Productivity Hacks: Mental Health Special

I’m going to try to differentiate mental health and mental wellbeing.

It’s helpful if you look at it the same way as physical health and wellbeing. For example, you might say someone who displays good physical wellbeing probably does yoga, runs, and would take a quinoa salad over Dominos (twice) of a Friday evening.

You might also say someone with good physical health isn’t labouring with a broken limb on top of a debilitating respiratory or cardiac situation.

So too, mental wellbeing’s about flourishing. Mental health’s about maintaining a baseline.

Mental health doesn’t just stay healthy until something goes wrong.

It has good days and turgid ones. It chops and changes and undulates all the time. It has to be tended to constantly. In the same way physical health’s ideally maintained through practice and diligence.

Technology’s often first in the firing line when it comes to putting the blame on poor mental health.

We live in more connected times now. And with connection comes pressure. And if you have a Recruiter’s level of involvement in tech, it can be relentless.

You spend your day plugged into LinkedIn, your inbox, the CRM. And not all of it’s a large Sizzler after a long day. 

But if there are ways to support your mental health using technology, it’s worth rewriting the rulebook. Or at least sticking a chapter in that says technology has a role to play in improving things.

So here are 5 of the top apps and programs for maintaining good mental health in recruitment.

mental health daylio

Daylio

This is a mood tracker and micro diary with a super simple interface. You don’t need to type out reams of text to take advantage of its features. Although you can if you want to.

Just choose from a set of icons to record how you’re feeling and what you’re doing.

Then look back on your stats to track your progress and pinpoint activities that seem to bring you down. You can set goals and reminders to give yourself a bit of a nudge if you need to.

It’s a time-sensitive way of quantifying your mood. Important if you’re on a mission to Find Your Own Power Hour

That is, times of the day you’re at your best. So you can fit your day plan around you, instead of the other way round.

Get it for iOS & Android.

mental health pacifica

Pacifica

This app also tracks your mood but comes with a ton of additional resources built in. Pacifica’s won a number of awards and recommendations from universities across the US.

It’s built on a foundation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). A way of treating all manner of mental health issues by reframing the way you think about things and altering your behaviour accordingly.

Proper psychologists have contributed a collection of guided self-help paths. And you can try a Premium relaxation technique for free once a day.

Handy if you need a surefire way to beat a bad mood

There are exercises which ask “what would you say to a friend” if they were in a difficult spot. The idea’s that you take the advice yourself.

Get it for iOS, Android & Web.

mental health happify

Happify

This one gamifies stress and anxiety. The intention’s to provide a fun way of getting yourself out of a rut.

If your most valuable contractor’s just dropped, a big placement didn’t materialise, or your office rival’s acting like a prize weapon, jumping on the phone right away might seem like the most prudent way to turn things around.

But often, the easiest thing to do is take a break. Stop. Have fun.

The games are simple – think Candy Crush as opposed to Call of Duty – but they’re a lighthearted distraction from your day to day. There’s plenty of CBT techniques and other scientific thought that’s gone into making this app.

You’ll get a happiness score. And comparable results come from people in the exact same situation as you. So if fighting negativity feels like an ongoing, uphill battle, it’s good to know you’ve got others in the trenches with you.

Get it for iOS & Android.

mental health stop think breathe

Stop, Breathe & Think

Underpinning a lot of the guided meditation and mindfulness techniques here are breathing exercises. Which sound basic, but provide an effective way to manage your mental health through controlling your physical condition.

The app encourages you to take stock of yourself and your surroundings; practice mindfulness to create space between your thoughts and your actions; then meditate on what to do next.

Could save you walking into a curveball in the boardroom. Or being left flummoxed in a new business meeting.

You’ll be more grounded. Which should make you better at your job. And therefore less prone to catastrophising in retrospect at all the things that’ve gone wrong.

Set timers through Alexa. You can even DM @stopbreathethink on Slack to queue up group meditation sessions at work.

SBT’s also good for helping you fall asleep. Which can make a huge difference to your mental health for the day ahead.

Get it on iOS & Android

mental health noisli

Noisli

I’ve written about Noisli before, in a Productivity Hacks article about Chrome extensions. I suggested it’s good for drowning out the office when you need to get down to some serious work. But it’s benefits towards mental health go beyond that.

You’re a product of your environment. And if yours is making you on edge, it makes sense to change that.

Noisli’s a white noise generator for natural sounds, as opposed to static between-frequencies. It’s got a ridiculously easy interface: you simply activate various noises and set levels for each until you’ve created a custom cornucopia of sounds to suit your mood.

There’s a distraction-free text editor, for those moments you need to bang out a killer job ad and the hollow, judgemental facade of Microsoft Word is doing nothing for you.

You can also save and share your favourite combination of sounds, and set timers for bursts of productivity.

Get it for iOS, Android, Chrome & Web

And if you know recruiting in a sound environment would not only improve your mood but your billings too, you could probably do with clicking here.