Mental Health Awareness - Day 3 – Switching Off

Pubished 16th May 2018

It’s all up in the news at the moment – cut down carbon emissions, save energy, turn off the lights! And so it should be – we should absolutely look after the environment as it looks after us.

Did you miss? Mental Health Awareness - Day 2 – Let's talk

But… have you ever thought about saving your own energy? Conserving your own power resources? We’ll happily recharge our mobile phone (several times a day, depending who you are!) – but do we ever think of ourselves as a battery, requiring recharging and conserving the energy that we have left?

If we start to think of ourselves as a giant rechargeable battery, it can help us see that we really do have a finite amount of energy. We need to have a look at how we can expend our energy across the day, before we recharge overnight as we sleep. Work, of course, takes the lion’s share during the daytime – but we do have opportunities to conserve and recharge during this time too, to make sure that we don’t run flat too soon.

Take time away from your desk, away from your screens, away from your phone. The simple act of getting up and making a brew can be so restorative – standing and chatting to someone else in the kitchen, relieving some stress by venting, even just concentrating on a non-taxing task (although depending on who you’re making tea for, that may be more difficult than it sounds!) helps us recharge and conserve the energy that we need to complete the day.

Take your lunch break! So many times, we’re accustomed to sitting at our desk and keeping on ploughing through work with one hand with a sandwich in the other. In fact, it’s reported that only one in five office workers take an actual lunch break! However, it can be completely counter-productive. Studies have shown that taking even a 20-minute break helps to sustain energy and concentration levels throughout the rest of the day.

Do you actually get more done when you work late, too? Sweden, for example, only have around 1% of their workforce that work more than 50 hours a week and are rarely in the office past 5pm. Yet, they have great productivity! Realistically, you should be able to get your tasks done within your working hours – if you physically can’t do it, then it might well be worth a chat with your manager, as something needs to change. Staying late increases your risk of diabetes, can knock your immune system and can have horrific effects on your mental health too.

So maybe, it’s time to change how we view ourselves. We’re not creatures with limitless energy, we need time to recharge and we need to make sure that we know when we can conserve some of the energy we have to enjoy the things in life outside of the office!

Shine bright.

Written by our very own Gareth Molyneux, CEO of Spark, one of InterQuest Group’s chosen CSR charities.

For more on Spark click here