I recently had the pleasure of interviewing therapist and mental health blogger, Heather LeGuilloux. Here are her top mental health tips and career insights.
Hi there! My name is Heather LeGuilloux (pronounced Lee-Gew). I am the editor, owner and author of the self-titled mental health blog heatherleguilloux.ca. I started my blog in 2015 with the goal of helping my readers understand more about themselves, identify their concerns, and provide tools to living a healthier and more productive life.
As a therapist, mental health blogger and advocate for health and wellness, I have always had a passion for helping others and I see my blog as a platform to share my knowledge and experience working in the helping field for the past decade with a wide audience with readers right across the globe.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for many reasons, and for those who are in quarantine or who are limiting their usual activities or distancing from others, this can have a negative impact on our emotional and mental well-being. I am a huge believer in the mind-body connection, so my main tip would be to maintain some sort of physical movement.
Taking a 30 minute walk can boost your mood, loosen built up tension in your body, and produce mindfulness effects which are healing for your mind and soul. Another tip would be to reach out to family or friends and maintain those connections, share a laugh, or reminisce about good memories while maintaining hope that things can get better.
I would say that the first step to embracing vulnerability would be to accept that you are a human being who is inherently vulnerable from the moment that we enter into this world to the day that we depart.
Going through the process of embracing vulnerability can lead to internal growth and understanding that may not be possible without this acceptance of the fragility of being human. Embracing vulnerability and learning about our internal struggles can ultimately lead to a greater sense of confidence in ourselves and lead to making positive changes or strides in our lives.
Listening with the intention to understand. I recall learning this is one of my first counselling courses and the realization that I had been listening my entire life with the intention of crafting the perfect response rather than listening to try to understand the other persons perspective was a profound and humbling lesson that I have brought not only into my practice as a therapist but also into my everyday life.
It really takes the pressure out of having a conversation with someone when you can sit back and just listen and reflect on the content of a conversation rather than feel like you need to have all the answers.
Simplify things. Life can be messy and complicated and by working from the concept that 'less is more' has led me down the path of wanting less, and feeling like I have more. I am also a fan of minimalism although I would not say I am a minimalist per-say but I enjoy that the movement has led others away from a life of materialism with an increased focus on the self. I also love the idea of living in a tiny house - but it would need to have a catio for my two furbabies!
I think everyone in frontline healthcare has done an incredible and tireless job of caring for others throughout the pandemic. My one tip for healthcare workers would be to remember to take care of yourself through all of this.
Oftentimes caring for others during a crisis situation can lead to serious mental health concerns including post-traumatic stress disorder. Maintaining self-care strategies, having a strong support system, or seeking professional support along the way can be crucial for frontline workers. 'You can't pour from an empty cup'!
I have been working from home for the past few months and I have been loving the change of pace of not having to commute to work and to incorporate more 'me time' into my day with the extra hours.
It does take discipline to stay focused while working from home, and I would say my biggest tip for this would be to make sure you have a dedicated workspace and try to separate this environment from other areas of your home that you spend doing more leisurely activities. This can really help with maintaining focus and productivity during your working hours.
I love smoothies. I am a big fan of berry smoothies and I always add a fresh banana with a scoop of superfoods.
I have tons of content on my blog for anyone interested in mental health and healthy living which can be found at www.heatherleguilloux.ca/blog and I am most active on Pinterest - pinterest.com/hleguilloux. I am also available via email firstname.lastname@example.org - I read every email that comes through my inbox so feel free to send me a message. :)
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