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Mental Health In Your Workplace

COVID-19 (the ugly beast we just can’t seem to shake) is doing a whole lot worse than just affecting businesses. 
A June 2021 survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that one-in-five Australians are experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress due to COVID-19. A lack of socialisation, increased stress, and a general level of uncertainty for our future have all been key factors affecting mental health in our communities.  
Seamless SMSF’s attempt to mitigate the pandemic blues was to introduce Self-Care September for our staff. This program consisted of 2 weeks of self-care activities, ranging from small tasks the team could complete at their desks, to Zoom sessions on wellness techniques and skills. 
From our own experiences as a business, we have compiled some tips for starting your own self-care journey, implementing your own “Self-Care Month” in the workplace, or even creating daily, ongoing practices. 
Nutrition  
Many studies have shown that eating a well-balanced diet can have a beneficial impact on our mental health. Fuelling your body helps fuel your mind! Ensuring you have a mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats in your diet is important. 
Comparatively, poor diets have been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, they can lead to symptoms such as sluggishness, poor memory, irritability, and insomnia. Whilst highly processed foods taste delicious, consuming them in excess could be having more of a detrimental effect on your well-being than it’s worth. 
Morning Meditation  
Starting your morning with a meditation ritual can set you up for a successful day. Daily meditation has been proven to lower stress and anxiety levels, improve your overall mood, increase your focus, and boost productivity.  
YouTube is a great free resource with many guided meditation videos for those wanting to start meditating for the first time. Having direction for your meditation session will ensure you are reaping as many benefits as possible and are distracted from intruding thoughts that may ruin your relaxation time.  
Practising Gratitude 
Gratitude, simply put, is the feeling you experience when you think of what you are thankful for in life. Research has shown that worry and gratitude cannot co-exist in the same brain.  
Practising gratitude can take many forms. It can be journaling what you are thankful for, telling someone you are grateful for them or something they did, thinking of positive aspects of your life in meditation, or doing something kind for someone in your life to express your gratitude for them. 
Goal Setting 
In times of uncertainty, it is easy for you to get lost in your thoughts and lack the drive to achieve your life goals. The best technique to combat this is to write down your goals and all the steps required to accomplish them. Statistically, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams if you write them down, compared to simply goal setting in your mind. 
As New York Times, best-selling author Harvey McKay said, a goal is simply a dream with a deadline. List your top one-year objectives, choose the most achievable and realistic options, and determine the steps you need to take to make your dream a reality. 
While all these tips may not work for everyone, implementing some strategies into your daily life will likely improve your wellness. Most importantly, if no self-care strategies can pull you out of a funk, make sure you reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, or medical professionals. There will always be someone willing to help.
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