As She Writes

How to Put Mental Health First When Work Becomes Your Life

This is why you need to slow down.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When was the last time you took real time to yourself? Are you swept up in the energetic allure of a busy life, or have you figured out how to implement balance?

You ask people in your life if they honestly enjoy the long hours, the constant need for a stimulated mind, and a lot of them will tell you that they do. Though, I’m not one of those people. I can’t comprehend being busy all of the time because when I do, I quickly burn out.

The longer I force my creativity to cooperate, the more it weakens, and the harder it is to produce excellent writing. I go through these periods of increased productivity only to find myself feeling like I’m pulling my hair out with every task on my growing to-do list.

Where does it end? I’ve been trying to find a way to balance the constant need to create with winding down effectively, so every day wouldn’t feel like an obstacle. I wanted to feel the intense excitement of writing anew every day while knowing that I could switch off in the evenings.

When work becomes your life, and you spend every waking moment writing, it can be challenging to maintain the will to keep going. That is why you need to put your mental health first.

Slow down even if you’ve been wildly consistent

For a lot of us, building consistency is the goal. We want to get up every day, ready to write, and to maintain those good habits that keep us moving. Even though you may manage to get everything done during the day, find time to tackle other tasks that may be piling up, you have to ask yourself whether it’s doing any good for your mental health.

I always dreamed of being the kind of person that was incredibly busy all of the time, writing piece after piece and making use of every passing minute. I tried that out for a while, and can you guess what happened? I burned out.

It wasn’t until I was actively trying to feel better instead of doing better that I realized I needed to slow down.

I lost all control, spiraling into a creative rut that was unbelievably difficult to get out of. I knew it was because I felt overworked, and I had too many expectations of what I should be accomplishing every day. I needed a change because I felt terrible.

Acknowledge how your mind and body feels before you submerge yourself in work

When you wake up in the morning, do you ever take the time to identify how you’re honestly feeling? I used to be the kind of person that immediately reached for my phone, going through my emails, and filling myself with a sense of dread at what my schedule looked like for the day.

I didn’t take the time to acknowledge how exhausted I felt, how disconnected I was to my writing, and I passed the tipping point before I realized it was time to dial it back.

You have to pay attention to how you feel because it can be easy to get swept up in all the negative feelings, which may only discourage you from putting in any solid effort.

Find a balance that works for you and stick to it

Try taking the first ten minutes of the day to sit with your thoughts. Have a cup of tea or coffee, and don’t reach for your latest reads or social media timeline to stimulate your mind. Allow yourself to just be for a few minutes before you get carried away by the rush of the workday.

You must know when best you work and what time you need to switch off at the end of the day in the creative field. Your mind is the driving force behind your work, and that’s why you must take the time to let it rest.

Finding balance is by no means an easy task, but the more time you put into yourself, the easier it will be to see when you’re starting to work past your limits. Slow down, refresh your creativity by stepping away from the daily surge of busyness that blankets your life, and revisit your work with a fresh perspective.

Now, it’s time you take it easy and remember to put yourself first.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.

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