The environment one finds themselves in intimately shapes their mental health.
When we feel good about the environment surrounding us, it can make us feel great about ourselves as an extension—more confident, secure, and relaxed. On the flip side, if the environment is stifling and negative, it can make us feel like a burden—anxious, depressed and lonely.
We all want to live in an environment that’s inclusive, happy, and supportive. Not only for the betterment of our own well-being, but also for us to perform our duties effectively.
Whether you’re a mental health professional looking to foster a positive atmosphere in your clinic, or a business professional looking to improve your workforce’s mental health and productivity, here are some tips on establishing a positive atmosphere in your place.
1) Talk Candidly About Mental Health
Many people close themselves off when the topic of mental health is raised. They may label it as an excuse to be unproductive, or something that should be suppressed and buried inside.
If you hold this perspective, then perhaps it’s best to work on changing your mindset first. Employees whose feelings constantly get dismissed, mislabeled or shunned won’t find it easy to speak up and open up about their feelings.
This, in turn, can compel them to turn away from you and look elsewhere to seek their needs. While department heads and managers aren’t supposed to meddle with the intricacies of their subordinate’s woes, it’s a good step to be a safe space for them to express their grievances, whatever they may be.
Be a leader that practices compassion and empathy. This can make your employees feel safer, and in turn, feel more committed to doing meaningful work assigned to them. As their superior, you may also give them nudges on how they can deal with their problem, such as seeking out help from a counsellor.
2) Declutter Your Area
A messy environment can infest the mind, making it chaotic. It can get significantly harder to stay focused and in the right headspace when the entire room is in disarray.
As such, set aside some time to tidy up your place. If your office is filled with sprawled folders, unorganised papers, and crumpled-up documents, do the dirty work and declutter them. If you hold a high position in the company, you can even dedicate an afternoon for your employees to declutter their workstations.
An orderly environment helps people stay focused and unencumbered by distracting visual stimuli. This, in turn, allows them to stay focused on the task at hand and perform better. You can also start enforcing guidelines to maintain the hygiene of your offices, such as restricting employees from eating at the table or penalizing litterers.
3) Furnish Your Space with Appropriate Items
The type of furniture you pick sets the tone for the entire space. If it’s too basic and drab, it may tarnish the space’s overall flair. In worst-case scenarios, these pieces could even cause discomfort and injury, two things that could harm your reputation as an employer and as a business at large.
To mitigate this, it’s a good idea to invest in furniture that’s comfortable and ergonomic. Items such as adjustable office chairs, standing desks, and footrests are good first options, providing enough to keep your employees focused and well-adjusted.
If you are constructing a mental health space for professional purposes, consider investing in Knightsbridge mental health furniture. This furniture line is specially designed to provide comfort, utility, and safety in your space, all while looking pleasant and aesthetic.
4) Dedicate A Space and Time to Decompress
Are your employees always complaining about feeling cramped in their work areas? Maybe your client wants to be alone in their thoughts for a while. If so, consider setting up an area in your office where employees can take a break whenever they feel like it.
This space should be designed in a way to promote restfulness and tranquillity. To do so, you can designate the place in a naturally quiet part of the office. Place soft-cushioned sofa seats, a desk, and a coffee machine nearby for your employee’s convenience.
Having a resting pod can help you and your employees mentally refresh, giving them the breathing room you need to mentally make it through the day.
5) Make Use of Greenery
Plants are some of the easiest and most common ways to bring life into the office. Not only do these greens clean the air of toxins, but studies have also shown that they reduce stress and boost calm feelings, making them a great office companion.
Any type of plant can get the job done and improve the environment’s overall ambience. However, if you have the choice, consider getting a tall plant. For one, tall plants are a great aesthetic choice as they can add depth to the area and hide unsightly wires or cables. Secondly, tall plants are also good at relieving stress, making them a silent sanctuary in high-stress environments.
6) Encourage Healthy Dietary Habits
Mental health and nutrition are intimately linked. Foods rich in saturated fats, sugars, and oils are prone to making you feel lethargic, which can negatively impact people’s work performance. As such, make sure that your employees have access to nutritious meals.
If your company offers free lunches in the cafeteria, make sure that the offerings have a good balance of proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates.
If your office doesn’t offer lunches, then consider holding a seminar that sheds light on the connection between food and mental well-being. You can use this opportunity to list down healthy and affordable meal ideas for employees that have tight budgets as well.