Earlier this week our CEO, Claire Russell had a meeting with one of our existing clients. We have been working with the clients’ business for nearly two years now, on an organisational program including mental health first aid training, tailored training for managers and leaders, regular mental health awareness sessions and tailored support for the leaders and people team.
The program so far has been a great success - the feedback on everything that we have delivered has been excellent, there has been a notable improvement in the culture within the organisation- and people are saying that they feel supported, and that this is a place of work where they feel they can be themselves, where they are supported to thrive.
This is great news - and of course, it doesn’t end here. Mental Health and Wellbeing isn’t a box ticking exercise…..for any organisation (as there absolutely is with this particular client) there needs to be a long term commitment. The organisation will evolve, as will the needs of the people within it.
And, this isn’t the point of the story. When Claire was catching up with the CEO of the organisation mentioned above, they shared something that they have given us permission to share (although we won’t name them).
They shared that, while they are really happy with the work being done in their business, at an organisation level, on mental health and wellbeing - they are really aware that their own mental health isn’t too good and they aren’t necessarily doing the things they know they need to do for themselves.
They have been listening to and taking on board all the great information being shared, they are completely aware of all of the resources that are available to support everyone in their company, they regularly talk with members of their team about their own wellbeing and they feel really comfortable providing a listening ear and support to others.
And yet - when it comes to their own mental health and wellbeing, they aren’t doing the things they know they need to do for themselves.
This will probably resonate for many people.
Many of us will be great at supporting others- and less so at supporting ourselves.
What is it that stops us from prioritising our own mental health and wellbeing?
What is the barrier?
Stories we tell ourselves.
Unhelpful beliefs that we hold.
A belief that there are bigger priorities.
There is no greater priority that our own health. Mental health is just as important as our physical health. It is an intrinsic part of who we all are, and absolutely fundamental to success and happiness in life, love and business/work.
There is no health without mental health.
What is it that is holding you back from making your mental health and wellbeing a top priority?
Whether you identify as experiencing a mental health disorder, or symptoms of mental ill health - or not- there is real value in investing in your mental health and wellbeing now. Call it risk management, or an insurance policy. Prioritising your mental health now, will be a strong protective factor for future positive mental health and wellbeing.
Future you will thank you for that.
Here are just a few tips of ways you can start to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing right now:
- Be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. Many of us get really good at masking our feelings, even from ourselves.
- Talk to someone - that may be a friend or family member, a colleague, mental health champion at work, or a professional.
- If you are struggling please see a doctor and get checked out. Sometimes, symptoms of mental Ill health can be connected with physical health issues. Have an MOT and know what’s going on with your body.
- Make self care part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or fancy - a few minutes every day doing something for you, that gives you the energy you need to meet the daily demands of your life- or that gives you the chance to blow off steam, if that’s what you need.
- If you are a leader (aren’t we all, in some area of our lives), don’t be afraid to show up vulnerably. It’s ok share how you are feeling and actually you doing so (in a way that’s appropriate, you don’t have to over share) may actually really help someone else, as you are modelling that it’s ok to not be ok- to ask for help.
- Try and get some balance in your life. It doesn’t necessarily mean working less (but it might)- and, we do all need to have things in our life that provide a counterbalance to what is stressful. That might be hobbies, interests, sports, time with friends, or time alone. Whatever it is, make sure you are somehow making time for it.
Hopefully this help you just start to give some thought to you own wellness, and how you can start to make it more of a priority.
For details of how we can help you create a psychologically safe and healthy workplace, contact our team HERE.
With love The MHIB Team x