Posted on: 10 October 2018    

Mental health is a key focus in many workplaces. Increasingly, we are acknowledging that mental health is a critical part of overall good health, and that employees have a role to play in supporting this.

For the week of 9-15th October 2018, we are celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week (HMAW) across New Zealand, with a theme of ‘Let Nature In’. As part of this, individuals can do a lot to support and promote mental health in their own lives.  A good place to start is the five ‘pillars of wellbeing’ – these are listed below, with some simple things you can do to support your own mental health, and that of the people around you.

 Connect

  • Making time to talk to, and more importantly, listen to colleagues
  • Find things in common with new acquaintances
  • Check in on a colleague or a friend who’s having a hard time

 Get Active

  • Get out for a walk at lunchtime, or for a walking meeting
  • Find somewhere blue (like a beach) or green (like a park) and spend some time out of the office
  • Organise or join a social sports activity – maybe a team sport, maybe just a casual morning yoga session

Keep Learning

  • Be involved in ongoing professional development, in whatever industry you’re in
  • Spend your commute reading, or listen to podcasts
  • Share interesting findings with your colleagues

Take Notice

  • Have lunch away from your desk, and eat with other people
  • Take a moment to look up, look around and breathe deeply
  • Give yourself time away from your cellphone, and focus on what’s happening around you

Give

  • Make it your mission to brighten someone else’s day
  • Find a complement for a colleague you don’t talk to much
  • Contribute back to your profession or your community through voluntary activities

What can you do today to look after your mental health?

Thanks to mhaw.nz and allright.org.nz for resources and ideas to keep the mental health conversations flowing through New Zealand workplaces.

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