4. Communicating your boundaries

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Your mental health is paramount. In the workplace, we can often feel pressured to be ‘on’ all the time, but people aren’t machines – sometimes, you’ll feel stressed, overworked, or like you just aren’t coping. Let’s consider the importance of translating your needs in the workplace, communicating your boundaries, and asking for help when you need it.

Point 1: Be honest

Be honest about what you’re struggling with, are confused about, or need help with.

Speak respectfully, but also respect yourself. The reality is, sometimes you may get a negative response even when you’ve done everything right. But part of promoting a dialogue around mental health in the workplace is feeling empowered to speak about it openly and without shame. 

Point 2: Know that you don’t have to go into specifics 

If you’re dealing with a difficult situation at home or mental health-wise, you don’t have to go into details to justify how you’re feeling. 

Point 3: Thinking about taking a mental health day

It is legitimate to ask for a mental health day off to rest and recuperate.

Point 4: Be empathetic 

Understand your boss’ concerns. Explain how you’re taking active steps to manage your workload and look after yourself. 

Point 5: Conquer your fear of confrontation.

Confrontation is hard, but here are some tips to make it easier.

Prepare by writing down what you want to say. Make sure you:

  • Say very specifically how you feel
  • Identify very specifically what behavior caused you to feel that way
  • Establish the impact it might have on you in the future if that behaviour continues.

Point 6: Go directly to the person you’re having an issue with

Do not create communication triangles, which can lead to gossip and hurt feelings.

Point 6: Seek help from a professional if need be

Help is always available, and sometimes a professional perspective is the best way forward.

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