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How do the people at Mental Health UK manage their own mental health?
We asked people from all across our four charities how they manage their mental health at work, here's what some of them had to say.
“A really important thing for allowing me to manage my mental health at work is being able to commute by bike. I find that commuting on public transport a lot really stresses me out and has a negative impact, and being able to cycle in, get some exercise and also a bit of my own headspace really makes a difference. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talks a lot about ‘finding your anchor’ and I very much feel like cycling generally is mine. It grounds me, stabilises me and it’s also fun!”
– Simon Faulkner, Time to Change
“As a manager I think it’s really important to model wellbeing. For example I don’t think there is any point saying to more junior members of your team “you go ahead and go home at 5pm” while you are still at your desk at 7pm. Because those junior members of staff will think ‘that’s what I need to do to move up the ladder’.
In the UK we work longer hours than in pretty much any other European country, which means work time eats into precious time doing other things. That means less time with family and friends, less time for exercise, less time doing the things that make up a healthy and balanced life.
I think it’s so important to respect people’s time, and not expect people to work overtime, and where overtime is needed occasionally, to honour that with time off in lieu. In my experience, when people feel respected in this way, they are more likely to be loyal and hardworking employees, but also be happier and healthier individuals.”
– Nia Charpentier, Rethink Mental Illness
“I am very lucky to be sitting next to a colleague that I work collaboratively with, and have done for nearly the last 3 years. We both know each other’s stress signs and will go outside for some fresh air and a chat if we need to. Not everyone is as lucky as me, but if you start to feel stressed at work, a change of scenery and a break from your computer screen can always be good– regardless of if it is with someone, or on your own.”
– Jemima Woolgar, Mental Health UK
“There are a few ways in which I combat stress and manage my mental health in the office. Whatever line of work you’re in, you have good days and bad days but I generally find a positive mental attitude can get me through any stressful situations. It’s also comforting to know that if I was feeling unwell I could speak to my line manager or members in my department with all confidence knowing they would listen and offer help.
Outside of work I feel exercise really boosts my mood. If I end up doing something active in the evenings, I often find it has a knock on effect into the next day as well as I sleep a lot better and feel more energized and refreshed the morning after. I’ve recently joined a football team too and definitely feel it has improved my mental health, not only because of the exercise but the social aspect of it as well.”
– Declan Terry, Hafal
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