Being a full-time model has its challenges, and becoming known as a professional means performing the job at hand, regardless of personal circumstances. To be able to cope with strenuous work hours, taking care of your mental health must be a priority in order to keep up with the demands of being a tool for the perception of perfection, something our industry is known for. There will be times your physical and mental state, help or hinder you on the job, so being mindful of your limits, determines how much of yourself you put into your efforts. Here are three ways I use to manage my mental health while working as a model
Mental Health Tip #1: Confide in your agent
When you’re feeling depressed and sometimes too overwhelmed to face the world, you may just want to shut everyone out. Despite the fact that depression is a real health condition, you also have to consider and preserve your professional reputation. Your agent is your number one point of contact, they will make your job easier when you have open communication with them. Make sure they know abour your mental health condition so that whenever you’re not in a good space to work, you can let them know so they can manage things in a professional manner on your behalf.
Mental Health Tip #2: Get Moving or Center Yourself
Exercise is a crucial part of a model’s lifestyle and thankfully it doesn’t only contribute to keeping fit and photoshoot ready. Exercise can ease minor symptoms of depression; a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. Of course, as someone who’s living with depression, I know its easier said than done because when you’re in the throes of low days, you can’t leave your room, let alone go for a jog. I have a handy hack for such days, my phone. There are numerous apps that provide routines that can help you get yourself centred through meditation, yoga and exercise routines.
Mental Health Tip #3: Seek professional counselling
When the difficulties of being in a physically and mentally demanding environment like modelling pile up, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek help professionally. There are a number of helplines and resources available, that can help guide you through the dark times.
Here are some places where you can get the help you need:
Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline: 0800 70 80 90
Dr Reddy’s Help Line: 0800 21 22 23
SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837
Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567/ SMS: 31393
LifeLine: 0861 322 322
Cipla 24 Hour Mental Health Helpline: 0800 456 789/WhatsApp: 076 882 2775
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