Here are 5 simple and science-backed ways to boost your mental health at work

Your work deserves attention fosho. But, so does your mental health. So whether you’re working from home or going to the office, these tips can help.
Mental Health
Take good care of your mind with these tips. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Sonakshi Kohli Published: 12 Sep 2020, 12:23 pm IST
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When it comes to maintaining a work-life balance, we millennials pretty much fail to maintain it. From giving up exercise for that “important meeting” and skipping a family get-together for a work presentation to simply staying up late to meet deadlines—we let our work consume us. The result? Stress, anxiety, depression, a burnout, and a host of different mental health problems—especially in this pandemic-ridden world. 

Although your mental health needs to be taken care of at all times, your workstation is somewhere that you must nurture it the most—even if you’re on your toes most of the time. After all you spend the major part of your day working, right?

Hence, these five science-backed ways can kick out all the work stress, make you feel better, and enhance your mental health while you’re working, from home or office:

1. Find yourself a ‘work spouse’
The term ‘work wife’ made its way into our lives when two renowned communication professors from the US—Chad McBride and Karla Mason Bergen—began using it on television to describe the cordial workplace relationship between the then U.S. President, George W. Bush and secretary of state and national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.

In an online survey conducted by them in 2015, they defined it clearly as a “special, platonic friendship with a work colleague characterised by a close emotional bond, high levels of disclosure and support, and mutual trust, honesty, loyalty, and respect.”

If you still can’t seem to wrap your head around this concept, just close your eyes and think of that one friendly colleague at work, who is also your close confidant, makes the work stress vanish, and makes you want to not skip office too. That, my friend, is your ‘work spouse’.

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Nope, having a work spouse isn’t going to make your loyalty towards your real-life partner questionable. According to the findings of the survey, that special someone at work can help you feel more comfortable at work and deal with workplace stress a lot better. After all, there’s no stress in the world that can’t be alleviated by an exhilarating conversation with that person, who totally gets you, right?

2. Plant your own stress-reliever
When you can’t find yourself that one person who can make you feel better at your workplace or if you can’t find anything that can relieve your stress while at work, you can change the game by planting your own stress reliever.

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According to a study published in the HortTechnology journal, keeping a plant on your desk and looking at it at regular intervals can lower your workplace stress and anxiety. This “nature break” can lead to a significant decrease in your resting heart rate and thus, you’ve got to give it a try to feel better, what say?

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3. Lean on a journal for support
So, that senior didn’t give you your due for that kickass presentation you made? Or did you just lose your well-deserved promotion to that lazy co-worker? Or is it just the weird vibe in the office that’s getting to you?

Well, whatever it is that’s bothering you at work needs to be vented out once and for all—if not in front of your work wife, then in front of the most secretive, non-judgemental friend on the plant—a journal.

Penning down your feelings in a secret journal is a scientifically proven way to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression—especially if one is lonely. Apply the same principle at work and you’ll feel much better, trust me.

4. Chew that stress away
Angry, sad, upset, irritated or simply overwhelmed with the tasks in hand? Keep calm and chew on some gum.

As per a study funded by the Wrigley Science Institute, people, who chew gum have a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress in life—thanks to the fact that chewing gum can cause relaxing brain waves in the body and promote blood flow to the brain, thus making you feel at ease and fresh.

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5. Practice mindfulness
From taking a 15-minute outdoor-walk break and getting off your seat for some stretching exercises every few hours to listening to your favourite soothing music when you’re losing it—practicing these mindfulness techniques while at work can help calm your nerves and tackle stressful situations like a pro.

For these techniques can help break the monotony, momentarily disconnect you from stressful thoughts, bring down your resting heart rate, and ease your stress to enable you to handle the situation better.

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