Whether you are a working professional or an employer with many people under you, having a workplace that values self-care is incredibly beneficial to your emotional and mental health. Workplace self-care awareness is part of good company culture, and neglecting it can be costly in the long run. Today, with more and more working professionals experiencing burnout and developing substance use disorders, workplace self-care and mental health awareness are more important than ever.
The Prevalence of Workplace Stressors
Work is an obvious necessity for most people, but it is also a great way for people to utilize their skills and creativity. Unfortunately, stress is also a reality for most people in the workforce. Common workplace stressors include heavy workloads, unrealistic expectations from employers, long working hours, and difficult relationships with co-workers. Due to these and other reasons, workplace burnout is a growing problem.
Chronic stress can also lead to substance use problems in the workplace. Many people consider using alcohol or drugs to alleviate stress even though these substances make things worse more often than not. With substance use comes absenteeism, low work performance, and low morale. Workplaces that create chronically stressed employees seldom talk about self-care or encourage a healthy work-life balance. Without bringing awareness of the dangers of substance use or the benefits of self-care to individuals in the workplace, whole companies can suffer.
Employers Gain From a Self-Care Culture
Today, more and more employers are coming to realize a workplace that promotes a self-care culture is beneficial for businesses. First, promoting self-care at work shows that the employer values the people working for them. Secondly, setting up healthy boundaries at work through simple practices such as respecting people’s time can show positive values held by the employer. Lastly, a self-care workplace culture boosts productivity and work performance because it prevents burnout and encourages individuals’ agency and creativity.
Employers can play a positive role in shaping a self-care workplace culture. For example, they can encourage staff to not skip lunch breaks or eat lunch at their computer but instead use that time to unplug and relax. Employers should also safeguard staff’s evening and weekend times and avoid contacting employees about work-related things during non-work hours. Employers themselves must walk the walk and model good self-care by maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Those in company leadership positions should also allow people to make mistakes. A company with a culture that looks for solutions rather than placing blame can have better morale among employees. When this happens, people may feel freer to share their ideas, get creative, and experiment with new ways of doing things. Self-care is conducive to workplace innovation.
Building a Healthy Balance in Your Work Day
Everyone can play a positive role in sharing a workplace’s self-care culture. Building pauses and rest times into workday schedules can help people maintain good momentum. Everyone knows that calendars filled with back-to-back meetings don’t give people the time they need to prepare, decompress, or perform at optimal levels. Little breathing spaces during the workday allow professionals to reach their full potential at work.
Similarly, using break times for actual breaks is incredibly important for good self-care. Working through lunch, using breaks to do household or family tasks, or regularly taking work home can harm people’s mental wellness as it doesn’t allow for a separation between work and life. One can also bring balance to their day by scheduling time for specific activities like answering emails, meeting with coworkers or clients, and finishing one’s personal tasks. This can help one know what to focus on to get the most out of their day without becoming burnt out.
Self-Care Culture Promotes Mental Wellness at Work
Many companies are beginning to embrace an awareness of employees’ mental health. This is critical to avoid making the workplace an overly competitive, hostile, and disconnected place where employees constantly feel stressed and unappreciated. Employers can emphasize personal growth and well-being while maintaining certain work performance standards.
Workplace mental health promotion programs can ensure optimal work performance because healthy behaviors and communication styles are rewarded. When employees do struggle with mental health issues, they have tools available to help them. Workplaces can also organize stress management training for employees to learn techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation.
Employees can serve as wellness champions and facilitate workplace training sessions on topics such as emotional health, communication techniques, self-management, time management, crisis management, and financial planning. Mental health awareness should also be paired with encouraging a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Workplace self-care and wellness programs can identify those at risk and connect them to treatment while putting supports in place to help people reduce and manage stress. By addressing mental health issues in the workplace, employers can reduce health care costs for their businesses and employees.
Lack of self-care and mental health resources in the workplace can lead to mental health issues and substance abuse. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our staff and therapists believe in a holistic approach to addiction recovery. Our experienced mental health experts can coach and train you so that your work life does not have to suffer as a result of seeking treatment for addiction or mental illness. You can also learn how to become a wellness champion at work. For working professionals who struggle with stress-related substance use disorders, Laguna Shores Recovery offers treatment plans such as detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching. We also offer outpatient programs that you can use after finishing residential treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today at Laguna Shores Recovery. Call (866) 229-9923, and we will be happy to talk with you about short-term and long-term planning.