30 Jun 2023
by Chartered Institute Of Credit Management

How to look after your well-being and mental health at work

There may be times when you feel positively engaged, motivated and productive and others when you feel like you’re struggling. All of this is completely normal, but a healthy well-being routine can help you remain positive and cope when things are not going so well. Incorporating some of the following tips and ideas into your daily routine can help support your well-being and mental health at work.

Take Regular Breaks

Have regular short breaks every 90 minutes or so. This will help you feel refreshed and more able to focus. Close your eyes and take some relaxing deep breaths. Better still, get up. Moving your body helps keep the blood circulating, so take a quick walk or do light stretches. Why not walk over and speak with a colleague rather than email them?

Have a To-Do list

Start each day by listing what needs to be worked through in order of priority. Having the tasks in a list helps keep you focused on what’s important and eliminates distractions. Seeing your tasks ticked off can give you a positive feeling of accomplishment at the end of every day.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques help you stay present and focused on the task at hand. Practising being present, rather than getting caught up in endless thoughts and worries, is an excellent way to stay grounded. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment. Try a short meditation, taking a few deep breaths or focusing on your senses for a few minutes.

Stay Active

Activity is essential for your physical and mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which help reduce stress and anxiety. But you don’t need to spend hours at the gym to stay active. A little goes a long way, so try getting off the bus or tube a stop earlier than usual or take the stairs instead of relying on the lift. If you’re working from home, go outside for a walk during lunch break.

Connect with Others

Social connection is crucial for your well-being. Connect with colleagues, either in person or virtually, with a quick chat over coffee or by joining a virtual meeting. Feel free to reach out when you need support or want to speak to someone to get a fresh perspective. Attend your local CICM branch meeting to meet with like-minded credit professionals and build your network.

Set Clear Boundaries

Boundaries help you manage your workload and prevent burnout, provided you set and keep them. Make sure you take breaks when needed, and don’t be afraid to say no if you feel overwhelmed. If you’re working from home, try setting your workspace up in a designated area separate from where you spend your non-working time.

Seek Support

If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to seek support. Talk to your manager or HR representative about the resources available to you, such as an employee assistance program or counselling services. Your workplace might have mental health first aiders who can help. You can also talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional. Do not struggle alone.