Managing mental health if you work at a computer

Photo: Almeria, 2018
Photo: Almeria, 2018

#MentalHealthAwarenessDay 2018

I have suffered from mental health problems, so this topic has quite a large place in my heart.

My job currently means I am sat in front of a screen for most of the day. This has benefits, but can be a hindrance for mental health.

After a few years of living with mental health problems, I have developed several ways of managing it day by day. Maybe they will help you as well!

Step one.

The first thing to do when you wake up is DON\’T look straight at your phone!

Scrolling through social media or looking at depressing news stories sets a precedent for how you will feel for the rest of the day. Since I have stopped doing this, and instead stretching or doing 10 press ups, my day has become much more productive.

Reducing screen time is becoming more and more important to people, and it has a direct impact with your mental health. So stop taking your phone to the toilet, stop looking at it when walking down the street and enjoy the view instead!

Step two.

If it is available, cycle to work.

Cycling is a great way to get a little bit of exercise every day, and it genuinely makes you happy! If you don\’t believe me, watch this TED talk. I am going to write another blog post about this topic, but it fits well here also.

Step three.

Talk to someone on the phone or in person.

If like me, you are a freelancer,  you might not have a permanent office with regular people you see every day. If this is the case, try working at your local library, chat to the person next to you or the person on reception.

Can\’t find anyone to chat with? Head outside and phone your grandma or a friend you haven\’t spoken to in a while. Having interactions with other humans is built into our nature and makes you feel good!

Step four.

Take regular breaks.

Get up and walk around a bit! It seems obvious, but you will be amazed at how great you feel.

Step five (most important).

Experience some nature! 

Looking at a computer all day may be necessary, but taking a few minutes to be outside in nature is essential.

Feel the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and the beauty of a tree. We were born from nature and in my view it is where you can discover happiness.

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So, you probably noticed I didn\’t mention your computer much. There is loads to talk about in relation to this, but I think the easiest way to improve your mental health is everything else!