NPFY Staff Tips for Tending to Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health is a topic so central to our work here at NPFY. Here are some mental health tips for our team that they use in their own lives.

Dr. Karen D. Johnson – President and CEO

“Spending time with my dogs helps me keep my mental health in check. They remind me of all the joy in simple things and the importance of being present. Our daily morning walks are the perfect time to get some exercise while setting my intentions for the workday ahead.”

Nick Jensen – Development Coordinator

“Make the investment in your mental health and see some form of counselor or therapist. Having waited many years before seeing a therapist regularly, I understand the barriers that get in the way (costs, time, finding the right professional/therapy style), but I am never more content than when I have an outlet to discuss what’s going in my life from someone with an outside perspective has benefited me immensely.

I would also encourage to find some sort of movement based practice that works for you as well. It doesn’t have to be training for a marathon and can be as simple as just a quick walk outside or some stretches in the morning. For me, it’s blasting some Olivia Rodrigo and dancing around the house!”

Heidi Parmenter – Program Coordinator

“I have a daily journaling practice where I write anything that comes to mind: it can be a synopsis of my day, thoughts that I have been ruminating on, reflections on how I show up in the world and how I see the world, and almost always includes experiences that I am grateful for. I decorate the pages with stickers from my sticker collection to make each entry unique. Both the acts of writing and sticker collaging provide a tactile meditative experience that calms my nervous system and counterbalances the hustle and bustle of everyday life that can sometimes exhaust me.”

Mark Garcia – Director of Curriculum and Training

“My latest practice is focused on tapping into my heart center. I have a playlist dedicated to songs about love and the heart. I listen to at least three songs a day!”

Manny Nieto – Administrative Assistant

“One thing I’ve been trying to do is to let things go from the day before I go to sleep. I usually take deep breathes but alternatively you can journal/meditate/etc. right before bed to let go of any anxious or high energy thoughts that might keep you awake or tossing and turning at night. I try to recognize that at the moment, not much can be done and that a goodnight sleep will help me tackle the problem tomorrow. It’s a practice that’s really all about letting go of the control and allowing myself to be present and rest.”