How to manage your stress and maintain mental wellbeing while on-site
There are often key dates that highlight the importance of mental health awareness in the mining sector. With R U OK?Day and World Suicide Prevention Day, the topic has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind at SETS HQ recently.
We took time to recognise R U OK?Day with a morning tea for all staff and students at our Balcatta Training Centre because we know how important it is to sometimes stop, put your tools down and take a moment to have a chat about it. Whilst we recognised the day, we want to emphasise that conversations regarding mental health need to happen year-round.
It’s also important to recognise that working away or FIFO can come with additional mental health challenges. Working long hours and being away from family, friends, home comforts and routine can be challenging. To help, we have compiled a few tips and resources to help you to manage stress and maintain your mental wellbeing while on-site.
Stress is not always a bad thing and is a normal part of everyday life. Small amounts of stress can actually be beneficial and help you focus on the task at hand or perform better under pressure.
However, prolonged and intense forms of stress can increase risks to both your physical and mental health, causing burnout and other health issues. This is why it’s important to find ways to manage your stress and help your body return to its relaxed state.
Before you get started, we recommend downloading this mental health toolkit from the Black Dog Institute. It provides a range of resources to better understand stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace.
- Mindfulness Exercises: Mindfulness is a type of meditation where you focus on what you’re feeling and sensing at the moment. It makes you aware of how you’re carrying your stress and trains your body to return to its relaxed state after long periods of tension. This will help you wind down, resulting in better quality sleep during rest periods. We recommend the following free guided mindfulness meditation resources:
- Smiling mind
- Insight Timer
- UCLA Mindful
- Staying Socially Connected: Social isolation is a key contributor to stress on mine sites. Fortunately, the Minerals Council of Australia has launched an app earlier this year to combat this. MineWell was designed specifically to help Australian mining workers and their families to stay connected. You can schedule anniversaries, birthdays and catch-ups with families and friends. Download it here.
- Utilising Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Make sure that you frequently utilise your company’s EAP services. Whatever your stressors may be, whether it’s family, finance or workplace issues, your EAP provider is a free service that is there to help you – so use it! If you are a current SETS employee, we have EAP resources available for you. Contact your team leader or head office for more information.
FIFO life doesn’t have to negatively increase your stress, and it won’t, providing you don’t let it. We hope you find these tips and resources helpful for optimal wellbeing.
Safer, smarter mine sites start with SETS. Contact us to find out more today.