Improving mental health in general has become an increasingly popular topic, however mental wellbeing in the workplace specifically cannot afford to be overlooked. We spend the majority of our time in our workplace, so it is important that we help to create positive and supportive environments. It is vital that we as a society support those in the workplace not only with existing mental health issues, but also those who are at risk and the workforce as a whole. This guide will offer tips to help to achieve this outcome.

1. Connecting
Feeling close to and valued by your work colleagues will help to build strong relationships. Social relationships are critical for promoting well-being and acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. Try talking to someone new, this can help to alleviate loneliness and stress. Talking instead of sending an email can also help to strengthen bonds. Car sharing to and from work is a practical implement that employers and employees can put into place, this will encourage growing relationships between colleagues outside of the workplace.

2. Take breaks
Stepping away from your work to take break is extremely important and has many benefits, including actually boosting your well-being and productivity. Incorporating regular breaks into your working day can help you to manage stress levels by reassessing and refocusing when returning to the task ahead of you.

Even if you can only manage a short break, making a drink in the kitchen can help to incorporate the first tip as well, whilst there you could chat to a colleague and reinforce those work relationships.

3. Use your commute to unwind.
Many people have a lengthy commute to work, this time can be used in a positive way rather than the rush hour chaos that often causes people unnecessary stress. If using public transport and have the opportunity, you could use the time travelling to work effectively by planning out your day. This could help you to break down your day into manageable tasks, allowing them to not feel overwhelming. You could also use this opportunity to engage in conversation with your fellow commuters, you probably have more in common than you think, and having a positive interaction in the morning can help you to start the day in a good mood.

If you are driving or walking you could listen to a podcast or some music, small actions such as this can help you to switch off and unwind.

4. Be active
Staying active throughout the day can be challenging in some roles, however there are always things you can do to keep moving. You can opt to take the stairs instead of the lift, getting that blood flowing, even for small periods of the day. Going for a walk at lunchtime can help to get fresh air whilst keeping your body active. You could also try to walk to work once or twice a week, this can offer much needed variety and make a change from the same regular day to day patterns that can sometimes get people down.

Regular exercise has been proven to be an effective way to alleviate stress and improve mental health.

5. Take notice.
Studies have shown that being aware of what is around you can help you to ‘live in the moment’. This helps us to focus on our life now, appreciating what we have, rather than worrying about the past or being apprehensive about the future. There are small changes you can make to help you to achieve living in the moment. Such as taking notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting, this can help to focus your attention to the present whilst also making sure that other people are ok.

Taking a different route to work can also make you take notice, you may come across things you haven’t noticed before, broadening your mind whilst taking in new surroundings. Even a small change such as visiting a different place for lunch.

Wrapping up
Good mental health and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence to suggest that workplaces with high levels of well being are more productive. Your mental health can be greatly affected by your experiences at work. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of UK managers noticed an increase in stress related absences and mental health problems in 2015. Therefore it is vital that we as a society and individual companies look at encouraging and promoting some of the tips outlined above to create happy workforces.

Author's Bio: 

Hasan Root, a dream lover!