Mental Health and Wellness Guide for Psychologists

Mental Health and Wellness Guide for Psychologists

Chronic fatigue, compassion fatigue, and a lack of support can all impact psychologists. Understanding your own mental health and mental health, in general, is a great place to start when it comes to mitigating stress and safeguarding your wellbeing, but it is far from the only way forward. Knowing what to do can still make it hard to keep your health secure, especially with the influx of patients due to COVID-19.

People have experienced social isolation and financial and housing insecurity and have worked on the front lines where their lives were put at risk daily. Loved ones have died, and big changes have all happened in a very short period.

This means that there are more people who need mental health services than ever, and a record number of people are open to getting the help they need. Though this is great news, without more mental health professionals and investment into mental health services for all demographics, it can quickly mean that mental health professionals are pushed to their limit.

As a psychologist, caring for your health and wellbeing isn’t just critical for your own quality of life, but it also helps psychologists provide a better, safer space for their clients. The good news is that these tips and tricks can help you at every stage of your career. You could be a student just starting your bachelor degree online in psychology, you could be in your first year as a psychologist or therapist, you could be an old hat. If you find that you are struggling, using these health and wellness tips can help you feel better and provide a better quality of service to those who need it most:

1. Consider Your Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition

One of the best ways to consistently improve your quality of life is to look at your diet. There are many factors that may impact how you feel, and a deficiency in one vitamin can be an ongoing cause, particularly if you have a natural deficiency that means your body has difficulty absorbing the vitamin or nutrient in question.

If you want real answers, then getting a test done to understand your body’s needs can make the biggest impact. Not only will you know which foods are best to focus on, but you will also be able to get started with an effective treatment plan if your body has difficulty absorbing the necessary vitamins on its own.

2. Work with Your Circadian Rhythm

A good night’s sleep can offer one of the biggest differences in how you feel and perform throughout the day. The best way to improve sleep is to work with your circadian rhythm. The good news is that you can train this rhythm. It is, after all, how and why you find you wake up at the same time every day if that has become your habit.

One of the best ways to train this rhythm is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, ideally covering how long it takes for you to feel rested. For some, this will be six hours, others as much as nine, or even ten.

By going to bed and waking up at the same time, you can get your body accustomed to this rhythm so that you naturally feel tired and are ready to sleep when you want and will wake up better refreshed.

You will also want to pay attention to the lighting. Stay away from blue-white light (like daylight or electronics) for a few hours before bed. You will also want to work to clear your mind, which can be done by listening to soothing music, working with your hands, meditating, having a bath, and so on.

3. Ensure You Have Your Own Mental Health Support

female psychologist talking with male patient and writing diagnosis in office

Every therapist should have their own therapist. This is not just something that is nice to have; it should be considered a professional necessity. You need to be at your best to help others, and yes, it can become overwhelming to work with certain clients. You cannot pass on those concerns or frustrations to your clients and instead need to work through them on your own time with your own therapist.

It can be difficult to find a therapist you connect to, especially when you intellectually understand why you think or feel the way that you do. Don’t assume that knowing about psychology means that you can help on your own. You will always need an outside perspective and also the chance to say and acknowledge even the mean or unfair feelings that you have so that you can process them and move on in a healthy way.

4. Find Healthy Outlets

You need outlets that will help you better manage your stress and bring more joy into your life. This is something that many therapists recommend for their clients. Not only does it offer stress relief, but it is also a chance to expand your social circles and your support network.

Healthy outlets can be individual activities or group activities. If you find that going on a walk after work helps clear your mind so that you can relax better once you are at home, then this is a ritual you should insist on. If you find painting relaxing and a great way to work through how you feel and clear your mind, make it a habit.

Don’t be afraid to invest in these activities as well. You may want to take painting classes to progress your skill or try out a new skill altogether. These healthy outlets give your brain new challenges to focus on that break away from the stresses of your workday so that you can stay calm, enjoy your downtime, and better help your clients or patients as a result.

Psychologists and therapists are at risk of chronic or compassion fatigue, so caring for yourself, having a professional support network, and expanding your hobbies and healthy outlets can all make a huge difference for your quality of life and the quality of your work.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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