If you need to be productive but you’re worried about getting things done affecting your mental health, you’re definitely not alone. Whether you have mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, or you’re just feeling stressed and wanting to stay mentally healthy, there are ways you can protect yourself and still get things done. Here are some of the best ways to take care of your mental health during times of high productivity, so you can stay productive and still feel well, too.
1. Limit Working Overtime
Sure, you have to get things done. But when your workday is done, it’s done. Don’t take work home with you unless you truly have no choice, and be sure you don’t make a habit of that. You need the downtime so you can get things done the following day. If you’re always working, you’ll get burned out and not be able to do as much, even though you’re working more hours. That’s true for meetings, as well. They should be during working hours, not before or after work, and definitely not on weekends.
2. Talk About Your Feelings With Someone You Trust
Choose a trusted person, and open up to them. That can be hard to do, but it’s a very important part of staying mentally healthy. You don’t have to work with a professional if that’s not right for you. It’s also valuable to talk to a friend. Remember, you may not even be looking for advice. You’re mostly looking to be heard, which can make it easier to feel well mentally. Depending on the type of work environment you have, a colleague or even your boss could be a great choice for someone to talk to. When people who work together can support one another, more generally gets done.
3. Ask for Help When You Need It
It’s important to know that you’re not alone, and that most people really are happy to help if you need it. By asking yourself whether you would help someone else in need, you’ll feel better about realizing most people would help you, as well. One of the biggest reasons people struggle with their mental health when they’re busy is because they think they need to do it all themselves. But there’s no reason not to reach out if help is needed. You’ll be more productive in the long run that way, because your mental health will be better.
4. You Really Can Say “No” in the Workplace – Sometimes
Most people think they don’t have the right to say “no” to a boss or colleague, but that’s often not really the case. If you can’t do something because you aren’t sure how to, or it’s simply too taxing along with your current workload, you may need to say no in order to protect your mental health. Make sure you’re clear about your reasoning, but don’t feel the need to apologize or over-explain yourself. No is a complete sentence. As long as it’s delivered professionally and with tact, it’s usually not as much of a problem as you’d think.
5. Stay Active to Keep Your Mental Health Stronger
You might not feel like exercising after you’ve been productive all day, but your mental health will thank you. When you exercise regularly, you’ll see your sleep habits and concentration improve. You can also work toward mapping out short-term and long-term goals when you’re exercising, which can make you more productive in other areas of your life. If you don’t want to do things alone, or the buddy system helps you stay motivated, exercise with a friend. You’ll feel less alone, both mentally and physically, that way.
6. Do Something You’re Good at in Your Spare Time
Find a hobby you like, and that you can do with other people. That way you can stay in touch with friends or make new ones, and you’ll have something to look forward to after work. When your work day is done, you need to rest and recharge. A hobby can be a great way to do that, and can make you excited to get up and be productive the next day, too. Whether you want to do a group activity or you’d prefer something more solitary, you need pursuits to enjoy that can help you forget about work for a little while. Your mental health will be stronger that way, and you can get more done.