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Do you want to promote mental health in your workplace during Mental Health Awareness Month?
May is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, making it an ideal time to show employees you care about their mental wellbeing and get them involved and engaged to make a difference.
We’ve come up with 10 different ways you can take initiative for employees in your workplace this Mental Health Awareness Month.
1. Explore the great outdoors
Encouraging employees to spend time outside in nature can help reduce stress and improve overall mental wellbeing. In fact, research has found that spending a total of 120 minutes outside each week is associated with improved health and wellbeing.
Take initiative by planning a company-wide hike or nature walk. If your employees work remotely, you can suggest that they take a mid-day break to go for a walk or enjoy nature in a nearby park.
Science has shown that practicing meditation is a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety.
One compelling study found that over an 8-week period, a form of meditation called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the body’s inflammatory response to stress.
Encourage employees to try a guided meditation, or provide a quiet space for them to meditate during their lunch break.
Journaling can provide a healthy outlet for emotions and has been shown to help with stress, anxiety, and depression. In fact, a form called positive affect journaling, an emotion-focused self-regulation intervention, has been shown to improve wellbeing among medical populations.
Provide employees with journals and encourage them to write about their thoughts and emotions.
4. Breathing exercises
Practicing deep breathing has been linked to increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor, and alertness. Plus, it can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.
Teach employees simple breathing exercises that they can do at their desks to reduce stress and improve focus. Some techniques you can share include deep breathing, square breathing, or alternate nostril breathing.
5. Sound bath
Sound baths can reduce tension, anger, fatigue, and depression. Consider offering a company-wide sound bath session for employees to experience the benefits sound therapy has to offer.
Research has suggested several possible benefits of yoga – including improved stress management, mental health, sleep, balance, and overall healthier activity habits.
Offer a series of yoga classes for employees to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. This could include beginner-friendly classes or more advanced classes for experienced practitioners.
Reading has many scientifically proven benefits! Are you ready for them?
• Prevents age-related cognitive decline
Promote reading at work by hosting a mini challenge to see who can read the most books in a month. You can even consider starting a company book club where employees can discuss what they’ve read.
8. Social Impact
Encourage employees to get involved in activities that have a positive impact on the community, such as volunteering, fundraising, or community service. This can help improve their mental wellbeing by giving them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
In fact, in research done by UC Berkeley, approximately half the research participants reported feeling stronger and more energetic after assisting others. Notably, many participants stated that they also experienced a sense of calmness and reduced depression, along with an increase in self-worth.
9. Sustainable actions
Encourage employees to adopt sustainable practices, such as reducing energy consumption, recycling, and using environmentally-friendly products.
When surveyed, nearly 40% of millennials had reported accepting a job because of the company’s sustainability plan. Plus, 71% of employees and job seekers said that sustainable companies are “more attractive employers.”
10. Mental Health Awareness Month Challenge
Here’s a creative and innovative approach – host a virtual employee engagement challenge centered around Mental Health Awareness Month. Utilize a platform like atlasGO, which provides a seamless solution for connecting employees across the globe. This unique challenge will bring your team together and encourage them to engage in activities that support their mental health, all while fostering a strong sense of connection and community, no matter where they’re located.
As the challenge organizer, you can choose activities for your employees to complete on their end. Some examples include the activities previously discussed:
• Breathing exercises
Upon completing their activities, employees can log and share them with their colleagues through the atlasGO app. They even have a choice to add a photo that would be posted to a shared company feed!
The challenge organizer has the option to set a collective goal for the team, and for each activity, employees can earn a special token that moves the team closer to the goal. By working together, the team can collectively achieve the goal and, if you choose, unlock a donation to a nonprofit organization of your choice. Plus, the app offers integrated wellbeing videos to educate employees on proper techniques for activities like meditation and yoga.
By promoting Mental Health Awareness Month in the workplace, you can demonstrate your commitment to your team’s wellbeing and enhance their focus at work. We’re confident that your team will appreciate these efforts and the positive impact they can have on their mental health.
Written by Kelly Baker, Content Marketing at atlasGO
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