Your Mental Health is Important

By Mel Sim

Now that we got that out of the way, here’s how to look after it.

Ever since the pandemic, it’s been all about your mental health. It’s no surprise why – between handling the virus anxiety and not knowing what might happen in the future coupled with long hours working and a heavy workload, life – and work – can be really stressful, taking its toll on your mental wellbeing.

Which is why it is more important now than ever to take care of yourself mentally. Good mental health helps you copy better with stress and anxiety as well as make better decisions at work. It is also important to help you feel more accomplished and productive.

How does one look after their mental health? There are of course the ones you’ve heard about plenty of times – taking necessary breaks to unwind, doing your favourite things during the weekend, connecting with likeminded people. Then you can also try these less conventional ones while at work so you can keep your mental health in check 9-to-5.

#1 Put a plant on your work desk
Nature is a wonderful thing when it comes to mental health. Notice how you feel less stressed and more relaxed when you’re taking a walk in the park? Bring that effect back to the office by putting a potted plant on your table. Plants can transform your workspace into a more peaceful, tranquil and engaging place. Find an indoor plant that doesn’t require much watering or sun like a ZZ plant, peace lily or the popular snake plant. Put it in a simple white base so it’s extra soothing to look at.

#2 Consider changing your work pattern
With many offices now going flexi and hybrid, creating your own work schedule is no longer a dream but a reality. First, you need to figure out when you create your best work. Are you more focused if you start earlier in the day? Or do you feel more relaxed working in an open space? These little details can make a lot of changes for your productivity and wellbeing as you are giving yourself an optimized condition to be a better you. If your work allows it, speak to your manager about having that flexibility to change your work schedule or routine as long as you are sure you can get the work done in time.

#3 Self-care, even at the office!
Yes, you can treat yourself to little things that make you feel good at your tiny cubicle. Maybe it is giving yourself a lunch treat once a week at your favourite café. Or winding down at the end of a stressful day with a nice cup of your favourite green tea. It could also be using aromatherapy (a dab on the wrist never hurts!). Whatever makes you happy and if you’re able to enjoy it at work, go for it!

#4 Quiet your mind
A lot of times we feel stressed out when we have too much in our mind. Silence all that chaos with some quiet time. Whenever you feel stressed out, give yourself five minutes to literally space out and not think about work at all. You can take a walk outside, put on some relaxing music using your noise-cancelling headphones to block the distraction, or just go somewhere quiet (like an unused meeting room) and do some breathing exercises. Try it – it works!

#5 Take a mental health day
You deserve it! A lot of companies encourage it too and there’s a good reason why: Taking even just one day off to focus on your mental health (spa anyone?) and not think about work can help you feel recharged and renewed. Some companies even allow you to take a certain time off without having to submit an MC so make full use of this for your mental health!

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