WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: CASEY OWENS
When you hear people say "we grew up together", most of the time they are hyping and you give them the side-eye but I legitimately grew up with this guy. We have been through so many things together and continue to reach out to each other for guidance. It was a pleasure to sit down with the CEO of Bertie County's YMCA and single father of two, Casey Owens, to learn about how he incorporates good stress in his life.
HEY CASEY, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
CEO of Bertie County YMCA. I have been CEO for 3 years.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I think about my mental health daily in my profession. This role is very demanding and there is always work to be done or problems that need to be resolved. Having balance and taking time to regroup can be a difficult task at times. I try to be very intentional about doing that.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
I always want to be fair and consistent at all times. There is staff, the community, and population that we are serving. Being sure that everyone I’m serving feels important and no issue is too small for me to address. It becomes stressful but it’s always rewarding.
Also being sure that I’m giving my family the time they need and deserve. I never want to take my workload home and put it on them.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
I remember one day I came home from work and I got upset with my son for leaving a cup on the kitchen table. I was going on a rant about something so simple and he didn’t deserve that. I then knew I was bringing my work home with me and that’s unfair to him and to myself. Balance is key.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I pray, meditate, workout, play basketball or go running, I do adult coloring, game night with my family.
I also have a great family member and friend who is a phone call away. He has personal experience in handling stress and sharing the importance of mental health. I can call Dr. Miller at any time and he will talk to me and it always eases that tension.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
Having a clear mind, being mentally and physically healthy is critical in my field. In order to be consistent and completely fair at all times requires me to be in a good space mentally.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Listening to uplifting music in the morning, writing down things daily I’m thankful for, simply laughing, telling myself positive things and having positive thoughts throughout the day.
Wearing a smile always makes my day pleasant.
At home, I attempt to disconnect for at least an hour a day. By that, I mean leaving my phone in another room or just watching my favorite show. Simple things make me the happiest.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
Every day you have an opportunity to help others. You meet people wanting to become healthier, reach personal goals, change their lifestyle for the better and it’s so rewarding to play a part in that.
Helping youth to be responsible, to not be afraid to dream, and giving them positive activities to participate in.
While doing all of this just remember you are just as important as everyone you are serving. Take time for yourself and always keep God first. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Have a support system to help guide you through those tough moments because there will be a lot of tough moments. Someone you can call to vent to and lean on for advice. Never think you can do it alone.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU'RE UP TO?
When experiencing low moments or tough times, remember you aren’t alone. Don’t be afraid or too prideful to reach out to a family member or a friend. We all need someone and just hearing “everything will be okay” can make such a difference.
Always put God first. Always.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?