I didn’t realise it was Mental Health Awareness Week until late today.
This time last year I just wasn’t happy, and felt one of the reasons was my ballooning weight. I love sport and used to love taking part but never made the time or sought the opportunities over the last ten years and got fat and creaky. I do walking but more as a get me from A to B method and I have had flits with jogging, but… Over the last year or so I’ve got my legs fitter and then my body fitter so I could go running again. I wedged in time then tried jogging more regularly and gone from there… Since the middle of January I have been a regularly runner, going at least twice a week, most weeks more. ([And there is proof!)
I didn’t expect how good running would be for my mental health. I have a tough gig at the mo which I started about the same time as running regularly. Most days I run and work things through and work things out in my head. It’s been good, putting my mind at rest, in order. Sometimes I run too late in the evening but at least I can sleep with the chaos on my head structured.
I also talked at Stickyeyes’ 40×40 event a few weeks back about looking after yourself. After years of long days and long weeks I had ground myself down. A few years back I used to scoff at the idea of “well-being”. “Go hard or go home.” 😞 But eventually it all caught up. It hit me hard. And I became the person at the front of the room giving the cautionary tale.
I scaled back the kind of work I did, the amount of work I took on, the roles I took. A few years back I was quite happy to settle with being just a user experience and interaction designer and seeing how things went. (This is probably one of the main reasons how I ended up working in government, that focus on role.)
Even if you love your job, you have a “worthy mission”, there is more to life than work. Take a little time out, reflect, and look after yourselves – and one another. 🤲🏼
You can follow Mental Health Awareness Week on Twitter and pick up a lot of really good stuff.