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Lockdown, Mental Health and Dinosaurs

Lockdown, Mental Health and Dinosaurs

A personal talk about how I function as a dysfunctional person.

Working from home is a particular challenge for anybody. Throw Anxiety, Depression and ADHD in there and it can quite quickly get overwhelming.

This is a short talk on my own experiences and coping strategies.

This talk was delivered at:
- Global Accessibility Awareness Day - May 2021


Craig Abbott

May 20, 2021

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  1. Lockdown, Mental Health and Dinosaurs

  2. Craig Abbott Head of Accessibility @abbott567

  3. Disclaimer… Everything in these slides is just my experience. Everybody

    is different. The “advice” in these slides is a combination of strategies I’ve made up or borrowed from other people. They may not work for everyone. If I’m honest, I struggle to implement all of these strategies all of the time. They’re a collection of things I pick up and put down depending on how tough life feels at the time! Dinosaur artwork is by @dinosandcomics.
  4. My new role. New job title. New team. New working

  5. Anxiety Depression ADHD The struggles. Danger Zone I have a

    few things going on. Most people do. We just often don’t talk about it.
  6. ADHD is a focus impairment. It’s not an inability to

    focus. I am often hyper-focussed… I just can’t always choose the things I focus on. @dinosandcomics
  7. ADHD can feel like a super power When I can

    hyper-focus on work, I have an unrivalled ability to deliver things. But you could say I’m distracted from life, and that’s not good either.
  8. Overworking - Hyper-focus Burning out - Lack of focus No

    sleep, lots done! 15 hours sleep, nothing done @dinosandcomics
  9. The Swan Analogy People see the product of your work.

    You appear graceful and calm to anybody above the surface. You’re always moving forwards, but below the surface you’re frantically thrashing to gain any kind of momentum, and it’s exhausting.
  10. Celebrating success is hard. When people praise your work you

    often find it difficult to feel happy or proud. You just feel one of two things: - You struggled to focus and stay on task, so it feels rushed. You’re hung up on what you could have done been better. You feel like a fraud because nobody witnessed the absolute carnage behind the scenes it took to get it over the line. - You overcompensated. You gave it everything you had. You worked long hours, you didn’t sleep, it consumed you, and now you’re just relieved it’s over.
  11. Impostor Syndrome. I just feel like I’ll never be good

    enough Good enough for what? I don’t know @dinosandcomics
  12. Things which can help when working from home. @dinosandcomics

  13. Plan your time as if you are still in the

    office @dinosandcomics
  14. Prioritise your to-do list I sort everything into 2 categories

    Tasks I can do in 5 minutes And tasks I will not do @dinosandcomics
  15. Without the priority markers, I can quickly feel overwhelmed by

    the volume of work A: Must do today B: Can be done tomorrow C: Do when I have time
  16. Put time in your calendar to manage your email I

    sent you an email a week ago, why haven’t you replied? I . . . I don’t know If it makes you feel any better I have stressed about not replying extensively! @dinosandcomics
  17. If you’re not careful, you may find you spend all

    your time talking about the work, leaving you no time to actually do it. Put time in your calendar to do work
  18. Make sure to take your breaks….. away from your desk

    What are you doing? I’m on a break . . . … . . but these emails won’t check themselves! @dinosandcomics
  19. Have a dedicated work space. Or set boundaries. I’m at

    work . . . You’re in the kitchen?
  20. Make sure you take time off, and don’t spend it

    worrying about work I feel bad, I’m going to take some time off Ok, but I’ll make sure we feel so bad about it we won’t get any real rest @dinosandcomics
  21. 25 minutes of focus. 5 minutes rest. @dinosandcomics

  22. Don’t suffer in silence It took 35 years to figure

    out I had all these issues….. Because as adults, we learn to hide it. I’m not an expert in ADHD, Anxiety or Depression. All I have is my own experiences. But I’m open to talking about it, so don’t be afraid to give me a nudge and ask about it. The more we talk about this stuff, the more ‘normal’ it becomes.
  23. Thanks for listening. Special thanks to: Eliza Lawson Calei Smith

    Alex Kean Gavin Elliott Judith Fellowes And everyone else who has helped me to navigate my own brain over the last year! Follow @dinosandcomics on Instagram