Mental Health Awareness Week is an important event dedicated to increasing understanding, awareness and empathy surrounding all aspects of mental health. It serves to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, enabling more people to seek help for their own journey towards mental well-being.
The theme for 2023’s Mental Health Awareness Week is “Anxiety”, which is something that many of us deal with daily both inside and outside of work. Over 30% of adults experience anxiety disorders at some point in their lives, which is why it’s fundamental to talk about these issues, reduce the stigma and bring awareness to those who suffer.
Offering employees appropriate support and creating an environment where people feel comfortable talking about mental well-being is not only essential for reducing absenteeism but also helps boost morale and job satisfaction.
And as a recruitment agency dedicated to helping individuals navigate their career path, we have provided some tips and techniques on how to spot the signs of anxiety in the workplace and help manage this in the workplace.
Warning Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety can have a major effect on job performance and overall productivity at work. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety so that proper steps can be taken to protect the well-being of both individuals and teams.
Common warning signs of anxiety in the workplace may include:
- Feelings of restlessness
- Being easily distracted
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in eating habits
- Inability to switch off
- Losing confidence in your work
- Not wanting to go to work
- Sleep issues
- Constant worrying
- Feeling more emotional and irritable
- Increased heart rate
Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity for employers to recognise their responsibility when it comes to spotting the signs, validating, and treating mental health problems among employees. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a colleague, it could be time to seek help e.g., seeing your GP, talking to friends, family, your manager or colleagues.
Stress-Relieving Practices for Anxiety Management
People who suffer from anxiety often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus, which can impede their productivity. below are a few practices that can help reduce anxiety at work, such as:
- Mindfulness meditation: This involves focusing your attention on the present moment, which can help reduce anxiety and stress. You can practice mindfulness meditation for a few minutes each day, either alone or with colleagues.
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help you slow down and reduce your stress levels. Try taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Physical exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety. Try taking a short walk during your break or participate in a fitness class after work.
- Time management: Poor time management can lead to stress and anxiety so plan your workday and try to prioritise your tasks. Avoid procrastination and try to stick to your schedule.
- Positive affirmations: Positive affirmations can help boost your confidence and reduce anxiety. Repeat a positive affirmation, such as “I am capable of handling this situation,” to yourself throughout the day.
- Social support: Talking with a colleague or friend can help relieve stress and anxiety. Reach out to someone you trust and share your feelings.
- Relaxation techniques: Try practicing relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or yoga to help manage anxiety and stress.
How to Help Managing Anxiety at Work
Managing anxiety in the workplace can be a difficult task, but it’s essential to take the necessary steps to try and alleviate it as much as possible. It is important to create an environment at work where employees are open and honest about their mental health so that they can receive the necessary help, resources, or advice to better manage their anxiety.
How to Create a Positive Work Environment for Mental Health
Mental health is one of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects to consider in the workplace. Creating a positive environment for mental health is essential to support employees with their wellbeing.
As an employer, there are many steps you can take to foster a supportive atmosphere and help your staff with managing anxiety at work. There are initiatives like Mental Health Awareness Week that promote and spark discussion on proactive solutions for anxiety in the workplace.
You can also provide resources such as information guides on stress relief or offer access to counselling services. Most importantly, employers should strive to create open dialogue surrounding mental wellness so that all staff feel comfortable discussing difficult topics, such as managing anxiety at work. Doing so encourages employees to seek out assistance when they need it most.
Ultimately, by creating a positive work environment and promoting mental health awareness, employers have the power to make a real difference in their employee’s emotional well-being, both now and in the long term.
Mental Health Awareness Week is a great chance to start the conversations about mental health, create awareness and provide support for employees as it’s important for employers to make sure that their staff are supported in a positive environment and ultimately helping managing anxiety at work for everyone.