On Prioritizing Your Mental Health In A Performance-Driven World
Where do you fall on your own to-do list? Are you even listed?
Chances are work, passion projects, social events (that you may or may not really want to attend) take precedent. The idea of slowing down and resting gets trumped as we continue to push for the next promotion, the next gig, the next skill set to master. How can we balance the hustle with the rest? The grind with the healing?
In this blog post, #BBATX Isabella Toledo, who works full-time in tech, shares her four key strategies toward prioritizing (and making space for) her mental health in today’s busy world.
Try therapy, therapy, therapy.
See a traditional psychologist or psychiatrist. It's awkward at first. It takes time to open up. But without it, you're likely not talking through your feelings, especially the hard ones. When else do you get an hour of undivided attention and unbiased perspective?
You can also try therapy apps. If you don't have health insurance that covers therapy sessions, they can run up to $150 a session. This isn't feasible for everyone, but there are a multitude of apps that are free or low cost. Here are a few with incredible reviews:
Talk Space Online Therapy (it’s $25 a week to text a therapist as often as you need!)
PS: You can check out a bunch of therapy apps here.
Exercise Your Mind and Body
Meditate, Journal, Color. Do anything to get your mind focused on the present. Train your brain to be able to let go of thoughts as they come and go. So often, we try to shy away from feelings of pain, sadness and anger—and sitting in those feelings without trying to change them is the first step in understanding and then healing.
Move your body, too. Workout because it makes you feel good and don't shame yourself when you need to rest. Yoga is my exercise of choice but it gives me the mental clarity I need after a long day of work. Maybe group classes or running are your thing. Hell—you can even kill two birds with one stone and walk dogs for Wag or Rover.
Control your Calendar
Schedule lunch breaks. Schedule time to meditate. Schedule time to be alone. Schedule time to dedicate to a new skill (and stick to that time). Schedule working hours (and stick to that time). Schedule workouts. Use your calendar to mandate time for yourself.
It's Okay to Ask For Help.
This is the most important lesson I am learning, along with the hardest. I knew no one in my life expected me to be perfect, but I wasn't acting like it. I was so afraid to admit the bad days, the sad days, in fear of losing the part of my identity that is strong and positive. But I ended up internalizing those sad and angry feelings and projected them onto the people I loved most. The world can be a scary place and you don't have to face it alone. You are worthy of love and support—and you don't have to be all of yourself at once.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, #BBATX committee members have been sharing their strategies for self-care and mental health. If you’re curious about what we do at #BBATX, you can learn more here.