How to protect your mental health at work

Mental Health at Work

1. Open up

First of all, the best thing to do is start talking. If you’re comfortable doing so, open up to your family, friends and colleagues. These are likely to be the people you spend most of your time with, so it’ll be helpful for them to understand what you’re going through. My partner and I talked about my illness regularly and it helped us get through it together. It may feel difficult to talk about (even with people you're close to), but remember you're not alone – in many cases there will be many, many others suffering from the same thing you are.

2. Prioritize sleep

Exhaustion is one of the main issues affecting professionals in the creative industries. While the occasional midnight flurry of coding isn’t going to kill you, don’t make it a habit. Always think: What’s the worst that’s going to happen while I have a few hours of sleep? Your health is more important than an extra line of code.

3. Rethink your downtime

Ensure you take some time to unwind. And by that, I don't mean just on your phone or in front of the TV (we’re all guilty of spending a bit too much time doing these things). Getting a good night’s sleep not only helps keep you healthy and well rested, it can also help you deal with stress. Simple tasks like keeping on top of bills, mowing the grass or fixing that leaking tap can also improve your wellbeing.

4. Focus on one thing at a time

Don’t feel like you have to tackle everything in one go; prioritise items that will make a difference to your life and your career. It’s better to do half of your tasks and do them well than to half-complete everything. Personally, I have been focusing on finding medication to keep my disease under control. Now I’m on something that works, I can turn my attention to my career.

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