Here at PayStream we understand that promoting a balanced and secure workplace is paramount to ensuring our teams are engaged, enjoy their job, challenge themselves and ultimately provide the best customer service possible for our clients, contractors and agencies. The mental health of our employees is an important part of that and so this month we thought we should shine the spotlight on mental health.
The World Health Organisation describes mental health as "a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community".
Mental Health is increasingly in the headlines with Mental Health Awareness week being a firm fixture in calendars around the UK and beyond. Many organisations are now looking to promote mental health in the workplace, for example, firms widely associated with the contractor market are those in the construction industry and companies such as Balfour Beatty, Careys and Wilmott Dixon are pioneering mental health through the “Mates in Mind” programme, which aims to raise awareness of mental health within this industry.
Whilst there still remains a stigma about mental health, an increasing number of high profile campaigns backed by celebrities and even royalty have pushed this issue into the spotlight. 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives and whilst many of us will face challenges but may need no or little support others will need more intervention and help to overcome specific and individual trials.
Evidence shows that staying in work can be a great help to those affected by mental health issues and working in general means better physical and mental health - giving us social contacts and support, a way of structuring our time, providing physical and mental activities as well as a sense of identity and purpose.
In addition there are lots of organisations out there who provide practical tips in how to look after your mental health, here are some ideas:
- Talk about your feelings and don’t be afraid to ask for help - there is no shame in talking to someone if you are feeling low or stressed, just talking to someone can help.
- Keep active -regular exercise is essential for good mental health boosting chemicals in your brain that put you in a good mood. So go on forget the lift and take the stairs!
- Eat well - nutrients are important to keep your brain healthy.
- Drink sensibly - alcohol can leave you feeling more low and depressed.
- Get plenty of sunshine. Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D helping our brain release chemicals which make us feel good - good job we have had such a lovely summer.
- Stress is often unavoidable but knowing what triggers it and learning how to cope is key to maintaining good mental health.
- Connect with others and be sociable –having friends is important not just for your self-esteem but in providing a shoulder to lean on if you need it.
- Take a break - a change of scene or pace is good for you mental health, so take a walk at lunch time or have a brew.
- Helping others - not only good for them but for you too.
- Do something you are good at - what do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress and boost your self-esteem.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health so look after it!
PayStream Rewards gives our umbrella employees access to a wide range of wellness and lifestyle assessments, diet and fitness guides, all of which are useful tools in promoting positive mental as well as physical health. So why not log in and take a look.