Mental Health Monday–Practicing Good Mental Health

So, I’ve worked 24 out of the past 26 days and let me tell you, I’m bushed!

Not only am I juggling multiple roles within my job, I’m also trying to juggle writing, querying, blogging, reading, and renovating my house. I can manage this burst of activity for a few weeks, sure, but after almost 2 months of this breakneck pace, I’m getting stressed out.

I’m not saying this to garner sympathy. I’m pointing out that it’s important to identify your limits and learn how to pace yourself so you don’t burn the candle at both ends and end up burned out.

In fact, I’ve had several lengthy discussions about this with my team (a psychologist, social worker, resident physician, and admin assistant–all people who I consider dear friends) this past week. We all came to the same conclusion:

Yeah, our job gets ridiculous at times, but thank goodness we have each other to get through it!


Man, we need to figure out how to strike a balance so we don’t “lose it.” 

I’m sure we’re not the only ones experiencing this problem. So, what do we do about it? Well, for starters, we need to think of things to do to take care of ourselves.

Here’s some ideas:

  • Read
  • Write
  • Sleep
  • Take a walk
  • Play with the kitties
  • Exercise
  • Get therapy
  • Go shopping
  • Take a day off
  • Get a massage
  • Watch a movie
  • Laugh

What do you do to take care of yourself?

Check out Lydia’s Medical Monday post and Sarah Fine’s The Strangest Situation. As always, these posts are for writing purposes only and are NOT to be construed as medical advice or treatment.

Be sure to drop a note (comment) if you have a mental health question you’d like answered!



19 comments on “Mental Health Monday–Practicing Good Mental Health

  1. Sarah says:

    Adequate sleep is essential for me, as is cutting myself off from too much stimulation. I get easily overwhelmed when I’ve got stuff flying at me from too many places, so I have to limit the channels I have on at once, I guess you could say. I also tend to work intensely only in phases, because like you said, after a while you just get worn out! I hope you get the rest you need, Laura!

  2. Kendall Grey says:

    Taking a walk always helps me, though getting motivated to do it is the hardest part. Once I’m out in the sunshine, I feel great and don’t want to stop.

    I love your last suggestion. Laughing is totally therapeutic for me. When I get super tickled about something, I laugh so hard that I cry. Talk about a release! And it’s infectious, which makes sharing really easy. 🙂

  3. Lynn Rush says:

    Sooo true. Isn’t it amazing how quickly things can get out of balance? It kind of sneaks up on us sometimes. Thank God for friends. I have three girls I meet with each Sunday to “check in” on things. One of them is balance. It’s nice to have that accountability as to how things are going, what’s out of whack and how can I get it back in whack. 🙂

    Oh, and that kitty picture…SO CUTE!!!!

  4. Vicki Tremper says:

    I’ve noticed that you’re working a lot of weekends. So what are you doing to avoid burnout? I think sometimes you just have to let yourself off the hook.

    Love the before and after!

  5. I can go full out for a good while; but when I stop, I really crash and burn. Sleep is the key for me. If I could get 7 hours every night, I’d be fine. But with less than that, I go belly up in a few days – especially if it gets down in the 5-hour range.

  6. lenny says:

    hi miss dr laura! wow i love that kitty picture. for sure that a good way of relaxing. for me i do lots of stuff for when im feeling all stressed. my doctor got me started on writing cause of being all depressed out cause of being sick. for sure you gotta stop a while and take good care of yourself.
    …hugs from lenny

  7. Linda Gray says:

    What a fabulous list! I do all of those, and it keeps me sane and happy, until I’ve done them so much that I can’t stand myself because I really need to focus on work! There’s a happy medium somewhere. Laughter is the item on your list that got to me the most–it’s SO important, and not always easy to find.

  8. I find a good walk helps and also, I ask to be alone in the house for awhile. My husband works from home and my son is homeschooled so it’s a bit hectic around the house.

  9. Catherine Johnson says:

    I’m tired this week I think it’s post-WriteOnCon burn out. I think taking staggered breaks on blogging, reading and writing when you’re tired is a good idea. Like have a few days off from writing, but read. Then have a few days off reading and write or think about your plot/characters etc. One thing I noticed at WriteOnCon certainly in the picture books. The best/newest stories were from people who don’t write every day and / or just had a holiday. Interesting! take care

  10. Catherine Johnson says:

    If I were you I’d stop blogging and visiting blogs for a bit too. Good luck!

  11. Donna Hole says:

    I didn’t see “eat ice cream” on your list. It’s very important for stress relief to eat an abundance of ice cream. Of course, you have to not stress over the groaning chair too . . .

    Sometimes taking a day or two off ALL of it is important too. Change gears, do something completely different than the normal routine (not just letting one or two things slide). That’s what I do anyway.


  12. Phew sounds hectic! You def need some rest! I’d go for a long bubble bath, curl up with good book and / or film, eat chocolate and retail thereapy! Good luck with relaxing!

  13. Talli Roland says:

    Great suggestions! It’s so important to strike a balance, something I haven’t done well at all lately. I’m going to start up my regular exercise routine soon. I think that will help.

  14. Sounds exhausting! Glad you realize the importance of taking a step back to care for yourself. Like your list. Only thing I’d add: savor a brownie.

    BTW, that kitty pic is one of my favorites. Feel relaxed just looking at it. 🙂

  15. Ciara Knight says:

    Did you post this just for me today? LOL I’m having one of those moments when you sit in the back of a church and you feel like the preacher is speaking directly to you. 🙂 I hope things calm down and you find balance again.

  16. […] Comments « Mental Health Monday–Practicing Good Mental Health […]

  17. Niki Moss says:

    One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to read a good book while taking a long, hot, candle-lit bath. And I do it often enough that the mere act of lighting the candles while drawing the water relaxes me now. It’s an excellent way to shut the whole world out, and I highly recommend it!

  18. […] 26, 2011 by lbdiamond So we’ve had a week’s worth of tips on how to practice good mental health and on finding […]

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