The end-of-year rush can hit hard. There's a push to wrap up jobs, and the pressure mounts. It's normal to feel the heat, and it's okay to admit it. Addressing the mental load is just as important as tackling the physical workload during the festive season.
Why taking care of your mental health is more important than you think
If you work in an industry where physical demands or fast-paced environments are just part of everyday life, mental health often takes a backseat. However, looking after your mental health is seriously important. Not only for your personal wellbeing but also for maintaining professionalism and safety on the job.
Poor mental health isn’t just bad for your wellbeing. It can lead to decreased concentration, reduced work quality, and increased safety risks. It can also take its toll on your relationship with your loved ones.
To help you in navigating the festive period without excessive stress, here are 11 simple ways you can help manage your mental wellbeing at work.
- Daily Mental Health Check-ins
Begin each day with a quick mental health self-assessment. Do this by looking for any signs of stress early and take proactive steps to address them. You can do this by taking a short walk, chatting with a workmate, or with a few minutes of mindfulness.
- Flexible Work Arrangements
Introduce flexible working hours or job-sharing arrangements during the Christmas rush where possible. This approach can help your team manage their personal commitments alongside their work, reducing stress.
- Mental Health First Aid Training
Consider mental health first aid training for yourself and key team members. This training can aid in early identification of stress and mental health issues, offering support when needed.
- Regular Team Debriefs
Hold brief, regular debrief sessions with your team to discuss workloads, challenges, and stressors. This type of open communication can help effectively manage workloads and prevent burnout.
- Encourage Physical Activity
Promote physical activity as a stress reliever. Organising a group walk (or even a swim if you’re near a pool) during lunch breaks, or give your team some flexibility to head to the gym.
- Create a Quiet Zone at Work
Set aside some space for a quiet area where team members can take a break from the noise and demands of the job site. This 'quiet zone' can be a place for decompression and recharging. No room on site or in the office? Give your staff some time to head out the door to get some fresh air and peace.
- Personal Development Time
Set aside time each week for personal development or learning. This can be an excellent way to step away from the immediate pressures of work and focus on personal growth.
- Incorporate Mindfulness Practices
This might sound a bit new-agey but mindfulness is a fantastic way to reduce stress, and you can get started in just a couple of minutes a day with a tool like Headspace.
- Manage Last-Minute Changes
Prepare your team to handle last-minute changes calmly and with focus. Do this by training them ahead of time in adaptability and problem-solving.
- Celebrate Small Wins
Acknowledge and celebrate small achievements in the lead-up to Christmas. This can lift morale and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
Effectively managing stress at work, especially during the busy Christmas period, is crucial for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. These strategies are designed to help you and your team stay focused, balanced, and mentally well during this hectic time.
Remember to look out for yourself, and your mates, this festive season.
Skills Certified Australia is proud to partner with Mates In Construction, a charity dedicated to suicide prevention within the construction industry. If you'd like to make a donation or get involved in their initiatives, please visit their website for more information on how you can make a difference.