The Self Care Rituals of the MindWise Team
by Nicole Scherr
One secret you should know about people who work in the mental health field: they’re human, too. They experience stress and anxiety, combat burnout due to the heavy nature of their work, and strive to find a work-life balance that works for them.
Having a career in mental health doesn’t magically prevent someone from experiencing mental health challenges of their own. What we do know is that mental health experts often put their knowledge to work in their own lives by practicing self-care as a core pillar of their overall health.
Just like you might be curious about a doctor’s diet and exercise routine, we wanted to learn more about the specific self-care rituals and practices of the mental health and trauma experts at MindWise.
In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, read on to learn about the tangible ways we care for our minds every day.
How Do MindWise Team Members Practice Self Care?
Becky – “At the end of every day, my dog comes home from daycare, we always take a walk and chat about what happened that day (the good and the bad) to decompress.
Bryan – “Every three or four days, I put on noise canceling headphones and I spend 45 minutes taking care of my plants.”
David – “In the past I would try to get some work done before bringing my kids to school. But it was always difficult and unproductive, and no one ended up happy in the morning. My new rule is that I won’t start work until I drop my kids off at school so I can focus. Then I stop working again when they get home so I can enjoy my time with them before they start their homework and I wrap up for the day. And then resume after they start their homework.”
Julia – “I love a midday dog walk to get myself outside in the middle of the day.”
Larry – “Exercise, bike riding and walking – anything outdoors. Self-care is about the 3-R’s (reflection, regulation, and relaxation), but I do try to spend some time in the reflecting category. I remind myself of what we’re all doing, the hope we have for positive outcomes, etc. This is always a good way for me to reconnect.”
Lisa – “I try to sit outside on the porch every day in the sun. I’ve also been having a Yasso frozen yogurt bar (pistachio or coffee flavor).”
Marjie – “I love to clean something out or organize something.”
Meritt – “When I get in the car to pick up my kids from school, I usually call my mom or my sister – but lately, I’ve been trying to just listen to music and use the time to decompress. It’s been a really good transition for me.”
Michael – “I try to find 15-30 minutes a day to walk away from my computer for lunch. Then I play video games at night to escape.”
Michelle – “I organize stuff. I’ve also started to print pictures every week and categorize them by year. It’s a control thing.”
Waheeda – “All coping is coping. I send Instagrams reels all day long to my husband, colleague Jenny, and my kids. And I take walks at night.”
Bonus: Sometimes Work Brings Self-Care to Us
We often harp on the role that a psychologically safe workplace can have on an employee’s mental health, especially for those who work in high-stress roles. As we were writing this post, an incredible example of how an organization can build self-care moments into the workday happened to surprise us in our bi-weekly team meeting. And it was pretty cute.
After chatting about work updates, we got a surprise visit on Zoom by Paco the llama. Paco is a resident at Sweet Farm, a nonprofit animal sanctuary that offers virtual meet and greets with their adorable and friendly rescue animals. Our staff members were totally surprised and delighted to meet Paco over Zoom, and to receive a virtual tour of the farm’s facilities, too. It was a perfect way to unplug from the heaviness our work can bring and take a moment to laugh and relax together.
It doesn’t matter if your self-care moments include time outdoors, a special snack or activity, or a Zoom meeting with a llama: all self-care rituals matter and can make a noticeable difference in your mental health. We hope you have some new ideas to try.