Life is not all about the money, the prestige, or the position, and the best career choices that you can make are those that will be good for your mental health and wellbeing over the long term. This is a tricky assertion, as not all jobs will be viewed the same by the incumbents, and one person’s perfect role may be another’s worst nightmare.
Just as some perform best under immense pressure and others will crumble and fail. The one instance producing diamonds and the other coal. As such, this article looks at the principles that should be adhered to so that you are ensured of a career choice that suits you and is beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. The main point is that no one should feel stressed about going to work, and this is why it will be important to follow as many of the guiding principles and tips detailed herein as possible.
What is good mental health and wellbeing?
It is now widely accepted that good mental health is a great deal more than the absence of illness. It is something that affects us all and should thus concern us all, regardless of whether we suffer from a specific mental illness or not. Good mental health and wellbeing are the states of general wellbeing that are related to and dependent on the social and emotional health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. For people of diverse cultures, it will be quite a different concept, but generally, it relates to the following:-
- Enjoying your life:- One of the best signifiers of good mental health is that you enjoy your life. No matter what the challenges life throws at you, you need to be able to have fun and actually enjoy living. Again, this will be different for different people, and as such, you need to find what drives you and makes you happy and do as much of this as possible.
- Being able to bounce back from grief or sadness. This shows an emotional resilience that will ensure you are able to cope with what life has in store for you. We will all face a certain amount of sadness and several obstacles in our lives. It is important to realize that we are not the only ones to struggle and to move on as best as possible. This ability is key to good mental health.
- Being able to initiate and maintain positive relationships with others. It is proven that those with healthy, strong relationships with others will live longer, happier, and healthier than those who do not have such relationships. These people will also be there for you to ask for advice from and mentor and guide you through any tough times.
- Having hopes and dreams and being able to work towards these. This shows a sense of purpose and being able to look positively at the future. This kind of outlook will do wonders for your positivity and, as such, your mental health.
The workplace principles to help you defend against mental health issues
Deadlines are important, but no deadline is worth risking your mental health and wellbeing for. The aim is to enjoy your job and manage the amount of stress that comes with it while meeting and making these deadlines without having enormous amounts of anxiety or stress. Unless you are able to do your role on an ongoing basis without too much stress, then you should consider a change in career or implementing activities/actions that will serve to mitigate the stress from work. Alternatively, ask for help.
For some people, the work rewards and financial remuneration are the main aims of working. The remuneration and monthly wage are what we work for, and if there are additional rewards and bonuses for performance, this will serve to drive an entire range of professionals. Many find that as long as the rewards are sufficient, then the stress is bearable or acceptable. The danger of burnout is then raised and should be monitored. No one should overwork just for the additional money that they want to make.
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Furthermore, the idea of not earning enough is then the driver of stress and anxiety in this case, and the more rewards that are related to the role, the better.
More fun and enjoyment
You must have fun and enjoy your work as mentioned, as it’s what you will spend a great amount of your time doing for the majority of your life. If you’re not enjoying it, then the impact on your mental health is going to be extremely detrimental, considering how long you will spend at work. Again, it may sound cliche and unrealistic, and no one expects that you will enjoy every moment at work, but as a general rule of thumb, the workplace should be a place that you don’t mind going to.
Better skills, continuous personal development
Improving your skills and knowing exactly what you are expected to do in your role is one of the best ways to reduce and nullify stress. There’s nothing like confidence in your own skills to make you enjoy the job and keep going back for more. The ongoing and continuous personal and professional development through increased training and education will go a long way to making any job become the right job and reducing stress and anxiety in the process. It is a step-by-step process, and the main advice is to ensure that you engage with as much on-the-job- and job-related training as you can.
The role of a cogent human resources team is to ensure that the staff component is working at its most efficient. But also to collaborate with this employee team to build resilience and improve mental health and wellbeing. Human resource support in the workplace is vital to improve and provide additional resources for the mental health and wellbeing of all employees.
It is vital to realize that the drivers of stress and anxiety will be vastly different for everyone. The principles mentioned herein are a generalized selection of the most common ways and strategies to defend against those mental health concerns in the workplace that affect so many out there.
The careers that tend to provide the greatest sense of fulfillment are the best ones to look out for and plan for.
The caring professions…nursing, teaching, caring.
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This has to be top of the list as it has become accepted that for those with a nurturing personality and outlook, looking after others provides the best fulfillment possible. The so-called noble professions. Nursing has been noted as a work of heart, and the other caring professions are also in this category. Jobs that are done from a nurturing point of view and with the main aim being to help and support those who need it in the community. From primary health care to palliative care and everything in between, teaching, mental health support, and more are all regarded as careers that will provide a level of fulfillment that serves to cancel out the stress and make for a career that will build and protect your mental health and wellbeing.
Do what you love and love what you do
Yes, it’s a cliché, but it is possibly the truest of all the career cliches because if you do what you enjoy, you’re likely to enjoy yourself. It may not be as simple as this, but it must be the overarching aim of developing a career and minimizing work-related stress and anxiety.
It is proven that the ability to work outdoors, even if just for a few hours a day, is a wonderful way to keep your spirits up and maintain a positive frame of mind. Getting fresh air is the winning ingredient, and a job or career where you have time to spend time outdoors or that is based outdoors will go a long way to making you feel a great deal more positive about the job and yourself.
Try to make it part of the job by getting others in the work involved to donate some of their time and skills to others who need it most. Being able to help others and to do so through your workplace is one of the best activities to implement to make being at work a feel-good process.
Music and the arts
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In the list of the overall professional wellbeing jobs, the one that tops is a job in the arts. A musician is at number 3, and it is argued that will provide some of the best chances of a happy, healthy career. Life as a professional musician or artist can indeed be high pressure, but the fact that you’re always doing what you love, and it is relaxing in its very nature, allows most of those in this profession to find a splendid work-life balance.
The aspects of these careers that will affect your wellbeing
There are a number of factors that are used by all the measurement tools and researchers to determine the wellbeing and associated health impact that a specific job will provide.
Although the article has focused on wellness and health, unless you are getting paid what you feel the work is worth and are able to lead a lifestyle chosen by you and yours, money stresses rise to the surface. This is one of the main causes of family stress and anxiety and also the main reason most of us got to work in the first place. A decent salary regarded as fair and equitable will go a long way to improving health and wellness related and associated with your career or job.
The hours that you work and when these hours are will be a major contributor to your wellness and good health. It is proven that working late night shifts and unsociable hours can affect your wellness and mental health. As will working long hours without a regular break. It is critical to follow the set working time regulation in the state or country in which you are employed. These have been researched and determined for the specific roles and, as such, should be adhered to as much as possible.
Also Read: 15 Ways To Boost Workplace Wellbeing
If your role has a large component of automation or is being automated, it can cause a great deal of stress and adversely affect your wellbeing. Industrial automation has been seen to cause workers heightened anxiety and stress as they start to feel unwanted and as if they no longer have a role in the company. All automation must be implemented with human staff and employees’ involvement if their roles are to be affected.
Poor workplace Safety
If the job doesn’t have all the required safety regulations and standards in place, then those employed to do this work will, by its very nature, be quite stressed. No one should work in an unsafe environment, and the role of workplace health and safety assessments will be to ensure that safety levels are maintained and staff is kept as safe as possible at all times.
Most jobs have an element of a deadline or time pressure of some form. However, these time pressures should always be determined by the worker themselves and in specific relation to the task at hand and in regard to worker health and safety as well as mental wellbeing. No one can withstand constant pressures at the workplace, and these will serve to make the role untenable.
Having a career is fantastic, as work will be the main way that you spend most of your lifetime. However, as we have become more attuned to the importance of our mental health and wellbeing and understand exactly what this means, there have been significant changes in most workplaces and beyond to both discuss and improve access to support for mental health and wellbeing.
This article has examined the career choices that you can look to for better mental health and wellness. Lastly, even if you can’t get into these professions, the tips in the article will definitely be useful to improve your understanding of your own mental health challenges in the workplace and how to deal with them.