The coronavirus has unexpectedly and rapidly impacted the way we do business across the world. This has shifted the spotlight focus onto many topics in the workplace, like working through crisis, remote productivity, and the health, safety, and wellness of employees across companies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety have an estimated cost to the global economy of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. However, for every dollar put into treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return $4 in improved health and productivity. With World Mental Health Day on October 11th, it’s important for leaders to practice self-care and share care tips with their employees.
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It also serves as an important reminder to take care of yourselves and to check in with family and friends. It was first observed on October 10th, 1992 with the intent to promote mental health advocacy and educate the world on relevant, related challenges.
So how can you as a business leader honor World Mental Health Day? By taking care of yourself, and if applicable, encouraging your employees. Here’s a few tips:
Acknowledge mental health in the workplace
Poor mental health can negatively affect you and your colleagues or employees at work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time. Offering employees wellness programs, time off for self-care, and resources to manage their mental health can assist in alleviating some of these related challenges.
Create a ‘Me Time’ routine, and normalize it
Perhaps this means blocking off your calendar for 30 minutes for a brisk walk, or drinking coffee first thing in the morning without any distractions. Whatever your routine is, share it with your colleagues to help normalize this specific time.
Ask for help and delegate
As entrepreneurs, it’s not uncommon to attempt to solve every problem while saving the world. Simply put, sometimes leaders need help, and that’s what makes them leaders. Knowing when to rely on your team or colleagues and delegate some of your daily business tasks helps to alleviate your personal stress while showcasing your ability to lead and utilize your resources.
Make sleep a priority
Sleep seems like a simple concept, yet it’s often neglected. Rand.org states that lacking sleep leads to higher mortality risk and productivity losses at work. Without sleep, you can’t perform your best. Aim for 6 – 8 hours of comfortable sleep each night.
Set boundaries and stick to them
Depending on your work culture, saying ‘no’ could be easy, or very difficult. While it’s understandable to want to provide solutions and be accommodating to your colleagues or team, sometimes saying ‘no’ is the best thing you can do for yourself and others around you. When you have boundaries set at work, stick to them – and drop the guilt of protecting your wellbeing.
During this holiday, take head to some (or all) of these tips, and share them with those around you. As you become more self-aware and care for your needs, it will reflect in your skill and productivity at work. Help those around you, too, by encouraging them to care for their needs – not just during this holiday, but always.