Workplace Depression: It’s critical to have a life outside your job. I implore you.

Mental Health Day India, Women Mental Health

Trust me. TRUST ME.

Before I became a freelancer and general all around person “with a life and a personality”, it was 2004. The 10 years that followed since defined my career no doubt, but it came at a cost. I was a young producer in the TV mediasphere, where 20 hour work days were the norm. The newsroom, edit rooms, our desks were places of worship and no amount of concern from the parents about the crazy late nights were enough to lose focus. The allure of the hectic workday, obstacles at every minute, fast decision making was so strong, I was spending days and nights at work. Slopped on a couch in the cold air conditioning, a sweatshirt covering my head, I smelt awful. But to me, it was the smell of success, the smell of hard work.

Also Read: Why Workplace Depression is A Reality

My days at CNBC TV18 and ET NOW were Eat.Work.Sleep.Repeat. Only difference was that I was spending all hours, ALL MY FREE HOURS ( even though it wasn’t my shift) with colleagues not working or learning any new skills as such, just chilling – because I had absolutely no friends or human connection other than the producers.They were my life.

All my lunches, dinners, drinks, boyfriends, personal problems, laughter, sadness– every single emotion was shared with them. I wouldn’t take away the beauty of it, I have made life long friends during that time. But my personality or the lack of it, was so astounding. On days off, when I had to spend time with myself or my parents, there was a void. I would feel horrible, everybody would be too tired to hangout and I would watch TV and put myself to sleep. I had dependancy, self esteem and even some confidence issues. I became increasingly clingy to some, made some incredibly bad decisions and was too afraid to venture out the professional friend circle.

Your brain needs a break and so do you

Now that I think about it ( almost 12 years later), there was plenty wrong with that situation that some simple changes could have fixed. I implore you hard working sincere folks, PLEASE HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE YOUR DAY JOB. You have no idea what you are slowly doing to yourself.

Your brain needs a break and so do you. It’s not healthy to breathe 20 hours of air conditioning in a day, hunched over a desk staring into a computer. Your work cannot become your hobby, soon you’ll turn into a drone. A burnout happens faster than you can blink and only you can save yourself.

my evenings and weekends are for myself. I believe in holistic development. I read more. I cook more. I am happier

Don’t spend more time at work than you ABSOLUTELY NEED TO. If you are done with your tasks for the day, get the HELL OUT OF THERE. Go read a book in the comfort of your bed, learn a new skill, talk to your parents, join a breakfast club- heck do anything. You’ll regret it later- all the time you wasted.

I am a freelancer now. I still work the same hours. But my evenings and weekends are for myself. I believe in holistic development. I read more. I cook more. I am happier. I still work 15 hours a day, but the rest of the 9 are spent having experiences. The bitching still exists, but is overpowered by smells of a cooking club.

I implore you, yet again. Have a life outside your day job. You are ruining yourself faster that you think, if you don’t.

Trust me. TRUST ME.