This week has been all about mental health, or mental wealth as I prefer. I’ve had some exciting conversations with organizations who are recognizing the importance of supporting mental, as well as physical health for their employees, and it feels as if there is an increasing awareness of the importance of creating a space to be open and honest about our own mental health.
This week the Guardian featured a powerful piece on the ‘epidemic of burnout’ in the workplace today https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/21/how-burnout-became-a-sinister-and-insidious-epidemic
Burnout, breakdown – however we choose to term it – is not pretty. It takes a long time to put the pieces back together and for many people it means being unable to continue with work that they once loved. So how can coaching help to support mental health?
A coaching relationship is first and foremost one of safety and confidentiality. Like therapy, it is a place to be with powerful emotions and to fully experience what is going on right in that moment. Sometimes simply knowing that these emotions are OK and important, is enough to allow clients to tap in to their own inner resilience and identify how to support themselves. For others coaching may be a gateway to accessing other support such as counselling or psychotherapy.
Start to notice your own mental health warning triggers. In the same way we notice if our jeans feel tight, or if we’re struggling to get up a hill, watch out for sleeping problems, feelings of panic or anxiety, irritability, or simply the constant chatter of our inner critic. These are our early warning lights – a strong signal to start paying attention to our mental health. It’s helpful to build up a bank of resources that you know work for you. I always feel better after getting active outdoors and spending time with nature. Sometimes simply catching up with a friend or getting in to bed 30 mins early and resting before sleep can help. If your usual toolkit isn’t working, act NOW. Tell someone. Speak to your GP. Open yourself up to the range of support which is out there. You don’t have to do this on your own.
For more information on coaching go to www.helenmc.com
For information on how coaching can support mental health in the workplace go to www.sanctus.io