With the increased conversation and growing awareness surrounding mental health, it seems as though things are moving in the right direction. However, a recent survey of 85 working adults in the US found that mental health in the workplace is suffering due to the stigma still attached to common mood disorders. The survey, carried out by online counseling organization TAO Connect, found that while 81.9 percent of people had no problem with asking their managers for time off for physical medical reasons, only 16.9 percent would be comfortable doing the same for a mental health matter.
Making this even worse is the finding that 85 percent of the survey's participants experience negative feelings that affect their ability to work, such as being extremely down and feeling overwhelmed — meaning a large amount of people are neglecting their mental health while at the office. If you're doing the same, and you feel uncomfortable discussing your mental health with your superiors, the following things you can do outside the workplace might help in your journey to a healthier mental and emotional state.
Be More Mindful of Your Diet
Although you can't necessarily eat away your feelings, enriching your diet with foods that lessen stress and anxiety or boost your mood-regulating hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, can help with stabilizing your mood from within. As well as that, monitoring how much sugar and caffeine you consume during the day is important because an abundance of either can have a negative effect on your mood. While caffeine can trigger common mood disorders like anxiety, irregular blood sugar levels caused by sugar binges and crashes can worsen an already bad mood.
Jot Down Your Thoughts
If you don't have access to therapy through your workplace benefits or healthcare provider and can't fit it into your budget, one thing that might help you offload is journaling. Keeping a journal of your feelings and emotions, whether you're having a great day or not, can help you identify triggers and struggles you might not otherwise be aware of. It's also a way of confiding burdensome feelings without having to open up to someone when you're not yet comfortable doing so.
Treat Your Triggers
You may not be able to treat every trigger of your mental health issue, but eliminating or managing triggers specific to the workplace can go a long way towards lessening how much your disorder affects your work. Try to employ simple techniques like mindful breathing that'll help you feel more in control despite your mood.