Mental health is an issue that is often talked about but seldom given serious consideration. This is a recurrent topic for discussions whether the discussions are taking place in a personal capacity or in a social setting. The world of tech is no exception.
Developers and people in tech work around the clock and with a sudden shift to work from home, simple tasks can take a toll on your mental health. It is equally important to keep your mental health in check as it is to keep the code running.
The prejudice and the bias that people so rightly fear when mentioning mental health issues is a reflection of our regressive behaviors towards the issue. Most of these discussions and efforts occur at a superficial level when the real issue is far more grave and rooted in social and cultural constructs.
The big question is how can people in tech maintain mental health while working from 9 to 5? Mental health doesn’t follow a clock, it doesn’t knock before making an appearance and doesn’t follow the timings of your workplace.
So, how do you actively take care of your mental health then? People tend to ignore the symptoms of worsening mental health. Most of the time, people don’t identify with the symptoms, the common response is to shrug it off, denial, and the outright defensive attitude if the proposition of having a mental health issue is raised.
These behaviors are so conditioned into us that people prefer to suffer in silence and naivety than seek help.
If you’re someone who has the slightest hint of having mental health disorder then you should seek help without any further delay. Some common practices to keep your mental health in check is to look out for symptoms and behavior that doesn’t feel normal. The sudden rush of emotions, feelings of despair over the slightest of issues, and just the overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, the urge to stay silent and avoid others, and just the lack of energy to do everyday tasks.
If you identify with any of the above-mentioned triggers then you should try doing breathing exercises to be in the present moment and to keep your focus. Other than this, going for a stroll, star gazing, reading a book, meditation, yoga, practicing mindfulness, and anything that helps you shift your focus and stay in the present moment is regarded as helpful.
The role of the workplace environment can’t be stressed enough in relation to mental health. If employees aren’t given the awareness and comfort to be who they are and what they are going through, fear that revealing mental health problems will reflect negatively on their job, repercussions then employees will never share their struggle with mental health issues.
The workplace environment should be mental health friendly, relaxing zones, psychologists on board for professional help, awareness sessions, meditation and exercise facilities and etc. All of this is to extend support and awareness towards people struggling with mental health because it’s very real.
An alarming number of people deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues on a daily basis and traditional workplace culture can add to it. For companies to step forward, they need to implement policies rather than just outline them on paper. The constant check on the office culture and monitoring of patterns that are toxic will help address issues.
This will be the first step in the right direction but far from the destination. It has to be a combined effort for it to bring change and destigmatize the issue. People shouldn’t be made to suffer in silence just to flaunt the “everything’s all right” signboard. Be kind, just listen and help others in living the life that is tough as it is. You don’t need to add to it by being unkind with your words.