It’s in Your Head: Dealing with Mental Health in the Workplace

Do you know that roughly 18% of adults, mostly 18 years of age and above, suffer from mental health disorders? That’s more than 40 million of the American population. Your mental health highly depends on your environment, which goes beyond the confines of your home and family. Work or your place of employment is an integral aspect of your mental health.

You can apply for disability benefits for your mental impairment. Areas like Salt Lake City and other parts of the United States have resources for doing so. This article discusses how you can initially give yourself support at work so that you can remain functional and productive despite what your brain thinks.

The reality

Dealing with a mental disability can take its toll on you, on top of staying efficient at work and balancing your relationships with bosses and colleagues. The first step is accepting that your issue exists and that it is something you need to be aware of every day. It is up to you to disclose this information with at least one colleague and perhaps your manager or a member of human resources.

Give yourself a much-needed break

If your work gives you time to take breaks in between (on top of your lunch and coffee break), do so. Take a 2-minute walk or step outside whenever your brain starts to feel hazy or if you’re feeling anxious about a certain project you need to finish. It always helps to breathe and take your time. Dedicate at least 2 of your 8 working hours to activities that don’t involve purely sitting down. Not only is it detrimental physically; it can affect you mentally as well.

It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes

Work pays the bills—100% true—but know that there are times when you should also put yourself first. If your company offers any type of vacation or sick leave: take it. Taking care of yourself will enable you to become the best employee you can be. If the pressures of work are cropping up, or your depression or anxiety is getting worse, don’t be afraid to take time off work for just a few days.

More often than not, declining mental health might carry over to your physical health deteriorating. If you start getting physically sick, it might be your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down.

woman struggling

Learn to say no

We’re all afraid to say no to additional work and keep taking on more, with the hopes of getting promoted or not disappointing our bosses. If you feel like what you’re doing is eating up your entire 8 hours, then it’s okay to professionally decline more work and perhaps present a suitable alternative.

Talk to your manager and explain you’re already working on X Y Z, and maybe it might be best to divide task ABC amongst X number of colleagues. That way, you’re not just saving yourself from more stress; you’re adding value to your manager.

Remove yourself from a toxic environment

If you continue to take the necessary steps in managing your mental health but your work environment affects you negatively, talk to your boss or an HR practitioner in your company to try and resolve issues. If this doesn’t work, consider looking for alternative employment slowly but surely. Work consumes more than half your day, so the environment must suits you mentally.

Many individuals struggle with mental health issues, either openly or privately. Nevertheless, there are ways to support yourself at work. Consider applying for disability benefits for your mental impairment if you haven’t done so.

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