In the previous blog from this series we addressed the signs to look out for in your staff or co-workers that might suggest that they’re struggling with their mental health, and offered some tips on how to approach them once you you’ve noticed these signs. In Part 3 we want to focus on you. That’s right, we will be talking about the signs you need to look out for in yourself, and how you can manage your mental state before you hit rock-bottom.
What if you’re struggling with your own mental health?
Making yourself a priority is important. If you’re not doing the best by you, you won’t be able to give the best of yourself to your family, friends and employer. Following on from our first blog where we spoke about the pressure to succeed, there is also an expectation that men must be the providers. This pressure to work hard to build a comfortable lifestyle can often mean that your mental health lays to waste as a result.
Things to look out for in yourself
- You don’t have a healthy outlet – you’re under the pump at work or things are arising in your personal life, and you find yourself drinking and smoking more, gambling, or taking substances to mellow out the pressures you face.
- Loss of motivation – you’re neglecting your physical wellbeing by eating junk food and placing exercise last on your ‘priority list’.
- Overtime at work and undertime with the family – you’re clocking 60 to 70-hour weeks, which doesn’t leave you much time for yourself, let alone your family.
What are some healthy coping mechanisms?
Here are some ways you can help manage and promote a healthier mindset:
1) Get moving
Prioritise time in your day to get some form of fitness into your regime. Consider dedicating 30 to 45 minutes each day for some fresh air on a walk, or head to the gym to get the endorphins going. Instead of heading to the pub with a mate after work, encourage healthy habits by hitting the gym together, or download a workout app to promote your routine.
2) Cut out the fries
Your nutrition, physical health and mental health are all linked together - so (unfortunately) that means limiting your intake of junk food, you can do this by investing in a nutritional plan from one of the many meal-kit providers.
3) Limit the cans
Take a drinking hiatus – you might find that you don’t miss the hangover, and you still have money in the bank to put towards your financial goals.
4) Don’t keep the struggle to yourself
Talk to someone you’re comfortable with, whether it be a close friend or a co-worker outside of work. Venting to another person and rationalising what’s happening in your head can help. If you don’t get it off your chest, it'll end up being a bigger issue – so, don’t let it fester.
5) Talk to a professional
If you feel uncomfortable talking to the people in your life – see your doctor, they can put you on a mental health plan so that you can start talking to a psychologist. If you’re not comfortable talking to someone face-to-face, you can talk to a virtual psychologist or contact one of the helplines listed below.
6) Be present
Focus on the present, instead of being caught up in the past or future. Limit the time spent on your phone during the evenings and on weekends – it may give you the time you need to reflect on your day and what has got you in a rut.
7) Balance – listen to your body clues
Find a happy medium – and take a break. If you’re overwhelmed at work, it’s a sign that you might be in need of a self-care day. These days could be spent catching-up on sleep, seeing friends and family, or spent in a way you feel will put you in a good frame of mind for the working week.
In this blog, we focused on some of the habits to lookout for in yourself if you’re struggling with your own mental health, and some coping mechanisms you can use to better manage it. In the next blog we will talk about ways in which you, as an employer, can help raise mental health awareness within your company. We will share a few practical strategies that you can implement into your workplace to support and promote a healthy environment for your staff.
If you have any concerns about your mental wellbeing consider consulting your general practitioner or contact the support lines at the bottom of this page, if you or someone you know require immediate help in a crisis.
LIFELINE – 13 11 14 – 24 hour counselling and crisis support.
MENSLINE AUSTRALIA – 1300 78 99 78 – 24 Hour counselling service for men with relationship or family concerns.
BEYOND BLUE – 1300 224 636 – 24 Hour counselling service.
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE – 1300 659 467 – 24 Hour counselling service for anyone effected by suicide.
KIDS HELP LINE – 1800 55 1800 – 24 hour counselling service for young people aged up to 25 years old.