3 Ways To Work With Mental Health Issues
Living and working with a mental illness.
Therapy 29th Dec, 2020
Continuing to work when you are suffering with mental health issues is a very personal choice. Whether it is financially necessary, or helps you with a routine, make sure you consult with your doctor, therapist, or relevant charity to find out what your options are. When you know if there is financial help available, you can explore what is best for you. If you do choose to go to work, for whatever reason, then follow any professional advice you are given as well as considering the three ideas below.
Have Open Discussions With Management:
It is vital that your manager knows what is happening when you are having mental health issues. Nobody can see into your mind and if you are having difficulty performing at your usual levels it will allow your boss to understand why this is the case. Informing management also gives you a measure of protection and perhaps a little sympathy and kindness. In addition, when your boss knows what you are suffering with, s/he is obliged to provide help and potentially make adjustments, where that is practical and possible.
Set Realistic Goals:
It is likely there will be times when you are not working at your usual capacity. Therefore, before this becomes an issue, set realistic goals. Evaluate with your manager what parts of your job role are vital and what can be given to your colleagues when necessary. Look at your working hours and talk about any potential reduction you may need. If you have contingencies in place it could ease the anxiety and pressure you feel.
Accept Yourself As You Are:
Right now you may be struggling and that is not your fault. Accept that you are still the wonderful person you always have been, with current difficulties. There is no blame around mental health issues, all you can do is seek professional help and follow guidance. This may take some time, give yourself the space you need. Remember to love yourself too, if you are having a difficult day there may be things you can’t do that you normally wouldn’t even think twice about. If you always eat wholemeal bread, but all the supermarket has is white and you can’t face trying somewhere else, buy white. If you can’t complete a job at work, use your contingency plan. This is ok, do not tell yourself that you have failed if you can’t complete a task.
Overall, learning to live with mental health issues can be challenging. Bear in mind you are only human, you do not have to be a superhero. If people in your life are offering to help and it will actually make a difference, accept the help. Learn to ask for help too, if you usually wash all the clothes but see that as an insurmountable task, ask your partner/housemate/neighbour to help. They are not mind readers so you do need to make people aware when you are having difficulties. You may be surprised how much people are happy and willing to do.