- Maintain a healthy perspective on crypto and market cycles.
- Take steps to improve your overall health, and feel the benefits elsewhere.
- Get rested, refreshed, and even “unplug” if you need to.
- Limit bad habits or impulsive financial behavior.
- Talk to someone if you have any problems.
The past few years have been tough. From a pandemic and government-mandated lockdowns to hyperinflation and market volatility, overall social and economic conditions have been deteriorating globally, yet the crypto community found a silver lining in a bull run fueled by all-time highs (ATHs) and six-figure APYs.
Now, winter has come again for crypto, bitcoin is down 75% from its ATH in November 2021, and the crypto community may be facing an even harsher time than normies, people who have probably never witnessed a man in sweatpants swinging a machete on Twitter, venting his rage at SBF and Caroline, venting his rage for all of us.
When a Twitter feed is full of vitriol and a shirtless man swinging a machete, it’s probably time to start addressing mental health. This article will give some perspective on issues specifically addressing crypto and mental health.
First Crypto Winter? Maintaining Perspective is Important
The first time people find themselves in a crypto bear market, the 90-99% drawdowns can feel like the end of the world. In reality, it’s just the end of a market cycle. The crypto market is a little like the weather or the seasons, and there will always be better days ahead.
As the old trading adage goes, “It’s not about timing the market, it’s about time spent in the market.” The next time the cycle comes around, you’ll no longer be the sweet summer child you once were, but a battle-hardened winter veteran. If you zoom out on the charts, you’ll see each cycle matches new highs with higher lows.
However, maintaining a healthy perspective during crises is easier said than done, but there’s help. Johns Hopkins University published a guide during the coronavirus titled Keeping Your Mental Health in Perspective, and it outlines several scenarios where changes can be made to improve mental health by assessing four different perspectives.
The Mayo Clinic has also published advice on developing positive thinking habits, and these can come in handy during a bear market. We can dwell on the fact that SOL fell from $260 to $15, or we can remember that ETH once fell from over $1,000 to $80 in 2018, and there’s a lot of good news that suggests Solana isn’t going anywhere.
Make Lifestyle Changes to Improve Overall Well-Being
If you find yourself in a persistently poor emotional state, then something needs to change. As individuals, we can’t change the state of the crypto market single-handedly, but we can change how we live our own lives.
Lifestyle changes can lead to massive benefits in almost every aspect of your life. There’s no one size fits all solution to good mental health, but a good diet, regular exercise, and getting enough rest will provide a rock-solid foundation for building out the rest of a lifestyle. Crypto may never sleep, but human beings still need to rest.
Rest isn’t just about sleep time either. If you spend a lot of time at your computer, on your phone, or permanently connected to apps and notifications, a break might do some serious good. Excessive screen time has been linked with adverse physical, social, and mental health. Try switching off your computer and phone for the day and go “touch grass.”
The first couple of hours, you will probably find yourself looking for your phone or wondering who is messaging you. The phone FOMO will pass, especially if you take steps to curb phone addiction. You may eventually learn to enjoy not being a slave to the bells and whistles and find some new ways to occupy your time.
There’s a whole world out there.
Don’t Let Crypto or DeFi Dominate Your Life
In a 2021 article from The Guardian, mental health professionals noted that they were treating a growing number of patients with what they described as an addiction to crypto. Across the pond, The Washington Post reported similar trends in 2022, and we’re bound to see more articles in the coming year.
Participating in crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) isn’t for the faint of heart, but even the most battle-hardened crypto veteran needs to have a life outside of crypto. If crypto is the constant source of your worries, then it may be time to set limits and boundaries for yourself.
Alameda’s Sam Trabucco has compared it to gambling, but look where that mindset got Alameda. Additionally, crypto and DeFi provide unprecedented access to financial tools and services, but this doesn’t mean they should be accessed all the time. Participating in crypto shouldn’t devolve into the life of a gambler at the dog track.
If you feel like you or someone you know has developed an addiction that affects their quality of life, there are many ways of finding help. In the United States, there are hotlines for treating addiction, and a quick Google search can find options for assistance in most parts of the world.
Never Alone: Find Someone Who You Can Talk With
Last but not least, if you are going through a hard stretch in life, take the time to talk to someone about it. At your lowest point, it’s easy to talk yourself into believing that nobody cares, or that nobody wants to hear about what you’re feeling.
This is usually the opposite of the truth.
Talk to a friend, a family member, or even a fellow DeFi degen on Discord. Get in contact with a mental health professional if you feel like venting to someone outside of your social circles. Whatever the problem is, it’s almost never as bad as you think is, and another set of ears can sometimes provide a perspective you’ve been missing.
Your mental health is one of the greatest long-term investments you can make, so take good care of yourself.
How Your Trusted Whale Next Door Puts These Tips into Practice…
How to support each other through the bear as a decentralized team?
Crypto never sleeps, but teams that are building crypto protocols ought to. The Orca operating team has been sprinkled across the globe since the beginning, figuring out ways to design an inspiring workplace culture and environment despite the geographical separation.
During the bear market, although Orca as a protocol is unaffected, the market and community sentiment keeps the team on high alert while at work. Here are some ways the team has taken a human-centered design lense to build a supportive system for each other:
- The "Virtual Water Cooler” and More
When was the last time you stepped into an office, and what do you miss the most about it? For many people, it’s the conversations with their colleagues and friends during coffee or lunch breaks, as they gather around the water cooler.
When Orca’s operating team was less than 10 pax, weekly kickoffs and Discord team voice were some of the bonding moments we tried to create, where the team could chat with and get to know each other. But now at around 30 pax, it is no longer feasible to schedule weekly meetings that accommodate everyone’s time zones or allow everyone to speak and learn about each other's personalities.
So instead, the team now has a section in the team Discord, dedicated to anything but crypto.
Ok, maybe just a little bit of crypto.
This is the Orca operating team’s version of gathering around the water cooler, chatting about where they went and which patch of grass they touched during off hours. Snippets from beyond the metaverse keep us inspired and remind us that there’s so much to do in the world that can help rid us of the crypto winter cold.
- Bring the Best of Web2 to Web3
BeReal is the one the team is trying right now. Snap a photo of what you’re doing, and share it with the team. BeReal was discovered during a recent design exploration Ori led, and now even after the exploration is over, a few team members are still snapping photos every day, updating each other about what they’ve been doing in different parts of the world. It's something you could try with your team and learn a bit more about the humans you’re working with, behind the screens.
Some other ways to use Zoomer tools are detailed here — highly recommended for smaller remote teams!
- Literally, Bring People Closer Together.
Much of this concept was shared in Orca cofounder Ori’s op-ed on Nasdaq. After trying a few colo’s in 2022, the team has given overwhelmingly positive feedback about working together, with the after-effect of increased trust, synergy, and productivity extending months after colo’s end.
With great value shown on the team’s overall output, the team plans to colocate at least once a year going forward. With the prolonged crypto winter and the growth of team size, the locations will be in more cost-effective regions in the world that most of the team can still get to and work together.
Despite being amidst the storm, the Orca operating team has intentionally designed opportunities to bond and build together (despite being mostly physically apart). As a result, Orca’s operating team remains strong in morale during the bear, knowing that the only stir in their sleep turbulence in their lives is caused by the deepening liquidity of Orca’s Whirlpools.
- Building a Stronger Community Together
In the last few months, the community has sensed a shift in Orca’s voice on Twitter. This shift is mostly in two aspects: increased interaction with followers and other protocols and expression of Orca’s confidence in its product and positioning in the ecosystem (in a smart yet cheeky tone). During the bear, and especially during recent events, Orca stands steadfast alongside its community of builders, users, and supporters.
In the coming year, Orca plans to put out more communications that lighten the overall sentiment on Crypto Twitter, and show the ecosystem that there is a group of trustworthy builders, still building through the winter.
In addition to the general shift of voice, Orca is also showing loyal community members that their contributions and support are seen and appreciated. With recent Discord mini-campaigns like the Warm Winter Pack giveaway, and early access to Genopet beta for Orcanaut holders, those staying in Orca’s Discord community through the bear are not only Orca users, but could also be future Orca DAO contributors. As Orca continues to decentralize, community support and contribution are pivotal to a resilient and sustainable Orca.
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