4 Ways To Celebrate Emotional Wellness Month At Work
Did you know your emotional well-being has powerful effects on your overall health? Mental and emotional stress can translate into adverse physical reactions, a weakened immune system, and poor health.
Emotional health is just as important as physical health-although it's more challenging to achieve. However, emotional wellness often gets pushed aside, particularly in the workplace. How important is emotional health to employee wellness anymore?
In today's modern world, it is more important than ever to make a more conscious push toward employee emotional wellness. Making emotional and mental health the pillar of your wellness program can be a step toward a healthier, engaged, and productive workforce.
With hectic everyday schedules, social media bombarding you at every turn, and modern life becoming increasingly uncertain, it's more crucial than ever to maintain a sense of calm and balance. Emotional Wellness Month, observed in October, reminds you to disconnect and take time out for your brain to rest and recharge. Since 2004, the National Center For Emotional Wellness advocates has recognized October as Emotional Wellness Month.
Read this article to learn more about how to use emotional wellness month to manage your emotional health and find activities at work that you can participate in.
What Is Emotional Wellness?
"An active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence."- National Wellness Institute.
Emotional health or wellness is a person's ability to manage and accept feelings through challenges and changes. You can positively process your emotions and manage stress without feeling overwhelmed.
Emotional wellness encompasses both emotional regulation and emotional intelligence. Your emotional health is considered present when you experience negative emotions appropriately over a sustained period.
Here are a few signs of engaging in emotional wellness -
The ability to say "No" without feeling guilty about it.
Being able to relax and calm.
Feeling good about yourself.
Feel the need to have strong social connections with friends and family.
Being able to set healthy boundaries.
Feeling content most of the time.
Being able to relax and practice self-care.
Being able to forgive yourself.
Developing a positive outlook.
The National Mental Health Act created the National Institute of Mental Health in the year 1946 to promote emotional wellbeing on a national level.
Here are some strategies to improve your emotional health -
Build emotional resilience
Improve sleep hygiene
Building strong networks and relationships
Coping with loss in a healthy, positive way
Suggested Read: How Employers Can Promote Mindfulness In The Workplace
Emotional Wellness: Why Is It So Important?
Emotional health is a critical key to your total wellness, and it is essential to keep your feelings in check. It is important because your emotions affect not only your mental health but your physical health too. By learning how to be more emotionally well-being, you will be able to enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Emotional health is the awareness of your feelings and how you respond to change or stressful events. It is the act of becoming more aware of and identifying what you are feeling in a way that benefits your overall wellness.
Emotions manifest themselves in our bodies through physical reactions like increased or decreased heart rate, sweat, temperature change, or numbness.
Your emotions are directly correlated to how you feel every day. When you have a healthy attitude toward your emotions and know how to express them, you'll be better equipped to handle stress, trials, and tribulations in work and life.
Over the past two years, the world has changed drastically, making it more important to be aware of your emotions and how to manage them. Since the pandemic, social distancing and quarantine have taken a toll on most of us, contributing to stress, anxiety, and depression. Practicing emotional wellness has been essential at work and home.
According to the World Health Organization, depression affects 264 million people and is one of the leading causes of disability. Low rates of emotional health are directly linked with rates of depression.
Healthy emotional balance helps you make healthy choices, maintain good relationships, and achieve your goals. To handle life's stresses, navigate relationships, and stay motivated, you need a toolkit for emotional wellness. By practicing mindfulness, you can practice engaging in the present, accepting events and feelings without judgment, and moving through life calmly and easily.
People engaging in emotional wellness are also well versed in their social wellness, as social interaction and integration are critical parts of their daily life. People with optimal emotional well-being have healthy choices and good relationships with others. They can appropriately interact with other people, whether in times of distress or peace. Without it, emotional disruptions can emerge along with physical ailments.
Emotional wellness is important for everyone, irrespective of age or gender. We often forget to pause our busy lives to reset and reflect. Emotional Wellness Month reminds us to prioritize our mental health and personal well-being to reflect on our actions and behaviors.
Suggested Read : Ways to implement Mental Health Programs in the Workplace
How To Observe Emotional Wellness Month In The Workplace?
Stress at work is inevitable and, if not managed, can lead to employee burnout. Today, most corporate wellness programs include a more holistic approach to addressing employee wellness.One of such is the Vantage Fit Wellness Program which covers almost all the dimensions of wellness. Incorporating mental health programs has become mandatory through employee assistance or wellness programs.
A well-structured wellness program can aid employees when they are on the verge of burnout by providing strategies to stop the cycle of negative and obsessive thoughts.
A wellness program that helps develop emotional resilience will equip employees to deal with disappointment, failure, or crisis, learn from it, and continue to move forward. This skill is not only valuable in the workplace, but it also helps staffers cope with personal crises or challenges.
Let's explore four ways emotional wellness can help employees thrive in the workplace and how employers can help make it a priority:
1. Encouraging A Sense Of Self-Worth
Employees who experience low self-esteem become more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and rejection. Not everyone can handle rejection or work failure, which can lead to physical pain. However, you can help your employees react to or address stress more positively and healthily by teaching self-compassion and giving employees the tools to help their self-esteem recover. It can provide a big boost to their emotional health, which in turn makes them more productive employees.
Invest in sleep. The better you sleep, the better your chances of feeling good when you're awake.
2. Engage Your Employees More In Healthy Exercise
Healthy exercise doesn't necessarily have to be physical activity. Engaging your employees in physical exercise or incorporating the same in your workplace wellness challenge could be a great way to encourage them to handle their feelings healthily.
You can ask your employees to list some positive qualities they possess. Acknowledging their worth can boost their self-confidence and make them feel more positive. Managing employees' self-esteem can also be reinforced by appreciating and admiring their team's strengths and encouraging, not criticizing setbacks.
Sometimes a simple word of appreciation can help improve your emotional well-being.
3. Create More Stress Management Programs
Stress in the workplace is inevitable, and it can often get overwhelming, even if you're happy or love your work. And when left unchecked, this workplace stress can quickly lead to burnout and affect your employee's health.
45% of employees have considered leaving a job due to the stress it has created.
Organizations can address these issues by incorporating a more effective stress management program and stress relief activities in their corporate wellness programs. It should teach its employees to deal with stress more effectively. They can encourage their employees to practice mindfulness or meditation by encouraging more breaks between work to avoid emotional exhaustion.
You can also help address these issues by implementing strategies that will help employees maintain a more healthy work-life balance and humane work schedules so that they can feel recharged and return to work fresh and focused.
4. Creating A More Inclusive Work Environment.
The goal of every employee is to be valued and appreciated, regardless of their emotional flaws. But emotional health can still be a sensitive topic among many, and many of your employees might struggle to open up about it as they are concerned about what their colleagues or supervisor might think of them.
To cope, they may disengage, do the bare minimum, and interact with coworkers and managers as little as possible. Some employees cope with their emotional health struggles in unhealthy ways, turning to drugs or alcohol for relief.
Around 49% of employees think their line managers could not relate to them even if they spoke to them about a mental issue.
Positive work cultures that promote openness and acceptance can help your employees feel safer and more supported at work. The more they feel heard and seen, the more likely they are to seek help.
If you incorporate emotional health screenings into your employee wellness programs, you can help your employees feel more comfortable sharing their struggles or concerns.
4 Emotional Wellness Activities You Can Practice At Work
Here are four emotional wellness activities you can introduce in the workplace to ensure the emotional well-being of your employees-
1.Laugh It Out Loud.
Humor is the best weapon against adversity. Encourage your employees to have a more carefree attitude at work to promote more positivity. Encouraging them to enjoy themselves and laugh with fellow employees, either at work or during a lunch break, can come to aid when it comes to emotional healing.
Suggested Read: Leveraging Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
A sedentary lifestyle can affect your mental health as well as your physical health. Sitting in the same posture for long hours can make you tired, and it can also drain your emotional energy at the same time. Therefore, engaging yourself in some physical activity or exercise can help your body release feel-good hormones i.e. endorphins. It will further help your mind to work better and be more productive at work.
Suggested Read : The Benefits Of Outdoor Activities For Work Productivity
3. Practicing Meditation
Practicing meditation at work is a good way to relieve stress and anxiety, and meditation helps to calm the mind and remove all feelings of stress or anger. Practicing meditation can help you in frustrating situations at work when you might get overwhelmed with work demands and can help you positively channel your emotions.
Writing down what you feel is the best way to deal with your emotions and feelings. At work, encouraging your employees to keep a journal can be great because, very often, employees might not feel comfortable talking to someone or sharing their thoughts or feelings. However, a journal is private, and writing in one is like talking to someone with no one else around; it helps you express your emotions.
Summing It Up
Thus, employees' emotional wellness is a huge factor in terms of their overall health. Organizations now need to provide them with some resources to help their employees to explore how they might be able to improve their own mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being.
Your employees need to hear a clear and consistent message that you care about their emotional well-being too. Although many corporate wellness programs now address the mental health of their employees via various programs and strategies, that is not enough. Hence, incorporating emotional wellness into your employee wellness program, starting this October with Emotional Wellness Month, can be a great kickstart.
I hope this article helped you better understand what wellness is and how emotional wellness is a crucial pillar of the overall wellness dimension.
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