As a web developer you must have felt this at some point in time or another: your fashion-designer cousin does not really get your line of work though his work is often more appreciated than yours because its more out there and the general masses can better resonate with his field than yours, though your Aunt Polly and Uncle Sam will unwarrantably brag about what a genius you are! Yes, we know the feeling!
On top of that, a normal day in the life of a web developer is anything but tranquil. As if that was not enough, you seem to have been ‘cursed’ with keen brilliant mind that is coordinating, coding, debugging and implementing, probably even during sleep. A web developer is constantly exposed to throttling deadlines to make things worse. According to statistics, a web developer is and will continue to be in high demand, owing to all the advancement in technology. But what nobody tells you is how demanding it is, to be a web developer and still aspire for a normal, stress-free life.
But hang on! That’s no reason why you have to make your peace with all those panic attacks. Calm down, take a deep breath. Here are these 7 things you can do as a developer to overcome anxiety.
- Sip some tension taming herbal tea –
No kidding! As a developer, you need to know when to pull out of the labyrinth of codes and give yourself a break. And no matter what you are used to believing, emptying coffee cup to keep awake to see a code through (while chewing through stale pizza) does not really count for a break. You need to get up and go out. Give your brains the time to relax. Listen to your eyes if they want to shut down in sleep. And you can never have a bad reason to sip some good tea. Just leave all the stress behind you for the moment. It’s important to disengage!
- Spend some quality ‘me’ time –
Do something physical! Anything that takes you away from your professional periphery. Take your dog for a run, go swimming, join the gym or practice yoga! Or just invent a whole new hobby and invest your time in it. But make sure that it makes you sweat (tax your body physically). Why so? When your brain is not straining on something other than writing codes and meeting deadlines, it catches up with some important errands of its own, like proper digestion, blood circulation and the type. It has a body to run, remember?
- Read something (non-technical) –
Yes, yes, we get it! You live in a volatile world where technology is updated every time you blink, and not being able to keep up with the pace may make you feel left out and incompetent. This is precisely why you need to break free and indulge your psyche with something else. Read something that isn’t directly related to your profession (newspapers don’t count, mind you) that will help your mind rejuvenate and connect the dots back to the subconscious and the unconscious. That’s where creativity lies, and you need to keep replenishing the store.
- Take to mentoring –
Teaching is a great way of learning and remembering the small things that you have forgotten with time. It will also help you stay in touch with your basics while creating value for someone else. Knowledge is like karma, all that you put out there has a way of coming back to you! When constant churning brings you to the brink of anxiety, mentoring young minds can really help you actively disengage and replenish yourself, till you are ready to get back to your desk and churn some more.
- Invest in soft skills –
As a developer, a large part of your day goes into convincing people to view things from your perspective. You may hit a roadblock where you feel people only want the output, while like a chef in the kitchen, you can see the dirty dishes piling up. The mounting of technical debt can give you anxiety, and you know you will never be granted the permission you require to sort things out. Here, your soft skills can come in handy. They will give you the edge you require to put forward your views on the table, it will also empower you with the mental agility to deal with the developer’s block, should you happen to hit one!
- Ask for help, when required –
Rein that developer’s ego in a little bit. Already, everybody expects a lot from you, the last thing that you need to do is put yourself on a pedestal that’s too high for help. The internet is full of resources and there are developers who have been on the edge you are currently standing on. So reach out and ask for help! That will not only make life much easier for you as a developer, it will also help you connect and network with like-minded people who ‘get’ you, even if they are sitting on the other side of the planet! C’mon now, that’s one of the bliss the internet has bestowed upon us, so why not make use of it?
- Just remember that you are not alone –
And this brings us to our last but also the most important point. Every developer, at some point of time in their career or another, have been through that ‘deer in front of headlights’ moment. So, if the stress and anxiety from your demanding profession is messing you up, there is no need to feel that you are up and alone against the whole world. A panic attack may make you feel worse but you are not definitely not alone. Reach out, seek out and learn to say ‘no’ to unreasonably tight deadlines. That should make life easier for you!
So get going! And don’t forget to breathe where necessary. When the world crushes in upon you, you just need to remind yourself that everything is ‘figure-out-able’. Apply one or all of these 7 tips and keep us posted about how it feels to break free.