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For World Mental Health Day (10th October), Barratt and David Wilson Homes Eastern Counties is encouraging open discussions about mental health in the workplace and the wider construction industry.

Susie Watts, who works as Senior Sales Administrator at the developer’s head office in Chelmsford, has undergone training in mental health first aid and is the first port of call for her colleagues who are experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing.

In a year that has tested the resilience and adaptability of individuals around the globe, Susie is sharing her insights and tips to encourage a healthier and more balanced approach to work and life.

A well-maintained work-life balance offers numerous benefits, including reduced stress levels, increased productivity, enhanced job satisfaction, and improved mental and physical health.

Here are Susie’s five top tips for achieving a healthier work-life balance:

  1. Ask for Help: Susie recommends seeking support when facing challenges inside and outside of work.

She said: “Getting the support of your colleagues and peers to solve a problem will help you, and also make them feel good for helping you.”

  1. Make Time for Yourself: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s crucial to allocate time for self-care.

Susie continued: “We all have demands on our time outside of work, but it’s important to find time for yourself. For some people this is getting outside for a run or walk, for others it is finding 30 minutes to sit and read a book. The important thing is to do something that is just for you.”

  1. Set Boundaries: Boundaries are essential for everyone, including those who you work with.

Susie said: “Clearly defining your working boundaries can help your team to understand your needs and it encourages healthier work relationships.”

  1. Manage Your Time: While the demands of the industry can be intense, it’s crucial to designate time away from work. Even if traditional nine-to-five hours don’t apply, the ability to switch off from work and take breaks ensures mental rejuvenation.

Susie added: “Learn to set a time when you are not working, so you can make sure to switch off from work. Lunchbreaks may not always happen, but nobody is expected to work all day every day.”

  1. Set Goals: Setting achievable goals inside and outside of work provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Whether it’s completing a task or embarking on a personal journey, goals keep you motivated and focused.

Susie said: “These can be small goals, like finishing a particular task or clearing some e-learning, or bigger goals like running a marathon or learning to ballroom dance. We all like something to work towards and especially like the sense of achievement when it has been completed.”

This World Mental Health Day, let Susie’s insights serve as a reminder that work-life balance is not a luxury but a necessity for a happy and fulfilling life.

By following her tips, individuals can take meaningful steps toward achieving this balance and prioritising their mental health.