CAREERS

Winning the World by Conquering the Battle Within

 
July 28, 2020

Why mental health is crucial for a rewarding career, and what TCS offers its employees to stay positive and balanced

Phrases such as ‘a sound mind in a sound body’ or ‘health is wealth’ have been around for as long as one can remember. However, in practice, physical health usually precedes emotional or mental health. The latter has not been given due consideration and importance, although things are steadily improving in terms of awareness and action, on this front.The wellbeing of TCS employees is of utmost importance to TCS as an organization. One of the ways TCS ensures that employees stay mentally healthy is by looking after their emotional needs, especially by building awareness on mental health and well-being. TCS Cares is one such program that is geared to serve and support employees.

TCS Cares promotes awareness, understanding, and acceptance around mental health and provides support through qualified counselors and self-help resources. It drives the confidence that no TCS employee feels alone or left out when dealing with maintaining emotional balance or countering mental health challenges. The program leverages assessments, workshops, podcasts, webinars, blog and personal counselling as media to help promote mental health. It also sensitizes leaders, managers, and supervisors on new ways of managing teams’ mental wellbeing for improved productivity.

The development of mental health or emotional resilience is a must to deal with crises or uncertainty and boost productivity. We’d like to share with you our views and a few tips on how you can preserve and improve mental health.

Be selective in information that you choose to consume

There is an abundance of content/information readily available to anyone that wishes to consume all of it. These are all around us in the form of conversations with people, messages in mass media and opinions put out on social media. It is okay to miss out on information that is not critical and relevant. Don’t let the fear of missing out (FOMO) overwhelm you or lead you to feel unaccomplished. Counter the rampantly widespread infodemic – the information epidemic -- by consulting only genuine and reliable sources. Avoid getting swayed by unverified news that could most likely be false / misleading and serves to do nothing but put one in a negative mental state. Be rational in weighing possibilities versus probabilities and take steps to ensure you are in an informed scenario rather than living in a state of unknown fear.

Use social media judiciously to keep emotions in check

Every social media platform comes with its pros and cons; we should be aware of which ones benefit us. For example – some social media platforms offer balanced, well-researched, and thoughtful content that will also help you network with the right people for work-related interests. Step back when you engage with or on social media to find out what that platform does for you. Does it further your personal goals for growth? These are good questions to ask oneself when interacting or engaging on social media.

Stay connected with positive people, help those that are looking for support

Everyone needs that one friend or person they can reach out to for support or to simply think out loud. Make sure you keep this relationship enhanced and as a sounding board for whenever you need to discuss your emotions. Furthermore, the best way to preserve mental health and wellbeing is to be a source of support to others. Empathize with people around you who are feeling low and unenergized mentally. Lend an ear to those that need to share. If you find this hard to do, direct them to an appropriate resource. For your own mental wellbeing, stay around those that feed your creativity and keep you in a relaxed and upbeat mental state.

Gratitude

Generally, your list of “haves” will outnumber the “have-nots”. So, be grateful for what you have. Spend some time daily doing things for yourself – pursuing a hobby, spending time with loved ones, exercising, writing down your aspirations, meditating or self-reflecting on gratitude – these are just a few daily pursuits that require not more than 15-30 minutes but go a long way in ensuring productivity in the workplace.

What you resist, persists; what you face, you can embrace

This is an often-used phrase used during counselling. It means that you should master your fears instead of letting them get the better of you. However, if it is not possible to overcome your fears, at least speak openly about these. In doing so, the magnitude of the fear and anxiety dissipates. Once that happens, you can resolve the problem with the probability versus possibility maneuver.

The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding method

This is another immediate effective technique to deal with a bout of panic or anxiety or physical symptoms like breathlessness, palpitation, etc. It involves identifying the 5 things/objects that you see in your immediate surrounding; 4 surfaces or textures that you can feel (the smoothness of a tabletop, or the softness of a cushion); 3 things that you can hear; 2 things that you smell (the perfume you wear, or food being cooked in the distance, or recalling the smell of something you like); and 1 thing that you can taste, say a lingering taste of what you ate a while ago or a taste you can recall. This sensory countdown tool is a very powerful grounding technique that engages all of our physical senses and immediately serves to displace any current thought that is taking control away from a balanced mental state. This technique, however, may only serve as psychological first-aid.

Please note, that anxiety attacks and prolonged depression require professional medical attention. Never shy away from seeking professional help regarding your mental health.

TCS Cares believes that no matter how competent, confident and successful we may be, we all, feel the need to be accepted and empathized with. The program offers support where TCS employees can share and discuss mental health concerns one-on-one with professional mental health experts in an environment of confidentiality.

Do you have a thought or views on how mental health affects productivity and career? Do share it with us. Drop us an email at careers@tcs.com

Thank You. We wish you a fulfilling career.

Sangeeta Chandran is the Global Head of TCS Cares, the mental health and wellbeing program at Tata Consultancy Services. A certified Integrative Therapy Counsellor, Sangeeta is also the Founder of DandelionsTalk, an initiative to promote mental and emotional health awareness and support.  Apart from this, Sangeeta is a student pilot, a car rally enthusiast, a blogger, and a movie reviewer. She walks her dogs, does yoga, and meditates to stay agile mentally and physically.