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Five top tips for better wellbeing in the workplace

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The pandemic, deadlines, home life, and so much more impacts all of us at various times. Taking care our own, and one another’s wellbeing and health is much needed, although it doesn’t always come naturally or easily for many of us. We understand this can be overwhelming, confusing and difficult, so here are some mental health and wellbeing tips for you to practice better wellbeing in your workplace, for yourself and those around you:

Have open conversations
Taking the time to talk to a manager or team member about what’s going on in your life is a great step in improving your wellbeing. Avoid jumping straight into discussions about business cases, project reports or programmes you manage when you start your meetings; it will help foster an open and friendly culture of working. “Simply checking in with your project team and colleagues and asking ‘how are you’ in an open way , is an important factor in individual and team wellbeing” stresses Siân Kitchen, senior programme manager at NHS England and improvement.

Take time to reflect and get to know yourself
“We need to get to know ourselves: what are our strengths and weaknesses? What gets us out of bed every day? By understanding your own strengths, you can channel them into your projects.” says Reetu Kansal, senior project manager at the university of London. When we consider mental health and wellbeing for ourselves we can be better at helping and supporting others, as well as progressing on our projects in a safe way.

Build your resilience
Resilience is a process that allows us to adapt well and positively when facing adversity; it can empower us and improve our lives. There are lots of ways to build resilience and it’s important to know that resilience isn’t a trait or characteristic. Resilience is a skill that can be learned and developed. Dr Clara Cheung, lecturer in project management emphasises how “it takes time and energy to build resilience, but it is a worthwhile investment to improve the quality of your life.”

Acknowledge when you feel tired
“Ensuring organisational and team culture is open to frank discussions about how the whole project team is doing is nothing less than vital” shares Richard Young in his blog. Isolation, burnout and fatigue can often be missed, especially as most of us continue to work from home. It’s really important to admit to yourself when things feel like they’re too much, and openly speak to your manager and project leaders.

Reframe your view of stress
Stress in itself may not be such a bad thing, but it’s how we react to it that can cause harm. Stress is a way for our body to prepare us to perform better. When we allow ourselves to acknowledge stress, and think about it in a more positive way, we’re more likely to have lower stress levels since we’re able to manage it better.

Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing are vital for a thriving workplace, enabling better performance, concentration and success. Join the project management community as a member today and be part of the APM Hub where you can safely connect with other project professionals, share tips and be welcomed into our growing community. And remember, you are the greatest project you will ever work on.

Read about renewing yourself with nature, this year's theme for mental health awareness week. For more resources and advice, visit APM’s mental health and wellbeing toolkit

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