Mental health at work; helping your employees
Mental health at work and how it’s managed, has never been as important for employers.
Here at Asda, we have signed the Mental Health at Work commitment, meaning we have committed to work to six standards:
- Prioritise mental health in the workplace by developing and delivering a systematic programme of activity
- Proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes
- Promote an open culture around mental health
- Increase organisational confidence and capability
- Provide mental health tools and support
- Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting
It might be that one of your employees doesn’t feel comfortable talking about their mental
health, but if they feel that they might need some assistance, what should they do?
One remedy is mental health journaling, where a pen and paper is used to record their everyday thoughts.
Journaling can help get things off their chest, and is regarded as a helpful way to record complex feelings and emotions.
Journaling can also help to create new ideas, and the experience can be used to help other people.
Below, we’ve come up with five ways that journaling can be used to help improve mental health at work. So, what are you waiting for…
What’s their style?
There’s so many different styles, it’s simply down to the individual concerned and what they would like to choose.
They may opt to do a daily log in their journal, or choose every other day to pen some thoughts. Daily reflections are quite simply that – their reflections on the day.
Deeper thoughts or more complex emotions may require more time and effort. There’s other things like gratitude journaling where they’d write down everything that they are thankful for in their life, or a weekly/monthly journal where they’d analyse and record the week or month they’ve just had.
One sentence journals are popular because they’re short and snappy and can be recorded on the go, or at the beginning or end of each day.
Don’t stress about spelling/grammar
If an individual has something bothering them, they may feel stressed out which could lead to spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s important to remember throughout, that this journal is for them and them only. The most important thing is to free the mind and get those thoughts down on paper. After that’s been done, relax and enjoy that feeling of relief and ease.
Buy some nice things
If the idea of recording thoughts doesn’t excite them, then they’re certainly not alone. To make things easier, they could invest in some nice stationery, pens, paper and notepad – so that they can really feel inspired before writing. It doesn’t have to be a sentence or paragraph either. What about a picture, poem or even a story? There’s numerous creative ways to record individual thoughts.
They mustn’t judge themselves regardless of what they write down, and certainly shouldn’t feel guilty or embarrassed about their thoughts. Their feelings are their feelings, and they have every right to feel how they do. Journaling should be used as a way of recognising them and if needs be, addressing them. What they are doing is brave so don’t judge this new way of exploring their feelings, or conflicts.
They should be encouraged to write down what matters at that time without being concerned that someone is judging them. The journal is for their eyes only.
Often they may find that they write something down and never want to see it again. That’s fine, and if that’s what works for them, stick with it.
Sometimes though, they may find that reading things back actually helps them move forward, because it helps identify triggers and highlights what made them feel that particular way in the first place.
Over to you and getting started…
We’ve highlighted five steps people can take to help with mental health journaling. Nurturing mental health is so important, now more than ever, and looking after yourself and your employee should always be the priority.
Even if someone feels positive about their mental health, journaling is a really good way to maintain that feeling of wellbeing, and a way to manage difficult situations in life regardless of our mental state.
Getting into the habit of journaling is easy and accessible, so encourage people to pick up a pen, and start their journey today.