Dealing with mental wellness and stress

Last year, I wrote about how stress landed me in the hospital. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with my job loss, created a large amount of stress over the course of that year. Because of that stress, I stopped taking care of myself. And because of that, I got sick and ended up in the hospital.

That was last year. After more than a year, I managed to gain employment again.

Well, the cycle begins again. Lately, I’ve been dealing with enormous stress; not from one source, but from several. Much of it is deeply personal, so I won’t write anything specific about them. What I will say is that recent events triggered them, affecting me in numerous ways, including my job performance.

Unfortunately, because my job performance was affected, I was told yesterday that I was being let go. Although I was disappointed by the news, it also did not surprise me. My manager had to make a decision, and I didn’t want to be the one bogging down the team. Quite frankly, if our roles were reversed, I likely would’ve made the same decision.

That said, I believe that in order to truly fix a problem, you need to address the root of the problem. I mentioned that I was dealing with multiple sources of stress. I felt I was getting burned out, and that burnout was what ultimately led me to losing my job. But while work stress may have contributed to my issue, I considered that to be a symptom, not the root cause.

Indeed, my job issue wasn’t the only symptom I was seeing. I’ve been feeling a great deal of anxiety. Even activities that I usually enjoy, and am even passionate about, were affected. There were nights where I was scheduled to attend music rehearsals and CrossFit classes — two activities that I usually enjoy — and I had no motivation to go. That’s when I made the decision to contact EAP and get help. They set me up with an online counseling program (my first therapy session was this morning). Additionally, I reconnected with a local psychology practice with whom I’ve worked in the past.

I’ve long stressed the importance of your mental, psychological, and emotional well-being. In my lost job presentation, the very first thing I address is your emotional well-being. You need to get a hold of yourself before you can effectively move forward. If it means (safely) getting it out of your system, talking to friends, finding distractions (such as your favorite activities), or getting professional help, then do it. The online counseling offered by my EAP includes three free sessions, and I decided that I should take advantage of that.

Mental well-being is getting more attention within the fields of technology. My friend Tracy Boggiano does an excellent presentation about mental health in IT (a link to it is available on her website). Steve Jones also posts daily articles about how to cope with various issues. And while I can’t think of articles off the top of my head (if you know of any, feel free to list them in the comments below), I believe there are articles that discuss mental health within the technology industry.

There has long been a stigma attached to mental health. The fact is, mental health deals with exactly that: your health. If you feel that you might not be in “the right frame of mind,” or something might be bothering you, or you feel as though you’re acting peculiarly, don’t keep it to yourself. Get help. Go talk to someone, preferably someone who’s in a position to best help you (such as a mental health professional). These people are there to help resolve your issue(s), or at least come up with an effective way to cope with them. Once you get your mental health under control, many other things — your job performance, your thought processes, your relationships, how you approach life, and so on — will fall into place.

Now, in the meantime, if anyone has any job leads, feel free to send them my way…

March Monthly CASSUG Meeting

Our March meeting will again be online. NOTE: you MUST RSVP to this Meetup at https://www.meetup.com/Capital-Area-SQL-Server-User-Group/events/284474830/ to view the Zoom URL!

Our March speaker is Taiob M Ali!

Topic: Options and considerations for migrating SQL Server databases to Azure

Many tools are available to migrate your on-premises database to an Azure SQL database. Are you familiar with all of those tools, and how do you choose the best tool for you? How do you analyze and identify what objects are not compatible with migrating to Azure? Answer: It depends (of course) on the type, size, and complexity of the database you will be relocating.

This session will explore considerations before migration, appropriate targets, migration tools available, and the pros and cons of each tool. I will demo four different tools that you can use to analyze/migrate your on-premises SQL Server Database to Azure SQL.

At the end of this session, you will be aware of the various techniques available to analyze and migrate SQL Database to Azure and choose the best fitting one for your database.

About Taiob:
Taiob Ali, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, is an accomplished technical leader with a proven record of success. During his last 16 years, he has worked with the Microsoft Data Platform and MongoDB, both on-premises and cloud. His experience includes all three major business sectors: finance, e-commerce, and healthcare.

Taiob is currently working at “GMO LLC” as Database Solutions Manager, focusing on cloud migration, automation, improving, and streamlining operational workflow. He is a regular speaker at local and virtual chapters, Data Saturdays, and Azure conferences. He is a board member of New England SQL Server User Group, founder of ‘Database Professionals Virtual Meetup Group’, and organizer of Boston SQL Saturday.

Our online meeting schedule is as follows:

  • 6:00: General chat, discussion, and announcements
  • 6:30: Presentation

We usually wrap up between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM.

Please RSVP to this Meetup, then use the online event URL to join (note: you MUST RSVP for the URL to be visible). We will send out a meeting password as we get closer to the event.

Thanks to our sponsor, Datto, for making this event possible!

Yes, I’m still alive

I haven’t done much writing in this ‘blog since 2022 started. Quite frankly, I’ve been preoccupied with a number of things, including work and personal happenings.

This isn’t to say I don’t have article ideas. In fact, I’ve started a few articles, but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. Hopefully, I’ll get back to them at some point. Bear with me!

So I wanted to write this quick note as proof of life. Yes, I’m still alive. Hopefully, you’ll be hearing more from me soon!