Empowering your workforce to overcome anxiety

HR / Managers

Empowering your workforce to overcome anxiety

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This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 and an important time for us to reflect on the impact that poor mental health can have on our employees.  

This year’s campaign focuses on anxiety, and we recently conducted a thought-provoking 1-hour online talk on anxiety coping strategies that we delivered to over 200 Wellness Cloud users.

Below, we’ll delve into some of the content from the talk, looking at anxiety in the workplace and some actionable steps you can put in place to support your workforce.  

Understanding anxiety and its impact 

Anxiety is a prevalent mental health condition, affecting approximately 8 million individuals in the UK, according to the Mental Health Foundation. It’s an innate survival mechanism triggered by our brains in response to perceived threats, leading to the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

While a certain level of anxiety can be healthy, excessive or unhealthy anxiety can hinder daily activities and diminish overall quality of life. Recognising the symptoms is crucial for HR and managers to provide timely support and assistance to those in need. 

Supporting your employees 

Thankfully, there are lots of ways for companies to support their employees in managing anxiety and maintaining good mental health. 

The first step an organisation can take is to encourage employees to seek professional assistance, such as therapy or counselling. Talking therapy can provide invaluable support for people that are having issues with anxiety. By normalising the importance of seeking help, you can foster a culture that prioritises mental health and empowers employees to proactively seek help:  

Promoting healthy lifestyle choices

Promote healthy lifestyle choices that contribute to anxiety reduction. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and mindfulness practices have proven to be effective strategies. By advocating for these activities, you can create an environment that values holistic well-being. 

Emotional health and self-awareness

Encourage employees to develop emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Providing access to workshops, training sessions, and self-help materials allows individuals to better understand their emotions, reactions, and stressors. Equipped with this knowledge, they can cultivate healthier coping mechanisms and navigate their emotional well-being more effectively.  

Preventing burnout

Acknowledge the dangers of burnout and strive to prevent it within your workforce. Encourage employees to adopt a positive work-life balance and set realistic expectations. By fostering a supportive environment that values work-life integration, you reduce the risk of burnout and mitigate anxiety. 

Building resilience

Recognise the pivotal role that self-esteem and resilience play in overcoming challenges. Encourage employees to acknowledge their strengths, celebrate achievements, and practice self-compassion. Promote healthy thinking patterns, such as reframing negative thoughts and focusing on solutions, to equip individuals with effective tools to combat anxiety. 

While Mental Health Awareness Week is a significant opportunity to promote support and awareness, it’s vital to maintain these efforts throughout the year. Building a workplace environment where employees can thrive requires a long-term investment in their wellbeing. By making mental health a continuous priority, we build a stronger workplace culture that empowers individuals to overcome anxiety and enhances overall productivity and satisfaction, beyond Mental Health Week 2023.

To watch our full online talk on learning to manage your anxiety, click below.