Behind The Mask

Behind The Mask

We all wear a mask when it comes to our mental health and well being which is a huge part of the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. However, there is an additional layer to this mask when it comes to the workplace-we put on our ‘work persona’ which is often a more well put together version of ourselves, which quite frankly can be exhausting to keep up. This being said, our masks do fall down occasionally, and this is where we may show the following signs at work.


1. Being more irritable than usual.

You may be experiencing a racing heart, increased sweating, fast breathing, confusion or anger. Diet, exercise, good sleep patterns and stress management practices can be put in place to alleviate irritability.

2. Not looking after yourself very well.

You may feel that you do not have the energy to practice the levels of self-care you once did. For example, you may have stopped making an effort with your appearance, stopped exercising or stopped eating a healthy, balanced diet.

3. Unable to focus on work.

If you can’t think clearly, focus on a task or maintain your attention you may be finding it difficult to make it through the working day. You may feel like you can’t retain information, sit still, make decisions or that you are lacking in mental and physical energy. Taking steps to reduce stress and address any mental health issues will help with this.

4. Feeling more tired than usual.

If you are still feeling tired after a good night’s sleep it could be more than just sleepiness. You may find yourself feeling ‘burnt out’, weepy, you may be experiencing brain fog, or even muscle and joint pain.

5. Excessively worrying.

When you worry excessively your mind and body goes into overdrive, you may feel an impending sense of doom or have unrealistic fears that increase worry. You may feel ultra-sensitive, seeing your environment and the people around you as a potential threat.

6. Being more sensitive than usual

You may feel like you need more time alone, you are regularly feeling overwhelmed, or you are overly affected by the feelings and opinions of others.

7. Ruminating about what’s happened yesterday / week before.

When ruminating past events, you may be overthinking the past, obsessing over what you should have said/done and constantly engaging in scenarios of ’what if’.

8. Feeling like you’re dragging yourself into work.

You might have feelings of fatigue and a lack of motivation to go to work, this lack of motivation might even apply to your leisure time outside of work. You may no longer want to take part in activities you once enjoyed such as meeting up with friends or taking part in a hobby.

9. Isolating yourself.

Enjoying alone time is a healthy practice, however if you feel you are shutting people out and avoiding social situations this may be an indicator that you are struggling with your mental health.

10. Feeling like things won’t get any better.

You may be feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel and that you will never overcome the situation you are currently in. This is not the case, if you talk out you can get the support you need. You can learn to manage your feelings of stress and poor mental health, meaning you can thrive both inside and outside the workplace.

If you recognise any of these feelings, please talk to someone about the way you are feeling and contact your GP for support.

Latest Articles

Open Letter – A Voice For Mental Health in the Workplace

Open Letter – A Voice For Mental Health in the Workplace

May 2020. An urgent appeal from Talk Out to the UK government and business leaders. It’s time for some tough questions. It’s time to make a profound change and we’re urging leaders to get in touch with us today to prevent a post-lockdown mental health fallout.

read more
Workplace Mental Health Still Misunderstood

Workplace Mental Health Still Misunderstood

In 2018, over 15 million days were lost to anxiety, stress and depression and the Thriving at Work report conducted in 2017 revealed that mental health in the workplace costs employers in the UK a staggering £42 billion per year. More worryingly though is the way...

read more