As I witness the abundance of nature’s energy unfold this month, I am grateful for the rebirth after a long winter and am especially hopeful for hot, sunny, summer days ahead.
Having said that, with this surge of sprouting energy, I’ve had unexplained moments of feeling overwhelmed and anxious (…unless of course it’s the hormones again…).
During a routine acupuncture last week, I shared this with Claire (although I still could not articulate the reasons why I felt the way I did). She quickly acknowledged my feelings with those she commonly hears in spring each year. She explained, “…like our bodies prepare to cocoon in the fall, in the spring they feed off all the energy that nature is offering. Sometimes this energy can be more than we are ready to handle causing our bodies to respond with feelings of anxiety.”
Mental Health Awareness
Coincidently, May has been dedicated as a time for Mental Health Awareness in both Canada and the United States. This time offers an opportunity for us to focus on mental and emotional well being, and recognize it in others who are close to us personally and professionally.
Many employees and leaders keep their mental health private, mainly due to the stigma that still exists. As human beings we are hard wired for connection and relationships. But that connection needs to be one where we’re not wrestling for acceptance by changing who we really are so we “fit in”. Instead, it is feeling like we belong and are supported.
It’s our responsibility to build this space and connection, and professionally speaking, it’s up to leaders to create a culture and environment where mental health is nurtured and supported, and employees feel safe to share their experience with mental health. This in turn will assist in reducing stigma, as well as empower employees who are at risk to seek help.
With so much time spent at work and the general fact that “busyness” is a messed up badge of honour, taking time to connect with others is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, our loved ones, and our employees and colleagues.
A Healthy Approach to Leadership
I encourage you to adopt a healthy approach to leadership and hone into those emotional intelligence competencies of awareness. Brave leaders are never silent around hard things. Perhaps mental health is one of those “hard things” for you – and if so – I encourage you to think about what needs to be said, or to have the conversations that need to be had. Think about workplace mental health from your unique position of influence that considers both the human and economic importance of your organization’s workplace mental health, welcome and open culture, and happy, productive teams.
There is a season for everything, but right now, mental health is in the spotlight. Take care of yourself, take care of others, and find the courage to seek help where needed – no matter who it’s for. Because a healthy community is a thriving community, and it’s up to us to take care of our own. And…because we can!
If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health, here is a resource that can help.
Denise speaks regularly on personal and professional development, workplace wellness, setting boundaries, and authentic leadership. Learn more here.
D by denise Journal is published biweekly. To subscribe and receive directly to your inbox click here.
Photos: Kderk Photography