Protecting Our Mental Health
By Libby Gill – Leadership Expert, Executive Coach, Award-Winning Author
As I look out my home office window at the smoky sky—gray and heavy as a slab of sheet metal—I can’t help but think that it matches my mood. I’m grateful that we’re far from the fires (for now), but my heart breaks for the people and animals throughout the Pacific Northwest.
As if we didn’t have enough on our minds with the political landscape, ongoing racial injustice, and, oh yeah, a global pandemic. I’m waiting for frogs to drop from the heavens any old minute.
So it’s critically important that we protect and nurture our mental health, and do our best to take care of others. You may be practicing some of these behaviors already, but it never hurts to have a reminder for yourself and to share with a friend.
- Start a daily relaxation practice. Whether it’s music, meditation, yoga, prayer, or walks in nature, having a self-care activity you practice every day can become your own healing ritual.
- Limit media consumption. If you’re a news junkie like me, this one is tough. But know when you’ve had enough and walk away from the ongoing blast of bad news coming at us from all sides. I promise, if something major happens, you’ll hear about it.
- Bolster your immune system. I know you’ve heard it before, but I wanted to remind you (in my best Mom voice) that you need to be mindful that you’re getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, limiting sugar and alcohol, and getting plenty of exercise.
- Keep practicing your COVID hygiene. Now that we’ve been living with Covid for six months, it’s starting to feel a little more routine. But don’t let your guard down when it comes to mask-wearing, hand-washing, or social-distancing.
- Set boundaries to avoid burnout. The lines between work and home have never been blurrier. My coaching clients report that their 10 or 12-hour days have now become 14-hour ones. Make sure you set some boundaries for work hours, length of meetings, and time on Zoom (see my recent blog for tips on that). Go to bat for your team, friends, or family if you see them on overload.
- Be a source of hope. When it’s gray and gloomy outside (literally or metaphorically), remember to be grateful for what you have – food, shelter, and people who love you. Even though it may not feel like it right now, things will get better. We all just need to wake up, recognize the chaos as a cosmic wakeup call, and take some action. Like right now.
Libby Gill knows change. She grew up on two continents and went to eight different schools before putting herself through college waiting tables. Starting her career as an assistant at Embassy Communications, a television company founded by the legendary Norman Lear, Libby survived three mergers to emerge as head of publicity, advertising, and promotion for Sony’s worldwide television group in just five years.
Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]