April was National Stress Awareness month (NSAM) and we blogged about how we help students all year-round. Now, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we’ve got some great insight from alumni to share.
We carried out some low-level research with our alumni to ask how they have adopted techniques, positive outlooks and coping mechanisms for stressful situations.
Through their CodeClan experience and support, plus their time in work, our alumni have techniques everyone can adopt:
Remind yourself that it’s ok to work in a new field and you’re always learning and improving.
We’ve all heard of imposter syndrome and many of us can relate to it. When we asked what the biggest challenge that could prohibit overcoming stress or a stressful situation was, the majority of responses were around a lack of confidence – not having the confidence to say ‘no’, feeling judged and letting people down, not having the power to change the situation and not having time to utilise coping mechanisms or ask for help.
“Even if it’s unsatisfactory, recognise that each developer has unmeasurable worth, and [you are a] valuable asset. If you’re there, they trust you.”
“a ‘good job’ post-it my manager gave me which sits on my monitor, reminds me I can do it.”
When we asked what coping mechanisms people had, most turned to positive controls, such as exercise and meditation. The space away from the cause of the stress is the most significant trend, when alumni have had the chance to distance themselves from the issue and then take stock, before coming back to finish.
“Meditation (Headspace App is brilliant), walking away from the situation for 5 minutes and take a break in the kitchen/outside”
“Reframe, put emotion aside, practice mindfulness.”
Speak with those around you who are having similar experiences.
“No one starts off knowing everything straight away so reach out when you get stuck, don’t let stress build by sitting on a problem”
“You are not alone”
Practice self care.
“Be kind to yourself, be your own best coach/cheerleader.”
“Take regular breaks away from your screen when things get on top of you.”
“Know when to ask for help”
Turn your stress into a positive.
“Try and keep track of small milestones and achievements so that you can see how far you have come after the first month, the first three, the first six.”
“No problem is final. Everything has a solution, and everything will reach an end”
How do you make time for your mental health?
What was evident through the responses was that everyone has different stresses. The responses showed that alumni want to turn the situation into a positive outcome, not just burying their heads in the sand, but it’s knowing how to do that, using techniques they know work.
We want to continue to develop what we offer students to help combat stress and try to give them space and time for wellbeing all year-round. It’s important for everyone.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share and we can add to this post? If so, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback is important in order to improve.
To read how we help students at CodeClan visit our original post here.