Skip to content

Maintaining Mental Health at Work: Strategies for Optimal Work/Life Balance

Maintaining mental health is more important than ever as the lines between work and home continue to blur in the post-pandemic period. The pressures of meeting deadlines, managing workloads, and balancing personal responsibilities can affect our mental well-being. But by adopting some proactive strategies, it's possible to create a healthier, more balanced approach to work. Here’s a comprehensive guide to maintaining mental health at work.


Recognize the Signs of Stress and Burnout

The first step in maintaining mental health at work is recognizing signs of stress and burnout. These may include:

  • Persistent feelings of fatigue and exhaustion
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Decreased productivity and difficulty concentrating
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach issues

Understanding these signs early can empower you to take action before stress escalates, putting you in control of your mental health. The Burnout Challenge, a book by Christina Maslach and Michael Leiter, is a great read for understanding our relationship with our jobs better. 


Set Realistic Goals and Prioritize Tasks

One major cause of workplace stress is feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks. To manage this, set realistic goals and prioritize your tasks:

  • Break large projects into smaller, manageable steps
  • Use tools like to-do lists and project management software
  • Learn to delegate tasks when possible

Setting achievable goals and focusing on high-priority tasks can make you feel capable and efficient, reducing feelings of overwhelm and improving productivity. At Workbar, we use tools like and Trello to manage projects and assign tasks, keeping things running smoothly and our team’s time as efficient as possible. 


Establish Healthy Boundaries

Maintaining clear boundaries between work and personal life is crucial for mental health:

  • Set specific work hours and stick to them
  • Avoid checking work emails or taking calls after hours
  • Communicate your boundaries to colleagues and supervisors

Establishing these boundaries can ensure that work stress does not spill over into your personal time, making you feel respected and in charge of your work-life balance. For example, you could turn off Slack notifications and set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” after hours. 


Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks throughout the workday can help reduce stress and improve focus:

  • Follow the Pomodoro Technique: work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break
  • Step away from your desk during lunch
  • Use breaks to stretch, walk, or practice deep breathing exercises

Short breaks can rejuvenate your mind and body, helping you stay productive and focused. Every Workbar location is designed with this in mind! With multiple neighborhoods structured around varying work methods, you can start your day collaboratively in The Commons, chat over lunch in the cafe, and finish the day with heads-down work in The Study.


Create a Comfortable Work Environment

Your work environment plays a significant role in your mental health:

  • Ensure your workspace is ergonomic and comfortable
  • Personalize your desk with items that make you happy, like plants or photos
  • Keep your workspace organized and clutter-free

A comfortable and pleasant work environment can enhance your mood and productivity. We’ve bragged before, and we’ll brag again—Workbar Back Bay is the first and only WELL-certified coworking space in the world, and we take pride in modeling all of our locations based on health-forward criteria.


Stay Connected with Colleagues

Building and maintaining social connections at work can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation:

  • Take time to chat with colleagues during breaks
  • Participate in team-building activities and social events
  • Seek out a mentor or be a mentor to others

Strong workplace relationships can create a supportive network that enhances your mental well-being. We can’t say enough about the meaningful connections we see at Workbar locations daily. Our team works in the spaces by choice to combat boredom and loneliness and to increase connection with each other. 


Practice Mindfulness and Stress-Reduction Techniques

Incorporating mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine can significantly impact your mental health:

  • Practice mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises
  • Use stress-relief apps or online resources
  • Take up activities that promote relaxation, such as yoga or tai chi

Regular practice of these techniques can help you manage stress more effectively. Check out this case study video about one of our members in Quincy, who is leading the charge on workplace mindfulness.


Seek Professional Support When Needed

There’s no shame in the therapy game! Seeking professional help if you’re struggling with mental health issues is a sign of strength, not weakness!

  • Utilize employee assistance programs (EAPs) if available
  • Consider talking to a therapist or counselor
  • Join support groups or online forums

Professional support can provide you with strategies and resources to manage your mental health effectively.


Prioritize Physical Health

Physical health and mental health are closely linked:

  • Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly to release endorphins, which can improve mood
  • Ensure you get enough sleep each night

Taking care of your physical health can positively impact your mental well-being. Our Workbar Bennies partners, like Restore Hyper Wellness, Back Bay Yoga Union, and Wellness Blueprint, all provide discounts on unique and beneficial classes and services to promote physical wellness. We chatted with Nico Varano from SweatHouz about the importance of spending just a little bit of time every day on our physical wellness to support our mental wellness.


Stay Informed and Educated

Finally, staying informed about mental health can help you recognize issues early and take proactive steps:

  • Attend workshops or seminars on mental health and well-being
  • Read books and articles on managing stress and improving mental health
  • Engage in continuous learning about healthy work practices

Educating yourself on mental health can empower you to take control of your well-being.


Workbar is the ultimate example of a coworking space that provides an environment conducive to maintaining mental health at work. With its focus on creating a comfortable and collaborative work environment, Workbar offers a range of amenities and services that can help individuals stay productive and balanced. From ergonomic workspaces to networking events and wellness programs, Workbar supports the well-being of its members, making it an excellent choice for those looking to prioritize mental health while pursuing their professional goals.