Since its Mental Health Week in Canada, we here at Walmsley want to remind you just how important it is to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing. By taking some time to reflect and check in with yourself, you can be more aware of any negative or distorted thoughts you may be having, which in turn could help you feel more energetic at work or more engaged with those around you.
The first step of this check in is to find somewhere you feel comfortable. Maybe its on the couch with your cat on your lap. Maybe its on your patio while the sun is coming up. Maybe its on your yoga mat as you twist into your favourite position. Wherever you are, make sure you feel nice and relaxed. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Now take a couple more. Pay attention to your thoughts in that moment and see where they take you. Life can be stressful, especially over the last year, and it is important to see what sorts of thoughts pop up while you have your eyes closed and start to focus on your breath. Sometimes negative thoughts will pop up and recede, don’t worry, that is entirely normal. Sometimes, though, they can stick, and when they do, you might need help to unstick them, or to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Make a note of any of these; oftentimes taking stock of some of the more overwhelming thoughts can give you some perspective.
Next, check in with your sleep, eating, and exercise habits. Any disruptions to one or all three of these can lead to higher levels of anxiety, discomfort, and depression. If there are ways you can start making small changes, like getting off your bus a stop or two early or putting your phone away half an hour before you fall asleep, try out some different options to see if it makes a difference.
Lastly, try and remember when was the last time you connected with someone. These days, making meaningful connections is critical. Try reaching out to friends and family for a video chat. Or say something kind to the cashier the next time you’re buying groceries. Spreading just a little bit of positivity can go a long way.
When you feel down, depressed, or anxious, your performance at work can really suffer. If you notice that you’ve been feeling less motivated or not as engaged in the workplace, you’re not alone. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada about 30% of disability claims are mental health related. Luckily, there are lots of resources and support available for you. If, after your self check-in, you’ve identified some negative thoughts or an issue you’d like to talk about, visit us at www.walmsley.ca. There’s a wealth of information in our Wellness Library to look over. Or, if you’d like to connect with a counsellor, we offer services in-person, over video, or on the phone. Mental health in the workplace is an area of growing study, and the research is showing that the healthiest workplaces are the ones who encourage their staff to be more open about their mental health and seek the supports when needed. At Walmsley, we’re here for you, and we’re listening. Let’s Talk.
Rob Baker, MA Registered Clinical Counsellor