Team Photo With World Mental Health Day Logo

How our work friends improve our mental health

Recently, when feeling down one rainy Wednesday morning, my work pal, agony aunt and lunch buddy arrived to work and told me she was taking me for coffee and cakes at lunchtime! She had noticed that something was up earlier in the week and took it upon herself to take me out of the office routine and talk to me one to one.

My morning was suddenly a lot brighter and I looked forward to our lunchtime chin wag! This got me thinking about how our work buddies can really make a difference to how we are feeling.

Work has it’s good days, but it’s safe to say it also has its daily dramas so there’s nothing better to help us through than the friendly faces at work. To see just how much these relationships mean to us, I thought I’d speak to some of our team.

Meet El, our Content Manager and Mariya, our Social Media Manager. Working together for almost 4 years, they sure do meet the criteria for the phrase two peas in a pod! Here’s what they had to say:

El And Mariya Dressed Up At Gungho

Who makes the best brew?

Mariya: I think it would probably be El because she takes it very seriously and dunks her tea bag exactly 77 times! 

El: I think you make the best coffee and I make the best herbal tea but neither of us makes a good tea. So if you want a normal tea don’t come to us!

Who is the clumsiest?

El: Mariya! You can’t deny that.

Mariya: This is only because of the coffee incident! There was a spillage.

El: So it wasn’t that you spilt something, it’s because there was a spillage? A very important distinction. What about the burning?

Mariya: The burning was different! Next question, please.

Who is the most dramatic?

Mariya: Ok, that’s me. See when it’s true I’ll admit it.

El: That is true. This morning you had a 20 minute argument with someone about pressing a button correctly.

Mariya: I wasn’t being dramatic, I was right!

El And Mariya At Awards Ceremony

Who is the best dancer?

Mariya: I appreciate El’s dancing! I even have video evidence of it.

El: I do enjoy a good dance I just don’t necessarily possess the natural poise and grace. What I lack in finesse I make up for in enthusiasm.

M: This is true. At least we can agree on something!

What is your favourite memory together?

El: We have loads! But what I would say is, that true joy comes in the mundane. Whenever we happen to finish work at the same time or are both heading into town, we never fail to go out for food. Every time we go we will talk until it closes, we’ll mess around, we’ll talk nonsense but also have deeper conversations. We just always have a great time just the two of us.

Mariya: I agree. It’s these sort of days where we’re laughing, crying or just being silly that are my favourites.

How does having close friends at work improve your mental health?

Ela And Mariya Out For Food

Mariya: Sometimes it’s just something as small as the way El greets me in the morning. She always says ‘good morning my friend’ and it feels like it’s a bit warmer towards me. It just makes me feel better about my day.

El: For me, it’s knowing there’s someone there that has my back. In the workplace, there will always be things you don’t necessarily agree on and sometimes you feel like a relationship can take a knock. With Mariya, I don’t feel like that. I know that we may not always agree but we will always have each other’s back and our core values will always be the same. 

For this year’s World Mental Health Day, The World Health Organisation is encouraging people to take ’40 seconds of action’ to create a safe space for those struggling with mental health.

Let your colleagues know you’re there for them and if you’re struggling yourself speak to those around you. You never know who might be experiencing the same feelings as you. Here are just a few ideas of how you can use your 40 seconds of action at work.

  • Good friendships take time to build but can start with just a hello! Take the time to start a conversation with your colleagues or grab a coffee with them.
  • Remind a work friend of some funny or special memories you’ve shared together.
  • Send a good morning email to a colleague and start their day with a smile.
  • Bring treats to work and give your team a boost for the day!
  • Share a positive message on your shared platform, you never know who might need to hear it.

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