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Yewande Jinadu: How Can HR Professionals Protect Their Mental Health Better?

As someone who has not only faced various dilemmas but also coaches and mentors HR professionals through complex situations, I can affirm that HR professionals also face significant mental health challenges. While HR is traditionally expected to support other employees through their mental health struggles by partnering with professionals, it’s often overlooked that they also suffer from similar issues. Regrettably, there is no dedicated support system for HR professionals.

The challenge begins with the ambiguous responsibilities of HR professionals. Depending on the size and structure of a business, HR might find themselves handling procurement, administration, finance, operations, IT support, and more.

Recently, people shared the challenges they face this rainy season, highlighting the impact of the heavy downpour on their attendance and punctuality at work using the trend ‘Dear HR’. However, the truth is that such communication should not be directed at HR. Line managers are responsible for their team members’ attendance and punctuality. HR should be kept informed but should not be blamed for these issues. Here are some strategies HR professionals can use to protect their mental health:

Focus On What is Within Your Control

Organisations have various dynamics, and while HR professionals often treat the business as their own and wish for the best, it is crucial to avoid self-blame for aspects beyond their control. When it comes to employee satisfaction, if decision-makers do not approve of certain initiatives, do not tie your self-worth to the outcomes. This can prevent overthinking and unnecessary stress.

Try Your Best

Analyse what is within and outside your control, and strive to do your best with the elements you can influence. This reflection isn’t to justify yourself but to ensure you’ve given your all. This approach will help you sleep better at night, knowing you’ve put in maximum effort.

Seek Support

Don’t attempt to solve everything on your own. It’s okay to reach out to trusted HR professionals for advice. Realising that others have faced similar scenarios can be reassuring and provide valuable perspectives.

Maintain a Life Outside of Work

If work is your sole source of purpose and joy, your mental health will suffer when issues arise. Cultivate a fulfilling personal life where you feel loved and enjoy activities outside of work. This balance ensures that you have a strong foundation to weather any professional storm.

Engage with Professionals

Consider engaging with a coach, therapist, mentor, or counsellor. While friends can be supportive, the severity of certain issues may necessitate professional help. Therapy can address actual mental health conditions and past and present issues, coaching can guide your future progress, and a counsellor can provide advice on potential steps.

Practice Self-Care

Engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, such as exercise, hobbies, or meditation. Do what makes you feel good. Not long ago, I spoke with a therapist who asked me to define ‘rest’ and decide what it means to me. Now, any time I feel worn out, I ask myself, “what would rest mean to you at this point?” Then I allow myself rest to prevent burnout. 

HR professionals must recognise the importance of their mental health and take proactive steps to protect it. Taking action towards mental well-being not only benefits you but also enhances your ability to support others, creating a healthier workplace for everyone.


Feature image by Monstera on Pexels

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