Blue Monday is on 16th January and many of us are thinking of ways to improve mental health in the workplace. You can understand why it might be a difficult time for some. Post-Christmas, the midst of winter, dark nights… it all builds a gloomy picture. In addition, it’s important to look at ways to support your team that extends further than Blue Monday.
Samaritans have launched their campaign ‘Brew Monday’ to reach out to people this Monday for a brew to catch up and offer support if needed. They encourage us to ”stop this myth about Monday being ‘blue’ and instead start a conversation over a brew!”
It doesn’t even have to be a Monday, use this as an opportunity to schedule in a cuppa and catch up with someone you care about.
If someone shares how they feel with you, it’s important to listen. It’s natural to want to find solutions to help and offer advice but sometimes the best thing to do is just listen.
The cold weather and less daylight that comes with the winter months means that people feel they can’t exercise as much as they’d like to. Physical activity can be a great way to boost your mood and energy levels. In addition, it can be helpful to encourage your team to take time in the afternoon to go for a walk or complete an online fitness class.
We tend to rush towards unhealthy food choices such as chocolate and high sugar foods for comfort but this can lead to blood sugar levels crashing and making us feel low. A healthy balanced diet can improve overall health and most importantly, mental health. You can provide more healthier food choices in the staff room to help employees with this.
Many employees travel to work in darkness and travel home in darkness throughout winter. In addition, going for a walk at lunch time will also give you that dose of natural light and fresh air that we all need to feel better.
If you wanted to take this a step further, you can provide your team with light therapy lamps that replace the light from sunshine that we benefit from in the summer.
Spend Time With Other People
Many of us are back to working from home and this can feel isolating at times. One of the main things we learned in the past two years is how important human interaction is. Encourage your team to take time out during their working day to catch up with their colleagues either via zoom or in person if safe and possible.
Host a Brew Monday Event
If you’re looking at ways to get involved with Samaritans campaign, why not host a Brew Monday event. This can be on the 17th or any Monday you want. You can either host this virtually or in person if possible. This can be as simple as hosting a tea party to raise money for Samaritans. Not only does this raise funds for a fantastic cause, it can also raise awareness of the support they offer and may even save lives. You can find out more and download helpful resources on the Samaritans website now.
Mental health training for managers
If you’re looking to focus on improving mental health in the workplace beyond Blue Monday, offering mental health training to managers can be a great place to start.
Systematic training should offer Manager’s in a wide range of sectors the opportunity to develop important skills. This will also allow them to become more informed when it comes to offering Mental Health support. Training should be based on how to have conversations with employees, recognising red flags the impacts of poor mental health in the workplace. In turn, the taboo nature of Mental Health will be a thing of the past, ingrained into the culture of workplaces in the UK.
Mind Mental Health Training for Managers
“Mind” is a charitable organisation which offers mental health support for everyone, including the workplace. For example, they provide tips on the relationship between pressure, performance and stress. Stress can be a given at work, but when does stress levels become unmanageable?
Mind also promote two helpful courses about managing mental health at work and promoting a positive environment in the workplace. Prioritising mental health before simply reacting to any problems, could prevent mental health becoming a real problem!
You can read more about mental health training in the workplace HERE. If you would like any further advice, feel free to contact our outsourced HR Consultants on 01383 668 178