When navigating mental wellness during times of uncertainty, especially related to finances, it can be beneficial for individuals to know that they are not struggling alone. Isolation can begin to color someone’s experiences when they feel that their worry is looming over them, but having someone to talk to and process with can mitigate the feelings of being alone and help to alleviate their negative perspective into something productive. When uncertainty is met with the opportunity to validate stress and concern can be put at bay and open the mind to possibilities that otherwise were hard to envision.
Open Lines of Communication
When someone feels like their worries and concerns aren’t being heard, it can affect the way they communicate with others. In industries that require teamwork and collaboration, this can be problematic and slow progress on team based projects.
The invitation for discussion about financial issues doesn’t always have a dedicated place in busy workplaces and team leaders can feel hesitant to reach out to individuals on such a personal level, resulting in a communication stop that seems unresolvable. This is where connection resources can enable a manager to support while not crossing healthy boundaries. Anonymous mental health resources provide an invitation to open and judgment free discussion personalized to the individual’s situation. Because the individual is in control of the interaction and the direction of the conversation, there is an increased comfort that an anonymous confidant can share with employees that another coworker or team leader may not be able to offer.
Awareness in relation to the connection resource is essential to this method of support. It is important for managers to create a safe workplace environment where employees know they are welcome and encouraged to use their free resources without repercussions. When this trust is built over time, everyone is able to see the true benefit.
Barriers and Boundaries
Often personal success and self esteem ideals are linked with financial success in our minds and that can be damaging during times of financial strain. Additionally, many employees may see that success as a marker of how hard they work or how much they are valued. This makes it difficult for supervisors to have honest conversations about pay that don’t become personal. Individuals struggling during a time of hardship may not want to come forward out of fear of stigma.
When someone is struggling with a very intense emotion or event in their lives, it can cause them to be distracted and sometimes even irritable. This is because strong responses are controlled by the amygdala, the part of our brains that, among other things, handles our fight or flight response. Research from U.C.L.A. suggests that talking about our feelings and putting them into words can diminish the response of the amygdala when we encounter things that trigger this feeling. The maintenance of this response is important to mental health, as these are where our coping mechanisms thrive. When we know what we are reacting to, we know how to respond. Personalized conversations with an equal peer can support employees in identifying their stressors for the benefit of finding solutions so that they spend less time in difficult head spaces.
The Tools to Overcome
Financial wellness in the workplace begins with quality resources. When there is always an option to turn to an effective source of mental health support, employees enjoy the comfort of knowing seasons of difficulty need not be navigated alone. Employers who put thought into providing these resources have the upper hand on common workplace stressors like burnout and fear of the future.
When employers provide mental health resources in the workplace, they ensure that their employees feel heard, supported and are able to vent about personal challenges in a private and effective way, leading to solutions they can utilize both at work and in their personal lives!