Managing Your Mental Health In The Face Of A Stressful Career
Before you gain your graduate degree, before you become promoted at work. Before you hold your first meeting or finally have an idea land in the boardroom. And before you write a sponsored post or a viral business tweet, before you develop a better sense of who you are as a professional, you are a human. This will be true of anyone you meet in any corporate setting, although of course some people may seem more corporation than person at times. Reality is that many of us have a stressful career.
We can often get so wrapped up in our ‘career identities’ that when something happens, such as a family issue experienced by one of our colleagues, we can remember that at heart, we are all just people doing the best we can to survive. This means that when managing your career, it’s also important to base that on a foundation of managing your mental health.
To that extent, especially if you have a stressful career, this becomes more than just a simple task orchestrated to help you get better results. It is a human need. And it’s that which we are keen to help you with:
Do Not Hide It
It’s not a great character failing to be somewhat confused, or need further guidance. It’s not a great character failing to need to take some time for yourself, but most of all, it’s never a failing to admit you are suffering with an issue. If you find that stress is getting the better of you, simply stuffing it down into the part of yourself that will never admit a problem can only lead you to snap at the worst time. Do not hide it. Speak to your human resources about the issues you are experiencing in a confidential manner.
If you can do this, then you will understand how the company perceives you and if they are willing to do something about it. They may suggest sick or compassionate leave for a time, or speak with your manager in order to help your workload become reduced, or at least be more supportive. Modern human resources methods are geared towards understanding how employees are functioning. It is in their vested interested to help you. If they don’t, then you know why to start looking for a job and perhaps needn’t keep these intense burdens you have on your shoulders held to such a high pedigree.
Understand That Your Path To Success Is Personal
When we watch motivational videos on YouTube, or try to read the inspirational words of any ‘business life coach,’ we can often find that we feel we have to replicate their path completely lest be left out of the secret sauce that can make true results take place. This, of course, is false. It’s important that managing your mental health requires an understanding of your own journey, because then you can be more compassionate with yourself.
Speak To A Professional
Stress can be its own issue, but it can sometimes be indicative of another cause. It’s best to rule out potential causes to ensure you are not reacting to it badly, or have a hard time processing it. For example, if already suffering from a mental health issue such as undiagnosed trauma, feeling stress can sometimes compound these issues to the point where naturally venting them is a hard task.
Additionally, with the guidance of someone professional helping you keep in touch with healthy habits and practices, or even recommending a more direct course of action, you will be in the best hands. While many of us are used to relying on ourselves and consider our professional candor to be something that revels in achievement, it’s best not to think you can simply sort it all out yourself.
A work/life balance that is carefully symmetrical as much as possible can be an important thing to manage, particularly if also trying to raise a family. This is where you might refuse a promotion because of the added hours it could ascertain, consider becoming a consultant rather than join the boardroom, or perhaps find out what works for you.
In other words, being overly convinced that you need to climb the corporate ladder at all costs is not the healthiest path forward. It’s not always such a bad idea to know that you can move on if you want, or take an alternate angle, despite what you may have thought in the past. Of course, being grateful for a job is one thing, but also doing what is right for you can have knock on effects. This is why those who were the regional manager for a large corporation might give up their high salary and open an animal shelter, or why certain people drop out to make their own businesses despite no guarantee of success.
Choosing an alternate path doesn’t necessarily mean that you will enjoy better mental health management, but keep your options open can certainly help you feel less restricted on a daily basis.
Stressful Career? Locate The Source Of The Stress
What is the source of your stress? Is it many combined issues, or one or two things that are occuring? If it’s workplace harassment, then you should do all you can to report it and find others who might be keeping quiet despite this treatment. If it’s that you’re struggling to get enough sleep at night, visiting a sleep doctor or enacting better sleep hygiene techniques could be the next vital step to your important health remedies. Or if it’s feeling frayed at the edges when chakra healing or meditation could help you come back down to the Earth, it’s important to try that.
When you understand the source of stress, you can address it. Stress does not happen in a vacuum, but it can certainly be dealt with. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, after all. Remember, this is a process above all.
With this advice, you should be able to better manage your mental health. Even in a busy and stressful career.