It is hard to go a day without some reminder that we should take care of our physical health. Whether it’s the local gym advertising waived sign-up fees on the billboard you pass driving to work, that app that reminds you to drink more water, the waiting room magazines promising secrets of effortless six-pack abs, or your mom reminding you “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” – physical wellness is a well regarded duty.
But today marks a reminder for an often-forgotten yet critical component of our wellbeing. Mental health. On Oct. 10, World Mental Health Day provides us an opportunity to take a moment and realize the enormous mental burden we put ourselves everyday.
Full-time jobs, raising kids, driving in traffic, managing our finances, listening to dismal current events on the news, preparing for the upcoming holidays, cleaning the dog poop up in the back yard – all of it weighs on us 24/7. We carry our mental stress with us from the moment we wake up and even through our sleep (I can’t be the only one that gets stress-induced nightmares in which my boss and I clean my basement in Frozen costumes while teleconferencing with POTUS in the Situation Room… right?)
It does not stop at the flick of a switch and it is incredibly difficult to compartmentalize. Just because we clock in at work at 8 a.m. does not mean that we no longer worry about our bills. I might be making a chop salad in the comfort of my own kitchen, but you better believe that I’m still worrying about my to-do list at work. Additionally, I often simultaneously listen to my partner’s worries, my children’s worries, my Uber driver’s problems – it’s all interconnected.
Today is a day not only to drive mental health awareness, but also to do something about it. How can we best serve our own mental health and how can we better the mental health of others? We can’t do it alone. We all need a support network, both at home and at work.
At Virgin Pulse, we help organizations deliver holistic wellbeing programs that encourage their employees to make mental health a priority at work and at home. We live and breathe by the idea that small behavior changes build healthier lifestyles. So, forward-thinking companies might offer lunchtime guided meditation sessions or financial counseling to employees to ease anxieties outside of work and keep folks more productive on the job. On an individual level, small behavior changes might be as simple as resolving to not check your work emails before bed. Include your friends and family in new rituals and your chance of success will skyrocket.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to support your employees’ (or your own!) psychological wellbeing and how to build a resilient workforce that is happy both at work and at home, join Virgin Pulse Institute President Dr. Rajiv Kumar on Thursday, Oct. 13 for a webinar with our newest Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board member, Dr. David Batman. Leveraging his extensive practical experience in occupational medicine at major global businesses, Dr. Batman will explore the business outcomes influenced by improving the physical and psychological health of employees through workplace wellbeing programs.
Register for Building a Workforce That Bounces Back.
October 13, 2016 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Hailey McDonald is the Integrated Marketing Director at Virgin Pulse. She is a self-professed red-eye flight sleep expert, loves deep breaths of cold mountain air, and is a reformed Jazzercise enthusiast. When she isn’t working with her superhuman co-workers at Virgin Pulse, Hailey can be found frantically chasing after her maniac 4-year-old daughter or partaking in all-you-can-eat sushi Sundays in the greater Seattle area.