A note about the Queen…
While many of us may have started this week in somber mood as we pay our respects to our late Queen, recent events have highlighted to me the incredible pressure those who work in a wide range of sectors from civil and security services, royal households to national transport and places of worship, must be under to ensure the country can navigate it’s way to the capital and beyond to accommodate people’s wishes to be part of history and offer their condolence. Happiness at work is probably my most passionate topic. I hope that all those being called to action over these recent weeks will be well supported to ensure their wellbeing is being maintained.
International Happiness at Work week
In this International Happiness at Work week I wanted to highlight part of their manifesto which states; ‘Let us, as employees, employer’s, entrepreneurs, organisations, and especially as human beings work together to make happiness at work the norm and not the exception.’ On average, if you work full time, you will spend 35 hours a week at work and for me personally I want to ensure that for the majority of that time I am happy in my work.
I have had very mixed experiences of happiness at work over the last 40 years. In the main, my time at work has been an enjoyable experience. This has been not only been driven by my love for the work that I was doing but also the people I worked with. It’s been vital to work with people that I can get along with, not necessarily those that I want to forge lifelong friendships with, although I have many, but having trust, mutual respect and our differences has been key.
For me the most important part of ensuring I am happy at work has been the relationship with my line manager and trust me I’ve experienced them all. From those that barely knew my name to those that briefly knew something wasn’t quite right and would take time to check in to see if there was anything they could do to help.
Five ways to wellbeing
I find that the Five Ways to Wellbeing have always helped me to think about my happiness at work;
- Connect – putting time aside weekly to catch up with work colleagues.
- Be active – I try to get outside of work every day for a short walk at lunchtime.
- Take notice – what’s going on in the moment and clearing clutter off my desk.
- Learn – time over a cuppa with friends at work to learn more about them and their interests.
- Give – I make sure that every day I thank someone at work, it means a lot when they do it to me.
Hybrid working has been both challenging and a welcome change for me. After the pandemic I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Living and working alone was not good for my mental health and I was keen to meet up with my ‘work friends’, however many had chosen to stay working from home. As the new norm settled, many chose to take up the offer of the hybrid version of working which I am now actually embracing.
One final point to consider, when I returned to work after recovering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder, I found the Wellness Action Plan to be a helpful tool to have an open and honest conversation with my manager; and for me to think of ways to maintain my wellbeing which ultimately leads to me being happier in my work.
Today’s Guest Blogger
Huge thanks to our very own Dorset Mind Ambassador Ambassador Sarah, blogs for International happiness at work week and offers advice on how she manages her own happiness at work.
Help and support
If you need support, please reach out. Don’t suffer alone.
We can help with non-crisis interventions. Dorset Mind offers group support that can also help with your wellbeing. The group offers peer support and helps to reduce stigma by normalising conversations about mental health. You can also check out further support for stress and mental health here. You’ll find links for 1-2-1 and groups mental health support we offer here.
If you are struggling to cope with your mental health in general, please talk to your GP. If you’re in a crisis, treat it as an emergency. Call 999 immediately or The Samaritans, FREE on 116 123. NHS Dorset’s Helpline ‘Connection’ can be reached on 0800 652 0190. It’s also available 24/7.