Front view of three business people walking through the city streets. All three people are wearing formal clothing.

After the past two and a half years, mostly due to the fallout and long-lasting effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, nurses, doctors, surgeons, and other members of the medical professional positioned on the proverbial frontline have reported cases of fatigue, depression, and other more serious illnesses across the board.

As a result, more and more professions, not just restricted to those in and around the healthcare sector, are being afforded opportunities relating to self-care and mental health counseling both more often and of a better and higher quality. Regardless of who you are, your background, your economic status, and your age, it is absolutely crucial, in these turbulent times more so than ever before, to look after your emotional health and well-being both in regard to your professional life and your personal one.

With this in mind, here, for your information and, of course, for reading pleasure, is a comprehensive guide to help educate you on how to properly look after yourself in your workplace and professional life.

1. Be More Organized

On the surface, a suggestion to be more organized sounds as if it is a direction or instruction given by your boss or manager at work, rather than an effective way of reducing your feelings of stress and low mood within the workplace.

However mundane, boring, and even soul-destroying you find routine and sticking to a schedule to be, the fact of the matter is that human beings, by their instincts and by their very nature, need a certain amount of regularity in their daily lives.

Naturally, the type of industry you work in and the company which you work for bears a huge influence and bearing on how important organization and planning is to your job role. However, this first point suggesting you try to be more organized is not so much centered around your work but rather your overall attitude and approach to it.

One example of the meaning behind this suggestion is to, once the working day is done and before you leave for home, or else if you work at home, before you clock out for the day, write down a list of everything you achieved and all the completed tasks you managed that day. Afterward, write a basic, rough to-do list on the types of tasks you would like to complete the following day. This is an exceedingly simple yet just as effective way of calming your mind and proverbially switching off from work.

Other key ways to help be more organized and planned and therefore more prepared in life include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ensure your priorities are in proverbial check
  • Understand the right ways of working for you
  • Approach larger tasks by breaking them down into smaller chunks
  • Keep your home office space, study or desk clean and tidy
  • Invest in quality and large storage boxes or drawers
  • Divide your important documents into different folders
  • Unsubscribe from generic-mail lists which clog your inbox
  • Use your time as sensibly as possible
  • When you are feeling productive, maximize these days

2. Form Real Bonds with Your Colleagues

As close as you are to your partner, as interested as they are in your work life, and even no matter how well they know and are even friends with your workmates, they simply cannot and probably have no real desire to completely appreciate your working life, even if your chosen career isn’t particularly special or complicated.

This is why, in an effort to improve your mental health and well-being both surrounding work and physically in the workplace, make a supreme effort, even if you are naturally shy and reserved, to get to know and form professional and even personal bonds with your colleagues is absolutely essential.

This way, you can compare how you both feel surrounding a particular task, situation, or even manager in a safe space with people that not only actually know exactly who or what you are referring to but also are also invested in your opinion.

Other effective ways to befriend and subsequently bond with your workmates, regardless of what your career actually entails, include the following:

  • Make a real and concerted effort to celebrate their birthdays
  • Suggest getting some fresh air on a lunch or coffee break
  • Discover shared interests or shared hobbies
  • Ask them what the top of their bucket list is

Alternatively, you could even consider arranging a team-building event or day-out, either with the colleagues within your own department or across the company, depending on the size of the business.

3. Practice Your Own Self-Care Techniques

Obviously, absolutely no one is suggesting for one minute that next Monday, you arrive at the office an hour early and lay down your Shakti mat, but there are plenty of more subtle yet just as effective and impressive ways to practice self-care at work.

Essentially, in a proverbial nutshell, the definition of self-care is when an individual takes action or at least takes steps toward action to improve, boost and lift the quality of their own mental health and well-being.

Whether you are a social worker who is suffering from stress due to an exceedingly traumatic case you are currently working on, a frontline nurse as mentioned above, or else working in an office and feeling flat, deflated, and demotivated, then the following self-care tools and techniques are pretty much guaranteed to make a difference:

  • Engage in physical exercises, such as yoga, Pilates, swimming, or even stretching or walking around the block; basically, anything that serves to energize and invigorate the body
  • Consider talking through your emotions, feelings, personal issues, and problems with a professional counselor, therapist, or even spiritual guidance counselor
  • Practice self-guided, beginner’s level of meditation techniques and spend just ten to fifteen minutes a day meditating
  • Book an entire day of the week and say no to any social engagements to spend the whole day resting and rejuvenating, without carrying out any chores or other engagements or appointments
  • Treat yourself to a glass of wine or else a glass of your preferred alcoholic drink of choice
  • Neglect to set the alarm for the following day and only wake up naturally when your body and mind is ready
  • Treat yourself to a bar of chocolate
  • Keep your daily routine and weekly schedule as simple and free as you possibly can
  • Immediately stop partaking in any activities which serve to cause you discomfort, distress, or boredom
  • Indulge in a long, hot bubble bath complete with candles and a page-turner of a book
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal
  1. Consider Your Career Prospects

The world is, thankfully and quite wonderfully, made up of a real variety of different personalities, attitudes and confidence levels, and ranks of ambition, and as a result, different types of people choose to pursue vastly different job roles.

It may well be that the reason you are feeling stressed, anxious, down, or indeed a mixture of all three is that you are simply under far too much pressure at work. Alternatively, however, the real cause of your dissatisfaction and fallen motivation levels could be that, to coin a phrase, your heart is no longer ‘in it’.

In either situation, or indeed a completely different one, it is crucial to sit back and cast an objective eye over your current career pathway, progression opportunities, and your levels of fundamental enjoyment. It is also, regardless of your individual situation, vital to realize that every different career has its own rewards and, conversely, its own challenges, as discussed in more detail below.

  • Teachers

A supreme lack of funding, especially in the areas that appear to need financial assistance the most, disciplining students and dealing with difficult children, extended working hours and piles of paperwork, and struggling to communicate with each and every child

  • Nurses

Overworked, both on a daily and a monthly basis, demanding, busy, and emotionally draining shifts, last-minute staffing problems and shift cancellations, professional burnout, and a feeling of isolation and loneliness when returning from work due to unsociable hours

  • Police Officers

Emotional distress and feelings of anxiety, stress and even low mood and depression, shift work, public pressures, police stress, and trauma, and an altogether poor work to life balance

  • Paramedics

Shortage of paramedics, long shifts, unsociable working hours, lack of out-of-hours cover, and a vulnerability to verbal and physical abuse when arriving on the scene

  • Doctors

Maintaining strong and effective communication both with patients and other medical doctors, keeping up with the latest technological innovations in relation to the healthcare sector, using technology to engage their patients, and managing mental illness

  • Actors

The ongoing financial loss and stress from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, an underappreciation by the government as to the importance of the arts as an industry, the pricing systems and structure of seats to a performance, and continuously coming up with new and innovative stories to either educate, entertain, enlighten audiences from all different walks of life.