Mental health habits that can boost your career
Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing is an important part of your overall health, and can have an impact on your personal and professional life. These habits can give you the mental boost you need to be at your best.
Often we only think of mental health as mental illness, but there’s far more to it than that—it’s about how we all think, feel, and act in our everyday life. It includes how we cope with adversity and balance daily pressures and challenges; how we engage with our friends, family, coworkers, and community; and our enjoyment of the many different aspects of our life, from personal to professional.
Numerous studies have linked emotional well-being to work performance, but it’s really about the whole picture: your mental health is an important pillar of your overall health, and taking steps to reach your optimal health enables you to be at your best—whether for work or play.
So how do you go about boosting your mental health? These basic habits are a great place to start.
Manage stress before it becomes an issue.
Stress is only one aspect of mental health, but it’s an important one: according to Statistics Canada, employees who considered their work to be quite a bit or extremely stressful were more than three times as likely to suffer a major depressive episode, compared with those with low general stress. And even if your main source of stress isn’t your job, studies show that outside stress gets taken into the workplace, where it can affect your ability to perform. There are several self-care tools you can use for managing stress, many of which will have a positive impact on your overall mental health.
Keep your social networks going.
Limiting your social activity is a sign that you’re suffering from poor mental health, but it’s more than just a symptom—isolation can actually lead to serious mental health issues. Why? Because our social groups offer support and a much-needed sense of belonging. Whether it’s your family, friends, coworkers or a community group, cultivating relationships is integral to your well-being.
Be mindful of your diet.
It’s no surprise that anything that falls into the category of “comfort food” is generally high in fat, sugar, or both. Numerous studies have shown that stress and other negative emotions lead us to reach for less than healthy options, or, for some people, to not eat enough. But it’s at these challenging times that our body needs its best fuel. Try these strategies for mindful eating to help keep yourself back on track.
Make time to exercise.
Exercise causes us to release endorphins—brain chemicals that literally make you feel good. More than that, it’s a great way to alleviate some of the symptoms that are associated with mental health issues, such as fatigue, lack of energy, anxiety, and poor concentration. Hand in hand with a nutritious diet, you’ll see it proves the saying: healthy body, healthy mind.
Get your best sleep.
Even if you aren’t able to fit in the recommended amount of sleep each night (the suggested range is seven to nine hours), you can still take steps to ensure you are getting the highest quality of sleep possible. There are several strategies you can try for improving your sleep, like avoiding caffeine late in the day, and sticking to a schedule for going to bed and waking up.
Give back, and you’ll get back.
Studies have shown that generosity has a side benefit: it positively impacts your own mental health. If you’re looking for an opportunity, the SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women is a great choice. Not only is running statistically proven to improve mental health the event also combines support of local women’s mental health programs with fun socializing and exercise. There are races in 15 cities and distances to suit every ability, so sign up for a day of awesome inspiration for your mind, body and spirit.
Know when to seek help.
Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from depression, and research indicates that one in four women will experience some form of depression in their lifetime. If you think you might be suffering from a mental health issue that you can’t alleviate with self-care methods, it is important to seek help from a trained professional. Talk to your physician, a counsellor or a mental health professional to get the care you need.
This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about mental health concerns.