The Coronavirus has stopped many of us in our tracks. For some this is a welcome break, but for others the idea of having to stay still can be nerve-racking. As a black mental health professional working in the school system and trying to get my private practice off the ground, I have been experiencing burnout. Don't get me wrong, I love being a therapist but I also invest and absorb so much mental and emotional energy from my clients and the staff that I work with that I feel like I'm always "on." Having to navigate through white spaces and hear and experience social (specifically racial) injustices can be just as draining. In a helping profession we are always giving to others but who gives to us, sometimes not even ourselves. A friend of mine who is a school counselor sent me a Facebook post titled, "I suspect it is hard to love a therapist or a counselor..." https://m.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2128046994191080&id=1932147240447724 No truer words have I ever related to that describes what it's like to be a mental health professional. I say all of that to say that even though we are practicing social distancing, we also need to reconnect to who we are outside of our jobs, outside of our families and friends, outside of how society labels and defines us.
Wellness is defined as "the active process of making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life," and is broken down into several dimensions (mental, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, etc.), while self-care is "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health, well-being, and happiness." Wellness is not something that is only for the "rich, white, and famous" but is a luxury that we can all afford to engage in.
This is how I have begun to self-care on a budget. At the beginning of the week when everyone was stocking up on groceries, I decided that I would have a spa day at home. I went to my local @dollartree and purchased some sheet face masks, shower fizzies (aka the shower version of a bath bomb), and a pair of hot/cold eye pads that look like cucumber slices all for a dollar each. During my spa day, I also incorporate a free 10 minute (most sheet face masks are only supposed to be on your face for that amount of time) meditation by using the app @insighttimer. Since my local gym with my favorite trainer is closed, I have decided to now take up yoga by watching @youtube videos as well as use my @pinterest to pin 15-20 minute cardio and strength exercise routines that I can do at home. Also, I am working on a 500 piece puzzle (once again courtesy of my local @dollartree) and hoping to read a book about stocks (now is the time to buy while the market is down). It may be a bit much, but why not, Mental Health Professionals need love too. So how are you taking action towards your own well-being? #stepstowardswellness #wellnessforblackmentalhealthprofessionals #Therapists #Counselors #Selfcareonabudget #Selfcare #BlackandBurntout #dollartreefinds #insighttimer #brokemillenialtakesoninvesting #Yesto #SpaDay #Pinterest #Youtube #BlackTherapists #BlackTherapistsRock #TherapyforBlackGirls #MelaninandMentalHealth #Mentalhealth #Mentalhealthmatters #Wellness