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Mental Health at Work

Unfortunately, mental health problems are common, and this doesn’t stop at work.  According to, at least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

There are certain things you can do to help look after yourself and make your workplace mentally a better place.

Try These Top Tips For Staying Well at Work

1. Reclaim Your Lunch Break

lunch at work

Make the most of your breaks. Get away from your desk, computer and phone and use the time wisely.  This could be going for a walk, doing an exercise class, eating your lunch outside, or browsing the shops.  If you can get outside and exercise all the better.

2. Music

Music has a great way of calming you down if you’re feeling stressed, the right track can take your mind off work for a few minutes, helping you unwind and refocus.

If you are distracted by outside noise that is hindering you from finishing a certain task, music can help block out the noise and focus on the task at hand.

Another way to use music to help your well-being is to listen to your favourite song as a simple treat to yourself. Maybe after you have finished a task give yourself a break and listen to a song that you love.

3. Exercise


Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Exercise doesn’t need to be super intense for it to do some good.  When fitting exercise into your workday it needs to be appropriate and easy, if it’s too difficult (i.e. you are rushing or you have to bring a change of clothes with you) then it makes it harder to do consistently.

Some Ideas to Integrate Exercise Into Your Day:

  • Take the stairs, not the lift

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime, maybe do this with a colleague for social interaction and to hold yourself accountable

  • Walk or bike to work

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work

  • Get up just 15 minutes earlier and do some exercise at home

  • Instead of going to your nearest toilet go to the next furthest

  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

4. Connect


It has been shown time and again that feeling close to and valued by other people is a basic human need. Good relationships are important to our well-being. Connecting to your colleagues is good for your mental health.

Try These Tips to Connect With Someone:

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email

  • Speak to someone new

  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you

  • Ask someone you know how they are really feeling, and totally listen when they tell you

  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.

5. Set Boundaries

It’s important to make every effort not to let work spill over into your personal life. Since most people now have experience of working remotely after the pandemic it can be harder to keep work and home life separate.  If you need to bring work home or work remotely set clear boundaries with colleagues, and let people know your working hours using your diary and email signature.  Ensure your notifications are turned off when you aren’t working.

A difficult but vital action is to learn to say no to taking on more work than you can manage.  Having too much work can lead to stress and eventual burnout.

6. Seek Help

If you are struggling with your workload or your mental health in general speak to a trusted colleague and take it to your manager.  If you feel this hasn’t helped, talk to your personnel department, trade union representative or other relevant members of staff.

7. Mindfulness

mindfulness at work

Being mindful (generally taking notice) of the things around you helps keep you in the moment and can enhance your well-being.

Take Time to Look Around You and Enjoy The Environment.

  • Make your workspace your own as much as you can with a picture and a plant.

  • Keep on top of clutter and get rid regularly.

  • Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting.

  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work.

  • Visit a new place for lunch.

8. Take Regular Breaks

Make sure you take regular breaks to help keep you focused and not get overwhelmed.  Keep yourself hydrated, and enjoy your drink, this can be a way of combining mindfulness with having a break.  A short break can help you feel recharged and refreshed. It can also give you a different perspective on any work problems.

9. Be Kind to Yourself

This is as true in everyday life as is it in work.  It is so important to be kind to yourself and remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Every day is different and we may feel different from one day to the next.

Why not integrate some of these tips into your daily tasks using OpsPal, for example, include a lunchtime walk as one of the tasks that you need to tick off.  This will encourage you to do it more and give you a sense of achievement once it’s ticked off.

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