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Work well, live well
Mental well-being hacks you didn’t know you needed
5-minute read - By Alison Li, October 10, 2022
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. However, taking care of it isn’t always as straightforward. In honor of World Mental Health Day (October 10), we have rounded up some of the simplest, most insightful tips from our company psychologist to help you navigate your own mental wellness at work, in life and beyond.
“You have the power to be happy no matter the circumstances,” says Saskia Geraerts, a psychologist from Corporate Vitality, one of ASML’s mental well-being partners. “It doesn’t depend on the situation. It can be built into your personality.”
How to balance work with my personal and family life?
1. Have a dedicated worry window
Have you ever caught yourself thinking about an unfinished task or a deadline while at home, with your family, or doing something that’s meant to be relaxing? We often ruminate over things that make us anxious about work and forget to enjoy life with the people who matter. To combat this, set aside 30 minutes every day as your worry time. This is like making a to-do list for your thoughts, allowing you to revisit them later and preventing them from taking over the conscious mind when you should be living in the moment.
2. Focus on the things you can control
We don’t always have control over how a situation will play out at work. Every project contains contingencies and uncertainties, which affect all roles. Instead of expending all your energy imagining what could go wrong and attempting to see into the future, it’s far more productive to concentrate on the present and deal with problems as they arise.
3. Determine your values
Have you ever felt bad about forgetting a friend's birthday, being late to pick up your child from daycare, or simply skipping a meal? When we can't seem to leave work at work, we start putting work before the things that matter most to us. As a result, feelings of guilt begin to arise. During cognitive behavioral therapy, psychologists frequently discover that people become unhappy when they engage in activities that do not align with their values, be it about their personal, social life, or health. It can help to make a list of everything you hold dear in life, such as family, friends, community, wellness and career, and then rank them in order of importance to get a clear picture of how much work really means to you.
How to stop feeling anxious about work?
1. Take regular breaks
It's easier said than done: We frequently forget to give our body and mind the rest they need. You may have gone an entire day without drinking water or going to the toilet by the time you finish. Working at the expense of your mental and physical well-being will only make you less productive in the long run, and incorporating small breaks into a busy work day is the best way to excel at the task at hand.
2. Avoid multitasking
Multitasking may appear to be efficient, but it actually results in a division of attention that can cause stress and anxiety. According to Stanford University, it can impair your ability to work and think creatively, lowering the overall quality of your work. If you switch between tasks all the time, your brain will develop the habit of tuning out anything you do on a regular basis. Consequently, you may find it more difficult to focus on a single project and complete it on time.
3. Encourage each other to open up
If you notice someone not taking breaks during the day or attending virtual meetings on vacation, express your concern and encourage them to get the rest they need to keep up the good work they are doing. By openly discussing actions that jeopardize our mental wellness, we foster healthier behavioral patterns and remove the stigma associated with talking about mental health.
How to take care of my mental well-being outside of work?
1. Mindfulness doesn’t need to be difficult
Mindfulness and meditation can do wonders for your psychological well-being. It not only improves concentration and mental clarity, but also aids in emotional regulation and stress management. It does not, however, have to be a chore. Begin by simply sitting down, closing your eyes, and paying attention to your surroundings. Then, as you notice your mind wandering, return your attention to your breath. It's all about starting small and making progress every day, whether it's 10 seconds, 5 minutes, or an hour!
2. Keep FOMO at bay
One recurring issue that many highly motivated professionals face is the feeling of missing out. When you go on vacation, it can be very tempting to check your emails and keep up with what's going on at work. This is risky because the more we do it, the more we associate our self-worth with only work. Tell yourself that nothing in your inbox is urgent when you are on holiday. We all want to be indispensable, but pursuing that feeling solely through work is unrealistic. Keep in mind that you are also important to your friends, family and community at large.
3. Allow me time
Whether at work or at home, hustle culture constantly tells us to be productive. But did you know that mindless activities like playing video games and going for long walks are beneficial for your mental health? When we get caught up in the daily grind and rush to complete the next task in sight, tension begins to accumulate. Regardless of the stressor, finding more fulfillment, gratitude and joy in your life will help buffer you against the harmful impact of stress. This doesn’t mean you need to pick up a time-consuming hobby. Instead, make a list of things you already enjoy doing on a regular basis and set aside some time to pursue them. The more aware you are of your own needs and preferences, the better you will be at taking care of yourself in any situation.
Mental well-being resources at ASML
Caring for our employees is one of our core values. In terms of well-being, this means ensuring we support our employees in maintaining a healthy, productive and balanced life. After all, we only thrive as an organization when everyone is able to give their best.
In addition, we are aware that being mentally well might mean different things to each individual. This is why we encourage everyone to work on their well-being on their own terms. We have curated a number of services and tools including video series, courses, seminars, mental health checks with certified psychologists, as well as a dedicated well-being app where employees can attend events organized by their fellow colleagues to stay happy and healthy, together.
Within ASML, we now have 160 well-being ambassadors across the globe who help spread awareness of the mental wellness offerings at ASML. Some of our ambassadors are also mental health specialists, coaches or trainers, who regularly host workshops and themed events to make mental well-being a priority for everyone, everywhere.
About the author
- Alison Li
- Writer & editor
- Alison is passionate about creative writing, content marketing and social media. Outside of work, she enjoys watching anime and playing video games.