Something to Talk About in the Open: Mental Health in the Workplace

If you have not heard yet, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At MarketPro, we celebrate the strides marketing has made over the years and how it has become the focus of so many organizations. With that in mind, we are engaging with our marketing professional community on a hot topic within company culture, and that is mental health awareness. By the dictionary definition, “mental health” is an individual’s condition with regards to their psychological and emotional well-being. In simpler terms, it’s the observation of a person’s ability to handle everyday life pressures. And yes, this includes stress from work. Mental health awareness covers all age groups and all professionals across all fields. However, some fields are more demanding than others; with the pace of change marketing continues to experience, it’s an important topic for every organization that promotes healthy and productive culture.

According to the Mental Health America organization, 18% of adults suffer from a mental health condition. That’s 43 million Americans that are reporting to work every day battling with mental imbalances, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, substance abuse, and many other conditions. The good news? Majority of these conditions can be treated with some minimal life changes and some guidance. We are going to do a check-up together and share some great tips on how to improve and elevate the mental health state, so you can too be your best self in the work place.

Mental Health in a Workplace: Achieving Life and Work Balance

Vacation Is Not a Luxury but a Mental Health Must

Ever had a conversation with yourself asking the daunting question, “do I really have time to take off?” The answer is yes! You need to take advantage of your vacation package and do so strategically. A typical vacation package is between 2-3 work weeks (for marketing executives it increases with experience and title). This time has already been allotted by companies for their employees as it’s expected you will need to take a break to continue to perform at your best. But how do you leverage that time off? Planning! Plan your vacations ahead of time. This will help you pace yourself throughout the year. In the same fashion, you can take vacations by planning a long weekend to take a short trip or enjoy a “staycation” in your city. These are perfect for when you just need to reset or gain a new perspective.

Great Benefits, Even Better Health

Most employers provide healthcare benefits. We emphasize “most because contractors tend to get the short end of the stick with healthcare benefits under 1099. No to worry, at MarketPro, we provide healthcare benefits for our contractors to ensure that they can invest in themselves as much as they do in their client. We cover all the benefits of a contract role in a previous post, The Unexpected Benefits of Contract-To-Hire Roles for Your Career. Discussing healthcare benefits is important to your overall mental health. Most, if not all, insurance companies offer some type of mental health assistance. These options include counseling, therapy, and much more! It has been noted that with the help of the healthcare reform, mental illness has decreased by 5%. If you feel that you may need to talk to a professional about stress at work or how to balance personal and professional life, look into these options.

Sleep Deprivation Leads to a Work and Personal Deficit

If you are consuming gallons of coffee a day, you may want to consider getting good quality sleep. Seriously, half of our daily challenges that lead to stress and anxiety are bundled up with the lack of time and on top of that, sleep deprivation. We may not be able to change the hours in a day, but we can invest in better sleeping habits. For everyone, this looks different. Thanks to technology, it seems like the work day never ends and neither does the stress. How about scheduling yourself a cut off time? Set goals for what demands your most immediate attention at the top of your list, so you will meet your deadlines and feel accomplished. This will produce satisfaction and improve your overall mood personally and professionally. Another good tip is to have a hard cut off time  for electronics and read a good book. And yes, a physical book. It gives your eyes rest from blue light wavelengths and will help wind your mind down for the night.

24 Hours/100 Projects

Lastly, we will discuss some tips around time management. This has been a recurring theme in relation to mental health. Once you have checked off your list of tips including vacation time, health checkups, and better sleep, but you still feel overwhelmed; it’s time to reevaluate how you approach your work load. Now, you can look at your responsibilities for what it is and see that it’s not scary, just unorganized. Clean it up one project at a time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew or think you are a robot and can multitask without burning out. If you are a team leader, be mindful of what the expectations are for your team, and plan. Once you have a plan, you’ll develop a priority list, placing the most import and immediate tasks first, so you and your team are meeting your key goals. That list comes in handy in multiple ways, too. And you guessed it, setting a reasonable deadline (cut off time) with some wiggle room will provide peace of mind and efficiency. After all, taking care of yourself leads to a more productive, creative, and healthy work environment.