Business Features

From Toxic Work Environments to Prioritising Your Mental Health

January 15, 2023

Stylist and Educator Harriet Stokes advocates removing yourself from toxic working environments and prioritising mental health in 2023.

It’s important to understand that no workplace sets out to be toxic. It is not down to one individual, more likely a breakdown in systems or communication. It is equally important to understand that if you’re caught working in a toxic environment, then you have to deal with it. Similar to being in any kind of unhealthy relationship, it can feel impossible to remove yourself, but you must find a way to protect and prioritise your health. It is not only your MENTAL HEALTH that is at danger; it’s important to understand the PHYSICAL IMPACT that long-term stress can cause on your body:

  • Brain fog
  • Asthma
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Acne
  • Skin Conditions
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Once you have identified that your workplace is toxic, it is important to know that you have choices. Whether you choose to go self-employed or employed, know that other safer, happier environments do exist. Not all workplaces are the same; you have not reached the pinnacle of your career; there are working environments that will suit you better. Fear can play a big part in leaving a negative experience. You can feel trapped, but know you always have options. If you choose to reach out to another salon at any point in your career, it will always be treated with confidence.

The next hurdle in removing yourself from a toxic workplace is healing. Where possible, take time to rebuild your confidence and self-belief. Understand your strengths and vulnerabilities. Learn how to speak your truth. During this time, you will begin to feel re-energised. You’ll discover what you want and how to prioritise yourself and your needs.

Once you understand what you need, don’t be afraid to ask. When it comes to looking for a new workplace, do your research. At the interview listen to how they talk about their team and business. Ask them questions:

From Toxic Work Environments to Prioritising Your Mental Health

What I’ve learnt during my career is that I can’t operate if my energy isn’t in a good place. If I’m happy and healthy then my business, clients and students benefit and that will always be my priority.

How to Prioritise Your Mental Health in 2023

At the start of the year write down your 2023 goals and create balance in your diary to allow you to achieve these.

Build in time to prioritise your health, set boundaries and be realistic with your workload.

This could be journaling, meditating, exercise, or breathing techniques. For me, I practice EFT Tapping before putting on a relaxing playlist to set the tone for my day ahead.

Reconnect with what fills your cup and prioritise your own needs.

Every day write down the wins, big and small. I put mine in a glass jar so I can see them every time I enter my kitchen.

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