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Dr. Laura Schwinn received both her Masters and PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University in Schaumburg, IL. and is licensed as a psychologist in the state of California and Wisconsin.
Dr. Laura also holds specific Autism certifications, including Relationship Development Intervention, as well as a certificate training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.
Dr. Laura aims to meet the patient with compassionate inquiry, towards integration. Building authentic connections through humor and sensitivity, clients report a genuine therapeutic alliance, allowing their vulnerabilities to be held with graceful respect.
4 Ways To Nourish Your Mental Health
4 Ways To Nourish Your Mental Health
For so long I put myself on the back burner trying to get everything done and making sure no one else suffered for my overloaded plate. This was especially true when I went back to school as an adult. I didn’t want my kids to feel the weight of that decision and I never wanted them to lose their mom to any degree during that time.
That being said, my self-care quickly went out the window and soon my classes and mental health paid the price. I finally realized how true the old saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is, and I knew I needed to find more balance in my life.
Eventually, I discovered some tips and tricks to incorporating self care into my busy schedule, and learned the importance of being proactive instead of reactive in nourishing my mental health.
Now I want to share those with you so that you can create habits, schedules, and routines that do the same!
Tips To Nourish Your Mental Health
1) Practice good sleep hygiene
When I first heard this term I thought it was a good way for me to make it a priority, because who wants to have bad hygiene in any category? When I changed my sleep I noticed I wasn’t groggy, crabby, and sleep deprived all the time. Even now, if I get off my routine I notice it right away.
Here are a few ways to practice good sleep hygiene:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Get the recommended amount of sleep each night
- Turn off screens 30 mins before bed
- Use your bedroom just for sleeping (this causes your body to prepare itself for sleep once you enter and lay down).
- Make a list of the things you need to get done the next day to help prevent you from laying there awake trying to figure it all out in your head.
- Read something brief and positive right before you turn out the light, even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes!
2) Create a solid morning routine
Tempting as it is, don’t hit the snooze button, it actually makes you more groggy! Instead, try putting on some music at a volume you prefer (and that your neighbors won’t hear) once you’re up and open the shades to let the sunshine in. This helps your body’s sleep and wake cycle!
Once you’re up and moving, enjoy a healthy breakfast so that you can hit the ground running with positive momentum. Breakfast is important because it starts your metabolism for the day and can help prevent a midday sugar crash.
3) Find balance in all areas of life
Write out and color-code your schedule so you can quite literally see the balance. You can use an app, template, or write out a schedule for each day of the week by the hour.
Fill in what things you’re typically doing during those times (eating, working, checking emails, stretching – whatever it is, write it in!) and then use different colored highlighters, crayons or colored pencils to mark what you do by category. You may have different colors for things like:
- Working/ School/ Volunteering
- Relaxing/ Me-time
- Organizing/ Cleaning/ Prepping/ Planning/ Store run
- Health/ Exercising/ Healthy eating/ therapy appt./ Self-growth
- Care-taking (kids/ family members, etc.)
- Time w/ a partner/ dating/ self-growth for dating
- Spiritual growth
After you’ve created your color-coded schedule, see what categories are unbalanced. Where is it excessive and where is it lacking? Is there anything that can be eliminated to free up some time and space for the categories that need more attention?
If you’re struggling to incorporate everything into your busy schedule, try cutting down some time in certain areas by doing things like:
- Using a drive-up or delivery service for groceries and store runs
- Cut down cooking time by using a crock pot, one-sheet baking recipes, meal prepping ahead of time
- Reducing time spent on social media or watching tv
- Work on getting your kids into a good nighttime routine to save you some time for yourself at the end of the day.
4) Get support and guidance from a professional
Finding balance can be pretty challenging, especially when you have a lot of obligations and a super busy schedule.
Working with a therapist can be a great way to troubleshoot the areas where you’re struggling to maintain balance and work through barriers to create habits, schedules and routines that nourish your mental health.
At Synergy eTherapy we offer flexible online therapy from the comfort of your home or surroundings to make taking care of YOU more convenient than ever. Schedule your free 15 minute consultation today.
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