Let’s face it, returning to our office, either virtually or in-person also means going back to old habits and easily forgetting the slow pace we hopefully achieved during our staycation. Our mental health is put once again on the back seat, our routine takes over and we’re back on Zoom more hours than we’d like to count. It’s not surprising that January is our intention-setting month by excellence, but how do we make it last? Physical health is usually at the top of our New Year’s intentions and wellness checklist. But there’s a lot yet to be discovered on the different degrees to which a person can be more or less mentally fit. Here are some learnings we wanted to share with you on this topic and ideas on how mental fitness goes hand in hand with building a strong company culture.
What is mental fitness?
Do you often view life through a glass half empty lens? Do you find a weird comfort in negative thoughts and behaviours? Don’t worry, you are not alone and here’s where mental fitness can help.
Mental fitness is a state of well-being, achieved by keeping your brain and emotional health in shape. Our brains are neuroplastic, which means that they have the ability to be rewired many times but it also means that every time we allow a negative thought to repeat, it strengthens. The good news is that as we exercise our bodies to build muscles, we can also train our minds to experience positive emotions more regularly and become more resilient.
Becoming mentally fit
On an individual level:
- Practice mindfulness. In other words, survey your thoughts. According to psychologist Dr. Andrew Miki, the first step toward a mentally fit mind is that of taking a step back from the little voice in our heads and recognizing the patterns this voice creates. If, for example, you feel anxious each night after work hours with the little voice in your head saying you have to check your inbox in case an urgent email appears, note this down.
- Introduce techniques to reduce negative feelings. For example, you can put your phone away after work hours, or log out of your work email in the evening. This way, when the thought appears saying you need to check your email at 9 p.m., you physically can’t satisfy it, and after a while of building on this habit, your mind will become stronger in telling the bad thought to go away
On a company level:
- Foster shared meaning in your employees to prevent burnout. Be open and communicate with your teams the importance of the work they are doing and its contribution to the overall business strategy.
- Encourage flow or deep work. Achieving a state of flow is intrinsically rewarding and an important component of creativity and wellbeing. Be aware of the interruptions caused by constant meetings and design an environment that can help your employees thrive.
- Bring your teams together. Be aware of the isolation caused by remote work and encourage opportunities for building community in your workplace. Whether it’s a casual check-in to share your weekend highlights or an interactive experience to enjoy together, managers can do a lot to promote connection.
Virtual Experiences great for mental fitness
To support companies in taking a step forward in promoting mental fitness, we incorporated a new category of virtual experiences: Become Your Best Self. All of these activities are designed specially to show employees how mindfulness is a practice that, like a muscle, strengthens over time. Create an account for free to explore our curated selection of activities that promote mental fitness:
- The popular Meditation Class will help employees direct awareness and sensitivity inwards and toward the body. This class is so great and teaches us that everyone can meditate. The Connected Team event is an immersive experience that, through a presentation and breakout sessions, creates instant and meaningful connections for every participant.
- The New Year New Mindset experience shows participants a realistic and accessible way how they can go about achieving their goals for the year. It debunks myths about lofty new year’s resolutions and shows actionable things that we can do today to thrive tomorrow.
- Finally, the Mindset Masterclass is led by Elan Divon, founder and CEO of Divon Academy, and shows participants how a change in mindset has far-reaching beneficial effects that ripple throughout the company and create a lively company culture.
At the end of the day, with so many working remotely, it’s imperative we remember there is a face behind the email signature. Remember that “by carefully thinking how and what we say, and spending a few extra minutes on someone, we may well help people more than we will ever know.” (Chico Chakravorty, LinkedIn)