If you're working in the tech industry, you already know that it's a challenging and demanding field. Despite being well-trained and experienced in your role, you may still find yourself under a lot of pressure and stress.
This is especially true if you've been in the job for a while and have seen the company go through changes and challenges, such as mergers, reorganizations, or layoffs. In fact, many tech companies have been identified as some of the most stressful workplaces, with high expectations for employees to constantly perform at their best. However, it's important to prioritize and protect your mental health in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout.
While gathering data for a ranking of the best employers in America, Business Insider discovered that tech companies are one of the most stressful work environments, with employees at top tech companies like Samsung, IBM, and Apple reporting high stress levels. The expectations for employees are intense and demanding, but these jobs can also be very rewarding as long as you make sure to take care of yourself.
In this post, we will provide 4 tips to help you prioritize and protect your mental health while working in such fast-paced environments.
1. Take Breaks Whenever Possible
From programming to design, tech jobs require an immense amount of concentration. Spending hours in front of a screen trying to fix what are often very frustrating issues takes a toll not only on your physical health, but also on your mental health.
It’s okay to take a break from your work when you start to feel burnt out. Whether it’s going on a walk, chatting with friends, or going out for lunch, you should make an effort to disconnect from the screen for awhile and allow yourself to recover mentally. Coming back to your project with fresh eyes after a much-needed break could even help you see a potential solution to a problem or increase your creative output.
2. Make Work Friends
Stressful environments are almost always made better by the presence of good company. Try to build meaningful relationships with at least a few of your co-workers. When difficult situations arise, you’ll already have a support system in place and people to confide in. Bottling up your emotions will only increase your stress, so it helps to have a safe place to vent. You might even end up with a lifelong friend!
3. Exercise and Meditate
For jobs that require you to spend a large portion of your day seated in front of a screen, exercise can be an excellent outlet for stress and frustration. Plus, the sense of accomplishment you feel after a good workout boosts your mood. Consider exercising outside and occasionally switching up your routine to escape the mundane office life.
Even if you don’t practice it daily, meditation is another great tool to have at your disposal for handling stress. In a fast-paced job, you’re often expected to tackle multiple tasks at once. For example, you might be communicating with your co-workers while trying to fix bugs at the same time.
When your tasks start to pile up to an overwhelming degree, try practicing mindfulness meditation in which you completely focus on the present moment. This technique helps you calm down, reduce stress, and clear your mind so that you can handle difficult situations. For those who have trouble sleeping because of work-related anxiety, meditation is also a useful way to let go of daily stressors and fall asleep faster.
4. Keep Learning
Part of the reason why tech companies are so fast-paced is that technology develops rapidly. In order to stay ahead of competition, you have to anticipate changes and adapt quickly. This can be a huge source of anxiety for employees who specialize in technology. You may feel that your skills and expertise could become outdated, causing you to fall behind others in your field.
One of the best ways to combat that anxiety and boost your confidence is to create a learning schedule. Continuously adding new skills to your repertoire ensures that you will always be ready to adapt to new technology and gives you a competitive edge that makes you an indispensable asset to your organization.