Did you know that today is World Mental Health Day?
The focus of this initiative is to tackle the issues surrounding mental health in the workplace.
I understand this issue very well. I left my last career because the work-related stress was intolerable.
At the time, I placed a lot of blame on myself but later discovered that it had a lot to do with my environment and circumstances I did not understand nor could control.
The stress we encounter at work often has a lot to do with whether or not the job is the right 'fit' and many times due to lack of proper leadership.
I did not know how to cope, but eventually, I sought out help and found my way...out!
Here are some interesting statistics for you taken straight from Statistics Canada:
- The average Canadian spends 8.03 hours of their waking hours physically at work. That doesn't include time away completing work-related activities.
- "Six in ten highly stressed workers identify work as their main source of stress (62%)"
- "Mental health is highly correlated with chronic stress. Numerous studies link chronic stress to anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue and substance abuse."
- "Chronic stress can cause memory loss and can change the brain's structure and functioning, affecting a person's susceptibility to depression and the effects of aging."
- "Long-term stress is also highly correlated with the development and progression of many chronic physical diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, ulcers, asthma and migraine."
- "Highly stressed workers who identified their job or workplace as their main source of stress were well-educated—almost three-quarters had a college or university education—and over one-half held white-collar jobs in management, professional or technical occupations."
For many, these statistics will not come as a surprise. Mental health problems at work, is a big deal.
Are you struggling to cope? Here are some tips to help you along the way...
WHERE CAN YOU GET HELP?
1. Seek out a licensed therapist through your confidential Employee Assistance Program (If you have access to one). Otherwise, ask your doctor for a referral.
2. Try to figure out the specific triggers that lead to your stress and find a way to get the support you need from leadership.
This can be tricky because some environments and leaders are not supportive and may actually make the situation worse.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you may wish to approach it by explaining your desire to improve the working conditions and overall outcomes at work. In essence, if those things improve, your condition will likely benefit as well.
3. Learn coping strategies for issues such as anxiety. Meditate, breathe, focus on the positive, take time out when necessary
4. Work with a coach or a mentor, someone who can help you to set goals and gain clarity about your work. Many times, as I discovered, the stress comes from being in a place, doing work and being amongst people that are not in alignment with who we are.
Our health is our wealth. If your job is making you sick, it can impact your overall well being. Seek out the help you need to get better. No job is worth your sanity or physical health.
Your friend in success,