By Danny W. Pettry II, M.Ed., M.S., LPC, NCC, CTRS-BHS
This is Danny from Rec Therapy Today.
I work full time as a practitioner at a psychiatric hospital.
Those of us in mental and behavioral health have high risk positions.
We strive to promote wellness and outcomes, but at least maintain safety.
Sometimes our patients struggle with thoughts, feelings and behavior.
There is a lot of stress with maintaining safety for patients in these settings (at least based on my experiences).
- A patient might self-harm or attempt suicide.
- Patients can be verbally and physically aggressive.
- A patient might use emotional blackmail by threatening to kill themselves if they don’t get something.
I get it. I know these patients are people who are suffering and they need help and support.
Some people are not cut out for this kind of work.
I signed up for this kind of work.
It’s not just a job for me. It’s a life mission. It’s a purpose driven life.
I authentically care and want to teach life skills for better living and functioning.
Sometimes the work takes a toll on people who are passionate about their work.
I feel stressed or struggle with insomnia at times.
Someone might yell out, “Danny,” real loud at home to get my attention.
Nerves go through my body as I jump, thinking a patient is acting out and I need to help.
Then I realize. It was only a family member yelling down the hall wondering which room I was in.
We can’t pour from an empty cup.
We have to take time to fill back up.
Here are the things I do from time to time for self-care:
- I drink a lot of water
- I like to brush my teeth a lot too.
- I go out with friends and co-workers.
- I call or text a friend or family member.
- I watch funny cat videos on the youtube.
- I’ll get a haircut when I’m feeling shaggy.
- I listen to my favorite playlist (mostly 80s and 90s).
- Take photos of nature, clouds, animals and things.
- I go to the local park and take a walk or watch the ducks.
- I read a lot. Mostly non-fiction. I squeeze in a fiction book from to time.
- I get a cup of warm (not too hot) coffee ever morning because I like the taste.
- I take a nice shower after work and I use dr. squatch (soap for real men). It’s all natural.
- I make time to see my physician at least twice a year and I’m going to for dental cleaning soon.
Yes – today was one of those days. I stopped by the park, watched the Ohio River, called my good mother and chatted for an hour, went home. Brushed my teeth. Took a shower. Used Dr. Squatch. Drank a room temperate bottle water (just like I like it).
There are other things I do too.
What do you do for self-care?
Post your answers below: