For us millennials, work is no longer a 9-to-5 that we leave at the door once arriving home. Our careers have become an extension of who we are. It is not only an intellectual investment we make in our work but also an emotional one.
This being the case, prioritizing our mental health at work and aiming for a 360 life balance, and not just a work-life balance, becomes a must. Therefore, we picked “reclaim your time, reclaim your mental health” as mental health activity for April.
Read below how our volunteers have been embracing this month’s challenge and feel free to adopt some of their tricks in your work life as well.
"One thing Ithat has really changed my workday is muting my work chat notifications when needed. When I have to do something that requires my full attention I do not check my messages for an hour to be able to focus on the task at hand. At first, not responding to messages 2 seconds after receiving them stressed me out. But I fast realized there are no requests that cannot wait for an hour to be addressed. Having time to work peacefully has helped me keep my work anxiety low."
“To help myself balance my mental wellbeing, I ask myself daily: What does success look like today? I reflect on the most important tasks that I could really focus on each day and get them done #FirstThingsFirst. Then I take pen to paper and form a prioritized to-do list based on urgency and importance. This trick helps me feel in control and avoid the overwhelming feeling that could develop when the workload gets rough.”
“I talk to my close ones in times of doubt, worry, and stress. They’re sweet enough to remind me to prioritize myself. So my tip is to rely on your social network and gain the strength to fight for yourself through the people you love.”
“When I am working, I rely on productivity apps like Google Keep as much as I can, even for the smallest of tasks. It helps me to have a palpable list of tasks in front of me allowing me to prioritize and track progress. That way I do not have to rely on my memory, thereby making my task list more error-free. Personally, I get a small kick out of ticking off things from my to-do list! The more I put on my phone, the less will be on my brain; leaving more space for other things.”
“My secret to maintaining a healthy balance at work is calendar blocking! Do I need time to focus? I block my calendar, pop up my Pomodoro app, and get working. Do I need to make sure I meditate and move daily? Boom, they go onto my calendar. Have I been skipping lunch lately? I slot a 30-minutes lunch break to keep myself accountable. It is a simple yet effective trick that helps me stay well-balanced in all aspects of my life.”
“Since I started working from home, keeping up with a morning routine that used to be very well-established before the pandemic started to be very hard. Not having a fixed schedule meant a lack of organization. So finding a new morning routine that worked in this new context was key to taking care of my mental health too. In my case, devoting at least the first hour after waking up to myself, doing some journaling, and spending a few minutes with my thoughts is what works best!”
“The first thing that I do to plan my day is to make a mental note of it when I wake up. Then I write all my to-do’s down as per urgency. This helps me prioritize things.”
“No matter how much work stuff I have to do I try not to work longer than the hours I am assigned to and after closing my work laptop I try not to touch anything work-wise. Does it work all the time? No. Do I still try (almost) every day? Yep. Plus I really with a video that I saw on TikTok recently. It said to treat your work as a side hustle and self-care/self-development as your full-time job.”
“At my workplace, the home office is not a common practice and we avoid it as much as we can. Being new to this corporate culture sometimes makes me feel that I have to conform to the rules despite my needs. So, I have started asking for home offices more often to prioritize myself and my family. Because in 5 years I am pretty sure I will not remember that Monday at the office.”
“Every time I feel overwhelmed or stressed at work I get the need to reconnect with myself. I try to do some physical activity as moving my body helps me connect my thoughts and emotions with my physical body and my whole experience. I also try to find someone in my family to share my emotions with. They always know how to make me laugh and, therefore, feel more relaxed.”
“I listen to music. I take a walk. I exercise before or after work. Music helps me reset my mood and brings me back to the moment. Exercise rejuvenates my whole body and gives me an act of new courage to go on and takes away the tension most of the time.”
“Taking small breaks and chatting with my colleagues helps me through most days. I also try to manage my time in a way that I can have hobbies that would help me get work out of my mind.”