Cognitive health refers to our brain’s ability to function. Of course, our brain has a huge range of abilities, but some of its core functions are memory, processing, language, attention, planning, reasoning, social cognition, and visual-spatial skills. We use these skills every day, and every job requires utilizing our cognition. Our cognitive health is closely linked to our mental health, which refers to our psychological and emotional well-being. Our cognitive functions can affect our mental health, and vice versa. As concern for mental health in the workplace has become an increasingly important topic, we should also look at how we can look after our cognitive health at work. It’s important to understand how to care for both. A balance of good cognitive and mental health means that we can function well and feel good about our time at work.
Budget your time
-Break down your day into manageable chunks
-Plan out your day
-Keep your space organized
Evaluate your work conditions
Work shouldn’t necessarily be a walk in the park, because problem-solving our way through challenges is great for our cognition! If you find that your job is way too easy or way too overwhelming and stressful, you may want to speak with a manager to see if adjustments can be made. Or, if possible, you may want to consider pursuing a new path.
Interact with others
Being friendly with coworkers can make your job feel more comfortable and fun
Moderate your stress
Try some techniques to calm yourself down (short break, going for a walk during lunch).
Move your body
Incorporate some exercise into your day
Get enough sleep
Studies show that not getting enough sleep negatively affects our executive function skills.
Our mental health and cognitive health are intertwined. Both play a huge part in our work lives. Learning how to care for our cognitive health at work can improve how we feel about work and make us more effective at our jobs. As you incorporate habits into your workday that are healthy for your cognition, your days may become easier as you begin to notice the benefits!