Take charge and manage your mental fitness

Last month our teams attended a Mental Fitness virtual training with Howatt HR Consulting to help gain a deeper understanding of what mental fitness is, what impacts our mental fitness and insights for managing our mental health both in the workplace and at home.

Howatt HR Consulting is a human resource firm focused on psychological health and safety in the workplace. Their vision is to see thriving organizations where health and productivity are connected and an intentional part of the day-to-day culture.

In this training session we learned important and valuable ways that employers can support employees’ mental health. This can be particularly beneficial during difficult times like the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. One way we learned to do this is to provide employees an opportunity to develop a mental fitness plan, a proactive approach to reducing the risk of mental health issues and addictive disorders. This plan is a great way to help to support employees in developing and strengthening their mental health.

With our people at the forefront of our organization, the Mental Fitness training made it clear to understand and appreciate the value in training our minds. The more we train and prepare our mental health for strain, the better our minds will be able to manage demands put upon it, and more quickly we can recover when we do experience difficult times. The environment plays a big role, which is why employers who are committed to developing psychologically safe workplaces and leaders are in a much better position to support employees’ mental health.

So how do we create this plan and better yet, stick to it? Well, it has been said that we have two brains, the conscious brain, and the unconscious brain, but we cannot control how they communicate with each other. If our mind is wandering, our conscious brain can benefit from calming. If we are restless and feel tense and anxious, our unconscious brain can benefit from calming. We cannot just tell it to calm down; we need to engage it in activities that create calm. When we can calm that part of the brain, we feel it in our body.

It is important to stick to your plan but often time like any fitness routine or plan it can be easy to “fall off the wagon” when other things tend to take priority over even ourselves. Stick to your mental fitness plan by regularly tracking and monitoring progress. Journaling is a powerful way to record what you are doing so you can go back and review your progress. When you are feeling down, an objective record can remind you that there are good and bad days. Making time for yourself and your mental health will allow for a clear mind and open heart both in the workplace and at home.

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