary? Forgetful? What is your stress fingerprint?
This Mental Health Week what can you do to raise awareness of what lies beneath?
Download our guide: 5 Tips for Managing Stress
Obviously, education is important. Education helps us understand signs and symptoms and how and when to step in to help others (and ourselves) if 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. We also offer a range of training programs, designed to help workplaces take time out and build knowledge and awareness about the importance of pro-actively looking after our own mental health.
There are lots of ideas and activities you can try this Mental Health Week. Here’s just a few, use these as inspiration and build from there:
Get started by making a #MentalHealthPromise and encourage your staff to do the same.
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.
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. Perhaps share your positive experience with your team each afternoon or once a week. Maybe post an image that captures the moment to Instagram?
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. Walk and talk. Take 5 outside. Grab your colleagues and do a lunchtime walk. Organise a walking group. No running shoes necessary! Just get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Mindfulness. Commit to a daily mindfulness practise with your colleagues. Maybe sound a bell at a given time each day? Why not start every meeting during Mental Health Week with a short 2-minute silence? There are many sites out there but Calm or Headspace are good places to begin.
Build in Zen time. If you struggle with Mindfulness or Meditation, choose something that takes you to your own version of Zen. Be it a walk with the dog, sitting down to a cuppa and a newspaper in a quiet corner of the local coffee shop, a walk along the beach…you know what it is that works for you. Commit to it! Build a little piece of Zen into every day.
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!
Get out and try a few of the wide range of activities running across Australia for Mental Health Week. For example, in Victoria, the City of Melbourne is offering creative journaling and goal setting sessions or in Queensland, you could join Libby Trickett Work and health and safety professionals and business leaders at the Mentally Healthy Workplaces Forum.
We hope you enjoy your mental health week and that you take just a little time out during the week to rest and restore! For further tips on managing stress download our Tip Sheet.