The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly but surely disappearing. More people are speaking out about their experiences. More people are becoming aware of the importance of therapy. It’s a new day for people to take charge of their personal issues without suffering in silence. This is why, as an employer, it’s important to be proactive about providing a safe space for your employees who might suffer with winter blues. Consider the following ways you can do this.
Normalize an Ongoing Conversation Surrounding Mental Health
It might feel awkward at first, but it’s important to create a healthy dialogue around mental health. Consider hosting weekly or bi-weekly company seminars or collaborative sessions. In those sessions, you can bring in a professional to lead a discussion surrounding productivity, effective work-life balance and more. However, it’s good to center some of those conversations around mental health. Don’t pound employees over the head with the topic, but bring it up in a practical way to help them understand it is okay to talk about it and get help.
Change the Lighting
One of the main reasons why people suffer with the winter blues is because there is less daylight. One of the most practical ways you can help your employees is by changing the lighting. If you currently have blinds or window treatments that don’t allow the light to come, change them. Natural light is important. Additionally, it’s wise to get LED retrofit lighting. It’ll change the look of the office. Plus, it’ll positively impact the moods of the employees.
Provide Snacks and Warm Drinks
Sometimes, a hot cup of tea or coffee is the extra boost a person needs to get through their morning. While these drinks are great, don’t offer cinnamon rolls or doughnuts to match. Instead, find healthy snacks that will help to fuel your employees as they work. An assortment of nuts and granola bars can work well. Walnuts are great for brainpower. Whole-grain chips and guacamole are perfect for sneaking in the health benefits of avocados. The foods in their bodies will directly impact their ability to function at optimal levels during this season.
Integrate Exercise into the Company Culture
Encourage exercise and movement. If there is a nearby gym, find a way to create a partnership with the gym so that your employees can enjoy a discount. Create a “Biggest Loser” competition to help employees become motivated to exercise together.
As you work to provide solutions, understand that you don’t need to become anyone’s therapist. It’s really about providing solutions and answers. Offering an online list of psychotherapists within the company’s health care plan is a solution. Recommending an employee take the afternoon off is a solution. It’s just about being proactive. When you prioritize your employees in this way, workplace productivity will improve because they’re taken care of.