The importance of prioritising mental wellbeing at work

The importance of prioritising mental wellbeing at work

In your workplace, how much is mental wellbeing spoken about? Is is taboo? Is it discussed, but seen as a weakness if someone is struggling in some way? Is it acceptable to take time off when you’re feeling mentally unwell?

In all the organisations I’ve been employed in I’d have struggled to honestly say I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to take time out to look after myself. In fact, my discomfort in taking mental wellbeing days off probably played a huge part in my eventual burn out from one particular work place.

I think avoiding discussing mental health is both organisational and personal. In most organisations there aren’t the systems or language in place to say ‘I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, like I’m on the edge of burn out and need to take a week off to look after my brain and my emotions.’ And I think we tell ourselves that mental health days off are unacceptable, most of us spin a story to ourselves that we’re ‘less-than’ in some way if we need to take time out.

So it was really refreshing when a colleague sent me this article, and this article about mental health in the work place.

Imagine a world in which we all had the support, language and courage to say I need time out because I’m not performing right now at 100%, and that doesn’t make me a rubbish employee, it makes me human. So I’m going to step away, relax, recoup and come back with more energy than ever.

At Bird we’re helping charities create cultures that allow such conversations. The organisations we’re working with are realising that creating space to discuss mental and emotional wellbeing will actually create a healthier, more productive, happier, more creative team. And if you’d like to find out how you can alter your own internal narrative around mental and emotional wellbeing I have two 1:1 coaching slots available in September. Get in touch for a complementary sample coaching session. 

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