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Why Building Good Mental Health Practices is Important Early in Your Career

Just as the technical and practical skills you develop during the early years of your career are important to set a strong foundation, the practices put into place to support your mental health and well-being will help you maintain balance as your responsibilities change.

Chris is a designer and member of our Early Careers program and is based in Chicago, Illinois. He discovered PS at a virtual career fair while completing a graduate degree in design at Northwestern University. Just three weeks into joining the PS program, Chris was shadowing on an account and contributing to the project’s design work, and he’s been driving impact ever since! He’s currently working on a health vertical project, focusing on web design, accessibility and simplifying and unifying user experiences across the client’s brand portfolio.

“In the future, I want to design new products and experiences in the healthcare field. I think it’s such a rich space for innovation, and I’m excited to see how designers can come up with creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems.”

Alongside his responsibilities as a designer, Chris has participated in PS’s mental health and well-being business resource group, Headline, attending a variety of programming around the intersection of mental health and identity as well as a session on hope, collective grief and acceptance during difficult times.

“It was a vulnerable and emotional session, but I really appreciated being able to process and discuss issues that don’t often get talked about in the workplace.”

Chris is focused on building good, healthy practices that will serve him throughout his career. Here’s how he’s gotten started.

Find what’s important to your well-being

“Each of us is different. We need different things to be happy and healthy. The trick is finding what works for you. I have found three things that help me maintain a sense of balance and well-being.

I try to maintain a mindfulness habit, mostly using the Headspace app included in PS benefits. I think it’s great for taking time out of my day to check in with my mind. When I do, I feel a little bit more connected with how I’m feeling. I’m not a pro at meditation, but I recommend everyone at least give it a try!

Movement and making time to connect with nature are essential for my well-being. I like taking walks during the day, or sometimes while working from home, I’ll squeeze in a run during lunch. Time outdoors helps me relax when I’ve spent too much time looking at my screen. I’m lucky to live right by Lake Michigan in Chicago, where there’s a beach and a bird sanctuary.

Finally, I get a lot of benefits from my artistic hobbies. Drawing, photography and even cooking are times when I can be creative and make something new."

"As a designer, I like to be creative during my job, too, but I’ve found that having time to make art for fun and for nobody but myself is good for my general mood and happiness.”

Choose an employer that supports your mental health and well-being

“PS’s positive message around mental health makes me feel more motivated to show up every day, and it encourages me to take time to recharge when I need to.

I would describe PS’s approach to employee well-being as holistic or constantly doing things at different scales. There are large-scale policies like unlimited vacation and sick time (U.S. offices) that contribute to a culture where employees are empowered to take time when they need it, whether it’s vacations or mental health days. There’s also the presence of mental health awareness groups and programming, which encourage people to be more open to discussing mental health in the workplace, which historically has not been common at many companies.

At a smaller scale are perks like free access to mindfulness resources like the Headspace app. It’s bringing people back to the office in meaningful ways and for social events after such a long time apart. As someone who started at PS while things were totally online, I like that I have more opportunities to bond with my coworkers in person. Together, I think all these efforts demonstrate the company’s impressive commitment to improving well-being.”

Chris Baggott
Chris Baggott
Experience Designer
Chris is a designer with a background in biomedical engineering and a passion for applying his skills to the healthcare field.

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