The second of two interviews with EDGs on mental health, during Mental Health Awareness Month
Written by Katie Ginder-Vogel
Reviewed by Kevin Hernandez
Angular EDG Todd’s Motto I would love to see people talk about mental health more freely – in tech and in other areas of life.
“Everyone is struggling inside,” he says. “I see it’s a good thing to talk about it. Our brains are very complex and need maintenance and good fuel.
Todd says he’s struggled silently for most of his life with depression and anxiety, so it’s become increasingly important for him to be upfront about it. He says ignoring feelings often makes things worse.
“The thing is, you can go through life thinking it’s okay to feel that way, and you assume that everyone else has bad days like that too, but things can slowly get worse, without you realizing it. realize,” he said. “It took me a very long time to realize that I had mental health issues – some issues came from my past, and I had adapted unhealthy lifestyles to deal with them. I was pouring oil on my own fire without realizing it. That’s why it’s important for me to raise awareness.
He sees mental health as a balancing act and believes in taking care of your body and mind every day. He recommends choosing your work projects and responsibilities carefully, if possible, to avoid taking on too much and paying attention to your internal thoughts.
“It’s important to be in tune with your body and also with how your mind is feeling,” he says. “We all feel stress, but sometimes we just sit on autopilot and ignore it. That’s when it’s time to protect your mental health. Keep an eye on your stress levels because, at least for me, it played a huge role in the rest of my mental health.
Todd copes with stress by carefully managing his workload, learning new things away from the keyboard, taking breaks throughout the day, and making time.
“To cope, I don’t overwhelm myself and I take regular breaks, even if it’s just 1-2 minutes to go to the kitchen and get some water,” he says. “Perhaps I will go into the garden and search for a personal subject that interests me for a few moments.”
He also incorporates daily exercises, such as running, swimming and strength training, which he says help his focus, sleep and mood.
“I’ve been running and swimming for years now, and swimming allows you to get away from reality,” he says. “As you get physically stronger, you will unlock new levels of mental toughness. That’s my guarantee.
Todd’s version of physical and mental challenges may be climbing mountains and swimming in lakes, but your version may be going around the block, picking up a new instrument, or learning to cook a new meal. Either way, Todd thinks it’s important to make time for these challenges, in order to achieve the balance he mentioned. He reminds fellow developers to keep work, life, body, and mind in balance as much as possible.
“I aim to have regular breaks and not overwhelm myself,” he says. “It’s easy to be stressed and have a poor work/life balance. Take breaks and keep your stress levels low while doing so. You are more than worth it!”
Read more about Todd on Twitter @toddmotto
Angular GDE Todd Motto encourages developers to take care of their bodies and minds was originally posted on Google Developers Experts on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.