Mental Health Awareness Week 2018
Top Tips for Lone Workers
Everybody has Mental Health
It is easy to think of Mental Health as being something that somebody suffers from. Interestingly many people do not think of themselves as having a mental health and see it in the context of mental ill health and diagnosable conditions. We all have a mind and we all have thoughts, feelings and emotions connected to our minds including hormonal fluctuations therefore we all have Mental Health and just like physical health, we need to look after it.
TOP TIP – Understand the signs of when it’s just a bad day and when it is something more persistent and negative. Speak up if it’s the latter, perhaps to a trusted friend of your GP…. It’s good to talk.
Isolation and loneliness can be a problem
Isolation can sometimes be absolutely awesome and in my world, I crave the chance to spend a few hours alone to gather my thoughts and work out what needs to be done and when, especially when every other aspect of my life is hectic what with small children and a business to run. Repetitive isolation for long periods of time can sometimes have a negative impact on a person and if the thought of spending another hour in your own company fills you with dread, do something about it.
TOP TIP – Get out! With more people working alone, find a local hub to join likeminded people in the same situation as you, hot desking is really accessible these days. Libraries and coffee shops are also great for people to be occasional part of the hustle and bustle of life.
It’s ok not to be ok
Do you ever wake up in a foul mood, low and unmotivated and feel that it’s wrong to feel like this? Well actually it’s perfectly fine to have the odd bad day. Occasional negative mental wellbeing is not the same as Mental Ill health and shouldn’t be looked upon as the same. Sometimes a person can fight the very natural urge to bed down and chill out but by doing so create a negative association with the need to relax and take time out.
TOP TIP – Sometimes, chocolate and binge watching TV is perfectly good for the soul. Or shopping, or lunch with friends and a chin wag, or going to watch Avengers at the cinema for the 3rd time.…. Just saying.
Thoughts are just thoughts
Have you ever thought the most random thought and wondered where it came from? I certainly have and at times, I worry about where the thought came from for longer than I should. This is a normal activity but one that can cause a great deal of distress if you have nowhere to put that thought. It’s called ruminating and can be very annoying! Remember, you are not your thoughts. They have no power over you… unless you act on them.
TOP TIP – Meditation – I know… you may be thinking about sitting in the lotus position and chanting and for some, it may be just that…( I think it looks really cool! ) but for some, taking time out, closing your eyes and practicing to clear your mind can rid you of persistent unhelpful thoughts. Remember the more you think about wanting to get rid of the thought, the more it stays there! Let it go as Elsa said….
Work Life Balance (what does that even look like?)
I have been looking for the ever elusive work life balance for a very long time and I still can’t find it. I think this is a difficult one as it’s going to be different for everybody right? I mean I have other responsibilities and therefore cannot commit all of my time to my ever expanding business but at the same time, I like working lots! This causes lots of problems for some, especially if your life involves others being in it.
What does this have to do with Mental Health I hear you ask? Well OVERWHELM for a start. – It’s too much, my brain can’t handle it. I could start showing signs of panic and anxiety and although this is normal, if it’s there most of the time, something needs to be done about it. You may have this one down, under control, in the bag and if you do, nice one… (Share perhaps? J )
TOP TIP – This one is going to look a bit different for different people and so it could be about setting strict working times to incorporate family into your life. Turning off your phone when the kids get home from school (or your partner). Turning off email notifications or leaving your phone in another room. Booking friends and family time into your work schedule. Delegating or outsourcing those time demanding jobs that do not bring joy or money! Look at what the problem is and look at the practical things that you can do to help