How My New Job Improved My Mental Health

December 22, 2022 Mel Bender

Ever since I started my part-time job at an art supply store in August, I've noticed a boost in my mental health. I love working at the store -- it's a good fit for my personality, strengths, and interests. I'm an art school graduate who spent several years unhappy in the corporate world. It's a breath of fresh air to be amongst fellow artists again, finally. I now realize how good it is for my mental health to be happy at work.

My Job Positively Impacts My Mental Health

The main reason I'm happy at my job is my coworkers. I feel connected to them far more than I did my coworkers in the corporate world. Maybe part of the reason is I was too stressed and unfulfilled to be emotionally available enough at those jobs to form deeper connections with my coworkers. However, I think it was more due to the fact that I wasn't amongst my kind or my tribe. I'm working with birds of a feather at the art supply store: creative people who love talking about everything related to art, just like me.

I didn't go to art school with the intention of getting a corporate job; I did it because I love art. What a pleasure it is to look forward to going to work at a job where I get to work with art supplies and share my enthusiasm for creativity with others. I feel far less drained at the end of the day. It takes a lot of energy to pretend to be something you're not, and I did that for years, much to the detriment of my mental health.

My job at the art supply store has also been good for me because my boss and coworkers all talk about their mental health openly. This allows for a work environment where there's no shame in admitting that you're having a bad day and struggling with depression or anxiety. I found in past jobs that I felt like I had to hide the times I was struggling with my mental health actually made my mental health worse. Being able to connect with my boss and coworkers this way has been really good for me.

I'll Never Sacrifice My Mental Health for a Job Again

Every job is stressful sometimes. It comes down to the degree of stress. The degree of stress at this job is manageable for me. This is for many reasons: I'm good at my job; I find the work interesting; I like the people I work with, and I don't have to deal with the kind of office politics I experienced at my corporate jobs. Of course, it's still work. It's also sort of play, though. There's a lot of play in art and creativity, and I'm surrounded by it at the store — what a nice way to spend my working life.

If you feel like your mental health is suffering at work, ask yourself whether or not it's worth it. In my experience, many people stay at jobs they hate for the money. I'm not making much money at my retail job, but I'm so much happier than I was in the corporate world. I've learned that no matter how much money you make, you can't buy mental health.

APA Reference
Bender, M. (2022, December 22). How My New Job Improved My Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Mel Bender

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