It’s funny how we can get our jobs done, receive (nice) paychecks, have small talks with colleagues, and at the same time, feel broken on the inside.
You can feel anxious or depressed and still not be able to localize the source of the problem. You could be driving home from work or sitting in a bar, and this feeling of tiredness or anxiety would follow you everywhere, like the blackest, most irritating shadow.
Developers have good salaries. Their skills are (increasingly) needed. They should be living their best lives, actually understanding cryptocurrencies, and building some type of Elon Musk-ish fortune.
But more and more developers report struggling with mental health issues. In Stack Overflow’s survey, 15% of software developers admitted having some type of mental health problem, with anxiety, exhaustion, and depression being among the most common ones.
Achieving mental stability
We feel stable when our cognitive and emotional spheres are balanced.
When we have problems in the emotional sphere, it often affects the cognitive sphere. Unfortunately for the entire human race, finding the source of emotional imbalance is more difficult than just analyzing our cognitive skills.
One of the hardest things about human emotions is that we actually need to process them in order to move forward. We need to FEEL sad or broken before we move on to being happy again. It sounds boring, but it’s also called life.
Another big issue is mistaking your condition for something else. Here are some of the most common signs of depression that often get mistaken for laziness:
- Staying in bed for too long
- Distracting yourself by watching too many movies, tv shows, video clips
- Taking vacation days more often because you’re feeling tired all the time
- Not caring about how you look
- Avoiding friends because you don’t want to be a burden to others
- Ordering too much food
- Being late with your work because you can’t focus
How to code and stay sane?
No, not everyone is stressed these days and you don’t have to live like that every day. The first step in taking care of your mental health is taking your issues seriously. You deserve to have a good life.
Talk to a professional
There is no article on the internet that will help you if you are depressed or anxious, and that includes this one. There are endless benefits to going to the therapy and talking to a professional.
Developers work long hours, often isolated from other people. If you feel close to burnout, put your phone on airplane mode and go out for a walk.
Finally, don’t forget that physical health is also a part of mental health. Sitting for a long time can affect the amount of oxygen and glucose that our brains receive. Take short breaks and incorporate quick workouts every hour. It’s the small steps that make the biggest changes.