Advice from Claire: How to Create a Mental Hygiene Routine
Could your mental health use a boost as we wind down 2022? Claire gives you some tips on how to develop a mental hygiene routine to help you close out this year strong and carry you into the new one feeling better than ever. Plus, she answers a question from a listener who is considering sending a letter to her former therapist describing some behaviors they found less-than-professional.
This episode is brought to you in partnership with PYM, a mental wellness company founded by Zak Williams.
Check out these resources mentioned in this episode:
- Go to youcanpym.com/newday to get 15% off
- Sign up for free guided grief meditation from Claire
- Listen to Last Day from Lemonada Media
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Claire: It’s December. We are smack in the middle of the holiday season, which brings up a lot of emotions for all of us. And it also means the new year is right around the corner, which is always a good time to check in with yourself about your routines and mental health.
I’m Claire Bidwell. Smith and that’s what we’re talking about today on New Day.
If you’re like me, the holidays can both be a joyous time and an overwhelming time. We have such high expectations for the holidays and we have such deep emotional memories tied to these months ahead. There can be a lot of stuff that’s triggering. But the new year to me is an opportunity to take a deep breath from the holidays and reflect on what’s to come. It’s more important than ever during this time to make a clear commitment to your mental health. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
This episode was created with support from one of our sponsors, PYM. That’s P-Y-M, short for Prepare Your Mind. It’s this great mental hygiene company founded by Zak Williams, a huge mental health advocate and the son of the late Robin Williams. Zak founded this company after his own personal journey with mental health, particularly with struggles after the loss of his father. And now he and PYM want everyone to focus on developing a mental hygiene routine, like basically making this a routine in the same way that we have skin care routines. And why shouldn’t we when it’s about something as important as our mental health?
PYM’s mission is to provide safe, natural and effective mental hygiene products to promote self-care and end the stigma around mental health. So one thing to ask yourself is what are the routines I want to put in place to support my mental health? There are a couple things that are really important to me. Sleep. I know if I don’t get enough sleep, I am a wreck. I can’t concentrate. My emotions are all over the place. Meditation is really important to me as a way of just getting grounded and focused and clearing my mind and nutrition. Because if my body doesn’t have the right fuel, then I can’t even regulate my emotions.
For some additional resources, you can check out my website clairebidwellsmith.com for grief support and guided meditations. And I also really loved Lemonada’s podcast Last Day for a deep dive on mental health in our country today. And check out PYM’s mental hygiene quiz, which can actually help guide you on your ideal mental wellness routine. Formulated by neuroscientists and nutritional psychiatrists, PYM’s Mental Hygiene Kit includes essential nutrients you need to promote your mental wellbeing. I take every one of them and I have appreciated the bundle all together. My favorite is the mood magnesium that’s proven to relax and calm the muscles and the mind. Check them out today by going to You Can PYM (P-Y-M) dot com slash NEW DAY to get 15 percent off your first order. You Can P-Y-M dot com slash NEWDAY and use code NEWDAY for 15% off.
Today’s listener question is also related to mental health. This came in via my online forum from someone who calls themselves “A” in Oregon. “A” writes: I recently moved, which ended a years-long relationship with my therapist. By and large, I benefited from seeing her. It was extremely helpful, but she did some things that felt unprofessional or irritating. Sometimes she’d inject her personal life or political views into our sessions. Sometimes she’d anonymously mention a client who was going through something similar to me and then go off on a tangent about how that person never paid her. I keep finding myself thinking about this. Do you think she’d want to know for the sake of self-improvement? Should I write her a letter but never send it? I’d love to get your insight on this.
This is such a good question. Thank you so much for writing in. You know, this is stuff that comes up here and there with our therapists. Not everybody, I don’t know, brings all the professionalism that they could or therapists get distracted or sometimes they relax some of their ways of being around their clients. Some of the things you noted here are definitely kind of out of that professional boundary. I think talking about her political views is one of them. You know, mentioning clients here and there is something that we do, but talking about if they pay us or not is not something that I think is helpful. And I can understand why you would be irritated about this. It’s a very sacred time and relationship, one that you are paying for and, you know, supposed to be receiving a service for. So I totally get that it’s lingering with you. I think you could write her a letter. I think get clear with yourself first about, you know, what it is you really want to do. You need to just get this off your chest. Do you want her to think about these things with other clients? Are you angry and want her to know that? I would try writing a letter first and just see what comes out altogether and then decide if you want to send some version of what you’ve written. I think if you do send something to her, it should really just kind of be in the vein of giving her some feedback that might be helpful for her other relationships with clients. If you have a lot of anger to express, that might be more of a different direction. You might want to go and you might want to think on that before sending it. But I’m glad you’re thinking about all of this. I totally get why it’s bothering you and staying with you. And I do think that you do need to move the energy around it in some way.
So thank you so much for writing and I’m sorry you had that experience, but I’m glad that it also wasn’t a completely negative experience and that you did benefit from seeing her. Therapy is good for everybody. Thank you so much, “A.” Wishing you luck in your new town.
Thanks for listening to New Day. You can catch more tips from me and questions from you every Monday and Wednesday. Then each Friday come back for an in-depth conversation with a fascinating guest. And if that’s not enough, you can get even more New Day by subscribing to Lemon at a premium on Apple Podcasts, where you can hear never before heard excerpts from some of my favorite conversations. Talk to you soon.
New Day is a Lemonada Media original. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Martín Macías. Kat Yore is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. New Day is produced in partnership with the Jed Foundation. Thanks for listening. See you next time.