If you’re wondering how to improve your mental health at work, you’re certainly not alone.
Here are three simple ways you can do it.
- Don’t take on too much work
One sure-fire way to get burned out and stressed is to take on too much work. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, and don’t let others do it either.
If your boss is giving you too much work, set aside a time to talk calmly with them about it, clearly outlining why it’s too much. Don’t suffer in silence. If you do, your mental health will inevitably suffer too.
- Take regular breaks
Taking regular short-term breaks from work is important. This includes making sure that you take a lunch break each day, as well as a morning or afternoon coffee break. If you’re working night shifts, taking regular short breaks is just as important. Breaks helps to improve your concentration levels so that you can maintain (or even increase) your productivity.
It’s also important to take holidays at least once a year so that you can freshen up. Working long hours and working without breaks can negatively affect your mental health.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at home
Don’t turn up for work tired. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep so that you’re ready to face your job each day or night. Sleep and mental health are closely linked. Poor sleeping patterns can affect your mental health and vice versa.
The importance of work/life balance
It’s also important to look after your mental health outside of work. Ways that you can do this include making sure that you set regular time aside for:
- exercise (a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind), and
- catching up with friends, family, or both. It’s important to stay connected, especially after the strict coronavirus restrictions we were all recently forced to experience.
Do mental health apps work?
There’s a huge range of mental health apps available these days, but many aren’t based on any scientific evidence. You should avoid those ones because they’ll be unlikely to give you the boost you need. You’ll also probably be wasting your money if you get them.
A recent Harvard study showed that some scientifically-based apps can be effective however in boosting your mental health. Those apps include:
- and Happify.
However, it’s important to understand that if you’re experiencing serious mental health issues, even an evidence-based app is unlikely to be enough to help you. You should speak to a doctor about it, who will probably refer you to a specialist mental health practitioner to get the help you need.
How we can help
At Searipple Village in Karratha, we can help you to maintain your mental health after a hard day or night’s work. We have great accommodation, two fully equipped gyms, two pools and a licensed social hub where you can relax and unwind. We’re also just a short stroll from the beach next door!
Staying fit after you turn 40 is important. Research has shown that maintaining or increasing your fitness level later in life helps to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How many times a week should I exercise?
If you haven’t exercised for a while (or ever), it’s best to easy your way into it so that your muscles and joints get used to it. Exercise in short bursts and gradually increase both the length and intensity of your sessions. Make sure you stretch before you start to avoid injury.
You should try and exercise up to 5 times a week and aim to be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-level activity. This could include doing alternate activities on different days, such as:
- gym workouts, and
- running or fast-paced walking.
The gym sessions will help you to strengthen your major muscle groups. For variety, alternate your sessions between strength sessions and doing high repetitions of light weights or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions.
Aim to do at least 100 steps per minute for 30 minutes when you’re running or doing fast-paced walking. This will help to get your heart rate up and boost your overall fitness level.
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise can boost your mental health as well. For example, by:
- reducing your stress levels, and
- improving the quality of your sleep.
How to keep motivated to exercise
Staying motivated to keep your exercise program going is just as important as starting it. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set yourself realistic goals for improvement and to reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
For example, realistic exercise goals could be:
- increasing the number of reps you can do of specific gym exercises,
- increasing the distance or speed that you run or walk, or
- losing a specific amount of weight.
Other great ways to stay motivated to exercise are to:
- do physical activities that you enjoy, and
- to train with a friend. Your friend will provide you with company and you can also help to keep each other accountable for your exercise program.
Don’t forget your diet
If you want to stay or get healthy, it’s important to eat healthy as well as to exercise. Don’t undo all your good exercise work by eating poorly. Of course, you can always reward yourself with a ‘cheat meal’ every week if you hit your exercise goal.
Eat in moderation, and try to eat something from each of the five basic food groups each day:
- grains and cereals,
- lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs,
- cheese and yoghurt
If you do, you’ll be eating a balanced diet to complement your exercise routine. And of course, it’s also important to drink alcohol in moderation as well. Current government health guidelines recommend you drinking no more than 4 standard drinks per day and no more than 10 per week.
How we can help
At Searipple Village in Karratha, we can help you to stay fit and healthy while you’re staying with us. We don’t just have great accommodation. We also have an on-site gym and plenty of healthy food options in our dining facilities.
It’s important to eat well to stay healthy. That can be a challenge in today’s fast-paced world, especially if you’re working remotely. But it’s not impossible if you know what foods to eat regularly, and which ones to cut back on or avoid altogether.
Here’s our good to what to eat and meal prepping for work, as well as healthy snacks that are much better alternatives than junk food.
What to eat daily to stay healthy
According to the Australian government’s Guide to Healthy Eating, you should eat from the following five food groups each day:
- grains and cereals
- lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
- cheese and yoghurt.
Each of these five food groups has important nutrients that you need to stay healthy, like vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and calcium.
The amount of each food group that you need varies depending on factors such as your age, gender and how active you are. The recommended amounts for the average adult are outlined below.
- vegetables (2.5-3 cups per day)
- fruit (2 pieces per day)
- grains or cereals (1.5-3 cups per day)
- lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts or seeds (130-195 grams of red meat,
or 160-240 grams of poultry, or 200-300 grams of fish, or 2 eggs, or 170
grams of tofu, or 30 grams of nuts or seeds)
- cheese or yoghurt (5 to 8 slices of cheese or 200 grams of yoghurt).
Meal prep for work
The best way to ensure you eat healthy is to prepare your own quick and easy meals that contain the recommended amounts of each of the five food groups. Plan your shopping and stock up on everything you’ll need each week. Then set aside a time each day to prepare everything so it’s ready to take with you. Focus on simple meals and recipes so that your preparation doesn’t become a chore.
Healthy snacks to eat rather than junk food
There are plenty of healthy alternatives to junk food. For example:
- fruit muffins or slices,
- raisin or fruit toast,
- and rice crackers.
How you can eat healthy at Searipple Village
At Searipple Village in Karratha, there are plenty of ways that you can eat healthy while you’re staying with us. We have healthy salad food available onsite at Denison’s Takeaway, as well as a range of healthy options on the menu at Tate’s Restaurant.
There are also plenty of options for you to exercise, which is another important way to stay healthy. We’re located just 3.2 kilometres from the City Centre, but a walk there and back will get you to 80% of your daily steps target! We’re also next to the beach if you’d prefer a scenic walk, and we have two onsite gyms where you can work out if you want as well.
And of course, we have plenty of space for you to unwind and relax too, with great rooms and a licensed social hub. After all, life is a balance!
We’re just a 20-minute drive from the Karratha Airport and very popular with FIFO workers.