To prevent burnout and secure your mental wellness stop blaming others

To prevent burnout and secure your mental wellness stop blaming others#GatReal – mental wellness is up to you
04.05.2021

This week it is Mental Health Week in Canada and next week it is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. May is also Mental Health Month in the U.S.*

All those mental health campaigns focus on how to support those who suffer and acknowledge the problem. That is great and much needed.  

However, if you want to prevent suffering, you need to focus on how to take responsibility for your own life and mental wellness. Focus on proactivity is needed on the personal level and in the workplace mental wellness context. Please use this mental health campaign to improve your workplace mental wellness.

The lockdowns have shown us all, that it is not what others do, it is what you do and how you keep your mind well and fit. After all, the definition of mentally healthy is so much more than being without mental illness or mental health issues.

So, the real question to ask about the ways to improve wellbeing and productivity in the work context is a simple one: 

What have you done for your mental wellness?

You can reframe this proactive mental health question also like this:

  1. What have I done today for my mental wellness?
  2. What is my weekly action plan for securing my mental wellbeing?
  3. What resources does my employer provide that allow me to keep my mind fit and well?

What are your answers to those mental wellness questions? 

The last question is extremely important as our school systems lack mental wellness education and most current corporate mental wellness programs do not address mental health proactively.

Do you have an actionable mental wellness activity list? 

If no, why do we wonder that we get stressed, burn out and end up with depression or anxiety? By lacking daily mental wellness actions even more serious work-related mental health issues build slowly up into mental illnesses. All those mental health problems that people suffer would have been easy to prevent early on or possible to turn around when we spotted the warning signs.

We should not start talking about mental health at work only when we get ill, we need to talk about it in the context of mental wellness instead. There are many benefits to that, as mental wellness is a continuum which means it moves from one end to the other rather slowly (see the graph below). When intrapersonal skills and an elementary workplace atmosphere (including healthy work relations and a safe and healthy work environment) support it, it does not get to the illness side overnight without strong traumas.
 

The holistic approach to mental health demands a focus on wellness before you get ill.

 

Prevention of mental health issues as a new standard

We started the Wellness Orbit mental wellbeing website with the hope and dream that someday addressing mental health proactively will become a standard in every workplace and training your mental fitness will be a new norm for every person. After all, we consider training our physical bodies something normal, we go to the gym, we jog, we walk, we take vitamins, we have started to talk and focus on eating well. Even the importance of good night sleep has become acknowledged. 

Still, most of us have never taken a moment to train our minds. Or have you? 

How training your mind can secure mental wellness?

We need to start training our minds when we all well. Why? 

From your personal standpoint the mental wellness benefits list is as follows:

  1. Learning intrapersonal skills can secure your mental fitness and thus allows you to feel and me well;
  2. Your fit mind will enable you to have excellent self-leadership. It means that you can notice what is going on in your mind and with your physical body and start leading your thoughts, emotions and actions;
  3. A peaceful mind allows you to solve any problem or personal tragedy with greater ease. It does not mean that you will not face problems, but it means that you can solve any challenge you face without losing your ground;
  4. You can focus on what you need for as long as you need.
  5. You can give up stress and reduce your burnout risk as well as reduce the risk of getting mentally ill throughout your life.

Those 5 mental wellness advantages also mean that your work wins.
 

Running long distances is a strategy game, burning out on the first half of the distance takes you out of it.


Mental wellness is a holistic topic. Personal mental wellbeing means greater workplace wellbeing for everyone. People who are mentally well, work well together. They have excellent personal relations and formulate healthy and productive partnerships. 

What are the mental wellness benefits for workplaces?

A healthy mind is a productive mind. Without excess stress employees can focus and thus be fully engaged with the work they do.

From an employers standpoint the proactive mental wellness gain can be seen as follows:

  1. Learning intrapersonal skills for everyone allows people to have a similar understanding of self-leadership and that can improve the overall leadership principles in your workplace. 
  2. More personal sustainability allows your team to work sustainably for common goals;
  3. People with peaceful minds can solve any work-related problems or client demands with greater ease as they love challenges and can provide creative solutions. For your customers, it means improved trust in your team as people in it have an inner potential to overdeliver instead of suffering and then bursting out with anger under the pressure;
  4. Your people and teams can stay focused on what needs to be solved with fewer distractions and thus can drive better work results;
  5. Less stress and burnout prevention can keep mental health problems away. People are more honest and willing to take a break before stress-related problems get serious. People also support each other and care that they and their colleagues stay well and feel supported;
  6. Your work and business results will improve. There is less absenteeism and presenteeism. You will see better employee engagement which in turn leads to improved productivity;
  7. There more mental wellness and overall fitness focused healthy work culture you have, the fewer health problems and sick leaves you see.

That is why mental wellness for employees should be the focus of wellbeing for staff in every workplace.

Are you focusing on the prevention of mental health issues?

When we started out some years ago the proactive mental wellness approach was unheard of. Now people are waking up to this new prevention-focused mental health approach that enables them to prevent suffering. 
 

To prevent a burnout, stop blaming your boss and others around you.


The recent Bloomberg article "To Prevent Burnout, Stop Blaming Your Boss" stated it well: "Workaholics often pin the blame anywhere but on themselves. It’s their overbearing boss; it’s an always-on company culture; it’s rising economic inequality; it’s “late capitalism."" The story also points out that workplace culture still needs improvement in many workplaces as, "Of course, these can be factors, especially in time-greedy industries and dysfunctional companies. It is much easier to set healthy personal boundaries if you have a boss who believes in them." So, for sure healthy interpersonal relations matter too.

It is not intrapersonal vs interpersonal, it is both. Good intrapersonal learning enables you to understand your own inner domain and thus allows you to understand others better. Those who understand how to stay mentally healthy, value also good work environments and supportive work relations.

You can initiate mental wellness change

You can be the one who initiates change in your team and brings mental wellness to the focus. Starting to establish healthy mental habits comes down to intrapersonal education and having practical intrapersonal skills as a result. 

As Sarah Green Carmichael wrote in the above mentioned Bloomberg Opinion, "It helps us remember that we are ultimately in the driver’s seat of our own careers, even if the road we’re traveling is that of a fresh-out-of-grad-school investment banker, consultant or lawyer undergoing the cruel hazing ritual of life as a junior associate. Lots of people, especially while working from home during the pandemic, have struggled to switch off their brains at the end of the day." She concludes her story, "It takes some effort to feel pride in one’s work while also maintaining a healthy separation from it. But it’s an effort that will pay off." 

You are not your work. You are not your thoughts or emotions. You are not just a bio robot or a mere physical body. Nor should you be emotionally manipulated or mentally bullied. Emotional wellness in the workplace starts from understanding your inner domain and how you lead yourself.

You are the one who should be in the driver's seat of your life instead of your thoughts and emotions. Workplaces should support that as they only stand to gain from healthy employees who are more aware, fully present and take more personal initiative and also know how to keep their minds well and productive in the long run.

Conclusion

We all have mental health and the question should be how to secure excellent mental wellness for me and for all of my colleagues, as it means improved productivity and healthy life choices that support both work and personal life.

When we are well, we work well, we have healthy relations and we thrive. When we lose our mental wellness, our physical health suffers, our mental health suffers, and our work results are poor. As we wrote in one of our earlier blogs, mental wellness is an investment, not an expense.  

It's about time we #GetReal (the Canadian mental health week slogan) and provide people the intrapersonal skills they need to lead themselves. Without mental wellbeing training, people keep stressing out, burning out, and getting ill. You have the power to stop the downward spiral, all the basic tools for this are available here at fair prices. Make your mind and access them now! 

Start by watching this video that opens up the proactive mental wellness solution:
 

 

* Notes:

#MentalHealthWeek in Canada is May 3-9, 2021;

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek in the UK is May 10-16, 2021; 

#MentalHealthMonth in the U.S. is always in May.


This blog post is by Kaur Lass