You love your work, but you often find that everyday frustrations build up and affect your mental health. Keeping your mind healthy and your career moving forward means you have to consider your everyday activities to ensure your daily struggles aren’t becoming a burden. Everything from the computer you use to your family life could have a negative or positive effect on your mental health and happiness. You need to pay attention to these things to create the ideal balance that works for you. If you’re ready to improve your workday and your mental health, check out our top five recommendations for a healthier routine.
1. Improve Your Workspace
The actual space in which you work and tools you are using play a huge part in your wellbeing. If you’re crouched over your laptop all day and end up getting a headache because of poor posture, then it’s understandable that your mood will sway and your focus will be broken often. In addition to your computer chair and desk, there are several other aspects you should consider when looking to improve your workspace. Do you have sufficient cubicle or office lighting? Improper lighting and dim or blue bulbs can lend to poor visibility, eyesight issues, bad moods, and even depression. Open up the blinds and ask your manager about the bulbs they’re using.
Next, you may want to talk to him or her about your technology. The right computer for your needs is a crucial element to keeping your workday flowing smoothly. If your computer is slow to start, you wait around for programs to open, or you experience frequent freezing, you may find yourself frustrated and irritable. While you might be able to go to your employer or tech support for a quick fix, self-employed people will realize it’s up to them to buy a new computer. To ensure you choose the right computer based on your needs, review the capabilities of various options to find the specs that can handle your workload. With a better computer, your workday will flow much more smoothly and you’ll be free of major and minor irritants from subpar computer performance.
2. Prioritize Your Family
Your mental health is often dependent on a strong support system and a solid home life. Your family is an incredibly important part of keeping your mind healthy and focused on work. Knowing you have people you can talk to about your problems will automatically improve your mood. Prioritizing your family will help ensure that these strong bonds can withstand any amount of stress and pressure.
A recent article in the Journal of Applied Psychology reviewed the impact of family relationships on productivity and job satisfaction. They found that taking time away from work to focus on family social support did not conflict with work. In fact, it enhanced an employee’s ability to solve problems and focus on their daily tasks.
3. Add a Regular Workout Routine
Working out for just 30 minutes every day has proven benefits to your mental health. It improves your mood by changing the parts of your brain that are in charge of stress and anxiety. In addition, working out increases the production of endorphins and makes your brain more sensitive to serotonin and norepinephrine — mood-lifting neurotransmitters. Exercise is for more than just your brain, though. You’ll find yourself losing weight and getting stronger, which reduces the chances of illnesses and days off of work. Exercising regularly can even help you focus better and protect your memory and critical thinking skills!
If you don’t have time to hit the gym before or after work, there are many short workout routines you can do during your lunch break. You don’t need weights or machines to get a great workout — just some determination and a little bit of floor space. Many employers know about the benefits of exercise and offer weekly yoga classes to their employees. When working out during the day, we recommend bringing a change of clothes to maintain your professional appearance and stay comfortable throughout the day.
4. Make Meditation Part of Your Day
Many people credit meditation with helping them build stronger relationships, discover new opportunities at work, and focus on their daily tasks with greater success. It also offers similar benefits to exercise, as it can increase your circulation and lead to a healthier heart. Meditation also gives you the opportunity to work through problems with a clearer mind, and to give your brain a break whenever you feel overwhelmed.
The best part about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, at any time. Taking five to ten minutes out of your day is easy when you have the right guides to meditation. Whether you download an app on your phone or use the deep breathing routines on your smartwatch, meditation is a crucial step toward achieving mental health.
5. Build Connections with Coworkers
While you don’t necessarily have to forge friendships with coworkers that follow you outside of work, it can be a good thing to have friends in the workplace. When you have too many overlapping deadlines, your coworkers will probably be happy to help you as long as you return the favor the next time they are in similar situations. If you have a problem you don’t know how to solve, they can help you come up with solutions.
People with strong social connections are generally healthier. It also gives you a support network at work if things go wrong or you need some help getting through the day.
Finding the Right Path
These five ways to improve your work life and your mental health are just some of the options available to you. By providing you with a variety of solutions that range from instant fixes to long-term solutions, there’s something on this list that can help everyone.
You can incorporate all of them into your routine, or just pick two or three that really work for you. Try them all to see which ones have the best effects on your life!
About the Author
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance, law, and investing.