Mental health and your product role

  • 5 August 2021
  • 4 replies
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Working in product can be stressful whether you are working as a PM, Designer, Engineer, Marketer, Product Operations, or in another related role. Many of us deal with imposter syndrome, depression and anxiety, juggle the demands and pressure of the role, and take our impact on our product to heart.

Having a community like this one is a great resource for product makers. It’s here that we can share, confide in, learn from, and collaborate with others and share our challenges, wisdom, and experiences and lean in and on each other.

We’d love to hear your thoughts

We’re interested in learning how you have been affected, how you deal with and take care of your own mental health, and how you help others take care of theirs.

 


4 replies

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I’ll go first. Some things that have helped me:

  • Getting outside and finding time for regular exercise has been critical to my mental health. I’ve been a long time runner and running has not only allowed me the chance to get to know places but also to know myself and there’s seldom a problem I can’t solve on a 10 mile run 🏃🏻‍♂️
  • Spending time with family and friends and broadening my circle
  • Being ok with mistakes. As Malcolm Gladwell once said “Mistakes reveal our vulnerabilities. They are the way the world understands us. The way we’re real.” 🏆
  • This iOS app called Respire has been a helpful way to reconnect with my breathing. 📱
Userlevel 5
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I’ll go next! Here are some of the things I do that help with my mental health:

  • Music. I’m huge into playing and listening to music. I set aside some time, daily, to play the bass and jam out, even if it’s just straight to a pair of monitors on my head. Letting the beat take me away seems to soothe most of the world’s woes for me (either playing or listening).
  • Coming to terms with mistakes. Much like what @scott.baldwin said - you should try to get to a point where you accept that mistakes happen. “To err is Humane,” as Alexander Pope once wrote. It’s “best practice” to try to learn from mistakes that occur but not hold yourself down to the point where a mistake is crippling.
  • Social Time. We all have different definitions of “being social.” Sometimes I’ll play a board game with some friends online. Other times I’ll head to a local brewery, enjoy a drink and a small dinner while talking to some friends (don’t worry, it’s all outside and we keep our distance). But getting away from the constant loop of work-only communication is vital.
  • Reading. We all enjoy reading, but I suggest reading books that aren’t always aligned with product management, software, or <insert your industry here>. Ever thought about teaching yourself something new? Pick up a book. Curious about a period of history that you aren’t entirely familiar with? Book. Want to jump into a fantasy world where there’s untold creatures, robots, adventure, and mystery? Book. Audio or Visual .. books are always a great escape for me.
  • Video Games. Yes, yes… I know. It’s the same as a novel to me, at times. Even if you’re huge into the multiplayer games, I would suggest trying to enjoy a single player one from time to time. Why? Less competition, less stress, less tension…it’s more about the experience and not about your stats. I play competitive games quite a bit, but also try to pivot away at times to ensure that it’s not an extension of stress/negative emotions.
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Thanks for sharing @david.morgan - some great suggestions there. We’ll have to jam sometime (me = former professional drummer)!

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Looping back as we’ve published a summary of our results and learnings from the above survey. 

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