Managing mental wellbeing at work.
How do you take care of your mental wellbeing at work? A friend of mine has invited me to be a guest on the next episode of her podcast. One of the questions she asked is “what do you wish you knew to maintain your own wellbeing at the beginning of your career?
If you are new to the Grassroots Yoga and Meditation community, you may not know that in a previous life (as I like to call it), I was working in the corporate world. This life had been stressful for me for several years. Back then I didn’t have the awareness that I do now. The awareness that I was permanently living in what we call “the stress response” and the damage it was doing to my health. Nor was I familiar with the tools to manage my mental wellbeing at work. Or in day-to-day life.
But it was a visit to the doctor that changed everything. I distinctly remember him randomly asking to check my blood pressure, which was sky high. He also said I was 10kg overweight. As you can imagine, I didn’t like what I was hearing, nor did I want to go onto the medication that he was prescribing. I sought a second opinion.
A different doctor put me on a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours, to see if there were any ‘fluctuations’ throughout the day. Travelling on the bus to work in the morning, the reading went up and up and up to the point when I arrived at work it was already way above normal. It remained high throughout the day until I returned home in the evening when my blood pressure returned to normal.
This was a real indicator for me that something had to change.
My high blood pressure was workplace stress related. I had anxiety. The extra weight and not to mention my poor sleep patterns were all a product of the stressful environment in was putting myself through every day.
Interestingly, whilst vinyasa yoga had been part of my fitness routine for about five years, I’d recently begun to practise a different, more holistic system of yoga. In fact, it’s this system of Integral Yoga that Ram and I teach through Grassroots Yoga and Meditation. I truly believe it’s the awareness generated from these practices that gave me the courage to make the change.
My mental and physical health and wellbeing was and remains the most important thing in my life. To cut a long story short. In the end, I chose to leave my career in search of a more balanced life.