Mental Health Awareness Month
The last two years have brought significant change for many people. While some of that change has benefited us (ie- working from home flexibility,) it has also brought about more isolation, which has resulted in things such as social anxiety, depression and increased substance abuse. With May being Mental Health Awareness month, this is a good reminder to check in on ourselves and others to make sure we are taking steps to be mentally healthy.
What you can do for co-workers, friends and family:
- Check-in with someone you haven’t heard from in awhile- Usually when people are feeling depressed, they do not want to socialize with others. This can be a key indicator something is off. Think about someone you haven’t spoken to recently and let them know you are thinking of them and there if they want to talk or vent about anything.
- Instead of asking- “How are you” or “Are you good?”- try leading from a place of honesty and vulnerability. Starting with “I’ve been feeling x lately, have you been feeling that way too?” This creates a safe space for others to be open, instead of just replying “good” like most of us do on autopilot, even when we aren’t good.
- If you notice someone’s behavior has changed, question it- “Hey I’ve noticed you haven’t been responding as much in our group chats” or “I haven’t seen you out in awhile, do you want to grab coffee?” Changes in behavior are a key indicator someone may be struggling or not feeling their best.
What you can do for yourself:
- Check-in with yourself daily- If you’re having multiple bad days in a row or for an extended period of time, seek out external help. Many companies offer therapy through an Employee Assistance program. Often we wait until things are dire before seeking help. The more we are able to proactively help our mental health, the more likely we can avoid this becoming a chronic condition.
- Let people know you’re struggling- People don’t like to admit when they are struggling because they don’t want to burden others, or feel like it’s a sign of weakness. However, when we let in our manager, co-workers, friends, spouse, etc. they can help lighten the burden and check-in with us to offer support. Remember, when we are mentally healthy ourselves, it allows us to better show up for others.
- Be mindful of self-talk- All day long we may be verbally beating ourselves up telling ourselves what we should be doing or feeling bad for the things we haven’t done. Try changing your language to be more positive by using phrases like “I’m choosing” or “I’d like to do x today” instead of making ourselves feel bad for not completing everything we want to in a day.
DAILY CHALLENGE- Can you go the rest of today with a positive mindset, omitting any negative self-talk? Our brain listens to our words, and by being more accepting and loving verbally, this can help our mental state. The first key to positive change is awareness. Listen to your words today and be an advocate not only for others, but also for yourself.
For resources on mental health for your staff, feel free to contact email@example.com