By LOUISA DEVADASON
We currently live in a world that just doesn’t switch off. With so many apps, work and other responsibilities have a way of finding you – it is a sensory overload. It’s no surprise that this can overwhelm many.
The National Health & Morbidity Survey 2015 reported that mental health concerns among adults had increased to 18% in just 10 years.
The study found that these concerns were most prevalent among young adults and those from low-income households. The most common reported condition was anxiety – which affects 1 in 13 people globally.
Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry Emeritus at Boston University, David Barlow defines anxiety as “a future-oriented mood state in which one is not ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events”.
When this feeling of impending doom intensifies, it can lead to debilitating panic attacks, gastrointestinal distress and more serious mental disorders as well as other physiological symptoms.
A strong, resilient state of mental health wellbeing is pivotal to life satisfaction, social engagement, productivity as well as personal and professional excellence.
One of the reasons employees – particularly young professionals – experience distress is the friction and uncertainty that come with taking on a new role.
This is often coupled with poor support systems and coping mechanisms that make employees spiral further down.
So, what can leaders of organisations do to improve this issue?
- Learn and understand what anxiety can be like for different people.
- Create a safe space for sharing. It is not always realistic to expect employees to separate work and personal issues as they interplay and affect each other.
- Collaborate with employees to create reasonable deadlines and effective processes.
- Be supportive of employees seeking help.
- Respect work-life balance.
- Organise training for employees to learn how to support each other and resolve conflict better.
Creating a compassionate, personal environment at work is the most productive thing a leader can do for both the capacity-building of employees as well as creating an organisation that people want to be loyal to and be appreciated.
If you are experiencing burnout, no amount of external motivation can alleviate your thoughts and emotions. One way out is to adopt self-care strategies that will help you adopt new perspectives. Check out these tips.
Louisa is currently pursuing a Masters of Development Practice overseas — majoring in community development. She is an editorial associate and freelance writer with Leaderonomics. An extrovert who loves to bug her team and the outdoors; she thinks change is exciting and should be embraced.