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We spend a lot of our time at work. Sometimes way more than our allotted 37.5 hours. with a classic 9-5, one third of our time during the week is at work, one third should be sleeping (if you are getting your 8 hrs…) and the final third to do everything else.

My question to you is; are you thriving during your working hours, or just surviving?

I ask this, having just recently completed my Mental Health First Aid qualification, where in two days I have learned about loads of mental health conditions and what to do in the event of a crisis. I work fairly regularly with high-powered leaders in high-performing roles who are not at crisis point, yet…

So are you thriving or surviving? What do I mean?

By surviving I mean that you are coping but only just. Whether it is with the atmosphere, the level or type of work, the pressure, the people, the constant change, the lack of support… All sorts of things can mean we feel we are just surviving.

“I feel like I am fighting a daily battle just to get my head above the water” said one of my clients, “There is so much to do, I am not sure where to start and as soon as I do start something, a million more things seem to land on my desk. I have a pile of several hundred emails every day to churn through. How am I supposed to actually do anything?”

“I feel like I am not getting anywhere any more. I know this job inside out,” said another. “But here is nowhere to go from here.”

“It doesn’t matter what I do, it will never be good enough,” from yet another, “I am belittled and micro-managed at every turn, with no support network. I don’t know what to do.”

Toxic cultures, overwhelming workloads, lack of development support are all things that can create an environment in which your people feel like they are surviving, rather than thriving. Is that what we want? Do we want people to be coping or do we want them actively engaged, involved and passionate about their work?

And that is what I mean by thriving.

Being excited by work. Looking forward to going in. Learning more. Achieving things that make a difference in the world. Supporting others. Finding new and better ways of doing things. Smashing results.

Which do you want to be? Which do you want working for you? The former? Or the latter?

Work is a large proportion of your life and what happens here will impact on the rest. I urge you to take the time out and evaluate what is going on in your working life. Are you surviving or thriving? Talk to someone. Look at where you want to be – are you en route to getting there? What can you change? What can’t you change? What is really important to you?

I am serious about this stuff, because I know the consequences. I see it. I pick up the pieces. I’ve been there too.

Let’s not wait until we need  a Mental Health First Aid-er to pick us up off the floor. Let’s talk now. Let’s listen to one another now. A simple conversation could change your world, change your future. 

And if your organisation needs some help in knowing how to have these conversations, the prevention ones, the supportive ones, the ones that matter? Get in touch.

Let’s talk. Please. Someone’s life could be at stake.

If you want to know if you might be at risk of burnout take this simple survey.

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