World Mental Health Day: Make Time for Mindfulness
2 Oct, 2017
When we talk about health and wellbeing, straight away most of us think about diet and exercise. While these two contributing factors certainly can affect our overall health, our mental and emotional wellbeing are equally as important to the bigger picture.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Australians have taken time off work in the past year due to feeling mentally unwell? It’s hard to see if a colleague is feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed, because unlike a broken leg, we can develop coping mechanisms or masks to hide behind when we’re not mentally feeling great. In order to make lasting changes to our mental wellbeing we think that the best place to start is our work environment. Some of us spend more time at work than we do with our friends and family, or even in our own bedrooms! Unfortunately, work is often the space we feel most stressed.
‘Mindfulness meditation is a clinically proven technique that helps staff manage stress, improve productivity and achieve a good work-life balance’, says the team behind Smiling Mind, a not-for-profit organisation that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all. We recognise how important it is to be fresh and energised at work, but many of us have equally busy professional and personal lives that this in itself can be difficult to uphold without burning out.
If you’re feeling less than 100% mentally, it’s likely that others in your workplace are too. You could start by putting the feelers out and seeing if anyone in your team would want to participate in a group meditation class. Many organisations can come to your office for guided meditation, your team could attend a class together outside of work, or if your budget is limited then there are loads of apps or YouTube videos out there that can get you and your colleagues started on your quest to mindfulness. We suggest sending a calendar invite to everyone in the office, where you set aside 30 minutes in a week to reconnect and release some tension by having time away from the desk. This could mean meditation, yoga or simply 30 minutes of silence.
World Mental Health Day is not just about being alert to the warning signs that someone needs help, it’s also about putting measures in place to promote positive mental health on a daily basis. Along with a balanced diet and regular movement, mindfulness is conducive to promoting positive overall health - so we’re on board!
Follow the link for more information on World Mental Health Day. If you or someone you know needs support contact Lifeline.