Asset Intelligence and Management

Mental Health

EZO’s Guide to a Healthier Mind


Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you are going.

Noam Schpancer

Mental health requires continuous work and effort, especially in contemporary times where we have additional pressures, including digital and information overload, social media, climate anxiety, and shreds of economic uncertainty in certain parts of the world. 

There are over 200 different mental illnesses in the world, and according to a recent study by Harvard Medical School and the University of Queensland, one out of every two people will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime. 

Alarming? The numbers are sky-high—now, struggling with mental health issues has become as ordinary as getting the common cold. This is why it is essential to erase the stigma attached to mental health concerns or mental illness. It’s important to normalize the phrase, “I am not mentally well today. I might need some help”  in the workplace and otherwise. 

Everyone is fighting a battle, whether it’s a Vice President who bought a sparkling new car or a team member confused about the most minor task. Whether it’s the girl who can be a doppelganger for Salma Hayek or the guy struggling to meet ends. We all go through life’s ups and downs, don’t feel our best, or have thoughts that hamper our well-being. There is no label.

At EZO, mental health is a priority. Understanding each employee’s capacity and reducing pressure when needed are implicit in our culture. We also have other policies to ensure our employees are mentally healthy. But first and foremost is our commitment to treat all employees with compassion and provide a listening ear. 

However, this Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to play our part in spreading the message that everyone must treat themselves with compassion as well. You may need professional help for some mental health concerns, but you can control and rectify many mental health concerns with lifestyle changes and a regular check on your thinking patterns. This year, the hashtag for our mental health campaign is #GoEZOnyourself. 

We conducted a quick survey at EZO and found that while 31.6% of our talented team said they make mental health a major priority, the same percentage of people said that while mental health is a priority, it’s not a top priority. These results reverberate the priorities of most millennials and Gen Z today. 

It’s a seesaw—some recognize the importance of mental health while others know it’s important, but aren’t doing much to help themselves. 

To help everyone pursue a healthier, more positive lifestyle, we gathered the best mental health advice from our talented team in all spheres of life. Some of these strategies have been actively pursued for years, while others are those that we know do work but we wish we would do more of. Remember, this is not a replacement for professional help, but lifestyle changes that can help maintain a healthy mind. 

physical tips for mental health

Physical Tips-The Mind and the Body are Connected

There is a direct link between your mind and your body; if either one is harmed, the other is also likely to suffer. The journey to sound mental health begins with adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips from EZO: 

  1. Cut down on sugar intake – Eating a high-sugar diet can cause hyper-reactive responses to stress, result in a fuzzy brain, and cause fatigue. It can also cause depression with certain hormonal deficiencies. Reducing sugar in your diet can help make your brain healthier. (AJ, PR) 
  1. Drink plenty of water – This is key to good mental health. Women need at least 11.5 cups of water daily, and men need about 15 cups.  There is a direct correlation between hydration and mental well-being. (SN, Content Marketing) 
  1. Cut down on caffeine – Decaffeinating your diet may reduce stress, sleep problems, and other symptoms. But don’t quit caffeine cold turkey if it is a regular part of your diet. Slowly reduce your caffeine intake. If you can do without it one day, that’s great; otherwise, limit it to one cup a day.  It makes a big difference!  (AJ, PR)
  1. Exercise and move often – Lack of physical activity can harm your mental well-being. Whether you go up and down the stairs ten times a day or jump rope for ten minutes in the morning, incorporate some form of physical movement into your daily routine. (AJ, PR; SN, Content Marketing) 
Mindset and lifestyle tips

Mindset and Life Tips-Strategize your Way to Happiness

Often, our mental health is adversely impacted because we haven’t oriented our lives in a way that enables us to eliminate unnecessary stress and stay happy. It’s important to strategize on a daily basis to make a conscious decision to be happy. Check out some of these tips! 

  1. Stop worrying about things out of your control – Our survey at EZO revealed that 38.1% of people said they get bothered by things out of their control, and 38.1% said they somewhat get bothered. Only 28.3% said they don’t get bothered – which is a little hard to believe. Our CEO, Syed Ali, recommends that instead of worrying about things you can’t control, like the health of a loved one, being laid off from work, or your car breaking down, you need to try to re-engineer your brain to find a way to make the situation better and do what you can. Don’t take the extra stress – the universe has ways of fixing things when the person involved remains calm. It may be easier said than done, but it’s worthwhile to program your brain this way. Take baby steps. (SA, CEO) 
  1. Establish boundaries and say “no” more often – A lot of stress is caused by overburdening yourself with expectations others set for you or taking on things you can’t handle. It also stems from engaging in relationships that make you uncomfortable or surpass your tolerance level. It’s important to be direct about what you can and can’t do and say “no” where you have to.  Set firm boundaries for yourself regarding relationships, work, and your daily routine. (HK, Product; HB, Product; AS, Special Projects; SN, Content Marketing)
  1. Disconnect and spend time with your family & friends – The first word in this tip is the most important. “Disconnect” is pivotal to mental well-being. Our phones, email, and now even our watches keep us connected to everything and everyone, making our attention dwindle. Step out of work mode or world mode and spend exclusive, undisturbed time with your loved ones. Put those phones and watches in airplane mode during non-working hours. (TM, CSM; AJ, Sales) 
  1. Reduce the clutter in your life – A study by Baylor University revealed that 75% of young adults experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This leads to clutter in your life and misplaced priorities. Do you need that new car? Do you have to buy that branded handbag? Do you need to tie the knot before 30? Prioritize and don’t focus on more than two life priorities at a time – achieve them and then move on. If you think about too many things, you will only get burnt out. ( AH, Legal) 
  1. Celebrate the ups and think of the downs as your strengths – If life is going your way, that’s great, but when it’s not, it’s only strengthening you. Success sometimes breeds off of a bit of hardship. An interesting question asked by our sales rep during this interview was, “Do you wish any of the bad things that happened to you hadn’t happened?” While there may be some that are still painful, 80% of the difficult times teach us something, result in emotional or personal growth, and strengthen us. Try to think of the bad times as something that will reform you and propel you forward. This attitude can help in reducing stress. Also, celebrate the small things in life: a good meal, some quality time with your parents, a good movie. Don’t measure happiness against difficultly attainable goals (TH, Sales; JH, Marketing; MA,Marketing)
Habits and Hobby Tips for mental health

Habits and Hobby Tips-Take Action for your Well-being

Most of the time, the little things we do make the most significant difference and help improve our mental well-being. These tips are short activities you can do regularly to make yourself feel better or ensure your mind stays fresh and free of unnecessary burdens. 

  1. Find healthy outlets to reduce stress – Find a hobby or something you enjoy doing to relieve stress. It can be reading, gardening, listening to music, spending time with pets, painting, or learning a new skill. There are various ways for people to elevate their mood regularly. Treat yourself to these activities regularly to detox your mind. (AH, Legal; TH, Sales; AS, Special Projects; KS, Dev) 
  1. Stay away from screens for a set number of hours a day – Reducing mobile use and staying away from all kinds of screens for at least 6 hours a day can help your mental well-being. Due to social media and continuous browsing, we are currently going through digital overload. Reduce it – and you’ll see how much happier you feel in the real world. (TH, Sales; AH, Legal) 
  1. Write a journal for 2 minutes a day – Let all your thoughts out on paper or in a digital journal. Do it as a routine every day for two minutes, and you’ll feel like you released a lot of undue stress. Write something you are grateful for daily and that’ll help you feel more at ease and think positively (HK, Product; TH, Sales) 
  1. Take a break and eat something you like – Eating your favorite food can elevate your mood. When you are stuck in a stressful situation, stop and take a break. Go out and have something you like. When you return, you are likely to see the situation differently. (HB, Product)
  1. Dress up for yourself – It’s important to look nice and groom yourself as this positively impacts your mental well-being. If you feel confident and think you look good, it greatly affects your mood and thinking patterns. (SA, Development) 
Work and productivity mental health tips

Work and Productivity Tips-Work Better, Stress Less

How could we leave this out? A lot of our stress is caused by or occurs at work. Obviously, this isn’t good for your well-being. However, our team has some actionable tips on how to work better and stress less—and they are actually effective! 

  1. Make a to-do list for your day and minimize priorities – One of the easiest ways to invite stress is to set a long to-do list that is impossible to complete and stretches your brain in different directions. It’s ideal to prioritize 1-2 big activities during the day, write them down as soon as you start, and feel the dopamine rush as you tick them off completely. If you can’t design your day that way, assign a maximum of 4 activities to a day. (AJ, PR; HK, Product) 
  1. Do deep, focused work without interruptions for 2-3 hours – A fast way to lose the day is to let everyone and everything interrupt your tempo. That leads to brain fog, stress, and anxiety when you haven’t finished anything the way you wanted to. Find a quiet spot or put your headphones in and block your calendar. Focus on work for 2-3 hours and then take a long break – you’ll get much more done than you would have if you kept interrupting yourself or being interrupted. (AS, Special Projects) 
  1. Take breaks regularly and disconnect from work – During work, take frequent breaks and go out to do something completely different, even if it is just sitting on the sidewalk watching the day go by. During this time, mentally disconnect from work. Don’t take coffee breaks where you still think about and talk about work – disconnect. You will likely be more productive when you get back and win all that time lost back. After office, definitely disconnect so you can give your brain a longer break (MF, Sales; AA, Content Marketing) 
  1. Work while standing – This was a unique tip, but it is guaranteed to work for some. If you stand while working, this boosts energy, can boost productivity, and improves physical well-being, which will impact mental well-being too. Try those standing desks at your workplace. (MF, Sales) 
  1. Adopt the 1-3-5 rule – Assign one major task to your day, three medium-level tasks, and five small tasks. It’s important to eat the frog first and finish your big task, then move on to your medium-priority tasks, and then, if you have time, move on to your five lowest-priority tasks. This differs from the rule we mentioned earlier about having 2-4 major priorities in a day. However, your lower priority tasks may be something like answering emails, sending a calendar invite, etc., which you need to add to your task list but don’t take up much of your time. You can adopt either rule according to what works best for you. ( AA, Content Marketing) 
  2. Be open about rejecting projects that don’t add value – As mentioned above, taking on extra work that isn’t adding value to your goals or is irrelevant to you only adds to resentment, regret, a waste of time, and stress. Be clear about what you will and will not take on and focus on the projects that matter. (HK, Product; AJ, PR) 
Compassion tips for mental health

Compassion Tips-Show You Care

According to our survey at EZO, 90% of people believed that team leads undergo higher stress than others. This is true as they have a big responsibility. Accordingly, the team needs to support team leads to combat their anxiety. However, our conversations also revealed that 100% of people believe that the team lead or manager has a deep impact on the mental well-being of their team. Here, we’ll talk about work and how you can apply these tips in other parts of life, too. 

  1. Always give constructive feedback- If you are a team lead, your feedback needs to be constructive. Yelling or belittling someone won’t help them or you. However, if a team member is giving feedback to the lead, they must also ensure it is constructive. Chronic complaining is a significant mental health buster. In other spheres of life, be compassionate with your comments and opinions, and only provide them if you think they will truly help someone. Even then, choose your words wisely. (SA, Dev) 
  1. Reduce pressure where needed – If you are a team lead, your team just needs you to say, “It’s okay, you can do this tomorrow” at times. Actively give your team leverage when pressure becomes too intense – have their back. Encourage breaks. Teams should also help team leads pull through on plans when required.

    In other spheres of life, if you see that something you have done adds extra pressure on someone, reduce it and give them some leverage (If you can).  Let someone return a loan a week later, let them finish a task the next day, or agree to middle ground in a disagreement. (SN, Content Marketing; TH, Sales; AA, Content Marketing; TM, CSM) 
  1. Provide a listening ear – Team leads need to be compassionate and provide a listening ear whenever someone is stressed out or anxious. Take them out for a coffee or a chiller and just talk. Empathize, and try to find a solution to their problem. In other spheres of life, you may often see a friend or acquaintance who needs a listening ear. Be that person. (TM, CSM; AJ, Sales; JH, Marketing) 
  1. Plan fun activities to get to know someone – Whether at work or in your social life, it’s important to plan fun activities to get to know someone better. You are always dealing with humans in every situation, and the only way you can strengthen the relationship, build trust, and ensure mental well-being is by going that extra mile to get to know someone. Hence, you know how to deal with them on an individual scale. There is no one-size-fits-all formula. (KS, Development, IK Development; MS, Marketing). 

These are just some things you can do to ensure your mental well-being and that of others around you. Making others happy also profoundly affects your happiness – smiles are contagious. Remember to reach out for help when you need it without embarrassment or reluctance. 

Spread mental health awareness and start changing your lifestyle today for a healthy body and mind—remember, change is only a thought away!