By Brad Virgona
I have a mental illness and have managed to hold down a full-time job for the past 30 years and believe me there have been lots of ups and downs along the way.
The most important thing to do is to look after yourself.
Here are a few things l do to maintain my well-being whilst working:
- Try and have a healthy diet
- Be kind to yourself
- Make sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep per night
- Go on regular holidays with Out Doors Inc. (I usually attend 3 programs per year)
- Take leave from work to have time out and relax
- I take 5 weeks’ leave from work every November/ December
- Pace yourself with your job as there is no rush as this is how accidents happen
- Manage stress levels and have some strategies in place. For me, l have to be aware of what triggers my condition and know how to manage this
- Take your medication every day and do not forget it
- Wash daily and groom to maintain cleanliness and to feel good about yourself
- Organise yourself with a diary or electronic device to maintain appointments and commitments
- Have some interests or hobbies outside of work so that you’re not always thinking about your job
- Try and do some regular exercise
- Maintain regular contact with your support networks. For me, this includes my family and friends, Psychiatrist, GP and Out Doors Inc.
- Learn some relaxation techniques
- Do some yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi
- Know your limits and don’t take on too much
These are the things that help me survive in the workforce and maintain the lifestyle l have.
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