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How to improve mental health in the workplace

Symphony TalentMay 21, 2021Resource

I was sitting on my couch this morning while drinking my coffee before the craziness of the workday began when I received a text. It was a screenshot from my friend, with a quote that read, "I don't know who needs to hear this, but hyper-independence is the result of trauma. You do need people. We all do."

At that moment, something struck a chord with me. I was immediately reminded that we're all dealing with different challenges and complex emotions, that oftentimes end up leaving us siloed in our own world especially when it comes to working.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it's important to remember that whatever you're feeling is ok.

  • Some days, I feel empowered.
  • Other days, I feel completely unworthy of my role as a director.
  • Some days, I feel like I'm a great manager.
  • Other days, I kick myself for feeling as though I didn't handle a situation well.
  • Some days, I am beyond stressed.
  • Other days, I'm so proud of my work with clients.

Did you know that disengaged employees cost businesses upwards of $500 billion each year? Or how about the fact that 57% of people say that if their employer proactively supported their mental well-being, it would help them to feel more loyal, be more productive in the office and take less time off work.

When we look at the definition of joy, Marriam Webster defines it as, " a feeling of happiness that comes from success." And when you look at the opposite of joy, emotions such as sadness, misery, cheerlessness, sorrow, and unhappiness come to mind. After a disheartening and depressing 2020, it's no secret that the pandemic has taken a toll on mental health.

From overstretched recruiters attempting to fill roles as companies begin to open, to employees having to take on more work, to leadership having to make the tough financial decisions, it's so important to remember where and how we find our little moments of joy.

4 ways to maintain positive mental health at work

Personally, I've found some coping mechanisms to seek out joy throughout my week to stay positive, deal with negative thoughts, and look forward to my workdays. Maybe some of these can help you, too.

  1. Feel the negative: It's ok to have a bad day. It's fine to not be "in the mood to be 100% on, 100% of the time." Instead of feeling guilty for negative emotions, I now try to see where they are stemming from, accept the fact they are normal, and either change my attitude or try again tomorrow.
  2. Start with a mindful morning routine: For me, I love taking workout classes in the morning. It wakes me up, makes me feel productive, and sets me off on the right foot. I also like to practice writing down my three lists of threes. The first is three things I'm thankful for, the second is three things I absolutely have to do that day, and the third is three things I'd like to accomplish in the upcoming week. You'll quickly become aware of just how many little things bring you happiness throughout the days and weeks.
  3. Slow down: I've found that I'm always the most stressed out when I try to jump from one thing to the next. If you treat everything as though it's an emergency, you'll feel overwhelming pressure to perform. Instead, prioritize your workload for the day, and be present in the moment. You never know what creative concept or idea could come from focusing specifically on one task at a time.
  4. Last but not least, find your joyful place at work. I've always loved being outdoors, and I've found that taking internal calls while taking a quick walk does wonders for my mood. Maybe that means blocking off your calendar for your favorite workout class at lunch. Maybe it's implementing no-meeting Fridays. Whatever it is, we all have different stressors, and we all handle them differently. It's most important to find things you enjoy where you can implement them into your day.

With that being said, how are YOU today? We asked our customer community what brings them joy in their job as an optional form question, and were overwhelmed at the responses we received. Here were some of our favorites:

  • Giving people their perfect job in a culture that allows them to be their best selves!
  • Helping people find their path and help shape the culture of the company
  • Knowing that my organization makes a positive contribution to the community
  • The people I work with and a sense of accomplishment
  • Changing people's lives through the power of work

What I love the most about these answers is that it all comes down to the people. Alone, we can only do so much. But together? That's where the magic happens. As Coretta Scott King once said, "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."

How Symphony Talent is promoting positive experiences

We've made it our mission with to help employers get people back to work faster and with an exceptional experience, through a platform that not only benefits companies and recruiters - but individuals and candidates as well. This is what brings us joy in our job, to help recruiters and sources from being stuck in reactive mode and empower them with technology to inspire an all-around better experience for employers and ultimately the millions of candidates they collectively interact with each day. And that's a very big impact that our customers and industry can have on the world. Let's provide empathy. Let's provide encouragement. Let's celebrate each other and dare to be different - together.

So here's your reminder to pay attention to your mental health and find resources you might need, spread joy and positivity, and bring happiness back into your work life.

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