Ten Top Tips to Help Improve your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the heart of all we do, but it is also important to ensure you are looking after your own mental health and well-being as well as supporting the children and young people in your care. To help we have put together this blog with ten tips to help improve your mental health and wellbeing.

  1. Have a break 

Trying to have a lunch break can be incredibly difficult with meetings or high volumes of work getting in the way.  It is easy to get into a habit of eating whilst you work or not taking a break at all. But as busy as you are, it is so important to take a break during the day!  Realistically the timing of your break isn’t what’s important. When you take adequate breaks from work you can benefit from better mental wellbeing and increased productivity throughout the day. 

  1. Clear The Clutter 

If your desk or classroom, kitchen counter or dining table is a mess (even if it is an organised one!) it is likely to increase your stress levels. Being in a cluttered environment has been found to make it difficult to focus. When there are too many objects around you it can affect the speed at which your brain can process information, and when these items are competing for your attention, it can result in stress and confusion. Why not have a sort through? Once you have your desk in order your mind will be clear of clutter too.

  1. Create And Enforce Clear Boundaries 

When you are employed in an industry which is famous for its long working hours (such as education) it can be difficult to keep a work-life balance. Having and sticking to clear boundaries to support your work-life balance is crucial for your mental health. If you do need to bring work home, try to limit it to a designated area in the house, that way you will find it easier to maintain these boundaries. 

  1. Use Your Commute Home To Wind Down 

If you have a distance to travel between work and home, this offers an ideal opportunity to enjoy some much needed ‘me time.’ Turn up the volume to your favourite playlist or settle into a really good book (or audiobook if you are driving). Using this journey to unwind will help you to leave your work stress where it belongs – at work. 

  1. Start A ‘To Do’ List

It can be difficult to ‘switch off’ when you go home, when you are juggling so many different tasks at work. A great way of tackling this is to create a to-do list at the end of every day. Writing down your tasks before you leave work, gives your peace of mind that nothing will be forgotten tomorrow, allowing you to relax and enjoy some down time when the working day is over. 

  1. Communicate Face-To-Face 

Emails are great if you can’t leave your desk or office and they can be handy if you have a busy workload. However, face to face conversations both in-person and using technology offers a greater opportunity to connect. Sometimes it isn’t possible, but when occasions arise where this is possible take them! Social interactions like this can offer a buffer to mental health issues.

  1. Take Time To Greet All Of Your Co-Workers 

Following on from the point above, it is so important to have social interactions in work. Although things like meetings and deadlines might get in the way, try to find other times to do this. For example during your coffee or lunch break try to speak with the people you work with, find out how their weekend was and really listen and engage with them. This will improve your day at work and make them feel truly valued. It’s a win-win! 

  1. Be As Active As Possible 

Engaging in regular physical activity can be difficult whilst working. However, it is thought to reduce rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. This doesn’t mean you need to go for a run every day or spend your weekends at the gym. Instead, you could take the stairs instead of the lift or even have a walk outside when you finish work, even if it is just around the building. Staying active can not only help you physically but can help to keep your mind healthy too.

  1. Call A Friend

Call a friend for a catch up even if it’s just once a week. Use this time to share stories about your day and listen to theirs too. It’s really important to establish a support network with people around you, and to be able to support others when they are in need. This is especially true for those responsible for safeguarding policies and procedures in schools, as the role can be challenging and may take its toll. These weekly catch ups will offer the perfect platform to vent any frustration from your day so that they don’t build up in your mind. 

  1. Take Some ‘Me Time’ At Least Once A Week

This could be for a whole day or even just half an hour. Use this time to do something that you love, whether that is joining a football team, creating beautiful art or just having some time to reflect. This will help clear your mind and also encourage a better work-life balance. 

While many of these tips can help you to maintain better wellbeing at work, alone they cannot mend a pre-existing serious mental health problem. If you are worried that you or someone you may know is struggling with any serious wellbeing issues then there is no replacement for seeking help from a professional. For further guidance on this please visit www.mind.org.uk. 

Looking after yourself and your own mental wellbeing is not just important on Blue Monday, it is important every single day of the week. The more mentally healthy you are, the better you will be able to support the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the children and young people in your care. 

 

Originally published by Sam Franklin Jan 2020
Updated by Kelly Osfasi Jan 2022

Author
Sam Franklin
Marketing
Kelly Ofasi
Marketing Executive

Related resources