How Managers Can Support the Mental Health of Employees

According to the non-profit organization Mind Share Partners, which conducted a study with Qualitrics and SAP, the mental health of around 42% of participants declined since the pandemic began. This is a result of the structural changes that COVID-19 caused in the workforce. As a result, for example, countless people were instructed to work from home. And 44% of them experienced a decline in mental health.

 

Employee assistance programs, which are offered by many companies in the United States, have existed for many years. And before the pandemic began, employers were starting to pay attention to the mental health of their employees. But the pandemic has demonstrated that more needs to be done. And this is where management can play an important role.

 

Prior to the pandemic, Roche Genentech, a biotech firm, became viral when its leaders started talking about their own mental health. In fact, the company’s business leaders trained a group of employees on the subject of mental health awareness. Suddenly, remote workers were also participating and making videos of themselves. Business leaders who talk about their daily challenges appeal more to their workers. Employees like to feel a sense of community. Simultaneously, managers that talk about their habits have more of an impact.

 

This is why flexibility is important. And in these challenging times, it is important to be both proactive and inclusive. While direct reports are important, it is also necessary to be aware of possible transitions and changes. For instance, some employees have children. Perhaps, single parents should be provided with different schedules. A mother that can create her own schedule could be more productive.

 

As for business leaders, they can create bigger impacts. For years, senior leaders of Verizon have been focusing on work culture. They have trained managers and leaders in workplace mental health. The focus was also on prevention. A healthy workforce is less predisposed in suffering from absenteeism. Also, it is important to communicate to employees about the resources that they have available. According to a study, around 46% of employees were not informed about their mental health resources. Also, some employees may not utilize their benefits because of a social stigma. This is why it is important to normalize the services through communication.              

Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace is as important as physical health. Furthermore, it can affect employee productivity and overall well-being. That is why it’s important to promote mental health in the workplace. Here are a few tips:

1. Create Health and Safety Guidelines That Include Mental Health
When setting up health and safety guidelines for your workplace, including mental health to help employees feel like their mental health is just as important as their physical health.

2. Encourage Employees to Take Mental Health Days
Mental health days are a great way for employees to recharge and take care of themselves. Encourage your employees to take them when they need them.

3. Enroll Employees in a Medical Assistance Program
A medical assistance program can help employees get the services they need. It can include access to mental health services and free or low-cost mental health care.

4. Create a Mental Health Task Force
A mental health task force is critical in the workplace. This task force can develop mental health policies and provide mental health education.

5. Provide Medical Training Sessions
Providing medical training sessions can help employees learn more about mental health. Consider topics like recognizing symptoms and getting help for various problems.

6. Facilitate a Conducive Working Environment
The working environment can have a big impact on mental health. Ensure your workplace is conducive by providing a comfortable workspace, flexible work hours, and a supportive work culture.

Promoting mental health in the workplace can also enhance production and reduce costs. Happy and content workers translate to a more efficient workplace, as everyone feels better equipped to manage their responsibilities and knows that their satisfaction matters to management. Mental health problems can lead to high costs for employers, absenteeism, and workers’ compensation claims. By promoting it in the workplace, employers can reduce these costs.

Furthermore, employees want to work for a company that values their mental health. By promoting mental health in the workplace, employers can attract and retain the best employees. Employees who feel supported are more likely to stay with a company, improving employee retention.

Mental health is important for the workplace. By promoting mental health in the workplace, employers can improve employee productivity, reduce costs, attract top talent, improve employee retention, and strengthen working relationships. Mental health in the workplace is essential for a thriving business.

The Role of Empathy in Leadership

Leaders are typically reckoned with their ability to inspire and motivate their subordinates. However, empathy is often overlooked as a critical factor ineffective leadership. Empathy is the ability to understand others and feel their feelings. Leaders need to have strong empathy for their employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Understand the different types of empathy
There are five different types of empathy: social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and transactional. Each has its unique strengths and weaknesses. To be successful in empathizing with others, you need to understand the different types of empathy.

Have strong empathy for others
One of the ways to develop strong empathy is to understand others deeply. Leaders who can empathize with their employees, customers, and other stakeholders will be more successful in their leadership roles. Studies have shown that those who can empathize with others are more likely to succeed.

Use empathy to lead.
One of the most effective ways to become more empathetic is to use empathy when leading. Leaders who can understand and feel the emotions of their subordinates are usually more successful in leading. When you’re able to empathize with your employees, customers, and other stakeholders, you will lead with conviction and authority.

Stay calm under pressure.
When you’re under pressure, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget your goals. It can be hard to maintain a cool head under high stress. Leaders who can stay calm and focus on their objectives are usually more successful in their businesses. When you’re under pressure, you must have a plan for handling the situation. Leaders who can remain calm and focused will be better able to handle difficult situations.

Create a safe and healthy work environment
One of the crucial things leaders can create is a safe and healthy work environment. This means ensuring that all employees feel secure and happy in their work environment. Leaders also need to be aware of the signs that an employee is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable at work. If you observe any of these signs, ensure that the employee feels safe and respected.

What are some common challenges leaders face when it comes to empathy?
Leaders often face challenges when it comes to empathy. For example, some leaders may not fully understand the feelings of others. Additionally, some leaders may not be comfortable talking about their own emotions. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. Leaders who can empathize with their employees, customers, and other stakeholders will better manage these relationships and lead their teams to success.

How can leaders create better communication between them and their employees?
Leaders can create better communication between them and their employees by understanding their feelings. Leaders can also be more understanding when it comes to employee grievances. When leaders can empathize with their employees, they’re more likely to work together productively.

Leaders need to have strong empathy for others to lead successfully. If they cannot do so, they will be unable to achieve their goals. Leaders also face challenges when it comes to empathy. In addition, they may not have a safe and healthy work environment to lead. Leaders can make a difference by implementing empathy-based leadership.

Why Avoiding Toxic Positivity is Important

It is becoming increasingly popular to always look on the bright side of life, no matter what happens. Never acknowledging that bad things do happen in life can have many negative consequences on someone’s life, however. The following guide gives you a few reasons why you may want to try to avoid toxic positivity in your life.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Mental Health Struggles

When you are going through a difficult situation in life, and someone tells you to “look on the bright side” this can affect you in a negative way mentally. It can make you question if the feelings you have are selfish, are unnecessary, or are childish. It’s okay to have negative emotions from time to time. While you don’t want to dwell on them nonstop, having negative emotions is normal and healthy. Squelching these emotions can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, which can also affect your life negatively.

Toxic Positivity Can Create a False Sense of Security

Trying to always see things in a positive light can instill a feeling that everything should be great all the time. When something goes wrong, it can limit the feelings of responsibility someone has, which can give them a false sense of entitlement. It can make someone feel as though they are owed the positive things in life and when they don’t occur, it can lead to someone thinking they did something wrong, weren’t good enough, or cause them to blame someone else for their problems.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Social Awkwardness

Being around people who are positive all the time can create social awkwardness. It can make you feel as though you have to hide negative feelings when they occur out of a fear of letting someone down or feeling you’ll be judged. Not being able to share your feelings openly and honestly causes things to become bottled up inside which is not a healthy way to live life. Avoiding toxic positivity isn’t always easy to do. You may need to limit your social interaction to people who live a more realistic way of life and don’t always try to find the good in everything that happens. Limiting social media allows you to avoid being exposed to toxic positivity unexpectedly and can help to provide you with time to process the way you feel about something in a healthy way.

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A 5-Minute Exercise for Emotional Intelligence

Do you have days full of daily responsibilities? Does it often seem like too much? It is very easy to get overwhelmed with all the demands placed on modern adults. Things can pile up so fast that it’s easy to simply tune it all out and walk away.

While tuning out difficult tasks or things you don’t want to do has its perks, it can also be easily overdone. The serenity that comes with it can lead to complacency and even avoiding crucial tasks completely.

The more a person avoids work, the more anxiety they will face about the consequences of not getting things done. That’s why it’s important to have coping mechanisms that help people accomplish the tasks at hand that need to be dealt with.

It’s a particularly brutal cycle, but it’s also easy to break. There’s a technique that’s based on the fundamentals of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is being able to identify your emotions, understand them, and then manage them effectively. One way you can do this is by using the 5-minute rule.

If you don’t deal with your stress proactively regarding a particular task, then your brain is likely to get overwhelmed with thoughts of how long the task will take and how difficult it will be. Fortunately, big and challenging tasks don’t often happen in just one sitting or session, as you’re likely to handle it by nibbling at it one small bit at a time.

This is where the 5-minute rule factors in. Just decide to work on a specific task for 5 minutes, with the promise to yourself that if you need or want to, you can quit once those 5 minutes are up.

Your brain should acknowledge that 5 minutes is not all that long. That’s actually enough time for more than one funny cat video on YouTube.

Most of the time, once 5 minutes are up, you’ll get so engrossed in a task that you’ll have momentum and keep going. Still, the 5-minute rule has done its brilliant work, which is helping you get started.

The next time you’re facing some burden you just don’t feel like facing yet, consider giving it just 5 minutes. You’ll fall in love with this trick soon enough.

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The Importance of Self-Compassion

Whether a lack of compassion comes from a small failure or a major disappointment, people tend to be harder on themselves than other people. Over time, lack of compassion leads to further mental and emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and stress.

Therefore, people need to practice more self-compassion. Here is the list of self-compassion benefits and improvement techniques worth trying.

It’s a motivator.
People that criticize themselves usually talk themselves out of reaching their goals. Some people are harder on themselves due to years of being criticized as a child. By practicing self-compassion, it’s easier to accept flaws as motivation to improve rather than a reason to give up.

It improves overall health.
People often underestimate the impact of negativity on their health. Constant self-doubt triggers a person’s fight-or-flight response, which increases cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, leads to serious illnesses. In severe cases, high levels of stress can be deadly.

With self-compassion, even difficult times don’t have such a negative impact on health. Actually, having compassion leads to adopting healthier coping mechanisms that would otherwise cause mental and emotional problems.

Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
Practicing self-compassion can be difficult at first. To become better at self-compassion, it’s best to do activities like:

Pretend to be a child.
People naturally treat children with compassion and love. Therefore, people should treat themselves with the compassion they’d show a child to change their perspective and better their chances of achieving their goals.

Write a letter.
Receiving encouraging letters from loved ones usually makes the recipient feel better. To get out of a funk, it’s a good idea to write a letter from a loved one’s perspective. Over time, people that write letters to themselves make self-compassion a habit.

Meditate
In difficult times, it’s a good idea to meditate. With closed eyes, taking deep breaths while thinking of positive mantras helps improve self-compassion.

While self-compassion doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a great way to live a healthier life. Eventually, these techniques help people learn their value, which allows them to form better relationships and overcome everyday setbacks.

Understanding Your Personality for Optimal Productivity

Flow or “the zone” is a state where a person’s physical and mental performance goes through the roof. A zone is also a place where people are absorbed in what they do, and time seems to fly. Flow is universal. People can train themselves to move into this space when certain conditions are met to make the state repeatable and reliable.Peoples’ personality contributes to their productivity. One cannot use another person’s system for productivity as personality varies from person to person. What works for one person for personal growth may not work for another. Organizations reach out to different personalities to increase productivity to find out the systems could not give them results.

Some personality traits that play an essential role in optimal productivity include a person’s risk tolerance, the openness to try new things, and whether one is introverted or extroverted. Personality traits are difficult to change as they are genetically coded.

Onboard processes for optimal performance

Curiosity, purpose, passion, mastery, and autonomy are intrinsic motivators that give room for peak performance. Curiosity, passion, and purpose are the basics of optimal performance, followed by autonomy, which is the desire to pursue purpose and passion. Mastery pushes people to become experts in what they do.

Proper alignment of intrinsic motivators takes time as it varies from person to person. While in the alignment process, people should focus on cultivating and amplifying their strengths and values to enhance their personality.

How to find one flow triggers

There are 22 flow triggers, and one needs to understand what works for them for optimal performance. Examples of flow triggers include deep embodiment and high consequences. Triggers change from time to time as people develop and strengthen their personalities.

Body and Brain Preparation for Peak Performance

Apart from focusing on triggers, people should check their physical and mental health for performance. They should ensure their energy levels are up and anxiety is in check. Eating healthy, having enough sleep, and exercising are some of the activities that enhance healthy living. Mindful meditation and performing breathwork exercises regulate emotions and lower anxiety. Take 20 to 40 minutes a day and engage in these exercises to improve overall health and flush out stress.

When people understand their personalities, work on their physical and mental health, they are assured optimal productivity in what they set to do.

Taking Care of Mental Health in Quarantine

While the coronavirus pandemic shakes the world, we have all been ordered to social distance and stay quarantined. Being in quarantine greatly lowers a person’s chance of catching or spreading the virus. Although quarantine can greatly protect your health and the health of others, it can worsen someone’s mental health. 

Self-isolation during a pandemic can easily cause stress, insomnia, irritability, depression, and anxiety. However, there are a few ways to take care of your mental health while in quarantine:

Create a Daily Routine

Being a quarantine puts a major halt on the daily schedules and routines we have all become accustomed to. When stuck home all day, it can easily lead to someone feeling directionless when trying to fill all the hours of the day. To combat this, create a new routine to break up the day and add direction. If you are working from home, it’s important to treat it as a regular workday and hours the same way you would if you were in an office. When you have kids at home as well, make sure they are treating it as a regular school day. It doesn’t have to be a strict routine, just one that adds direction to your day.

Stay Active Throughout the Day

Many of us become guilty of binge-watching TV shows, sleeping in, and spending most of our time on the couch when being stuck inside all day. As relaxing as this is at first, this kind of behavior can lead to feelings of depression. When stuck inside for most of the day, it’s important to still be as active as possible. Do chores around the house, play with your kids, and get in some exercise through at-home workouts. Not only does this help with mental health, but it can also better your physical health. Whenever you are feeling bored, shut off the TV and put the device down to get more active.

Don’t Become Overwhelmed with Information

While it is important to stay informed on the coronavirus and have updated information, looking too much at the news and reading online stories is not good for anxiety. It is easy to become overwhelmed and start to panic when spending every minute of the day reading inaccurate or overly negative information. Instead, look to sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local health departments. By relying on information from credible sources and checking updates once a day or so, it can keep you informed without negatively affecting your anxiety.

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Discussing Mental Health with Your Child

Whether you as a parent or a family member have a mental illness, it can be a tough subject to discuss with your child. At such a young age, they can have a tough time understanding what it all means and how it will directly affect them. It’s important to have this conversation early to help them understand. Instead of putting it off because the discussion is hard, follow these helpful tips to start talking:

Finding the Opportunity

One of the hardest parts of discussing mental health with your child is finding the best time to have the discussion. An easy way to find an opportunity for discussion is by looking at everyday events or circumstances. For example, if there is a character in a movie or television show that has a mental illness. This can be a great gateway to talking about mental health and answering any questions they may have. Or if there is a situation involving a family member with a mental illness, take the time to talk to them about the incident and what it all means. These can be less intense entry points for a healthy discussion.

Answer Any Questions

Children are naturally curious and will most likely have questions during the discussion. Try your best to be as prepared as possible to have an answer for them. Take time to do some research beforehand so when it comes time to discuss the topic of mental illness, you are able to answer their questions with well-informed and honest answers. Even if you don’t have an answer for them at the moment, make sure to find it for them. By answering the questions, they will feel more comfortable with the discussion and gain a better understanding.

Language is Important

When discussing mental health, it can be easy to get mixed up in the medical terms and sayings. However, there is a big chance your child will not understand any of it. In order to have an effective conversion with them, you need to say it in a way they will understand. By using age-appropriate language when having this discussion, it puts them in the right frame of mind, It’s also important for the conversation to be tailored to their specific age group. Discussing tough topics in an age-appropriate way will ensure they won’t feel overwhelmed or confused about the topic.

Discussing mental illness is a hard by necessary conversation. By talking with your child, this will have a better understanding of mental health and mental illness. 

How Self-care Can Improve Teens’ Mental Health

Nowadays, there are countless articles encouraging adults to take care of their mental health in the workplace and to always find time to treat themselves with self-care. This is a major step forward in improving and prioritizing mental health. However, the younger generation, specifically teens, can be overlooked. 

They are at a time in their lives when schoolwork, social life, and home life can cause a major hindrance to their mental health. In order to help improve teens’ mental health, it’s important to prioritize self-care.

 

Eating Healthy

A healthy mind first begins with a healthy body. Parents and schools need to be encouraging healthy eating habits for teens. Teens are far more likely to spend their days eating whatever they want and not considering the repercussions of a junk food diet. When they eat better, they will start to feel better too. Studies confirm that a teen with an unhealthy diet is at risk for developing depression. In order to prevent this, encourage healthier eating. 

 

Prioritizing Sleep

Staying up late to watch television, finish schoolwork, or talk to friends can easily lead to teens not getting enough sleep. Many times this kind of habit can be bushed off and people believe that since they are young their body can handle it. On the contrary, teens not getting enough sleep can lead to damaging their mental health. It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that teens between the ages of 14 to 18 sleep eight to 10 hours a night. However, on average, most teens get about 7.5 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation takes a toll on their mood and can lead to depressive symptoms.

 

Meditation

The younger you are, the faster you will go. Many teens do not take the time to slow down and get in touch with their own mental wellbeing. A teen will carry their daily stresses around with them without taking the time to unwind and relax. Instead of being mentally weighed down, meditation could be an excellent way to distress and improve mental health. It can even help with getting better sleep.

 

Taking Time for Hobbies

Studying and homework are very important and should be prioritized, but so should taking time to do the things you love. By partaking in activities that they truly enjoy doing, teens can greatly reduce anxiety and stress. It can be skateboarding, watching television, spending time with friends, or even sitting down to read a book. Parents should encourage their teens to take a break and indulge in what they love to do. This can make a major improvement in their mental health and a great way for teens to feel greater happiness.