Friday, September 1, 2023

Navigating the World of Work: Balancing Mental Health and Wellbeing

Written by: Courtney Bink, Employment Counsellor  

Hey there, young professionals! So, you've taken the exciting step into the world of employment, but let's be real – it's not all smooth sailing. The challenges that come with this journey can really affect our minds and overall wellbeing. Juggling the world of employment, social life, dealing with new environments, and facing the stress both while looking for a job and at work – it's a lot. But taking care of our mental health is a must, and there are ways to make this whole "adulting" thing a bit easier on our minds.

Understanding the Struggles

First things first, you're not alone in this. Plenty of youth are trying to wrap their heads around the transition from school to the professional world. It's normal to feel stressed, anxious, and like you're faking it till we make it. There's this pressure to prove yourselves, meet all those expectations, and perform like pros. But guess what? It can be easy to burnout if you do not keep a watchful eye on this. Those long work hours, the struggle to balance everything, and even the feeling of being alone in all this can take a toll.

Shining a Light on Mental Health

With that being said, you're not defenseless in this battle for our mental health. Everyone deserves workplaces that understand that your mind matters. It's a big deal when employers actually talk about mental health openly. When they create an environment where you don't feel uncomfortable asking for help, it's a game-changer. Often times, employers can offer workshops and trainings that teach you how to handle stress and take care of yourself effectively. Explore these possibilities.

Taking Breaks

Taking a breather both during work and after is extremely important. It's valuable to disconnect when you're off the clock. When you're not swamped 24/7, you can actually do better at our jobs and not feel like you're about to crash. Be intentional in setting aside time to specifically focus on this. A “break” will look different for everyone. Find what it is that allows you this release and create a healthy work-life balance.

Creating a Support Network at Work

Connecting with coworkers a total game-changer for your mind. Teamwork makes the dream work, but it also makes you have a new sense of belonging. Positive relationships with colleagues can break those feelings of being alone. Team-building activities? Yes, please. And having mentors? That's like having a cheat code for success. Mentors have been there, done that, and can help provide some support when needed.

Resources for Our Minds

Guess what? You shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get mental health help. Employers can make things easier by giving you access to resources. From talking to professionals when things feel heavy, to joining programs that support your mind – these things should be as normal as getting a coffee. Be sure to ask what supports are available, because Calgary has a hub of FREE mental health resources/ supports.

Taking Care of Body and Mind

Here's the thing: our bodies and minds are very closely connected. Taking care of our physical health actually gives our mental health a boost. So, having perks like fitness memberships or wellness programs? They're not just about the body – they're like a mental health hack too.

In a Nutshell

So, all this talk about mental health and wellbeing isn't just fluff. When employers make your mind a priority, and you can also take charge of your metal wellness, everyone wins. Flexible work, understanding breaks, work friends – they're all part of the plan. So, as you dive into the work world, remember that your mental health is worth every bit of effort. When you thrive, both personally and professionally, the whole workplace benefits. It's time to create a world where mental health matters, and you're the ones leading the way.