Hello API Job Corps Centers,
Today’s topic is “Taking Care of My Mental Health.” API just competed our First Annual Virtual Mental Health Conference and what a success it was! All of our presenters gave wonderful tips on what we can do to help our students, from building a safe and welcoming culture to suicide awareness and prevention. They also provided some tips on how we can take care of ourselves. When we take care of ourselves, we can take better care of our students.
1) Practice mindfulness.
Taking a short time to meditate each day and quiet your mind and help restore perspective, reduce tension, and control anxiety. Meditation can decrease stress levels, leading to a less angst and better emotional health.
2) Ask for help if you are struggling.
When mood changes are not going away and they interfere with daily life, it is time to ask for help. You cannot help your students when you are in need. Your family physician, your Center Director, or Human Resources can guide you in the right direction.
3) Consider cutting back or quitting alcohol.
If drinking alcohol becomes a way to escape feeling, depression, or anxiety, you may want to question your drinking habits. You must remember when you numb the bad stuff, you also numb the good stuff. Be mindful of the role that alcohol can play in your moods. If after drinking you feel regret, you may want to explore a change in behavior.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, sleeping poorly increases the risk of having poor mental health. In the same way that healthy diet and exercise can help to improve our mental health, so can sleep. Only you know how much sleep you need to function at full throttle, and only you can ensure you get the amount you need.
5) Take some time to review what we learned at the First Annual Virtual Mental Health Conference.
The links to the presentations are being uploaded on your Center shared drive so that you can find the presentation that contains information you think may be useful, not only for your students but also for you. Many of the conference presentations provide excellent resources for you to explore. A huge thank you and congratulations to all of our fantastic presenters! What a wonderful day of learning.
One last tip. Write down a number of positive affiliations and put them in a jar. When you are feeling a negative thought spiral, pick one out to help you reframe. Continue to stay safe. I am so very proud of all of you and the terrific work you accomplish each day!