By: Skott Schoonover, Strategy Analyst | 05/24/2022|

We’ve seen a lot of change in the corporate world over the past 5 years. One of the biggest is the shift in mindset to allow employees to “be themselves.” Suits have become the exception, not the norm. We accept people’s kids and dogs running into the background of our meetings now. Tattoos can now be visible while On the Clock. It is no longer taboo to be having a bad day.

I remember a job when I had first gotten out of college where it was discouraged to let other people know you were not in a good mood. If you ever weren’t smiling, a manager would pull you aside to talk about your “personal brand” and that it reflected poorly if you showed any emotion other than happiness, regardless of the reason.

It wasn’t healthy, and it most certainly didn’t drive happiness throughout the office.

In fact, it did the opposite. If someone was having a bad day, they’d find a reason to leave their desk so they could properly process the emotions they were feeling. Productivity and employee morale dropped in tandem. Instead of watercooler talk being about sports, it turned to whispers of opportunities outside of the company. They had created a culture where people didn’t feel emotionally supported, and vulnerability was viewed negatively.

Cut to today, where employee Mental Health is a top priority for businesses. Here at Percepta, we have the Employee Assistance Program with multiple ways to reach out whenever you feel you need it. We understand that people feel emotions differently than one another and that everyone should feel supported and validated in those feelings. And while companies can do their best to help employees achieve peak mental health, there are also things that we can do ourselves daily to feel our best.

Here are a few suggestions on improving your own mental health:

  • Create Safe Spaces. Know who you can reach out to when you need somebody to talk with. Lean on them when you need to and be there for them when they are down.
  • Use your breaks to walk away. We all get breaks throughout the day. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your mental state is to walk away and do something else for 10 minutes. Do something you enjoy, take a walk, or scream into a pillow if you need to. But take the time to make sure that your mental energy is focused where it should be
  • Surround yourself with Happy. Put pictures of your kids or dogs or new car up on your desk. Remind yourself of what makes you happy and what you are working for.

Mental health is an important part of your overall health and requires care and attention, just like physical health. You only get one body, but you also only get one mind. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.