May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Though we should think about our mental and emotional wellness all year long, having a time that we shine a light on the need for psychological well-being is a good start.
Nearly 1/5 of workers in the United States deal with some sort of mental health issue. It’s no mystery that stress in the workplace significantly contributes to mental health concerns, reducing productivity and worker engagement. Addressing mental health issues in the workplace helps cut healthcare costs, enhance company culture, and improve the bottom line with happier and more productive employees.
Thriver is committed to helping shape every workplace into an environment where staff can feel safe, appreciated, and at ease. Each employee is important, and we want them to be in the best mental shape they can be, not just for the sake of the job but also for their own benefit. Take a look at some of our helpful ideas for supporting Mental Health Awareness Month in your workplace to help you achieve the goal of being an emotionally safe place to work.
1. Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month by getting at the root of the problem
Once we’re aware we have a mental health issue, the next step for healing is identifying the source of the problem. By pinpointing what’s driving the issue, it becomes easier to come up with actions to address the problems at every level.
We can achieve this through introspection, combined with counseling. Many seminars and workshops also help get to the driving force behind our mental health concerns.
Give your employees the chance to find the source of their issues with a workshop like the Mental Health Seminar offered on Thriver.
2. Address stress and burnout
Stress is a natural element of work, no matter your job or level within your organization. We all know that not properly dealing with stress can quickly lead to burnout. Burnout often leads to more serious emotional and even physical issues if we don’t address it soon enough.
There are many ways to help reduce stress in the short term, from listening to relaxing music while immersed in a warm bath to taking a leisurely walk. But we need long-term solutions, too, so we can keep stress from building up when not engaged in relaxing activities.
Many highly-beneficial seminars exist for this purpose, delivering tools and strategies that we can employ to help diminish our stress levels. Enroll your team in a workshop like the Stress & Burnout Series, offered on Thriver – a three-session series that looks at common causes of stress, the effects of stress, and what you can do to address your stress. Book one session per week as an ideal Mental Health Awareness Month activity for your employees.
3. Make stress work for you
What better way to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month in the workplace than by making your stress work to your advantage? It may seem counterintuitive, but you can do it.
Stress is our reaction to difficulty and discomfort. When we can reframe our perceptions of “negative situations,” it can turn circumstances that we once thought of as stressful into fuel for creativity and productivity.
Look into the Make Stress your Superpower workshop. This 60-minute workshop shows how to minimize stress and reinvent your relationship with tension to turn it into a motivator for success.
4. Take a timeout to reflect
We don’t move around the office sending faxes and making copies anymore. We often spend a lot of time on video conferences – sometimes back-to-back video calls, without a break. It can feel like we just don’t have the time to relax, even though we spend most of our time sitting in one place.
Setting aside time every day to close our eyes and take a breather allows our bodies and minds to melt some of that stress away. By unloading tension, we gain a clearer mentality and greater focus.
Enjoy a Sound Bath + Meditation seminar with your team. This 60-minute seminar will bathe you in healing sounds of tranquility while guiding you through a visual journey of calm relaxation.
5. Use Mental Health Awareness Month as an opportunity to engage
Study after study supports the notion that leaders who engage with employees have happier workers. It’s no giant leap to assume that happier workers are less-stressed workers.
Leaders build trust by engaging in regular, positive one-on-one conversations with personnel. Giving employees a safe outlet to vent when frustrated, and workers leave the discussion with a sense that you have their back. This sense of solidarity is vital in feeling secure at work and reduces much worry that can compound stress.
If you haven’t already, use this month as an opportunity to begin engaging with your employees. Let them know they have a safe space to say whatever they need to say and offer honest, positive feedback. By building relationships with your team members, you’ll also build up your team.
6. Celebrate with mindful meditation
By slowing down and engaging in mindful introspection, we can shed the weight of all that stress holding us back. Meditation is an ideal tool to give us the chance to pump the brakes, journey inward, and let the tension melt away. It improves sleep, increases focus, and reduces stress and anxiety while reducing the effects of several potentially harmful physical conditions, including high blood pressure and IBS. As such, mindful meditation is an ideal method for addressing numerous issues.
Sign your team up for the Meditation Club: Mindfulness Series. This four-week series teaches you how to slow down and find a good work-life balance while learning to cope with the day-to-day stress that holds you down.
7. Show appreciation with a gift
Unexpected presents are always a welcome surprise. Nowhere is that more true than at work, where a gift out of the blue is a pleasant respite during the workday. When an employer takes the time and effort to show their crew that they’re special, it goes a long way toward employees reciprocating the appreciation.
You don’t have to wait for Employee Appreciation Day to show your staff that you’re grateful to be working with them. Any time is a good time to shower your work friends with happy surprises.
Look at all these employee appreciation gift ideas. There’s sure to be the perfect one to fit each team member.
8. Plan wellness activities for your employees
You don’t have to break the bank to head off mental health issues in the workplace. Several low-cost or no-cost activities can provide a helpful break from workers’ daily stressors.
You can opt for a regularly-scheduled workplace activity, such as a quarterly movie night, or do a one-off activity now and then to boost morale and reduce tension.
Take a look at some of these ideas to give your team members some enjoyment and rest.
- Game night: Have a periodic game night. Every month or every quarter, have a team member bring their favorite game for the rest of the team to enjoy.
- Meditation club: Form a meditation or yoga club that’s open to all employees. Meditation and yoga are enjoyable and effective methods of reducing stress and regaining focus.
- Nature walk: Why not periodically gather your team to go for a hike or a walk at a nearby state or local park? You could introduce conversation themes for the trek or use this as an opportunity to present relevant employee appreciation gifts, like water bottles or company t-shirts.
- A simple get together: Who says there has to be an activity? Why not get everyone together for a night out? You can go for drinks, see a movie, eat at a favorite restaurant, or gather somewhere to talk and enjoy each other’s company. Spending time together without the demands of the office strengthens bonds between coworkers and builds appreciation for each other.
9. Start an exercise club
We all probably know that exercise is good for your brain’s health. A healthy brain is a happy brain. Team members with happy brains are less stressed, more productive, and – overall – easier to work with.
At any workplace, Mental Health Awareness Month is an ideal time to consider putting together an exercise club. If feasible, provide a space with fitness equipment – or even just an open floor with mats for exercising – and sign people up to come weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for an instructor-guided exercise session.
You could consider hiring a fitness teacher or enrolling in a group fitness class. There’s a world of fitness instructors who would be happy to lead regular fitness sessions for your workplace.
Sign your crew up for fitness classes, like the energizing group Zumba.
10. Kick off your Mental Health Awareness Month with a wellness challenge
Many companies implement wellness challenges for employees. It takes planning and employee buy-in, but challenges are a fantastic approach to engaging team members and advancing well-being in the workplace.
You can implement a variety of themes, from tracking personal goals – such as meeting a certain number of steps per day – to inspiring a competitive spirit by implementing awards for top performers in certain activities.
11. Some yoga to round out the month
When mental and emotional health suffers, the body’s health is often close behind – the two almost always go hand-in-hand. Consequently, taking care of one aspect of health usually helps out the other.
Yoga is a marvelous way to improve physical and psychological health simultaneously. It centers the mind while strengthening the body.
Check out Chair Yoga. This 60-minute session provides all the calming and strengthening benefits of yoga without even having to get out of your chair.
With Mental Health Awareness Month upon us, let’s take the time to consider all the ways we can attend to our employees’ emotional and mental wellness. Their well-being is also your well-being – as each person suffers less, we all suffer less.
Take a look at the vast selection of mental health and wellness seminars and workshop series from Thriver’s providers. One of them is sure to meet the needs of you and your team members.