I do not know a single person who isn’t facing mental health issues at work. A high-pressure job or impending promotion. It could be a narcissistic boss or a bitchy colleague. A friend who is a foe behind your back, speaking nasty stuff about you. Someone you trusted with your secrets turned out to be a tattletale. Making fun of your work – taking credit for your work. We have all dealt with such people in our workplace. Sad but a reality.
Claire was starting her new job at a preschool. She loved being a teacher. And adored children even more. Filled with hopes to have the best time, she began work. It was a set of like-minded people, cute children around – what could go wrong? ONLY A LOT.
Very soon she started to face politics at work. Her colleagues started overshadowing her work and taking credit for it. It was disturbing and Claire did not know what to do. It was her only source of income so she didn’t have the choice to quit and join another organisation. Her self confidence started affected because of it.
She started doubting herself for the fallouts. Every morning getting up to go to work was enough to push her through a mental breakdown. Until one day when she decided to fight back.
Go to any work party. You would see people bitching about the management/organisation, bosses, colleagues, subordinates. And drowning themselves into drinks trying to relieve that stress. But is that really a healthy approach to deal with work-related stress?
The above scenario is not uncommon. There are some sensitive people like Claire who internalise the situation. Some lash back and some use the passive-aggressive approach to it. All these tactics are unhealthy. Whilst leaving the job isn’t always workable because you are going to encounter toxic people EVERYWHERE).
Don’t make a permanent decision for your temporary emotion.
Mental Health isn’t just depression or anxiety. It’s about how to deal with day to day situations? If small things like someone cutting the line or someone showing up late for the meeting triggers you to have a meltdown then your mental health is suffering.
Working is imperative for the human brain. It stimulates our mind, gives a sense of purpose and keeps our wallets filled. But a negative work environment can affect a person. It can lead to anxiety, depression, alcoholism and sometimes even suicide.
Warning Signs that Your Mental Health is Affected Due to Workplace:
- Procrastination at work or sometimes coming to a halt;
- Taking on more work than you can handle;
- Always tired;
- Making unexpected mistakes;
- Joylessness about the idea of going to work;
All these signs for short measure of time are alright but if they persist for weeks and months then it’s alarming.
How to deal with Mental Health in the Workplace?
If your organisation allows a mental break then use that to reflect on the situation. Assess it with a logical mind and measures you can take to improve it.
Use the Pause – Use the pause to FIGURE OUT YOUR STRENGTHS( you have paid too much attention to your weaknesses). Build upon those strengths. For eg: Maybe you are good at presentation & research but not marketing. Maybe you had been beating yourself up for not possessing a certain skill.
When I was going through mental health issues at work. A wise person told me if there is a lack of self – love then no matter how many jobs you change – you will encounter the same situation. Kind of woke me up to the fact that I need to accept and love myself first. It helped me tackle the situation with my senior.
So, Love yourself with all that you are. You are not the person your boss or colleagues call you out to be. Stand up for yourself and the bullying and harassment stops in no time.
3. Pay Attention to Physical Health
They are connected in a big way, taking care of your body by exercising and eating well uplifts your spirits.
No, we are not talking about the people who are affecting your mental health in the workplace! But a manager, a compassionate colleague, or HR, you could address your mental health issue to any of them. Organizations are responsible to take care of mental health matters of their employees.
A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.
If you come across a colleague who is battling mental health issues at work. Reach out to them. A kind hand and a listening ear can help them come out of it. Be Authentic – let them know you care about their well being. Hear them out, support them and give them your perspective too (when they are ready for it).
Whether it’s work-related stress or office politics, if you feel negativity at work – You are comprising on your performance and mental health. Do not shove it under the carpet. Take a break to fix the problem.
Let us know in the comment section below how you came out of a negative situation at your workplace.