Checklist for Managing Your Wellbeing While Working in Mental Health Care


Do you work in mental health care or a related field? Perhaps you’ve recently completed an online Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or another mental health qualification. You might be working as a psychiatric nurse, peer support worker, or social worker specializing in mental health. Whatever your role, it’s an important one. With so many people in this day and age experiencing ill mental health, workers like you are vital to their care and wellbeing. But you can’t look after anyone if your wellbeing isn’t proactively managed. Self-care, or looking after yourself, is vital in any caring or helping professional. This helpful article will go through a handy checklist for managing your wellbeing while working in this sector. So, read on to learn more. 

Workload Management 

The amount of work that you do, otherwise called workload, is a vital part of managing your wellbeing at and away from the workplace. People are all different, and some people can manage more work than others. If you find that you’re often coming home from work stressed, worn out, angry, or incredibly tired, this may be a sign that your workload is too high. This can have a significant impact on your wellbeing. If this is the case, consider approaching your supervisor to discuss a reduced workload or some time away from work so you can rest and recoup. Speaking of time off…

Take Regular Time Off

One way to actively manage your wellbeing is to use your paid time off, or PTO, to rest and rejuvenate yourself and your spirit. We all need a break once in a while, regardless of our workplace setting. This is significantly more important for mental health workers, who deal with some incredibly vulnerable, traumatized people who need intensive support and care. Use your time off to connect with friends and family and foster other relationships, or go away for a holiday in the sun. 

The other side of this is about overtime or working extra shifts. You might need the money or want it, but you have to ask yourself if it is worth the extra risk or added burden on yourself and your wellbeing. Maybe decline overtime or an extra shift here or there so you’re achieving a good work-life balance. 

Engage in a Hobby 

Engaging in a hobby or creative endeavor is a great way to manage your wellbeing as a mental health worker. A wide variety of hobbies are available to match a wide variety of humans and their interests, so you should be able to choose one that matches your unique vibe. Some people enjoy playing board or card games, which makes for a great social connection if you play them with friends. Evidence also demonstrates that puzzles and games help our brains stay healthy and can stave off dementia as we age. Or, if you’re the more active, outdoorsy type, consider joining a hiking or walking club – this will combine exercise with a social outlet.

Other hobbies include scale modeling and painting, keeping fish, reptiles or insects, painting, drawing, fishing, hunting, graphic design or needlework and knitting. The great thing about a hobby is there is usually a rapidly active online community related to that niche hobby, with message boards, Facebook groups and more available for people to connect. You can chat with others who share an interest and partake in the social connection while online, which will also help to manage your wellbeing. 

Talk to a Professional

Just because you work in mental health care doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from talking to a qualified counselor, psychologist, or therapist. It can sometimes be of benefit to talk about how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and the impacts that work is having on you. This can be a proactive step to manage wellbeing before you get to the stage of burnout or mental distress due to your work. 

Talk to a Friend

Sometimes, an excellent old venting session with a close and trusted friend is enough to let off some steam. Reaching out to friends to catch up for a coffee or meal is a tried and trusted way to connect with a close person and talk to them about your life, your work and what’s happening for you. Ensure this is a two-way street, though, as you don’t want to burden your friend with all of your baggage. Listen to them, too, and offer advice – this is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Regular Exercise

To manage wellbeing, you must engage in regular exercise. Enough to get your blood pumping and work up a sweat – this will release those lovely endorphins that make you feel fantastic. Some people like to join a gym, as they feel motivated to get out and go somewhere where they can work out. Others are happy to exercise at home using a machine or some weights. Others still like to go for a jog, run or brisk walk. Ideally, you should exercise a few times a week. 

A Wellbeing Summary

This helpful and informative article has covered the wellbeing checklist for mental health professionals and how you can stay engaged, happy and healthy while working in the sector. Follow this checklist, and ensure you’ve ticked off each one, and they become regular occurrences in your monthly schedule. 


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