In 2016, I finished training to be a chef and went into my first ever job, at first I absolutely adored it but slowly after that, I was doing more and more hours and it was ruining my mental health.
After having numerous breakdowns, towards the end of the year, I had to quit. This was heartbreaking for me, quitting my first ever job in an industry that I dreamed to work in. It just wasn’t meant to be, my mental health went to the lowest it had ever been whilst working. I just couldn’t handle it.
After quitting, I reached out for help from my GP for my mental health. I then waited and went through low and high-intensity CBT. I have learnt how to manage my mental health more and
Fast-forward to now, 2018 (it still feels weird writing 2018). I am working in a job that I absolutely love. It may not be my childhood dreams but it’s a job and I am forever grateful to have one that I like.
Through my time in CBT and time off from working, I have learnt several ways to manage my mental health in work.
Taking time out for myself.
I learnt that this is so important to do, everyone should aim to do this at least every week. I set one day which I am off work that week to dedicate to myself, to do whatever I love, may it be writing, sleeping, blogging, going out.
It gives me time to just think and that’s what I missed when I worked as a chef. I didn’t get the time to just think, whenever I was off work I was just catching up on sleep.
Forgetting about work when I finish.
Seems fairly obvious to forget but I always used to worry about work even when I finished, constant thoughts of “did I take the right amount of cake out the freezer?” “is everything ready for breakfast tomorrow?” My brain never seemed to switch off.
This was a hard one to learn, I feel like everyone who works does this sometimes, people must worry about work at home, but when it is constant every single day then it gets a big problem.
I have to admit I still tend to do this from time to time, but not half as much as I did in my previous job. I think a part of it was down to how busy my previous job was and how short staffed we were.
Telling your manager/boss about your mental health.
This was extremely hard for me, I waited months to tell my new boss as I had to make sure he was trustworthy but it turns out he was!
It’s helped so much telling my boss about my mental health, I am open to all the people I work with now (we’re a small tight team) and they are so supportive and can actually notice when I am panicking or overly anxious.
Learning to do all of this has been a struggle, to say the least. However, now I am working and managing my mental health a lot better it seems like I am slowly but surely getting my life back on track – I don’t want to stay in this job for the rest of my life but I am currently planning a career change which is very exciting!