How to Manage Your Mental Health With an Increased Workload

by Janey Zitomer
May 8, 2020

Managing anxiety can feel nearly impossible if you spend hours reading the news each day. A simple fix? Adding time limits for news apps on your phone. 

Similar strategies can be applied to work-related stress by relying on various tools and strategies. Theo Gagen, marketing associate at digital health company SonderMind, recommends making lists, communicating with your supervisor, and blocking time off on your calendar. If she feels overwhelmed, Gagen said she looks for an outside perspective to regain focus and a sense of control. 

On a larger scale, tech leaders across Colorado are encouraging team members to take breaks and stay connected to protect their mental health in light of the coronavirus pandemic. While not every recommendation will work for every employee, simply having accessible options can make a difference. 


Theo Gagen
Marketing Associate • SonderMind

What is the very first thing you do when your workload increases or you get a new project added to your plate?

Make a list of projects and then prioritize. Number the projects in order of importance. By writing my responsibilities down and getting a grasp on what’s most important, it makes it easier to have a sense of clarity and control. 

How do you prioritize and manage your “to-dos” in a way that minimizes stress?

I communicate openly with my supervisor. Asking questions like, “Do you agree with how I’ve rated these items in terms of importance?” and, “What do you think a realistic due date is for each of these projects?” ensures I’m on the same page as my boss and expectations are clear. 

Also, blocking time off on my calendar for each project helps me maintain a feeling of structure and protects my time in between meetings.

I ask for help right before I truly need it.’’ 

How do you know when to ask for help and what steps do you take to protect your mental health when your workload increases?

I ask for help right before I truly need it. If I’m on the brink of drowning in work, I speak up before it becomes a risk to my mental health. This way, my team has time to step up and figure things out before my health is impacted.

If I’m scared to admit I’m struggling, I throw some time on my calendar to get advice from someone I respect and trust. Whether that’s a colleague, friend or supervisor, I’m always surprised at how much an outside perspective can reduce my stress level.

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