We’re extending the World Mental Health Day (October 10) into a mental health month because mental wellbeing deserves more than one day of our attention! You can follow our Wellness Wednesday tips on our LinkedIn account or get a sneak peek right here.
There is no silver bullet for good mental health. That’s why this World Mental Health Day, we spoke to different Klookers with different mental wellbeing perspectives to crowdsource their best tips for you. Maybe you’ll find all of them helpful, maybe just one. Either way, we’re glad you’re taking a moment to think about your mental health today!
Take care of your mind
This year has been a great opportunity to pick up new hobbies
Be kind to yourself
When our mental health is poor, our productivity is often the first victim. And guess what feeling unproductive does to us? That’s right, it makes us feel even worse.
To break away from the vicious cycle, try not to be so tough on yourself. Your performance fluctuates in different stages in your life and that’s ok. “Success no matter how small is still a success, achievements no matter how small are still achievements,” reminds us Janet Hwang, People Operations Manager.
Talk it out
“If you have something troubling you, don't bottle it up,” says Marilyn Yee, Employer Branding Senior Manager. “Talk it out with a trusted person or a professional.” Airing out your frustrations might not solve all your problems but it will usually make you feel a lot better. Sometimes those moments of connection and empathy is what we really need.
Make time for hobbies
How often do you do the things you love? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “not enough”. Think which hobby brings you the most joy — or find a new one! — and make time in your schedule to enjoy it.
If you want to keep yourself accountable, practice your hobby with a friend or sign up for a class so you have to turn up at a specified time!
For Karen Tang, Project Manager, Culture & Office Experience, “meditation is key.” It helps to reduce stress and can be a powerful tool in managing anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, try meditating right before bed to steady your thoughts.
“Learning how to calm your thoughts and focus on breathing is a skill that needs practice, but is totally worth the effort.”
Nothing more therapeutic than having a good laugh with friends!
If all else fails, have a good laugh!
“Smile! Sounds cheesy but it works,” says Janet. Turns out there is some truth in the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter has been proven to reduce stress and release endorphins, the feel good chemicals in our bodies.
But as Vanessa Katalbas, HR Business Partner, points out, “It’s important to be positive but we should never invalidate emotions.” Don’t try to laugh off somebody else’s problems until they’re in the right place to indulge that and don’t rush over processing your own feelings.
Take care of your body
Take time off
This year is a weird one for taking vacations. You may not be able to travel and you’ve probably seen plenty of your apartment while working from home. But that doesn’t make you need a good rest any less.
When you do take a holiday, remember to fully disconnect from work and enjoy it guilt-free. “My previous boss always told me ‘enjoy your holiday and switch off, you're not a brain surgeon, no one is going to die in your absence," says Janet Hwang. Uninstall your messaging app, log out of email and live your best video-call-less life!
Take breaks throughout the day
People aren’t made for sitting in front of a computer for hours, as your back pain has already made you realize. Taking deliberate breaks throughout the day to make a cup of tea, walk the dog or do a quick stretch will make your body feel better and reduce your stress levels.
Some people find having a routine soothing. If that’s the case for you, schedule all breaks in your calendar so you don’t forget (or get dragged into a call).
Break a sweat
Yoga, rock climbing, weight lifting, online pilates class… whatever it is, if it gets you moving and it makes your body feel good, it will have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing as well. Regular exercise helps to alleviate stress and is a massive mood booster. If you ever felt the high after a good workout, you know exactly what we’re talking about!
Quick workout in our Kuala Lumpur office
Get off that phone
Klookers told us this over and over again: limit the time you spend on your phone, especially social media. How many hours a day is too many? A specific number is up for debate but it’s better to err on the side of using your phone less. After all, most of us spend our entire working day staring at screens already! You might want to make your bedroom a phone-free zone for better sleep quilty.
Get enough sleep
Whoever came up with “you snooze, you lose” clearly didn’t know about all the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is great for our bodies and minds alike: a good rest helps foster mental and emotional resilience whereas poor sleep habits put you at risk of anxiety and depression. If your thoughts are racing and you find it hard to fall asleep, give meditation a try.
What can organizations do?
At Klook, we understand that work has a huge impact on our mental health. It can be positive, like when we’re learning new things, making friends for life and enjoying financial stability. But there is always the other side of the coin: at one stage or another, workplace stress, the pressure of high expectations and the uncertainty of change get to most of us.
Understanding this is just the first step. What can organizations really do to support employees in taking care of their mental wellbeing? Here are some ideas that we implement at Klook.
Spread the word
Invite professionals to host talks and workshops on mental health and wellness. Not everyone has time to actively seek out this information so having an interactive session scheduled in employees' calendars can be a game-changer. Some of the events we organized this year covered topics such as stress management, emotional resilience and nutrition, and we’ve gotten great feedback on those!
Sometimes it’s easier to nurture good habits when we have others to keep us accountable. At Klook, we like to host wellness classes such as yoga or HIIT in the office, either after work or as a mid-afternoon break. Now that working out together is not always safe, we switched to online classes via video call.
Fingers crossed we can have office yoga classes again soon!
Provide access to professional help
Medical coverage is a no-brainer for most businesses so why isn’t this the case for mental and emotional health too? All Klookers have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) which assists them in dealing with personal problems from stress to relationship issues.
Break the taboo
Speak about mental wellness in the workplace to remove the stigma of mental illness. Organizing mental wellness events and marking occasions such as the World Mental Health Day helps to normalize the conversation and reminds your people that their mental health is just as important and valid as their physical health.
Check-in with each other
This is always important but especially so when we’re working remotely. Managers should have regular catch-ups and skip level chats with the team to identify any pain points early on. This not only builds personal connections between the manager and the employee, but also provides a break between meetings for personal wellbeing.
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Posted by Klook Careers