By Mia Casey
R U OK? Day is this Thursday (13 September), and with it comes the reminder that, hey, you need to take care of your mental health – and pay attention to the people in your life when they may be struggling.
Your career can be a big stressor, and when times get tough it can prove one of the biggest barriers to taking a step back to look after yourself. So, in time for R U OK? Day, here are a few quick tips to help you get our mental health back on track.
Taking a break isn’t giving up
Stepping back and taking some time away from your work doesn’t mean you’re failing or can’t hack it – it means you’re being smart and prioritising your health so that you can come back and be better than ever!
Basically, try not to think about taking a break as a sign that you’re giving up. It’s just another part of life and it’s a much better idea to take a breather than push yourself to breaking point.
Take advantage of workplace initiatives
Plenty of workplaces provide a range of mental health related initiatives that let you access help either anonymously or without your co-workers being notified. Many will give their employees access to a therapist for free, offer discounts at different wellness providers, or have a system for taking leave for mental health related issues.
If you’re not sure what programs or services your workplace provides, check in with your supervisor or talk to HR.
Make sure you dedicate some real down time to relaxing or doing something you enjoy each week (each day preferably).
Making a concerted effort to ensure you have some downtime each week is really important to keep a balanced mentality. It can also help put things in perspective, give your mind a break from stress, and help release those sweet, sweet endorphins.
Use your network or online resources if you’re starting to feel a bit off
If you start feeling a little down, reach out to the people you care about. Letting them know that you’re struggling, or even just saying that you’re feeling stressed out and need some chill hang seshes, can help you feel supported and encourage you to start putting yourself first and getting the help you need.
Plus, you never know – maybe one of your mates was feeling exactly the same way!
Have you noticed someone in your life acting a bit different from usual? Why not use R U OK? Day to reach out to them and see if they’re struggling. It can be a difficult conversation to have, but there are a tonne of resources out there to help make it a successful one. Check out ruok.org.au for some super handy guides!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash