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Friday Fun: Mental Health Check In

Dan
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Feb 02, 2023

Happy Friday team!

 

We all know that work can be demanding and stressful at times, which is why it's so important to not forget about our mental health. With so many of us working remotely, its much more difficult for us to notice when others are struggling. 

Our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health, and taking care of ourselves mentally is essential for leading a happy and fulfilling life, both inside and outside of work. That's why today, I want to recommend taking a break from our regular work to focus on mental health check-ins, both our own and others.

One of the most important things we can do for our mental health is to take time to check in with ourselves regularly. This involves taking stock of how we're feeling, identifying any stressors or challenges we're facing, and practicing self-care. By doing this regularly, we can catch any mental health issues early on and take steps to address them before they become bigger problems.

But how does this relate to work? Our mental well-being has a direct impact on our productivity and job satisfaction. When we're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out, it can be challenging to stay focused and motivated at work. On the other hand, when we're feeling mentally healthy and balanced, we're able to perform at our best and bring our A-game to the workplace.

So, what does a mental health check-in look like in the workplace? 

  1. Private Reflection Time: Take some time for yourself to reflect on your mental health. Ask yourself questions like: How have I been feeling lately? What work-related stressors have I been facing? What activities outside of work bring me joy? Write down your thoughts in a journal or simply reflect in your mind. This is a great opportunity to gain insight into your own mental well-being and identify any areas for improvement.

  2. Group Discussion: Join a virtual discussion with your colleagues to share your reflections and listen to others. This is a great opportunity to connect with each other and support one another. Talking about mental health in the workplace can help break down the stigma surrounding it and create a supportive work environment.

  3. Mindful Breathing Exercise: Take a few minutes to practice deep breathing and focus on your breath. This can help reduce stress and improve your mood. There are many apps available that can guide you through mindfulness exercises, or you can simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

  4. Gratitude Practice: Take a moment to reflect on what you're thankful for in the workplace. This can help improve your outlook and appreciation for your job. Write down three things you're grateful for in a journal or share them with a colleague.

  5. Fun and Relaxation: Finally, it's important to have some fun and relax. Whether it's participating in a virtual team-building activity, watching a movie, or playing a game, taking time to unwind can help reduce stress and improve your mental well-being.

Remember, it's important to prioritize our mental health and make it a part of our daily routine, especially at work. Let's use this Friday Fun Day to check in with ourselves and others, and make sure we're taking care of our mental well-being. It's also really important for managers to promote mental health care for their team members. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your mental health, don't hesitate to reach out to a colleague, HR representative, or mental health professional. There are free resources everywhere to help you manage stress and maintain good mental health at work.

 

To open it up, does anyone have a favourite way to relax or wind down after work? 

 

Have a great Friday! 🎉

9 comments

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Carlos Garcia Navarro
Community Leader
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Feb 02, 2023

Thanks for sharing, Dan.  I do practice some of the things that you described. I find reading or listening to an audiobook a relaxing activity.  Also, the best activity is to laugh :-) 

Like Summer.Hogan likes this
Summer.Hogan
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Feb 03, 2023

Thanks for sharing this Dan as it is an important subject! I practice some of the things that you described. I fortunately have lots of resources available to me through my employer. We have a great wellness team that focuses on a different subject every month. There is a Mental Wellbeing month where they focus on lots of Mental Wellbeing subjects and provide employees numerous tools to use throughout the year, which some of them you have mentioned above. They also do wellness breaks every Wednesday morning, which is also very nice and a good way to step aside from work and relax with the team. Lastly, we have a wellness program called Virgin Pulse, which has a lot of resources we can use for all sorts of healthy activities and earn cash doing so. I feel fortunate to work for a company that cares about my health! 

Dave Mathijs
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Feb 03, 2023

Thank you for sharing your insights Dan! 🙏🏻

Learning to say "no" is one of those things help me not getting overloaded. 🙅🏻‍♂️

I do enjoy a good movie or tv series to escape from the real world. 🎬

PS: And of course, reading the friday-fun posts on the Atlassian Community! 😉

Like Summer.Hogan likes this

Dan,

Thank you for making this post. As a Son of two retired I.T. professionals, my parents never taught me an essential life lesson: mindfulness. I learned, practiced, and then understood mindfulness last year when I took a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) course. This was a more than one-and-done online course to comprehend, too! I had to practice it to start feeling the benefits. When that happened, then I fully understood. If Yoga ever looked weird to you, If meditation ever sounded boring or self-pep talks seemed strange, please heed my encouragement to try it with an open mind because it takes experience and not just knowledge to understand.

After learning DBT, I diary everyday to check in with myself and get things off my mind. If you're an introvert like me, you'll find a diary to be next best thing to a therapist. Here are some Apple Apps I use to check in on myself:

CBT Thought Diary - This app does require a subscription, but it's the best mobile diary I've tried. It has tons of guided journals (like the confluence playbook template) that help you check in on your mental health and get things out. 

How We Feel - A completely free app that focuses on an essential building block to DBT Mindfulness: Describing Emotion. You report your emotion by selecting from a comprehensive list of emotions with descriptions. You must name your emotion to tame it! This app helps your practice doing that.

Rise: Energy & Sleep Tracker - This one is free with a premium subscription. This app is excellent if you have a health wearable like an apple iWatch! It tracks your circadian rhythm, notifies your daily highest & lowest energy, forecasts your energy level for the day based on how much sleep debt you owe, and even tells you when to stop drinking caffeine!

I hope these apps suggestions help you! Thanks again!

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Craig Nodwell
Community Leader
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Feb 04, 2023

I'm from the wrong generation to weigh in on this topic.
I can say that relaxation is much more difficult in these digital times then they were when I was a younger man.
Books are great.
The outdoors is great too.  -> A tree should be planted for this!
Family, Friends, and not taking things too seriously has always been my go to.
Smile often, judge little, be kind, spread love.  <- I do believe the hippy in me just came out.

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Jack Brickey
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Feb 08, 2023

@Dan ,

excellent article! Thank you for taking the time to write this. It certainly helped me reflect on the need to do some of this every day. As a typical male I am always trying to fix things which is magnified by my engineering mind. However, I often fail where asking myself how I am feeling.

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Brant Schroeder
Community Leader
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Mar 12, 2023

@Dan taking time to exercise each day is a great way to clear the head.  Just taking a walk each night is a great way to relax and it is healthy too.

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Helaine Ream
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Oct 09, 2023

Personally, I find that a quick mindful breathing exercise or a gratitude practice helps me unwind after a busy day.

Alexjjacob
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Dec 12, 2023 • edited Dec 15, 2023

Taking care of our mental health is so important, especially with the demands of remote work. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips for mental health check-ins at work.
For me, winding down after work usually involves some good music, a bit of exercise, and maybe diving into a book or catching up on a TV show. Finding those moments of relaxation is key to keeping our mental well-being in check. Besides, I wanted to share one resource - Releaf. I've recently discovered it. As for me, it's always good to have resources for managing stress and maintaining good mental health.

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