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What about mental health & safety at work?

I've worked in an industry where health and safety were in the center of day to day business. I've learnt all safety rules to protect myself from falling objects at work sites and getting out of a crashed helicopter under water.

So I wore protective shoes, helmet and viability jackets whenever I was at risk sites. At the offices we had to hold the handrail. All measures for protecting my physical body. Check.

I guess you see where I'm going. What I did notice is that mental and emotional health was taken care of much less. That this suddenly becomes something personal/private. There is no'nudged marketing guideline' how to prevent pains and incidences in that very complex side of being a human being: who has emotions like fears, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, hopes, … .

So what about our mental and emotional health - is it part of your ISO? Is it a manager's or HR's role?

What we do at the most is taking breaks and even those have their origin from the times we did more heavy physical work. It makes sense. But not for the work of now and the future. We almost get punished if we take more time off; at least that's what people believe or get told. Going to a coach, improving emotional and/or mental health and eventually even employability and engagement, is not as widely accepted yet, either. Going to a doctor is.

Why wait until the employer/organizations make rules? And what if, we don’t need additional rules at all? We could recognize our own responsibility in this:

A few months ago I've given a small introduction to the work I do to a group of people working in the area I've worked before, the maritime/offshore/construction industry. It was nice to ' be back'. Since I've never seen this side of these so-called blue-personality-type engineers. I was amazed how everyone followed with interest and joined the 'brain break exercise', which turned out to be a mini breathing meditation. Some came up to me afterwards and thanked me that I showed them these tools. There are many ways to incorporate qualitative breaks to calm down your nervous system, diminish mental and physical stress.

I'd say. Take ownership of your own energy, take care of yourself. It means giving yourself the permission to pause, it is also a sign of self care and appreciation for your own long-term sustainable energy and performance. Putting the oxygen mask on first is not selfish, it is a priority. It is giving the world the BEST of you, instead of what's LEFT of you.

I'm ready to present a new approach of mental health and safety at organizations at yourself. If this resonated with you, contact me to get support in implementing a different approach at your organization, and/or yourself.

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