• David Downs

One Thing to Fire Up Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Work-Life Balance

Mental health isn't just something we should think about one day in the year. It is a continual process. You don't just feed yourself once a day and forget about food. So I like that this day has been followed up with Work-Life Balance week.

Since lockdown began, the dividing lives between work and home became a very blurred area. If you are one of the millions of people who have been able to continue working from home, you could end up working longer hours, even into the evening. Or you'd have to take some time out during the day to sort out kids, or general daily chores. What we started to notice was a whole new way of not just working, but living.

In today's working society, many organisations actively promote a healthy professional balance. By ensuring you have a work-life balance, your life can be far happier and healthier.

Some of the best approaches include:

  • Maintaining structure consistency

  • Offering engagement opportunities

  • Allowing a flexible schedule

  • Encouraging holiday time, rather than presenteeism

  • Offering an hour lunch break

  • Providing time off for life events

  • Engaging in team-building exercises

Work-life balance examples

Depending on your duties and roles and your personal needs, there are many ways to support a healthy balance.

Telecommuting: Covid has made this an everyday part of business. It does have many advantages in both lockdown and ordinary circumstances. It cuts down on the need to travel great distances to connect with clients and colleagues in other offices. However, remember that you must set time in your diary for work and non-work. It's like the early days of mobile phones. We used to say that we are contactable anywhere and at any time. Never feel guilty for turning the laptop off outside of your standard work hours.

Policies: Further to the previous point, employers should put in place policies that protect your leave periods and working hours. They should be flexible enough not to make you feel like you have to account how you are spending your day or time off. This policy encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Training: Your managers are the first port of call with your employees, so they're in the best position to help them improve their work-life balance. By training them, they're able to identify the signs of stress, burnout, and other issues and address them accordingly.

Visit for an information pack that can help you and your employees find ways to improve your work-life balance.

Do One Thing

For some people, there were times they'd not bother with the doctor. They will wait until their leg was falling off before deciding that they should say hello. And while there, bring up an ailment or two—a case of getting it all done at the same time.

It seems like a pretty logical thing and even saves the doc time on only one visit in ten years.

Pretty smart thinking, huh?

The doctor doesn't seem to think so. They seem to be only able to focus on one thing at a time. They might write off a couple of complaints; after all, they might even no longer be an issue. Or one previous ailment might have caused further complications with what was bugging the patient by the time they decided to see him.

My dad was one like that, and sadly, he died from cancer that might have been treatable at a sooner time.

The point is, there are times in life when we should deal with things, one item at a time. I don't mean to go to the doctor every time you have a sniffle.

NB, a sniffle isn't a symptom of Covid-19.

Don't Start in Top Gear.

With World Mental Health Day passed, many sites are giving a list of things you can do to help your mental wellbeing. I've had a look! There are many to choose from. It's easy to take inventory of where your life is, and in some cases, realise there is a hell of a lot that you need to work on.

One issue I've had over the years is that I tend to grab EVERYTHING and try and work out how I can do it all. And in a very short time, as though the world was about to end.

Bring on the apocalypse!

  • I'd say I'm going to run so many miles per week.

  • I'd say I'm going to eat certain healthy meals.

  • I'd say I'm going to get so much sleep every day.

  • I'd say I was going to read so much each day.

  • I'd say I'll write so much each day.

OK, so you get the picture. On paper, it looks manageable. If this were a regular thing I'd been doing for years, it would be easy. But as a brand new thing to get going?

It's like driving your car, pulling away in fifth gear. You'll splutter, stall, and stop.

So one sure recipe I find for success is to look at that list and spend some time pondering on it. Not too long, but give it some thought on what I might enjoy most, or what will be the most vital or pressing? What can I do with the smallest effort before being able to move on to the next one?

Good luck. Even it the one thing you do becomes a struggle, it isn't a failure to decide to change your plan, or try something else that works. You succeeded in finding something that wasn't for you at that time. Maybe give it a go again at another time.