What one thing will you do to support your mental wellbeing at work in 2023?
The NABS team share how they will prioritise mental health this year.
The start of the New Year traditionally brings with it the avalanche of resolutions. Yet perhaps between the planning and the New Year’s resolutions we must also embrace the opportunity to reset and to be a little kinder to ourselves.
With burnout and stress levels at an all time high post-pandemic, the growing number of calls to NABS advice line underlined the mounting mental health crisis facing the advertising industry. Now is the time to position wellbeing above all else; to ensure better business, to create great work and to guarantee people’s happiness.
In 2023, mental health must be a priority not just a snappy headline or one off initiative. With this in mind we asked the team at NABS, what one thing will you do to support your mental wellbeing at work?
“This year, I’m going to take some more time to focus on my professional development. I feel that this is really key for my work wellbeing. I always feel much better about myself and what I have to offer after a good training session.
It’s not just about strengthening my toolkit or acquiring new skills. It’s about placing value on my professional self, taking time for me and getting a little break or a change of scenery. Last year, after a long training hiatus, I was lucky enough to win a WACL Talent Award. This enabled me to go on RADA Business’s Leadership in Action course. It was brilliant – mood-boosting, thought-provoking and a chance to connect with lots of different people looking to up their leadership ante. More of that please.
So, in 2023, you’ll find me taking dedicated time each week to watch a skill-boosting seminar or take in some educational reading. I’ll also make sure to invest time in an immersive, in-person training course. I know that doing both will help to fill up my cup.”
“After a challenging year, the one thing I’ll be doing to support my mental health next year will be starting a course of therapy, provided by NABS. NABS can provide therapy referrals to anybody in the industry, and I’m grateful that NABS staffers can benefit from this support service too.
I’ve always tried to take my mental health seriously but felt like I needed some extra expert external support to help me focus on looking after myself.
Just having the sessions booked in my diary made me feel better and more in control straight way. Although the thought of therapy can seem daunting, the NABS team made it really easy to arrange. It’s the one meeting in 2023 that I’m actually looking forward to!”
“As we continue to work in a flexible hybrid way, I plan to embrace the outdoors regardless of the weather in 2023! As many of our meetings continue to be via Teams and Zoom I plan to make at least one to two per week a walking meeting where possible and will actively encourage the other person/s to walk at the same time. Personally I find this ideal in a 1:1 type meeting or in my capacity as a Mental Health Ally. It’s re-energising, refreshing and freeing.
Also I won’t sweat the small stuff.
Following a chaotic start to the year with my partner’s health taking a dramatic turn, I returned to work with a calm and fresh perspective. After all, I’d already managed a trauma, and our lives are forever changed, so really what’s the worst that can happen at work? For 2023 I plan to consciously retain my new zen approach, enjoy my work and make an effort to bring calmness to others.”
“The one thing I will do to support my mental health wellbeing at work in 2023 is to take my full lunch hour and time outs. I have found that when I do not take breaks, my clarity of thought is impaired and tasks can take longer – for example needing to re-read work and make more tweaks. When I routinely take breaks, I am on it, my output is consistent, and I am able to work smarter. At lunch, I leave the office, or home, and take a short walk (that change of scenery is crucial); come back and eat my lunch in the kitchen, or an area that is not my desk.
My time outs vary from a stretch in my chair or standing, taking a few deep breaths, walking to another
area of the office/home, and back. If a meeting ends early, I use the remaining time in similar ways. When working from home, my favourite is to put on a much-loved song and dance like no-one is watching – that really gets the endorphins flowing! I invite you to give it a try. Your body and brain will appreciate you for the variety and opportunities to reset.”
“Energy management. The last few years have really taught me how much I need to listen to my body and mind to feel healthy, energised and creative and not to negatively impact the relationships I value. Walking, in particular, has been my saviour. In total, I aim to walk two hours throughout the day. I do this by going for a walk in the morning before work starts for at least 40 minutes, and then also at lunch and after work. When it’s appropriate, I have walking meetings. Walking so often has saved my back; the fresh air clears my mind and any feelings of frustration. It has allowed me to have time to listen to podcasts and overall I feel better for it. My winter weather approach is to wrap up warm and wear the right clothes in which to brave the cold. Being selective on how I spend my time outside of work and who I socialise with dependant on my energy levels is all part of this. This is something I’m on a mission to continue and improve into 2023.”
This was originally published in Creative Brief.