Managing with an agile mind can be tricky even after adjusting to changing times. At BOD, we believe in a work culture where minds can meet and thrive, with the combined efforts of every entity/stakeholder. Negative states of mind can be corrosive to one’s association with others, forcing the team to hit a wall. It then becomes a tough task to build up a robust and conducive environment.
With this piece, we intend to give you a guide on working with a healthy mind and fostering a reliable work ethic for your team. Only a diagnosis doesn’t solve the problem. People with mental conditions react differently in different environments. Some people with schizophrenia for example live pretty much ordinary lives, and some people with anxiety are severely impacted by their condition.
1. Dopamine levels for different sets of work patterns
Dopamine, a chemical found naturally in the human body, controls our impulse movements and emotional responses. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing. But the way dopamine works is different with different beings.
Working from home can mean working at any time and for long hours. Since our biological clock works differently, a googled workout may not always work. Understand your limiting circumstances and what your body needs. If you find your work monotonous, take breaks and exercise in shorter increments. If your work is purely a desk job, try to break it with simple standing exercises. If changing your attire, getting out of the house for a walk seems time-consuming, try jumping jacks and skipping exercises. These are easily done within minutes.
2. Breaking your sedentary cycle.
Try and get away from your desk to eat. Dedicate a separate space for your mealtimes. Try to socialise. Making phone calls that are due, catching up with friends or family, can keep you from being the dull Jack. You could organise a lunch party on any video calling platform – where you club together to share meals and play food related trivia.
3. Keeping in Touch
Maintaining relations has proven to be a fragile aspect during this pandemic. Since we can only be virtually available for our colleagues, exploit your resources by arranging gatherings and talk shows. Connect with your colleagues at a convenient time on weekdays, and try talking beyond work. This will break the ice and open a gateway to new relations.
4. Accepting Who You Are
Accept yourself. Know the real you within and be unapologetically truthful in your opinions on ideas and projects. Genuine feedback comes from a clear head. Accept your instincts and brainstorm with your colleagues when you are stuck in a tug.
5. Concentrating on a Hobby
Exploit the time you get by revisiting your childhood passions, or hobbies that you would otherwise brush aside. Getting crafty with waste materials, gardening or even doing crosswords, can help you forget your worries for a while and can change your mood. These are not only stress busters, but they give you a chance to explore your skills.
You can even share these skills with your team and invent trivia questions that revolve around getting to know each other.
6. Picking the Right Time and Place
There’s a time and place for everything – and when it comes to talking with someone about their mental health, that means a time and place that is most comfortable for them. The last thing anyone needs is to feel forced or uncomfortable. Be respectful while allotting time. It’s very important to devote your full attention to the person you are reaching out to. Turn off all your notifications while on a call with a person suffering from mental health issues. This is because mentally affected people are generally fragile and surprisingly attentive. Give your undivided focus on their calls. If you have other things on your mind, they will perhaps pick it.
7. Handling Suicidal Claims
If you are concerned that a colleague might be having suicidal thoughts, the best thing you can do is ask them directly. You can ask, "Have you had thoughts about suicide?" during a conversation about someone's mental health. Be plain and careful and don’t call off their thoughts, like saying "You wouldn't do something silly, would you?" In their heads, such thoughts don’t seem silly. So, you calling their thoughts silly may get them to think that you’re calling them stupid.
If you see your colleague is distressed, it is important to encourage them to get help. Tell them to contact their samaritans right away, or you could also research and find professionals that stay in the area and walk them through the process. Always keep them in loop and give them assignments that will keep them busy.
8. Getting back to work after episodic periods/anxiety attacks
Many people who have mental health problems dread returning to work after they have been off sick. It can be awkward to acknowledge their absence, especially if it has never been talked about, or if their behaviour was unusual when they were unwell. Whether you are a manager or a colleague, keeping in touch and letting someone know you care is a great way to prevent awkwardness.
9. A Rewarding Experience
Every organisation needs to up their game with more accessibility. Having weekly or monthly progress reports will boost team efforts. A well-informed team will be able to even empathise with each others’ workload. A monthly award-night with well researched award categories, that fosters a platform of opportunities for everyone, will go a long way.
Mental health is a sensitive topic in any given environment. And if not harboured well, one can be in an uncertain state, consequences of which may fall directly on one’s performance at work. Engaging the mind and channelising its power the right way is essential to build a strong foundation to any and all businesses.
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