Designing for Health: Taking Care of Yourself

March 15, 2023

I’m Nelett.
The Designer of the Graphic Designers' Playbook. I help heart-led clients and designers show up with style and grace: a total Magazine, pizza and water addict. I am always striving for wholesome, mindful and soul-led living. 
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As a designer, it is crucial to prioritize your mental health. The design process can involve long hours, high-pressure deadlines, and challenging clients, leading to burnout and other mental health issues. Therefore, taking care of yourself and maintaining good mental well-being is essential. Here are some tips for looking after your mental health as a designer:

Take breaks

Taking regular breaks from your work is crucial to reduce stress levels and to improve focus. Stepping away from your computer, going for a walk, or just taking a few minutes to stretch can help you relax and clear your mind. It is good to take breaks every hour or two to rest your eyes and avoid eye strain.

You can try some Energy medicine practices like EFT/Tapping (emotional freedom technique) – I love this one!

Practice self-care

Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated. Moreover, try to engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. You can read a book, watch a movie, or spend time with loved ones. Engaging in hobbies and activities outside work can help you maintain a work-life balance. I don’t believe in work-life balance, it is all living to me, but it is vital to get a balance between these two factors of our daily existence.

Set boundaries

Design projects can be demanding, but it’s essential to set boundaries to prevent burnout. Consider setting working hours and avoiding working on weekends or holidays. It is crucial to communicate your availability with your clients and team members to avoid overworking yourself. Learn to say no to tasks you cannot handle and delegate tasks to other team members or transparently discuss deadlines with your client.

Seek support

If you’re struggling with your mental health, seeking support is crucial. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you feel more comfortable and less alone. Also, consider contacting a mental health professional to get your needed help. There is no shame in asking for help, and it is always better to address your issues before they become too overwhelming.

Three places that helped me even more than a psychologist was: 
Dr Kim Diaramo 
Dr Caroline Leaf 
The Tapping Solution

Prioritize your workload

It’s crucial to prioritize your workload to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Make a to-do list and break down your tasks into manageable chunks. This way, you can focus on completing one task at a time and avoid multitasking, leading to stress and anxiety. Additionally, prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance, and avoid procrastination.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that can help you reduce stress and improve your mental well-being. It involves being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. You can practice mindfulness through meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques. My go-to is again Tapping and Pilates!

Take care of your physical health.

Taking care of your physical health is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Engage in regular physical activity, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep. Physical activity can help reduce stress levels and improve your mood.

Designing can be a challenging career, but it’s essential to prioritize your mental health. By taking breaks, practising self-care, setting boundaries, seeking support, prioritizing your workload, practising mindfulness, and taking care of your physical health, you can maintain good mental well-being and enjoy a successful career. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health; these two are connected. We all should work towards a healthy mind, soul and body daily.

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