Promoting Mental Wellness: A Holistic Approach in the Workplace

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Mental health is a universal human right, fundamental to well-being. In today’s fast-paced world, its significance in the workplace cannot be overstated, and corporate wellness should aim to balance the needs of both the organisation and the individuals that form its core. Employers and employees now recognise that prioritising mental health is both a moral obligation and a strategic imperative.

Life exerts tremendous pressure on employees, sometimes pushing them beyond the limits of their coping mechanisms. It is during these challenging times that organisations and their leaders can play a pivotal role in supporting their team members. Stable, balanced, and motivated employees are inherently more creative, focused on problem-solving, and willing to go the extra mile for clients.

The days of avoiding discussion about mental health are gone, or at least they should be, and promoting mental well-being at work helps teams stay agile and individuals cope with personal and professional challenges. A workplace that emphasises mental health fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment among employees, as they are more likely to stay with a company that values their well-being.

Supporting our employees through life’s pressures

At RLB, we understand that peak performance is not sustainable all the time. Just as physical health requires rest and recovery, so does mental health. It is important that individuals take control of their mental well-being and recognise the signs of overwhelm before they lead to burnout, and broader health concerns.

Our employees are our most valuable asset, and their health and well-being, along with their families, are key to our business’s success. We therefore support flexible working hours, remote work options, offer a discretionary mental health day, and provide generous holiday allowances to help our employees navigate stress more effectively. Additionally, staff have access to the ICAS Employee Wellness Programme, offering confidential 24-hour counselling and support services.

We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve, and we encourage our staff to engage with management on suggestions for how we can enhance these initiatives and create a more supportive environment.    

Nervous system regulation for better mental health management

Stress is a fact of professional life, but unrelenting and unmanaged pressures can lead to burnout. Understanding the role of the nervous system in mental well-being is essential for effective stress management. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a central role in regulating our physiological responses to stressors. Learning how to modulate the ANS can help individuals better manage stress and foster mental balance.

In today’s digital age, it’s vital to recognise the impact this has on our nervous system. Excessive screen time, particularly in the evening, disrupts sleep patterns by interfering with melatonin production, leading to poor sleep quality, increased irritability, mood swings, and decreased cognitive functioning. The constant influx of information from screens overwhelms our senses, contributing to heightened stress and anxiety.

Nervous system regulation is essential because it influences emotional, cognitive, and physiological processes that directly impact mental well-being. Strategies like stress management, healthy lifestyle choices, and mindfulness practices can support a well-regulated nervous system and promote better mental health.

What are some practical steps you can take for nervous system regulation?

  1. Take regular breaks – Even a 5-10 minute break during the workday can significantly improve productivity and reduce stress levels. Take your lunch break and avoid eating at your desk.
  2. Delegate and collaborate – Where possible, sharing tasks with colleagues can reduce stress and prevent overwhelm.
  3. Disconnect from technology – Establish healthy screen time boundaries, practice digital detoxification, and prioritise self-care.
  4. Incorporate nervous system regulation techniques – Practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness & meditation, yoga, physical exercise, and ensure adequate sleep and nutrition.
  5. Gratitude and positive psychology – Practices like keeping a gratitude journal can shift the ANS towards a more relaxed state.

The Wholeness of Each Individual

Every individual comprises body, mind, and soul. When these elements are in harmony, they define identity, determine equilibrium, and shape who we are. Embracing this holistic perspective and incorporating mental health awareness and wellness programs into the workplace is a responsibility, not just a choice. By doing so, organisations ensure the health and fulfillment of their employees, which, in turn, secures their own long-term success and sustainability.


Nicolas Sheard
Nicolas Sheard

Chief Executive Officer (RLB Africa)