7 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy as a Software Engineer

For software developers, maintaining good mental health is imperative. Here’s why.

Programming demands a great deal of focus and intellect, which can pose a challenge to the mental health of software developers. Regrettably, this is frequently disregarded as software engineers become too absorbed in their job to recognise the likely effects on their mental health.

In Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, roughly 9,750 of the 65,000 engineers polled revealed that they were dealing with a mental disorder. Sadly, owing to the immense workload, many of these developers may be oblivious to their mental health status.

No matter what, it’s crucial for software developers to prioritise their mental health to perform at their best. Our post will detail seven effective approaches to ensure that the psychological welfare of software developers is consistently attended to.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

How can programmers take care of themselves?

These are a few tips to maintain wellness as a programmer:

  1. Manage Impostor Syndrome

    Impostor syndrome is a psychological term used to describe when a person is unable to internalise their accomplishments, despite being suitably qualified and skilled. Those experiencing it believe that they do not deserve their successes and that others will eventually notice that they are not as competent as they appear. This can result in reduced self-esteem, increased stress, and feelings of inadequacy. Recognising the symptoms of impostor syndrome is crucial to seek help.

    Given the dynamic and continuously evolving nature of the software development sector, it is common for developers to experience impostor syndrome. This can lead to feelings of inadequate self-worth and have a negative impact on mental health.

    So, how can programmers take care of themselves if they experience impostor syndrome?

    Maintain a notebook or use note-taking software to record your achievements and efforts in real-time.
    1. Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, tai-chi, leisure sports, or fitness classes might be beneficial.
    2. Appreciate your unique qualities and achievements by treating yourself to something you enjoy.
    3. Develop a daily routine for enhancing your knowledge of your profession if you want to be a lifelong learner.
    4. Above all, do not view yourself as an impostor.

    When you feel as though you may not be advancing as quickly as you would like in your software engineering career, it may be helpful to take a step back and reflect on how much you have already achieved. Utilising the concept of impostor syndrome can be beneficial in allowing you to assess and build upon your existing skills and talents.
  2. Take Frequent Breaks

    Programming requires a lot of focus, perseverance, and skill. It’s perfectly okay to take a break when dealing with difficult problem-solving scenarios or feeling overwhelmed by mistakes. Stepping away and taking a break can help clear your mind and enable you to find the proper solution.
    Regularly taking breaks away from screens can significantly enhance productivity. Going for a walk, calling a friend or family member, reading a book, or engaging in any non-screen-related activity can help reduce work-related mental tension, recharge you, and allow you to return to your job with a fresh perspective. Therefore, taking regular breaks is necessary to maximise productivity and effectiveness.

    Now is a good time to take a break and disconnect from work! You may set up hourly reminders on your phone to participate in activities such as drinking water, listening to your favourite podcast or music, stretching, or anything that does not involve work or staring at the computer. Regular breaks from work can improve your concentration and efficiency, so take advantage of this chance to unwind and recharge.

    You’ll be able to return to work feeling revitalised and energised after the break.
  3. Make Meditation a Habit

    In today’s fast-paced world, it is common to find ourselves multitasking and juggling several activities at once. For example, coding while participating in a Slack chat, cleaning the house with music playing, and reading a book while responding to text messages. However, this can result in a lack of focus on the present moment, as we become too preoccupied with the next task at hand.

    Meditation is a practice that can have profound benefits for those seeking to become more mindful, relaxed, and joyful, while also reducing stress. Mindfulness meditation refers to the act of being present in the moment, free from external distractions.

    Studies have demonstrated that regular mindfulness practices, such as meditation, may be beneficial for both physical and mental health. Meditation can reduce blood pressure, alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve sleep quality.

    Participating in a virtual mindfulness meditation class is a fantastic way to begin your meditation journey. Set a reminder alarm for five to ten-minute daily meditation sessions, as it can be an extremely rewarding and beneficial experience. Utilise applications like Headspace, WildMind, Mindfulness for Creativity, and others to incorporate mindfulness meditation into your self-care routine and maintain a healthy mental state.
  4. Physical Exercise

    Exercise is a crucial aspect of mental health, but how can physical activity promote mental well-being?

    Discipline and consistency are necessary to achieve desired exercise outcomes. Establishing a regular exercise routine can also instil a sense of accomplishment, which releases dopamine, a chemical that reduces stress levels and fosters feelings of happiness.

    Physical exercise offers a variety of advantages, such as increased energy levels, improved mood, and better heart health. This is especially important for software developers, who often lead sedentary lifestyles and must counteract the harmful effects such a lifestyle can have on both body and mind. By engaging in regular physical activity, they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    Moreover, exercise allows the mind and body to refresh. Regular exercise can improve concentration when returning to work.
  5. Cultivate a Hobby

    The idea behind pursuing hobbies is to take a break from the everyday chaos and indulge in something we genuinely enjoy, without feeling guilty or obligated. These hobbies can be anything from reading books, playing music, playing games, or anything else that brings pleasure and happiness. Taking regular breaks to engage in these activities can help create balance in our lives and provide us with the chance to unwind and destress.
  6. Limit Intake of Caffeine and Sugary Drinks

    Regular consumption of caffeinated beverages and soda must be substantially reduced or eliminated to ensure optimal mental health. Scientific studies have shown that caffeine and soda can inhibit A1 receptors in the body, which are critical for successful transmission of neurochemical signals. Limiting the intake of these substances is therefore strongly recommended.

    When certain receptors are blocked, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate can cause a sudden surge in energy and alertness, as well as disruption of natural sleep patterns. While this may provide a temporary sense of euphoria, it is essential to recognise that it is an unhealthy and potentially dangerous side effect of receptor blocking, which should be avoided. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to mental health and should be addressed by seeking professional medical advice.

    Furthermore, this problem is compounded as an individual develops a higher tolerance for caffeine. With an increased tolerance, more caffeine can be consumed. As the amount of coffee ingested increases, the heart must work harder to process it. This increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can cause major health issues for software developers.

    Consider trying healthy alternatives to soda and caffeinated beverages like tea, freshly squeezed fruit juices, maple water, green smoothies, and other similar options.
  7. Indulge Yourself

    Developers often become so immersed in their work that they forget to prioritise their health. To avoid potentially detrimental behaviour, it is important to acknowledge and reward oneself for their hard work. Taking time to appreciate the progress made can serve as a fantastic motivator and keep one on the right track.<

What are some ways a software developer can prevent and manage burnout?

Programming is a highly demanding occupation, making it challenging for programmers to balance their professional and social lives. Though it may appear to be a simple trade-off, the lack of a life outside of coding can have adverse effects on an individual’s performance and enthusiasm. Burnout, disinterest, and a reduction in job satisfaction can all result from a dearth of activities outside of programming.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you may be on the verge of burnout. Exhaustion, low pay, loneliness, apathy, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and negative feedback from project managers are all factors that can contribute to burnout.


It is natural to strive for success as an engineer or developer. However, programming can be demanding and stressful, making it critical to prioritise one’s mental health as a software developer. If you sense that your mental health is deteriorating rapidly, it is critical to seek professional assistance and treatment.

Always remember, prioritise your mental health over work.

If you’re a software engineer searching for a remote job with immense potential for growth and a pleasant work environment, Works is the place to be. Works not only prioritises a healthy work-life balance for its developers, but also actively promotes the mental health and well-being of its employees at all times. Works could be the perfect fit for you!

Works is currently hiring remote developers from over 150 countries worldwide. If you are interested in becoming a member of our development team, begin the application process today by clicking the Apply for Jobs button on our website. For additional information, please visit our website.


  1. Do software engineers generally enjoy good health?

    According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, 15% of surveyed developers reported experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The demanding nature of software engineering work can have an impact on an individual’s mental health. However, taking care of one’s physical and mental health can help to maintain good health. Basic preventative measures should be implemented to safeguard against the adverse effects of software engineering challenges on mental and physical health.
  2. Is working as a Python developer a demanding job?

    As a Python developer, it is common to experience stress and feel overwhelmed. It is important for software engineers of all stripes to learn how to effectively manage and cope with stress, irrespective of the programming language they prefer. Given the constantly changing and demanding nature of the technology sector, it’s important to develop strategies and techniques that help maintain a healthy work-life balance. Prioritising mental health and well-being can go a long way in reducing the stress associated with working in software engineering.
  3. Is programming a difficult task?

    Programming can be challenging because it necessitates a high degree of concentration and focus. Prolonged periods of coding without taking any breaks, solving complex problems, and comprehending difficult material are some of the primary causes of stress for developers. To alleviate this stress, it is critical to maintain a healthy balance between work and breaks. Taking regular breaks can assist developers in managing stress levels and staying productive.

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