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Mental Health or Work first

Community Member

Hi everyone,


I'm currently experiencing a dilemma regarding balancing mental health, uni, and work. Last year, I went through a particularly bad patch with my mental health in the second half of the year, with me being suicidal and extremely stressed and anxious during this time. Additionally, I also crashed my car during this time and am in the process of trying to save up to buy a new car and afford insurance for it- I still need to save up a few thousand dollars more until I can afford this. It has only been in the last month or so that my mental health has gotten to a better point, for the first time in a while. I am about to start my third year of uni studying full-time, and I currently am experiencing a dilemma. I will have a casual job working for the uni which will be approximately 4 hours a week, and pays about $30 an hour. My current dilemma is that as well as these 4 hours per week, I can either choose to work an extra 5 hours a week with my mum and earn an extra $125 each week, or I can work at the chill retail job I currently have an extra 7-14 hours a week and earn $170-300 extra each week. Right now, I'm worried that if I choose to work the retail job along with my uni job, I'll get too overwhelmed and will find it difficult to balance work, uni, seeing my boyfriend and having time for myself, even though I'll be making extra money. However, if I choose the less overwhelming option which is to work with my mum, I'll be making less money and therefore it'll be a longer period of time before I can afford a car. I don't know what to do, and I feel like by putting my mental health first and choosing the "easier" option I'm being lazy. What advice do you guys have?



2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lyssaa~

Welcome here ot the Forum, a good move on your part to gain outside perspectives.


I put working first with little in the rest of my life, in fact it was just about all work. In your case it is uni, work, and other things. I made a mistake and my mental health took a real nosedive until I was depressed, had anxiety and was suicidal.


From the picture you are painting I'm wondering if a car is worth your mental health -or even your life.


Uni + 4hrs seems as if it might be doable, and still leave you some time to balance you life wiht other people and things. Would it be so bad if that car was further away? I really wish I had not put so much pressure on myself -even though I thought it necessary at the time -my life would have ended up very different.


You mentioed a boyfriend and you mum, have you talked things over with either of them?




Community Member

Hi Lyssaa,


Trust me, your mental health and work/life balance MUST come first! You will take even longer to get a car if you burn yourself out and have a meltdown -


which is what I have just done. Listen to your body and listen to the part of your brain that's looking out for your health. I hear you when you say you feel lazy if you don't take on the extra work, but don't listen to that voice. That's your Harsh Internal Critic talking. He won't tell you what's best for a long and healthy life. Every time you come close to achieving something that critic in your head will try to sabotage you with rubbish about you being not good enough, or undeserving, or whatever your internal voice tells you.


Your health is just beginning to come good and you are in year 3 of a degree. That's a massive achievement already - especially with the rough year you've had. Don't blow it with all or nothing thinking. Prioritise your stuff and, if the Uni is important to you (it should be - you go, girl!) and if the BF is important to you, prioritise them. The car will wait, your health will not.