October is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s time to start the conversation around mental health with your team and work with them to develop a culture that encourages positive mental health conversations.
Earlier this year we caught up with neuroscientist and counselor Dr. Diane Harner on how we can best look after our own mental health and also that of our team during a crisis. The webinar was packed full of useful tips and advice that we know you’ll get a lot out of, so we’ve summarised the key points for you below or feel free to watch the webinar (linked below) to get the whole package.
It all starts with routine
Eat, sleep, work and repeat? This is the routine, that is, if you’re looking for a burnt out team. As Diane emphasises that a good routine is all about striking the right balance between work and life while still maintaining a good sleep schedule, a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle. These three building blocks of sleep, diet and activity are the foundations of the positive mental health journey. Work should fit in around them.
Struggling to find ways to encourage your team to be active?
- Talk to your local gym about starting a corporate membership or ask if there are deals available for group memberships
- Look into organising a corporate yoga session for your team
- Encourage a longer lunch break where team members can take a leisurely walk and get their daily steps in
Looking to promote a healthy diet?
- Organise for a cooking class or webinar for your team
- Have healthy snacks such as fruit available at your office
- Provide resources for your people on healthy eating
Respect work hours
Encouraging your people to establish and maintain a positive routine starts from leading by example. Don’t place expectations on your people to work outside their agreed upon hours and also take this advice for yourself. This means, not messaging your people outside the hours that they’re meant to work, and also encouraging them to follow your example of only doing work within business hours.
Look for warning signs
As a leader, it’s important to continually check in with your people and look for irregularities in their behaviour. If extraverted team members are suddenly more quiet or introverted team members are more talkative, it may be a sign that you need to start a conversation about how work could be impacting their mental health.
Take time with your people to understand what challenges they face outside and inside the workplace so that you can best shape the work environment to their needs.