7 Ways for Maintaining Good Mental Health as a Software Engineer
In this post listed are seven ways to maintain good mental health as a software engineer.
It’s vital to learn ways to maintain good mental health as a software engineer. Here’s why.
Programming can take a toll on a software developer’s mental health because it demands a lot of thinking and concentration. Unfortunately, many software developers are unaware of the impact this intense cognitive activity has on their mental health because they are immersed in their jobs.
Stack Overflow’s Developer survey showed that 15 percent of 65,000 developers interviewed have a mental illness. Sadly, most of these developers don’t even know the state of their mental health because they are more concerned about work.
In any case, it’s necessary to have a healthy mind to function optimally as a software engineer. This post will take you through seven ways to maintain good mental health as a software engineer.
Let’s get started.
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How do you take care of yourself as a programmer?
Here are a few tips to stay healthy as a programmer:
1.Handle imposter syndrome
Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern that makes you think you are not qualified for a position you have credentials for. This syndrome makes you believe that you don’t deserve your achievements, and people will soon discover you are not as intelligent as they think you are.Experiencing the imposter syndrome is a common challenge for software engineers due to the ever-changing nature of their job. When a programmer feels inferior to every other programmer, they are bound to take a hit on their mental health.So, how do you take care of yourself as a programmer if you have imposter syndrome?Track your achievements and efforts in real-time using a notepad or other note-taking software.
- Engage in stress-relieving activities, such as yoga, meditation, tai-chi, recreational sports, or exercise classes.
- Learn to appreciate your uniqueness and efforts by rewarding yourself with something you like.
- Focus on being a life-long learner – set a daily schedule for learning something new in your field.
- Finally, never think of yourself as an imposter.When you feel like you are not growing as a software engineer, pause for a moment, and look back to see how far you’ve come. Leverage the imposter syndrome to introspect and develop your skills even further.
Programming requires intense concentration, patience, and knowledge. And you shouldn’t refrain from taking breaks when you feel frustrated because of errors and tricky bug fixes you encounter.Taking real breaks that do not involve screen time, such as going for a walk, calling a friend or family member, reading a novel, etc., makes a lot of difference in aiding productivity. And so, you should take breaks from time to time to recover from the mental stress at work.You can set hourly reminders on your phone to drink water, listen to your fave music or podcast, do a few stretches, etc. In simple words, this is the time to unplug from work. You can do anything within this period aside from work or looking at your screen.After the break, you can resume work refreshed and full of energy.
We live in a busy world. Think about this: you are coding while slacking, doing household chores while listening to music, reading a book while responding to text messages. We often lose focus of the moment while chasing tasks.Meditation is a simple practice that can increase calmness and clarity, reduce stress, and boost happiness. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and ignoring every other thing in your environment. Scientists have found that mindfulness techniques help improve physical and mental health. In addition, meditation can also lower blood pressure, help with depression and anxiety disorders, and improve sleep.Joining a virtual mindfulness meditation class is a great way to start. You can devote 5-10 minutes every day to meditating and set the alarm to remind you when it’s time constantly.Headspace, WildMind, Mindfulness for Creativity, etc., are all tools you can try to practice mindfulness meditation and maintain good mental health.