Reflections on Mental Health Awareness Week

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Today marks the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 and so this week, I have taken some time to reflect about my personal thoughts and feelings.

As you may (or may not) have noticed, my blogs and social media presence have not been as consistent as they would normally, this is because I’m having to make a stark admittance to myself, I am struggling.

After a non-stop four years, my mental health has started to suffer and whilst I love nothing more than the busyness of my successful career, sometimes we have to recognise and listen to what our minds and bodies need. Mine right now is screaming at me to stop.

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In a time where “me too” takes centre stage, when is it a good time to talk about men’s mental health?

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When I began writing this piece, it was difficult to fully piece together what the picture of men’s mental health looks like from a man’s perspective, not because I’m a woman, but because so few are reluctant to speak out. In this case, it makes this piece all the more worthwhile.

Unfortunately, around one in eight men in England are currently living with a mental health issue and with suicide being the largest cause of death for men under 35, it only highlights the scale of this problem. So why are so many people reluctant to talk about it? Maybe it is because so many men may be reluctant to seek support, there are thousands of men suffering in silence due to the stigma surrounding this taboo subject.

Sadly many are afraid to speak openly about their mental health even with those closest to them, and whilst this topic is not a new issue, people are still shying away from it, so isn’t it time we start talking openly about men’s mental health?

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Why Sunday’s are the perfect day for self care

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Long lie in’s, fresh coffee, roast dinners, long walks, time spent with friends and loved ones, Sunday’s are unknowingly filled with all of those things that make us feel good, making them the perfect day to practice self care without even trying!

Taking time for ourselves is becoming increasingly important, as our lives become busier by the day, the levels of stress increase and therefore we have to make sure we are managing these levels so that is doesn’t have a negative impact upon our mental health.

Self care covers every aspect of our lives and how we feel; from our mental health to our physical health, therefore, if we are not operating on all cylinders, then we are likely to feel sluggish and generally more negative.

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2018, you were awesome. 2019, bring it on!

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What an incredible year 2018 has been!

Career wise, it has been very hectic but productive and I am thankful for the experiences that the year gave me.

I am also grateful for all of the support, lovely comments and wonderful connections that I have made. I am looking forward to much of this in 2019!

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Is it time to rethink how we approach mental health? #worldmentalhealthday2018

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Today is world mental health day and whilst social media is alive with support, I can’t help but think about how mental health has become such a wider issue and how this has been responded to within organisations.

Long gone are the days where people “leave their problems at the door” before walking into their workplaces each morning, now there is a much greater emphasis for organisations to be more proactive when it comes to supporting employees mental health and wellbeing.

Promoting positive mental health at work is a great place to start, many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health facilities and some are taking it that one step further by implementing Mental Health First Aiders within their businesses to proactively support employees.

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Work hard, but not too hard… how trying too hard can actually damage your career

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Many people believe that the harder you work, the quicker you’ll climb the career ladder quicker, resulting in more money and a greater sense of achievement. WRONG!

Researchers from City University have collected information from over 500,000 people in 30 different European countries, and considered the effects of long working hours hours, verses the effort put into an individual’s job against measures of wellbeing, and have linked this to career outcomes.

The research is a painful read, especially for those who put in the hours in a bid to increase their prospects.  The study revealed a connection between an increased work volumes and reduced wellbeing. The results also highlight the negative effects of working too hard such as increased stress levels and increased risk of burnout, this is shown to outweigh the reward for demonstrating commitment and going the extra mile.

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Simple ways to boost employee productivity

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Productivity has always been a big talking point whether it is an intention to boost it, identify is causes or if enough is being done to improve it by organisations. At the moment, the subject is pretty much overshadowed by GDPR, Brexit and the gender pay gap, but we shouldn’t forget about how important it is to ensure employees productivity doesn’t suffer in such uncertain times.

I think can all agree that being productive in today’s working environment is harder now than what it has ever been and with the conflicting information regarding how many hours a week we should work verses presenteeism, and not forgetting achieving that desirable work life balance, it’s no wonder that productivity is easily lost in translation.

There is an increasing pressure upon organisations to improve their workplace experiences, and whilst this is not a bad thing, it needs to be considered that smaller organisations may not be able to be as accommodating as larger ones.

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