May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to recognize the importance of mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. One of the most significant challenges in maintaining good mental health is workplace stress. Stress at work can have severe consequences on mental health, which is why self-care in the workplace is essential.
According to a report by the American Psychological Association, 67% of employees said that their workplace has a high impact on their stress levels, and 32% of employees reported that they have missed work due to stress. Furthermore, a study by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that untreated mental illness costs the United States $193.2 billion annually in lost earnings.
Self-Care in the Workplace: Understanding Its Importance
Self-care in the workplace is the practice of taking care of one’s physical and mental well-being while on the job. This can include a variety of actions, such as taking breaks, practicing mindfulness, and setting boundaries.
Taking breaks is one of the most critical self-care practices in the workplace. Studies have shown that taking breaks can reduce stress levels and improve focus and productivity. According to a survey by Tork, a provider of workplace hygiene products, 20% of employees do not take breaks, and 13% of employees feel guilty about taking a break. However, breaks are essential for maintaining good mental health and avoiding burnout.
Practicing mindfulness is another effective self-care practice in the workplace. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on the present rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Studies have shown that mindfulness can reduce stress and improve mental health. According to a report by the National Institutes of Health, mindfulness can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Setting boundaries is also crucial for self-care in the workplace. Setting boundaries can help prevent burnout and improve work-life balance. According to a survey by FlexJobs, a job search website, 83% of workers say that a flexible job would make them less stressed, and 82% of workers say that work-life balance is essential when considering a job. Setting boundaries can include limiting work hours, avoiding checking email outside of work hours, and delegating tasks.
The Benefits of Self-Care in the Workplace
Personal care in the workplace has several benefits for both employees and employers. For employees, self-care can improve mental health, reduce stress levels, and increase job satisfaction. For employers, self-care can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs.
According to a study by the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in mental health treatment, there is a $4 return in improved health and productivity. Furthermore, a report by the American Heart Association showed that employers who implemented workplace wellness programs saw a $6 return on investment for every $1 spent.
Mental health is a critical issue in the workplace, and self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health. By taking breaks, practicing mindfulness, and setting boundaries, employees can improve their mental well-being and reduce stress levels. Self-care in the workplace has several benefits for both employees and employers, including improved productivity and reduced healthcare costs. This Mental Health Awareness Month, let us recognize the importance of self-care in the workplace and work together to create a healthy and supportive work environment. For additional information on how you can have a positive effect on the mental well-being of your employees, download Vensure’s free burnout guide!