Living well in 2020

Protection for your mind and body 

Mental Health

As you think about New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to put mental health at the top of your list. Specifically, keeping stress levels under control is a concern for the majority of the UK population. In fact, a recent study by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that nearly 75 per cent of Britons have felt so stressed in the past year that they have been unable to cope with routine tasks. What’s worse, 46 per cent of Britons have eaten unhealthily due to stress, 29 per cent have increased their alcohol intake and over 50 per cent began feeling depressed.
Mental health is a state of well-being in which a person can cope with the normal stresses of life, be productive and contribute to the community. Good mental health is essential for functioning as an individual, as an employee and as part of a community.
If you run a business, it’s crucial to encourage a dialogue and support system surrounding employees’ mental health in efforts to reduce stigma, increase awareness and ensure worker well-being.The Cost of Mental Health in the workplace
Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression are routinely listed as top concerns in employee health surveys, and are a leading cause of workplace absenteeism.Create and support a mental health-friendly work environment that accommodates employees who are returning to work after receiving mental health treatment. Allow schedule flexibility to accommodate treatments and appointments. Most mental illnesses are highly treatable. However, untreated mental illness can increase the costs to employers in the form of increased absenteeism, work impairment and on-site injuries. Encouraging effective treatment and offering support resources can save costs for employers and improve quality of life for all employees.

Here are a couple of ideas for self-care activities that could form part of your lifestyle as we head in to 2020:

  • Enjoy life outside of work—The pressure of work-related responsibilities is one of the leading causes of excess stress. Make sure you cherish your life outside of the office by avoiding work emails after hours and planning fun activities during your time off. Also, don’t be afraid to tell your supervisor if you are feeling overwhelmed by your current workload.
  • Adopt healthy habits—Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help boost your mental health as well. This includes drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and spending time with friends or loved ones at least once every week.

Dry January

Every year, Alcohol Change UK promotes ‘Dry January’ as a month-long public health campaign. This annual campaign challenges us to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for the entire month of January, encouraging participants to ‘reset their relationship’ with alcohol and realise the numerous health benefits of cutting back on drinking.

Sobering stats: 
  • Every day, nearly 200,000 Britons go to work with a hangover.
  • Absenteeism and lost productivity caused by employees drinking alcohol are estimated to cost UK organisations over £7 billion each year.
source: NHS

Promoting and supporting  Dry January in your workplace can also generate significant rewards for your business. In fact, supporting and maintaining a sober staff has been linked to decreased absenteeism, increased productivity, improved social connection between colleagues and boosted employee morale.

Here’s a few tips to run a successful Dry January campaign at work:
  • Appoint an employee (or employees) from your workplace well-being committee to be responsible for promoting the campaign.
  • Provide employees with an educational presentation and resources on the benefits of limiting their alcohol intake.
  • Make a pledge poster in your workplace that allows staff to write their name, if they plan to participate, and offer encouragement.
Further ideas and resources for Dry January can be found here.

Well-being insurance options

Private medical insurance – whether arranged as a personal/family policy, or as part of an workplace Employee Benefits package – can include cover for mental health. Cover can range from telephone support, face to face counselling or an Employee Assistance Programme.

Many life insurance products now also offer incentives for healthy living, such as gym membership, weight loss organisations, health spas as well as entertainment and travel discounts.

To review your current lifestyle protection solutions, talk to our Protection Adviser, Madelaine Swift.

01865 953 123

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