Self-care and mental health wellness enhances work performance and develops a satisfying personal life. Studies show that in our fast-paced, instant response, technical overload life, many people are stressed, burned out, and over- burdened. Such conditions often lead to substance abuse, depression, and anxiety disorder. Research indicates practice of the following ten wellness strategies will have an immediate positive effect on work and home life. All are free, can be done in a work setting, and are time efficient.
- 1. You’re Number One – Sometime during your busy day, take 10+ minutes to do something for you that makes you happy. Don’t let the needs of customers, staff, family, and all the other drains on your energy allow you to ignore your needs. Put another way, put the oxygen on you first, and then you can help someone else. Do it.
- 2. Ask For Help – The very act of asking will engage you with another person, make that person feel good in giving help, and you will move forward on your task. Communicating with another person affects your brain chemistry in a positive way. In the end you will likely get the answers you need when you are stuck. Ask
- 3. You Are Good Enough – Are you a perfectionist? Then this one is for you. Think of all you have accomplished in a lifetime; you have every reason to feel proud of yourself. Sure you have made mistakes, who hasn’t? You likely have survived your family, accomplished a good bit of education, survived in a work environment, accomplished some projects and goals at work, made friends, have some good family relationships. That’s a lot. Yes, you are good enough and don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. You are.
- 4. Set Boundaries – You can’t do everything for everybody. You have to say NO sometimes. Take a good close look at your daily life and try to eliminate a couple of things that don’t bring you joy or make your living or help others. Keep what is meaningful to you and throw out some of the junk and that which wastes time and energy. Say No
- 5. Make Connections – Singularly this affects your brain chemistry in positive ways more than any other action. Evolutionarily we are pack animals and being together influences our mental health in good ways. Whether it is a group for business, self-help, social, religious, or charitable, the camaraderie will make your day better. Engage
- 6. Practice Gratitude – This is a way to get rid of that awful negative thinking and have better thoughts. Research says if you will make a short gratitude list daily for 6 months you will be happier than 6 months after you win the lottery. Really! It is a quick, simple, free exercise, that if you do it, really has the power to change old habits and to make you a happier person. Write
- 7. Learn To Relax – This is really hard for hard driving people. They stay in fight/flight mode 24/7, and don’t go to rest/recuperate mode like our bodies require, again since evolutionary times. To recover, the mind and body must relax, the research tells us. Otherwise that anxiety, depression or substance abuse can slip in. The literature is full of science on mindfulness and meditation so start small and learn this new skill which is truly what is ‘hot’ in the wellness field. Breathe
- 8. Help Others –This is the other side of asking for help. Service to others and compassion is recommended throughout the psychology field and in worldwide spiritual practices. Usually it is a sign of confidence in you, that you are asked for help. It is so easy to say YES, within your boundaries, and you will likely get more out of the experience than the person you help.
- 9. Expand Your Spirituality or Consciousness - What is important to you? Is your work meaningful to you? Are you making a contribution to life? Simple answers, maybe with the help of others, will put you and keep you on the path of wellness.
Contributor: Cameron Vann
- 10. Laugh: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously – Laughter creates another brain chemistry surge of positive endorphins and serotonin. Laugh a lot. Read funny books and go to funny movies. And laugh at yourself!