woman sitting in a cafe holding a mug of coffeeDoes your job ever affect your mental health in a negative way? Thankfully, there are steps you can take at your job to help protect your mental health. Here are five tips to improve your wellness at work.


5 Tips to Maintain Mental Health at Work

Jun 21, 2023

woman sitting in a cafe holding a mug of coffee

Does your job ever affect your mental health in a negative way? Tough projects, conflicts with co-workers or changing duties on your job can all play a role in your mental health. According to Mental Health America, 78% of workers agree that workplace stress affects their mental health. Thankfully, there are steps you can take at your job to help protect your mental health. Here are five tips to improve your wellness at work.

Be Patient with Yourself

Getting back into the workforce, starting work for the first time or just changing roles at your current job are big changes. Be patient with yourself. You'll need to get used to new people, tasks and schedules. When everything happens at the same time, it may not be easy to manage. Give yourself time to adjust to new surroundings and activities. When you're training for a job, it can be stressful to take in so much information. Try not to be hard on yourself and ask for help when you need it.

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Want to learn more about the connections between mental health and employment? Join us June 21, 2023, for our next Webinar: "Managing Stress During Your Job Search and Beyond"

Communicate with Your Supervisor

Your supervisor isn't just the person who assigns work and approves your timesheet. Your supervisor is a source of support. For example, if you have problems at work with a particular task or interacting with a particular co-worker, communicate honestly about it with your supervisor. If you're uncomfortable discussing issues with an immediate supervisor, reach out to someone else who can help, like a human resources staff member.  

Take Breaks

If you're having a stressful day at work, sometimes it helps to just take a break. Breaks are built into your day to assure you don't overdo it and work too long. Use these breaks to clear your mind, get some fresh air and relax. Bring a book to work and read for a while during your break. Take a breather in a way that helps you relax. You'll feel refreshed and return to work ready to start your next project. Try not to skip the breaks your boss offers you. We never dreamed of skipping recess when we were kids, so let's not skip our well-deserved breaks as employees.

Job accommodations may help!

Some situations can be resolved by asking for reasonable accommodations. Visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN)  for information about workplace accommodations and what may be available in your situation. Also, read our blog post Mental Health Support on the Job: Reasonable Accommodations to learn more about accommodations you can request at work.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Focus on the tasks and projects you finished during the workday. Once you track your finished tasks, you'll see that you achieved more than you thought! Celebrate that you completed half of the big filing project your supervisor assigned you. Give yourself credit for making most of the calls on your long call list. If you only focus on everything that's left to do, it can be overwhelming. Recognize what you accomplished today, and it can give you positive energy to finish up tomorrow. Each step you complete gets you closer to finishing your "to-do" list.

Practice Self-care

Self-care can include activities like meditation, special hobbies, taking a nap or journaling. Simply resting on your day off is a great way to practice self-care. Try not to pack too many busy errands and other work into your days off. Use some of that time for self-care. For ideas, check out our blog, An Intro to Self-Care: Tips for Sleep, Nutrition and Well-Being. It offers great tips on taking care of your mental and physical health. Self-care helps you be intentional about lowering your stress level to help maintain good mental health. Maintaining good mental health is important at work, and overall! Be sure to speak to your doctor about healthy ways to improve your mental health.

How Can Ticket to Work Help?

The Ticket to Work Program may help take some of the stress out of job searching. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants can work with service providers to receive the service and supports they need to find and maintain employment as they move toward financial independence through work.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. You can also learn more by registering for a free, online Work Incentives Seminar Event webinar. Or text TICKET to 1-571-489-5292 to receive Ticket Program texts. Standard messaging rates may apply, and you can opt out at any time.

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