May is mental health awareness month. And while education plays a big part in removing the stigma of having mental health conditions, there’s no reason you can’t have a fun time during the month of May to improve employees’ mental health.
The pandemic has shown the world how important mental health is to have a productive and successful company. If your people aren’t happy or they’re stressed out of their minds, nothing good will come of it. “Mental health conditions cost employers more than $100 billion and 217 million lost workdays each year,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “By addressing mental health issues in the workplace and investing in mental health care for workers, employers can increase productivity and employee retention.”
3 fun mental health activities
With that being said, why not take some time to infuse a joy into your employees’ workdays?
When employees see their organization making efforts to bring a little fun into their lives even while they’re working, they feel cared about. So, whether you stop every day for a 10- to 15-minute yoga or stretching break, or do an activity once a week, it’s all about taking time out of our busy days to enjoy life.
Here are a few activities you might not have thought of:
In a 2007 study, plant soil was found to contain Mycobacterium vaccae. Why is this important to know? Because Mycobacterium vaccae triggers the release of serotonin, which lifts mood and reduces anxiety, according to Affinity Health. So holding a terrarium workshop – either virtually or in person – is a great way to alleviate symptoms of depression because you’re working with plants. Not to mention the fact that plants boost air quality.
It’s a hands-on activity that gets people’s minds off their jobs. And people have something to take away after they’re done that they made with their own two hands. Plus, it brightens up their desk in the office or at home.
Aroma therapy workshop
Essential oils can help improve moods and make a space smell good. Why not get your team together for a little smelly fun. Your office or their home will smell great afterward!
During an aromatherapy and essential oils workshop, each person creates their own therapeutic scent and learns about the therapeutic properties of all the different oils. For example, lavender reduces anxiety and helps you sleep better. Lemon boosts energy levels and aids in digestion. Peppermint also aids in digestion, as well as relieves nausea and headaches. And eucalyptus is a natural insect repellent, and is beneficial for colds and flu.
So, you don’t have to be into “new age” therapies to enjoy this. Someone who likes to fish could make an all-natural insect repellant and someone else could make a sleep-better remedy. There is really something for everyone with essential oils.
Bird watching party
You can do this virtually or in person. You can even do it in the city – although it might be a little harder. But all you must do is gather binoculars, a bird book for identification and head outside to the parking lot or if you have a park nearby go there. Then you just walk around and look at all the birds and nature, and leave the stress of the office behind. Getting people to concentrate on other things that aren’t stressful improves their mood. And being out in nature with all the plants and fresh air doesn’t hurt either.