The text messages are coming in as you jump from one zoom call to another, making sure your everyday operations run smoothly. It’s only 9 AM and you’re on your second coffee of the day…would be the third, had you remembered to put coffee in your Instacart order while shopping at 11 PM last night. You’re in your third meeting of the day as you’re digging into your growing daily task list.
Sometimes the days and the weeks become one big blur all spent behind the blue light of multiple computer screens. You consider it a good day when you remember to take a break for lunch, let alone a quick stretch break. Sound familiar?
May is mental health month and we’re here for it. It’s a time to stop and remind ourselves how important it is to maintain balance and take care of our own mental health and wellness.
We asked a few of our team members to think about how they balance long hours spent behind the screen to make sure that they’re rested and ready for all the creative challenges that get thrown their way.
From oversized martinis to new hobbies, here’s what they had to say:
Personally, for my mental health, I try to do two things:
Crystal Springs reservoir and trails are right up the hill from where I am, and even doable on a lunch break. If I need an escape from the screen further away than my back patio, I trek up there to get some fresh air and some amazing views.
And for when I really need it, Reboot Float Spa. It’s the closest you can get to outer space, from Earth.
I recently solved the Rubik’s Cube and now am competing with myself to see how fast I can solve it – my current record is 1 minute 50 seconds. I don’t know how long this obsession of mine will last, but I do find it relaxing. I also play ukulele and sing along way too loudly. My family prefers the Rubik’s Cube.
I recently jumped on the “pandemic gardening” train and have added a couple of dozen new plants to my garden. It gives me an excuse to step outside each day to check up on the plants while also getting some much-needed fresh air and sunlight myself.
An oversized Martini? Not always possible. Generally, I am a firm believer in not working after hours or on weekends unless it’s an emergency, always taking lunch, and going for walks. I’m also a big proponent of vacations without electronics and I try to take at least one solid 10-day trip a year across the globe so I can’t be in the same timezone working.
But 12 hour days with 8 hours of those on calls are now a regular thing PCP (post covid pandemic) for me. And working from home only makes it worse. So if I need to save my sanity at the moment, I literally check out and restart.
Those who have to work with me on a daily basis may be aware that I’m manic-depressive. So when things start go to sideways, it’s a good day if I’m manic because I’ll get everything done and then chomp at the bit for more work to churn out. But some days I’m the depressive BOS and the soul-sucking darkness leads to sinking into the floor. So on those days, I’ll actually go back to bed. No joke. I turn everything off, close the shades, climb under the covers, play the daily meditation on my Calm app (thanks Kaiser Med!), and tell Siri to wake me up in 20 or 40 min. I don’t always sleep during this time, but the act of removing all stimuli, centering myself, and doing breathing exercises usually restarts my baseline for the rest of the workday. Sometimes that nap is at 9:30 in the morning. Sometimes it’s at 4:30 in the afternoon. But it’s become an important mental health routine for me on tough days.
Whether it’s by curling up with a good book or getting outside for some fresh air, allowing yourself the time to rest and take care of yourself physically and mentally is perhaps more important now than ever as we transition into a post-Covid world.
We hope the inspiration from our 3F0 team spurs you to discover and make time to lessen everyday stress and protect and take care of your own mental health.
Be kind to your mind!