Tomorrow is international men's day. Our colleague, Kaz Khan, a trainee in our employment department, shares some helpful tips for males to help improve their mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
1. Have a day for you
Lots of organisations offer a wellbeing day. These are often provided in addition to any annual leave that you may have. Use it for something you enjoy or do something for you. Avoid the temptation to use it as day for chores or to do work outside of work. If you don’t have a wellbeing day, consider using a day’s annual leave instead and making it all about you.
Avoid the temptation to not talk about something bothering you or troubling you. We’re missing out on the opportunity to vent or share successes through COVID working restrictions. Try scheduling a 10-mintue catch up each week or fortnight and commit to sharing with colleagues and being someone they can share things with.
Exercise can boost concentration, sleep and your self-esteem. Find time to do some form of exercise, be that a walk, jog or gym session. Schedule a lunch break (and stick to it), and carve out time in your day to do something for you. It could even be walking down to a coffee shop or around in the local area for 10-20 minutes.
4. Find small goals
Commit yourself to fulfilling small goals in the morning to set yourself up for the day. This could be making the bed, getting dressed (even when you’re at home and with no meetings scheduled), eating breakfast, doing the dishwasher. You can take this even further by adding further small goals throughout the day that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do at the office (like hanging the washing or getting dinner on early) in order to free up your evenings.
5. Flexible working
Make the most of any flexible working policies that your organisation may have and find what works best for you, whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. You might want work around school drop off/pick up times. Take the time to work out what's best for you, even if that means switching it up for a week and starting at 10 am every Monday, for example (without missing any meetings, of course).
If your organisation doesn’t have a flexible working policy, it might be worth agreeing to trial new working hours with your line manager instead.
6. Take your lunch break
No, you’re not too busy to take a lunch break. Besides, it’s a good opportunity for you to recharge your batteries, and you’ll likely find that you are far more productive after taking a break even when you factor in time you took in taking your break in the first place.
7. Take a break from the screens
Avoid the temptation of picking up your mobile phone once you’re away from your monitors, and give your eyes a proper break.
8. Reconnect with your colleagues
If and when you (and others in your team) feel safe and comfortable enough, try meeting up once a week or once a fortnight to reconnect. We're social beings, and the value that face-to-face meetings can have to your wellbeing shouldn’t be overlooked.
9. Eat and drink well
Eating and drinking habits can have a profound impact on men’s hormone levels, which ultimately impact how we feel, our self-esteem and our energy levels. Commit yourself to a well-balanced diet and where you can, spend a little longer in the kitchen to cook up something extra special.
Try to avoid having caffeine immediately after waking. For most of us, our caffeine tolerance increases quicker when we consume caffeine within the first hours of waking. If you can, try and wait at least an hour before getting your fix. By moderating your caffeine intake, you can boost your alertness and energy levels. You could try and combine this approach with completing a small goal immediately after waking (i.e. making the bed, doing the dishwasher etc.) before having caffeine.
These tips are small and quick, but when you start to combine a few together and commit to sticking to them it’ll make all the difference.