Living through a pandemic has been incredibly hard in so many ways. A Statistics Canada survey from December 2020 found that one in five Canadians had major mental health challenges and 40% of us faced a decline in mental health since the start of the pandemic.
Experiencing emotional pain registers in the same area of the brain as physical pain. Still, our first instinct is often to ignore what we’re feeling and show a “brave face” to avoid being judged or seen as weak or lacking resilience.
There is power in getting real about how we feel. Checking in on our emotions, becoming aware of their effects and naming them accurately helps us understand how we’re feeling. Expressing and dealing with our uncomfortable emotions can make us feel better but how does that work?
By putting our feelings into words we can reduce the intensity of negative emotions by decreasing activity in the part of our brain driving fear and stress responses and make these emotions more manageable. The psychologist Dan Siegel calls this strategy “name it to tame it!“ Acknowledging and labelling emotions allows us to step back and make choices about what to do with them. So next time a difficult emotion comes up, start by getting real and naming it. This allows the cognitive function to kick in and tame it.
Employers have an important role to play in supporting the well-being of their teams. At Groundswell, we show up for our teammates. It is not unusual to see employees send flowers or cakes to cheer someone up or deliver a pet care package for a colleague’s furry friend that’s not feeling well. Building a sense of community and psychological safety allows us to be authentic and #GetReal with each other.
Groundswell supports mental wellness through an Employee and Family Assistance Program. Counselling is available in 100 languages and includes relationship, parenting, substance abuse, legal, financial, depression, stress and anxiety counselling and life coaching. Monthly webinars, workshops and a library of articles and courses are available on the website and app to ensure there is something of value for everyone.
We encourage weekly one-on-one check-ins and provide People Leaders with training and resources. Having difficult conversations is essential to building a supportive culture where Groundswellers can bring their authentic selves to work each day. We recognize that each individual has a unique experience and listen to what they need to feel supported. Making time for personal goal setting and balancing long days with time off is one of the ways we combat burnout and maintain balance.
It’s important to take a holistic approach in creating a workplace culture that nurtures and supports both the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. At Groundswell we intentionally create opportunities for connection to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. We do this through fun virtual events like fitness challenges, yoga sessions, bake-off competitions and giving back to the community through our impact team initiatives.
Mental Health is important. This Mental Health week we encourage you to Name it, don’t numb it. Take the time to check in with yourself; it is good to practice. Just like taking your vitamins or exercising. The Canadian Mental Health Association has various Toolkits and free resources to help you in your journey. If your emotions are overwhelming, persistent and/or interfering with your daily functioning, it’s important to seek mental health support.
It’s important that your workplace supports your mental health journey every step of the way. Please send us your resume and start your journey with Groundswell Cloud Solutions today!