Take 10 minutes and go for a walk. This is one of the suggestions provided by my therapist today. I think it’s important to share this with you for two reasons:
It really is important to go for a walk, even if it’s a short one.
We need to mention therapy more often. If we talk about it, perhaps it will become more normalized and people would benefit from getting help when we need it.
Although some of our conversations have improved, and we encourage “others” to talk about mental health (think about #BellLetsTalk Day), we rarely discuss our own mental health. There are a variety of reasons for this, including social awkwardness and the potential of sharing too much information. I get it. There’s a time and place for everything. But where and when do we have these conversations?
So, I’m having one. Actually, I’m having a few. Last week, I asked my doctor about therapy, and he was more than happy to book a referral. Until then, I learned more about my workplace EAP (Employee Assistance Program), and had my first over-the-phone session this evening. Surprisingly, it went rather well, although I had been disappointed that there were no face-to-face options for our area.
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At several times over the course of my career, I went and talked to the therapist at our local JEAP office. It was wonderful to have someone to talk to who wasn’t personally invested in whatever situation I was discussing with her – not a friend or family member – and who I knew would keep whatever I told her in strictest confidence. Whenever I was working with new teachers as part of the NTIP initiative, I always told them how helpful I found the JEAP services, so they would know that it’s okay to use them. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of self-care.