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Mental Health Matters: Cultivating Company Culture One Educational Initiative at a Time

Since March 2020, our lives have been nothing short of a wild roller coaster, constantly turning and changing at every corner, throwing us all sorts of surprises. Feelings of isolation and loneliness worsened as businesses transitioned to remote work. It is no secret that

Covid-19 has affected our physical health, yet it has also taken a toll on our mental health. Stay-at-home mandates and social distancing guidelines have caused people to feel isolated, resulting in heightened depression and anxiety. Prioritizing mental health during this time is pivotal, especially in the workplace. According to Gallup’s 2021 State of the Global Workplace report, 57% of U.S. and Canadian respondents reported levels of high daily stress, 48% reported daily worry and 26% reported daily sadness. All percentages are above the global average and up from the previous year. Whether implementing new in-office initiatives or cultivating a community that values mental health, companies now, more than ever, need to support their employees and advocate for mental health awareness.

Education is Power

People often feel shame when admitting they need help or may feel too uncomfortable to share intimate feelings in the workplace. Based on a recent survey from Lyra Health, only 19% of employees sought care from a mental health professional, although 56% of people responded that they need mental health help. The first step in destigmatizing mental illness is education. With adults spending the majority of their time working, employers have the opportunity to directly impact and improve their employees' mental health. Organizations should be creating a psychologically healthy workplace by increasing awareness, reducing the stigma of mental health and providing initiatives that educate employees regarding mental wellness. These cultural changes will subsequently help employees feel supported and develop positive mental health behaviors.

In 2021, employees want to know that the company they work for cares about them and their health. In the report, Mental Health: A Workforce Crisis, the American Heart Association describes how educational initiatives provided by employers show employees that the company is committed to creating an inclusive culture that is mental health-friendly. These initiatives also provide an excellent avenue for learning self-care skills such as coping mechanisms and stress management techniques.

Mental Health Initiatives in the Office

Host health experts to teach employees about the benefits of preventative mental health

exercises. Host webinars to train managers to pick up on virtual cues of anxiety and depression. Assign a mental health service contact to ensure there is a person who can help employees. For example, Bank of America surveyed their employees and found that financial stress was a crucial employee concern. The implementation of financial planning and wellness programs combatted this concern and improved company culture. Just like Bank of America, try to uncover the leading causes of stress in your employees and then formulate programs that can ease that stress.

Help cultivate a company that impacts the lives of its employees in meaningful ways by uncovering stressors and providing educational support. Businesses can meaningfully connect with their employees, overcome the negative stigma of mental illness and encourage positive mental wellness practices through mental health initiatives.

Taking Care of the Mind

Do you have 15 minutes a day to spend improving your mental health? Researchers have found that journaling for 15 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week can improve mental health by relieving anxiety, coping with depression and reducing stress. Journaling is a mood and productivity booster that serves as a safe release for emotions and feelings. While journaling is cost-efficient and easily accessible, many people do not know the extent of journaling’s benefits or where to start. Therefore, companies can overcome this by educating employees on the positive impact of journaling. Bringing in guest speakers and mental health advocates who are knowledgeable and passionate about journaling is a great way for employees to learn the importance of journaling, the different types of journaling and how to create positive journaling habits.

Pairing a branded product with educational presentations will help encourage employees to implement the newly learned skills. The Moleskine® Wellness Journal includes four dedicated sections to explore users' multidimensional wellbeing, from goal setting to free writing. The front or back cover of this journal can be decorated with a deboss, foil stamp or full-color imprint.

Bullet journals and art therapy options might be attractive to those who aren’t fans of writing and find that they can better express themself through artistic avenues. With its versatile dot grid paper, the Libretto bullet journal is multifunctional and can serve as a planner, diary and calendar that promotes written meditation and mindfulness. Bullet journals offer an easily accessible way to plan and destress. The toggle on the elastic band closure can be customized with a full-color design.

Coloring has been a proven way to help destress. Consider gifting the Moleskine® Coloring Kit to help employees artistically express their emotions. This kit includes a hardcover sketchbook with rounded corners and twelve watercolor pencils stored in an accompanying case. The front cover of the sketchbook can be decorated with a full-color imprint, while the pencil case can be decorated with a full-color imprint or laser engraving. Educating employees AND providing a tool to improve mental health illustrates to employees the company’s commitment.

Restore and Recharge

We spend one-third of our lifetime sleeping. But do we really know if we are getting quality sleep? Are we practicing healthy sleep practices? What is sleep hygiene? Why is sleep so important? Sleep is one of the most vital functions, as important as eating and breathing, for our bodies. Several studies have shown a drastic impact of COVID-19 on sleep quality, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depressive symptoms due to prolonged lockdown. With changes in routines, more downtown and added stressors, it is no surprise that sleep patterns are out of alignment. Help your company get back on a good sleep schedule by learning about the importance of sleep and healthy sleep habits.

Incentivize employees to attend sleep workshops or participate in a wellness competition by offering great prizes that can improve sleep quality. With 86% of Americans reporting they struggle falling or staying asleep, white noise machines serve as a helpful tool to soothe users into a deep, calm resting state. The Bluetooth Bedside Sleep Therapy machine creates a calming environment for sleep with 16 different options of naturally recorded environmental and white noise sounds. Not only does it help users fall asleep, it also naturally wakes you up with a simulated sunrise that progresses from dim to bright yellow light. This product can be decorated with a one-color, one-location pad print.

Weighted blankets stimulate the feel-good hormone serotonin and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. This provides the same secure comfort that swaddling does for babies and ensures a more restful night's sleep. Due to the sublimation decoration technique, each blanket can be fully customized from edge to edge with a vibrant design that is less prone to fading. Help elevate your company’s sleep quality by educating with initiatives and providing impactful products.

Mindful Movement and Hydration

When you hear the word “exercise” what comes to mind? Do you immediately think of the rigorous workout class you’re dreading? Or are you still sore from pushing yourself in the gym? What if, instead, companies encouraged a positive relationship with exercise by promoting mindful movement. What is mindful movement? Mindful movements are less about formal exercise and more about micro-bursts of movement throughout the day. For example, taking a walk during lunch or using the stairs instead of the elevator are simple ways to incorporate mindful movement. Companies can encourage healthy physical practices by starting group initiatives such as yoga classes after the workday, hosting hydration competitions or bringing in health experts to encourage positive practices for physical health. Recent findings from Gallup found that engaged employees experience higher performance outcomes when physical wellness initiatives are added to company culture. Consider gifting branded products that support physical wellness to stimulate healthy behavior practices.

A way to encourage employees to get active or participate in company workout classes could be gifting each participant relevant exercise equipment. For example, offices that host a yoga class could provide a yoga mat. Make the most of a yoga mat's surface area by selecting an imprint method that allows for edge-to-edge decoration. A sublimated yoga mat provides a 24 inch by 68 inch canvas to promote important messaging and unique designs.

Help your employees drink 3x more water, increase energy and get healthier with the Ulla Hydration Reminder. This water bottle attachment tracks when you drink and prompts users to take a sip at least once an hour. This device can be mounted onto any shape, size and material bottle. Remind your employees each time they take a sip that they are cared for by adding your logo to the device with a four-color process imprint. Both of these products can be intertwined into a healthy lifestyle that emphasizes thoughtful hydration and physical activity.

We would love to further the conversation; let's discuss how you can improve your company culture through custom promotional products. Email projects@promoassets to speak with a team member.

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