We often overlook the impact of a person’s mental illness on those around them, yet it is very real. Parents of children with mental diseases are at risk of acquiring mental illnesses themselves, according to research, and experience a variety of unpleasant emotions such as self-blame, rage, and frustration.
Mental health professional is similarly at risk of burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue if they do not receive proper care. While the warning is harsh, it is of serious concern to everyone who is concerned about the well-being of others.
More recently, research has discovered that, while burnout among mental health professionals is a serious personal worry, it may also have an impact on their clients’ therapy. According to the findings, providing treatment can be difficult and emotionally draining, potentially resulting in secondary traumatic stress.
Professionals’ mental health, like that of their clients, can benefit from training and interventions, which can improve patient outcomes.
How To Take Care Of Yourself If You’re A Mental Health Professional
Recognize That You Deserve To Process Your Feelings
Understanding your feelings is the first step toward overcoming burnout. Instead of persuading yourself that you can keep going, acknowledge that you need to take care of yourself. This acknowledgment can be as basic as jotting down your thoughts. You can also confide in a trusted friend or family member about your feelings.
Take A Breather
Burnout is associated with the feeling of being on a never-ending treadmill. Even if it is exhausting, you urge yourself to go, go, go. Press the pause button to take a break. Take it easy. Examine your priorities and take a break, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Slowing down can assist you in recognizing burnout signs and determining what changes to make.
Focus On The Here And Now
Burnout can be caused by constant concern about the future and reflecting on the past. It’s easy to lose sight of the now if your mind is constantly looking back or ahead. When your mind wanders in unproductive ways, try to notice it and simply remind yourself to return to now.
Care For Your Body
For mental health workers, self-care entails both mental and physical well-being. If we ignore one, the other is likely to suffer as well. Keep in mind the basics: eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and stick to a regular sleeping schedule. Burnout is generally thought to be merely mental tiredness, but it is startling how much of a physical strain it may have. Learn more about work-life balance for psychologists here.
Acknowledge Irrational Thoughts
Irrational thoughts are recognized and unraveled by behavioral healthcare practitioners. Recognize your erroneous thinking and try to end the cycle. It takes time and practice, but keeping your mind grounded is an important element of self-care.
Stick To A Routine
Routines can be beneficial to one’s health. You most certainly have a work schedule to adhere to, but you can create regularity in other areas of your life as well. Start your day with some type of exercise. With a cup of tea and a good book, you can unwind at the end of the day. Make an effort to stick to a regular sleeping routine. Find tiny things to include in your everyday routine that will help you feel better.
Avoid Isolating Yourself
Are you the type of person that gets lost in your work? There’s always a lot to accomplish, and a lot of people who need your assistance. Maintaining social relationships, on the other hand, is an important part of self-care. Keep in touch with family and friends. Use them as a source of assistance. These kinds of connections can help you develop resiliency and give you useful tools for separating and managing stress in your life.
Remember To Breathe
Breathing is something that comes naturally to you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on it. Breathing exercises can aid in anxiety management and reduction. Take a few minutes out of your day to practice deep breathing while counting your breaths rhythmically. This simple exercise can be done in the middle of the day at work or during your free time at home.
Try Practicing Mindfulness
Breathing exercises can be part of a larger attempt to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. Mindfulness is a sort of meditation that encourages you to be fully present in the moment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mindfulness. It’s about putting in the time and effort. Try practicing mindfulness while walking, sitting, or doing chores around the house. By incorporating this technique into your daily routine, you can assist to alleviate the tension and worry that contribute to burnout.
This one recommendation may be the most important of all the self-care activities for therapists. Routines are formed. We try our hardest to balance job and family life. Even so, the unexpected occurs. Remember to stay flexible, especially when you’re stressed. Before you confront the next interruption, take a moment to breathe or do a mindfulness activity.