Going through a rough patch at work?

Written By
Theresa Schachner

Constantly checking emails, coordinating meetings, catching up with colleagues, and trying to stay on top of your industry – it’s no secret anymore that work is a strong factor for stress in the 21st century. The global pandemic really didn’t make things easier with blurring work/life boundaries, harsh reduction of personal interactions, and the constant flow of bad news. And on top of that, we saw an explosion of people suffering from mental health problems in the last years – as many as 1 in 4 people suffers or has experienced periods of suffering from mental health problems [1].

While there is no simple cause-effect-solution recipe for understanding mental health, we should take a closer look at what it actually means when we push ourselves to work when struggling with our mental wellbeing (and for all HR personnel, this might sound like a warning sign storm!). Here’s what it really means when we are “only go through a rough patch”:

1.   We get sick and have to stay home – and we’re talking about a staggering amount of up to 57% of missed workdays directly or indirectly caused by stress & anxiety
2.   We can’t work as productively anymore – such “presenteeism” is not to be taken lightly, as it costs companies up to a whooping USD 100 million in lost revenues every year
3.   We change job when it simply gets too much – especially younger generations pull the safety line earlier, leading to a staggering 75% of millennials and Gen Z workers who have changed job due to mental health reasons
4.   We are demotivated and stall in our professional development – and we all know that tasks evolve, jobs change, and freezing is not the answer to react to it

Did these effects of poor mental wellbeing surprise you? Are they bigger than expected? In any case, we should not give up in despair as there is hope – besides acute help for the concerned, anyone and any business can integrate small life hacks into the daily work routine to prevent us even reaching such staggering mental wellbeing status. Following a simple 3-3-3-3 breathing routine only for a few minutes a day can do wonders. The simplicity of it – breathing in for 3 seconds, holding your breath for 3 seconds, breathing out for 3 seconds, and holding your breath for 3 seconds – makes it easy to learn it and integrate in your work routine. Just give it a try the next time your meeting gets rescheduled last minute, your workload seems like Mount Everest, and the weekend is a million days away!