How to improve your mental health while you work

Jordan Lench

By Jordan Lench

 

Following the most unpredictable and troubling year in our recent history, protecting our mental health has never been more important. 

For some, working from home has been the perfect solution to keep themselves, and their families, safe. For others, the disconnection from work colleagues has proven extremely difficult for overall wellbeing. The effects felt by the pandemic vary drastically from person to person, but regardless of your thoughts toward working from home, there is one simple thing we’ve all been doing that may be causing our mental health to struggle (perhaps without us even noticing); sitting down for too long.

 

My Smart Desk

 

It may sound trivial, but studies have identified a correlation between sitting and increased levels of depression and anxiety. So many people spend hours sitting and working, without a thought towards the impact it has on the body and mind. If you, or someone you know, has struggled with any kind of mental health problem, then you may be familiar with the symptoms of tiredness and fatigue. For some, this can be one of the hardest symptoms to overcome due to the extremely demotivating weight it carries; and this is why sitting for longer periods than usual can cause additional problems. Allowing ourselves to succumb to these kinds of symptoms can rapidly increase the weight of these issues, and prove even harder to overcome in the near and far future. This is why it is important to recognise this change in habit and work towards a beneficial solution. 

The positive point to take away from this is that there’s an incredibly easy solution! Simply be mindful of the last time you got up and moved around. Consider taking a brisk walk outside, or even begin adopting the habit of standing while you work. Investing in a height-adjustable desk can be a powerful remedy to your low mood and even reduce increased stress levels. In our previous blog, 5 practical exercises to do while you work, we looked at how you can perform small exercises that help improve your overall health; be sure to give it a read if you’re struggling to stay active while working at home. 

Ensure you stay mindful of your mental health during these uncertain times. If you have been affected by the topic of this blog, please contact your local GP or a mental health organisation such as Mind for advice and support. For focused advice on how to be mentally healthy at work, visit Mind’s support page here.