Health & well-being in the workplace

“Well-being” relates to the way in which we experience and perceive our lives, and whether or not we feel good about ourselves and the choices we make. Wellness matters. And having a high level of wellness is crucial if you want to live a higher quality of life. Everything we do and feel relates to our well-being so it’s important that we have the right balance in our work & personal lives.

Anxiety, depression and stress are now the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK and an estimated 70 million working days are lost every year because of mental ill health. More and more employers nowadays are offering health and wellbeing services to their staff as part of their benefits package.

If you are struggling at work or feeling overwhelmed, then you are not alone! Here are some key tips on what you can do about it:-

• Speak up at work if you feel as though your work life balance is being compromised. Your boss won’t know you are struggling unless you make them aware. Adjustments to your role might help – flexible working hours, regular breaks, restructuring job functions and tasks, further training or development, to name a few.

• Look at what you are eating and drinking during the day. A healthy balanced diet can really help promote a high level of wellness and combat stress. Eating too much sugar and drinking too much caffeine can have a huge impact on stress levels so opt for non-processed food, plenty of fresh fruit & vegetables and drink lots of water.

• Keep active. Studies show that regular physical activity links to better health outcomes, longevity and increased wellbeing. Try to get some fresh air at lunchtime or go for a short walk to clear your head – it will really help. Or take the stairs rather than using the lift. A step counter can really help make sure you reach your daily goals.

• Make friends at work. Having healthy and meaningful relationships at work has been linked to increased feelings of well-being and can be beneficial to helping you feel better mentally. This is because you feel connected and valued if you have a friend you can talk to or hang out with.

• Try meditation, yoga or mindfulness. These are all techniques which can really help with anxiety and stress at work. Mindfulness can be particularly effective as it only takes a few minutes a day and makes you really appreciate the world around you. It gives you a short period of distraction to take stock, enjoy the moment and refocus.

• Give something back! Volunteer for a good cause or get involved in a community project. This can boost feelings of self-esteem and give a greater sense of achievement which is a brilliant way to improve wellbeing.

• Regularly meet up with your line manager to allow you to discuss concerns and to review the progress you are making. With regular support from management it will really help you achieve your results.

But most of all, try to be aware of your mental and physical well-being. If you start to recognise the importance of safe guarding your mental and physical well-being you will be more productive and motivated at work. If your work or personal life is starting to be affected, do something about it.

For further information about health and well-being at work, please visit the Mind website.