Who reminds you to look after your Mental Health?

who reminds you to look after your mental health

As a self-employed person, I find my life can be busy juggling work, family, fitness, friends…. You get the picture I am sure – your own life is probably quite full-on too.  

If you are in a position of responsibility for others at work, you are likely to dedicate time to ensuring their mental health and wellbeing is supported. But, who reminds you to look after your own?  Is your own mental health agenda scribbled in at the end of a long to-do list? 

I must admit, I am guilty of this from time to time!

mary attending the Vocational rehabilitation association annual conferenceSo, when I had the opportunity to take some time out and meet some zoom colleagues at a recent conference, I jumped at the chance.  This was going to be time out for me on many levels. This is me, waiting for everyone to arrive.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Association held their annual Conference in the amazing Gherkin Building in London last week – and I went!  The Theme of the event was VR Practice 2023 and Beyond. #BeingTheBestYouCanBe. What a day I had.

We explored the importance of reflection and the value of sharing our experiences with others to aid learning.  This sharing of experiences deepens our understanding of other people’s perspectives and challenges they face. Allowing us in turn to be better able to help others.

Pausing to reflect on what we are doing can help us; 

  • appreciate what we do well,
  • identify ways we can improve things,
  • reinforce our sense of self,
  • facilitate our ongoing learning and development,
  • support our health and wellbeing.

We also considered resilience and the importance of having a broad support network, among other strategies, to maintain our own wellbeing. Being the best we can be all the time, I believe, is really hard, life’s pathway is not straightforward. 

Reflective questions can guide us and keep us moving in that direction.

Emma from Emma Smith Coaching posed some really interesting questions.  My favourites of the day are listed below.  You too can ask these questions of yourself, perhaps you might want to write down your answers, or decorate your wall with colourful sticky notes. Whatever works for you, I hope you ask them of yourself and create a habit of self-reflection.

When you are at your best……

  1. where were you?
  2. what were you doing?
  3. who were you with?
  4. how were you feeling?
  5. what were you thinking?
  6. how were you behaving?
  7. what were you saying?

When we are at our best, we live and work better!  We are more engaged with our lives and those around us.  We work effectively, maybe even enjoy it more and avoid the risk of absenteeism.

Doesn’t everybody want this?

If I had to summarise the day, it would have to be this powerful statement;

“Recognize the influence of yourself on a situation – and the influence of the situation on yourself”

Take time to pause.

Reflect on your reactions and actions in a way that will support your mental health (and your colleagues).

Ask yourself some reflective questions.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.