#MentalHealthAwarness – Tip 8 Compartmentalize Your Life

By this, I mean, create clear separations in the different parts of your life.

Work, Home, Down time, Free time, Social, Family, Fitness….

Again for me this all ties in to organisation and clear mindedness to stop myself from becoming overwhelmed and keep as productive as possible, both in work and personal terms.

Most important for me was separating work and home life, especially if you are a freelancer or work from home. That way you don’t get 2 very important aspects of your life confused and mixed up, seamlessly blending in to each other.

When I first decided to go freelance I worked from home and with not having a proper set up, I would often work from bed and sometimes found myself there 13+ hours later slugging away on the laptop. Try then closing the laptop and going to sleep – it’s nigh on impossible because your 2 worlds are so entangled that you don’t know which way is up. I found getting to sleep difficult because my mind would still be spinning with work and then I would wake up incredibly early and crack straight in to work, essentially because my bed had become my desk and my laptop my pillow.

This was obviously not healthy, luckily I nipped it in the bud pretty quickly but kept other awful habits. I transitioned from the bed to the sofa- progress I suppose….however I became accustomed to taking conference calls and writing emails whilst in the bath (sorry early clients — I was naked)!!

I realized that I, with my pinball brain of intensive ideas one minute and pure procrastination the next, NEEDED a designated work space. Again, I’d like to point out that I was new to this freelance life, I was finding my way.

I opted to hire a studio space which in turn encouraged me to have a daily routine, another vitally important part of my mental health sanity.

It meant I was up at the same time each morning, make my bed, regular breakfasts, a good walk to the studio, regular contact with people, seeing my studio mates, planned eating times and work hours. Of course all of these were flexible but it gave me a much needed routine, meaning and responsibilities, which in turn gave me a sense of longing, pride and; for lack of a better word, NORMALITY!

I NEED THIS SHIT IN MY LIFE! It keeps me sane, healthy and productive.

This worked for me but I know many fellow freelancers that have set themselves up a lovely home studio, compartmentalizing their life’s all the same, just in their own bespoke way that feels better for them.

The all important thing about separating work from home (no matter how you do it) is that when you finish your working day you get to reap the benefits of your home. They are not one blended entity. It’s a new chapter to the day.

If you’ve had a shit day at ‘work’ then you can leave that there and step in to a home environment with a different mindset. You can put things on hold there and turn a new page.

This works for all aspects if you separate them properly. It also gives you a nice balanced life of different exciting challenges. You’ll always have ups and downs but by doing this I gave myself the opportunity to park one and move on to another.

You’re family may be getting on your nerves, and that’s absolutely fine, it’s part of life. If so, jump in to the exercise or hobby part of your life. Come back with a more positive mindset to face the issue. Or if you are still disgruntled with something that annoyed you earlier in the day, at least now you have had the chance to put it to one side for an hour or two — who know’s time away may have even helped you come to a conclusion of how to sort it.

Ask, any person who is stuck with a problem — be it in work or even your relationship; if you obsess over it and immerse yourself in it then it is likely that you will exacerbate things. You can do more harm than good.

Giving yourself time to breath, time to reflect and time to do something positive rather than fixate on a negative, means that you can give yourself the gift of a break, some joy.

When faced with a problem that send my catastrophic brain through the roof — i often ask myself “is it really the end of the world?”. It never is. It may be shit but its fixable.

Compartmentalizing has made me realize that there is infinitely more to life that work, deadlines, arguments, fitness, diets etc. Life, like all things, is easier when broken down in to chunks.

There’s and entire galaxy of unknowns and kindness out there, and by simply sectioning your days and life, you are opening yourself up to it, whether you realize it or not. Who knows what that break away from your desk may lead to; or how some reflection on an argument can lead to a more fulfilling relationship.

Give yourself time. Especially those ones of you that are anxious or depressed. There is no need rush to anything in life if planned properly…. and if you feel stifled at all, ask yourself…… “is it the end of the world”?

Thanks as always