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5 Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health in the Workplace

In the United States, almost 1 in 5 adults deal with mental illness, and 71% report having symptoms of stress. High levels of stress and poor mental health can affect productivity, job performance, and daily functions. Since mental health is a prevalent issue, it is important that employers are educated on how to support their employees, and employees know how to practice self-care. I had the opportunity to discuss mental health and self-care regimens with two UBWA alumna, Kayla Dargay and Emma Galasso. Kayla is a recent graduate who works as a Financial Professional at Equitable Advisors, while Emma is a 2018 graduate who works as a Stunt Department Assistant, Director’s Assistant, and Personal Assistant for Walter Garcia, a Director and Stunt Coordinator out of Atlanta. With Emma and Kayla’s help, I was able to come up with 5 strategies to look after your mental well-being and aid you at work. Tip 1: Make Time for Your Hobbies Outside of Work The biggest piece of advice that I received from Emma and Kayla was to make time for things you enjoy outside of work. For Kayla, this could be anything from cooking, meal prepping, and baking to couponing and grocery shopping. Emma finds that riding lessons have helped her stay active and busy. No matter what your hobby is, making time for yourself during time off is one of the best ways to practice self-care. Tip 2: Track Your Progress Making lists and tracking your progress can help you notice your growth, and learn to appreciate yourself and your time more. This might look different for everyone; whether this is writing daily to-do lists or setting long term goals and checking them off when you accomplish them, any structure that helps you is great. Kayla mentioned making lists has helped her recognize her progress, “even if it’s slowly, but surely.” Tip 3: Communicate Your Feelings to Your Supervisor Early We have all heard the saying, “communication is key.” This definitely rings true in the workplace. If you are struggling with workload or professional difficulties, your supervisor might be able to help find solutions to create a better work environment. Mentioning this early on will make it easier for adjustments to be made. Since you spend so much time at work, it is crucial that you enjoy who you work with and the work you complete. Emma mentioned that while she was working on Avengers, she spent more time with her coworkers than she did roommates or family, which I think is the perfect testament to this. Tip 4: Get Good Sleep and Stay Active The CDC recommends employees wrestling with mental health to “eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.” A good night’s rest and a healthy lifestyle can significantly increase your energy levels and productivity. Tip 5: Accept Your Mistakes— It’s Normal! While it is great to practice self-care and communication, accepting yourself can build confidence! Accept that mistakes are normal and are essential for growth. Emma shared with me the intensity that comes with working in the film industry. She said, “The workload is never ending— literally.” Kayla also shared about the stress that financial advisors face, especially with finding clients. In high pressure situations like these, you are likely to slip up. Use your mistakes as learning experiences to foster future growth. Even if you don’t have a personal struggle with mental health, it is likely that someone you know does. Check on your coworkers and friends, offer support, and share resources with them if necessary. One last note that I would like to leave you with is advice that I received from Kayla— “Do what works best for YOU.” There is not one right way to practice self-care but finding what works well for you can help to alleviate stress and make your work life more enjoyable. I would like to thank you for reading this post as well as Kayla Dargay and Emma Galasso for their insight on such an important topic! If you have any questions about this content or would like to discuss more about mental health or self care, feel free to email me at



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