October is Emotional Wellness Month and a good reminder that it’s important to prioritize our emotional needs – especially in a work environment.
First established in 2004, Emotional Wellness Month serves to showcase the essential role that emotional well-being plays in our overall health. For those who have a tough time coping with the stress of work, it also provides additional encouragement to slow down, take a deep breath, and look for ways to establish a more adequate work-life balance.
Below, we’re sharing some of those ways, with helpful tips on how to improve emotional health at work (and, by default, outside of it too).
Why Emotional Wellness at Work Matters
At work, it becomes all too easy to forego our own emotional needs in pursuit of on-the-job excellence. But the more we learn about the harm of sustained stress, the more clear it becomes that we need to protect our emotional well-being if we really want to put forth our best.
Failure to prioritize emotional health in the workplace can have a lot of unforeseen consequences. This includes loss of productivity and morale, as well as a higher risk of physical ailments such as heart disease, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal illness.
This Emotional Wellness Month, we encourage you to rethink how you approach your emotional needs in and out of the workplace. And if you are responsible for managing a team, consider how emotional well-being fits into your broader employee health management initiatives. Small improvements can lead to big changes and could make all the difference when it comes to employee happiness and fulfillment.
How to Improve Emotional Wellness in the Workplace
You can’t eliminate all stress from a work environment, but you can help yourself or your employees become more resilient to it. So where should you start? Here’s a look at some emotional wellness activities and thought exercises that are worth putting into practice.
Give yourself permission to feel tough emotions.
In a high-stress healthcare setting, dealing with tough emotions is pretty much just part of the job. Rather than repressing them though, it’s important to take time to acknowledge those feelings and identify them, working out not just their root causes but what you need in order to deal with and move on.
Open the conversation.
We can all do our part to normalize conversations around mental health at work. Be honest about times you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and lend an ear to peers who may be feeling the same. And if you’re in a leadership position, incorporate mental health into your employee wellness program if you haven’t already, and make sure employees know they can feel free to speak up about emotional struggles they might be having.
Learn how to decompress.
Build up your decompression toolbox with reliable ways to cope when the occasion calls for it. This may include deep breathing techniques, mindfulness exercises, or getting out of the building for a short walk – whatever you need to do to defuse heightened emotions and get on with your day.
Movement can have a hugely positive impact on emotional health in addition to physical health. Make sure to regularly get up from your desk and move around, and incorporate more movement into your time outside of work, too. Even better if you can bring that movement outside and enjoy the emotionally healing powers of nature while you’re at it.
Prioritizing emotional wellness in the workplace is one more way to pursue higher standards of employee health – a goal that encompasses other key tasks like healthcare compliance and accurate vaccine and illness tracking. Learn how Immuware can help you achieve these and other major organizational goals around employee wellness, and request a demo to see our employee health tracking software in action.