Let’s face it. We live in a society and work in an industry that celebrates hard work, self-sacrifice and dedication to one’s business, brand or craft. All noble ideals, to be sure. Yet sometimes, if we’re honest about it, it also seems like we expect life to be run like a marathon—but at a continuous sprinter’s pace. That’s how silly phrases like “give 110%” or “whatever it takes” get into our daily jargon.
Except, for the most part, those phrases are inherently impossible. So too is working at top energy, top efficiency, top productivity 24/7/365 (another phrase that should be permanently retired, by the way).
We all have moments or projects or ideas that can energize us. Those are the moments when, most often, others notice our efforts and accomplishments. We live for those moments, often times.
But, if you’re a human being, you don’t live in those moments all the time. Even most of the time. They tend to happen some of the time, and we look forward to them.
Somehow, somewhere after the Industrial Revolution, it became a negative to need time away from work. Mental health and attending to it became some kind of bizarre sign of weakness or sign of insanity—or even worse, laziness. The result is a culture where, just now, decades and decades after we figured out how to send people to the moon, we’re only starting to accept that, like physical health, one’s mental health will more likely than not be poor if it’s not attended to.
We at LodeStar applaud the dawning acceptance and realization—although we haven’t come nearly far enough yet—that mental health is a critical part of every human being’s existence. Even if that quarterly report happens to be due tomorrow. And we encourage the industry to keep growing in how it supports mental health for its people.
Some days, it’s hard enough to send a few emails or finish a tedious administrative task. Hell, some days it might even feel like an accomplishment just to make it to work in a matching outfit (instead of pajamas!). We don’t tend to celebrate those moments around the office. But we all have those days. And likely, more often than we want to admit. Maybe it’s time we start deglamorizing that guy down the hall who hasn’t taken a day of vacation in 17 years. Let’s stop sharing the legend of that VP who gets more done during the holidays than during a typical workday. Let’s start accepting that none of us are robots, and that we all have ups and downs. And then let’s support that. After all, the most productive workers tend to be those who are healthy and happy.
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