To kickoff Mental Health Month, our employee-owners met with speaker Dr. Jessica Jackson, a licensed counseling psychologist, to learn about the intersection of mental health and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). With Dr. Jackson’s background in clinical diversity and psychology, our team was excited to dig in and expand our knowledge about the link between mental health and DEIB. This educational meeting stemmed from our commitment to deepening our understanding of these topics, so we can help our employee-owners flourish both inside and outside of the workplace.
Through her guest speaking session, Dr. Jackson shared many tips to help cope with burnout, stress, setting boundaries, and the power of ‘no,’ and we want to extend those learnings to our community, you! Keep reading to find key takeaways from our time with Dr. Jackson.
Something that is unfortunately all too common in today’s workplace is burnout. Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. The important thing to remember with burnout is simply resting might not be your answer to recovery. Listening to your body can be your most powerful tool. Ask yourself “what do I need?” Maybe it’s scheduling part of your day to be truly unplugged or taking some mental health time away to be with those you love most. The main takeaway is learning to listen within can help you recover from burnout, faster.
The act of setting boundaries takes time and practice. When beginning to set boundaries for yourself, consider starting small with tasks you can control. Shut your laptop at a specific time or silence your phone for a few hours a day. Setting physical barriers like taping your laptop at the end of the day helps reinforce those boundaries you set for yourself. When it comes to social boundaries, allow for time to pause and reflect to avoid jumping into an obligation that is uncomfortable or that you will have to break in the future.
The Power of ‘No’
Sometimes saying an easy word can be difficult. We feel the need to justify using ‘no’ as a complete answer. Remember the power of pause and reflect; pause and delay an answer until you have time to truly reflect on what it is you are being asked and how your answer will affect your mental health. Saying no is always an option. And as Dr. Jackson stated, “remember, every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ to something else.”
Alleviate Stress in the Workplace
Knowing that long periods of stress can lead to burnout, how do we alleviate those quick bursts of stress, so they don’t affect our long-term mental health? We can start with communication; talk about how you are feeling and discuss capacity of work on an ongoing basis with those who can make a difference. Check-in with other team members, ask how they are doing, what they need, and how you can help. We’re always stronger together. And finally, always ask “who is not in the room” before making decisions that will affect others and their workload, to ensure inclusion and alleviate future stress for both them and you.
Butler/Till and Digital Hyve are committed to continuing learning about these important topics and amplifying the conversation of mental health. Together, with our communities’ DEIB experts, we strive to be that advocate for all.