Siân Duffin, Student Support Manager at distance learning provider Arden University shares insight on how you can maximise your wellbeing during your working day, whether you are a key worker or working from home.
Wellbeing is very much a word of the times, with a greater awareness of mental health issues and wellness on the whole. There is an entire industry now around wellness and wellbeing and business is booming. Stress and burnout are real issues for many and coupled with rising rates of depression and anxiety, more and more of us are aware of the impact that our work can have on us. We come to work as our whole selves, and as much as we may wish to leave it at home, poor mental health comes with us. Thinking about ways to maintain wellbeing during our working day can be really important. It can act as a preventative as well as support along the way.
Here are three things to consider in maximising your wellbeing throughout your career:
It is so crucial to have people that you can talk to about how you are feeling, and what is going on for you. Your HR team will have training in mental health and wellbeing issues and can often signpost to resources internally and externally. They can help facilitate conversations if you are needing extra support or help you look at reasonable adjustments if you have a disability – many mental health conditions would be considered a disability under the legislation. Be honest with your line manager when you catch up if you are finding something difficult or if you are worrying excessively about a particular task. Who in your team can you buddy up with and have daily check ins with via Skype or Zoom? Sometimes, just sharing that that your day is feeling difficult and receiving an empathic response can really help. Many workplaces also now have Mental Health First Aiders who have received training in providing a listening ear. The conversations may feel difficult, but it is surprising how much saying things are hard out loud helps.
Mindfulness and Positive Psychology
These are two different tools that you can have to help you move from a place of difficulty to a place of strength. Mindfulness helps keep you present in the current moment and helps to block out the noise and worry if done well. Positive Psychology aims to move people to a place of wellness beyond a place of not being ill. Things such as gratitude feature heavily and can be really useful and simple to build into your day, they don’t have to take long. You can find many resources on both, including YouTube videos for free to help you learn the techniques which can be worthwhile exploring.
At the moment especially, with working from home, it can be difficult to define work time and down time. Our work can often creep into our evenings and weekends, taking on more hours until you are doing little else. For those working at home, there is more screen time at the moment and sitting still for really long periods. Try to maintain the boundaries. Be disciplined, as much as you can, about a start and finish time. Put a lunch break in your diary so that you can’t accept meetings or calls in that slot, in order to move, eat and rest your eyes. Think about using your relationships for point one as an accountability resource – check in when you are starting and finish and help each other to keep to the schedule that you have decided.
Arden University – www.arden.ac.uk – is a modern university that offers a more flexible way to study which enables students to ‘learn whilst they earn’, through either distance or blended learning options. Blended learning combines face to face, tutor-led teaching at one of Arden’s five Study Centres in London, Manchester and Birmingham with self-study time. Arden believes that the purpose of Higher Education is to enable everyone to further career prospects and equip them with the right skills for the workplace. This is why course content is specifically focused on furthering career progression and improving workplace potential. It’s also why Arden invites companies to sit on the university’s validation boards to continually review and iterate course content. Arden’s entry requirements and costs involved help to make it a more accessible choice especially for candidates who haven’t been in education for a while or who are now returning to education having chosen a different path after leaving school.
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