WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: DANA LEWIS
It’s amazing to watch an individual serve the community while being an excellent example for his son. I was able to check in with Dana to see how he adds eustress to his life. Check it out!
HEY DANA, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
For the last five years I've been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Cognitive Reconstructionist. I've supported Christian men in their journey of emotional and personal development by helping them to master their mindset and shape their view of biblical manhood so they can reclaim their dominion and live up to their fullest potential.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I think about it often. It never escapes me. It seems almost impossible not to consider my own mental health while trying to support the mental health of others. If I'm not mentally well then it limits my ability to pour into the lives of others.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
As a clinician I'm a container for tons of sensitive, tragic, and vile information that must be held in confidence. There are times where I feel the physical, emotional, and spiritual weight of those things.
In addition, my schedule is often not in alignment with my family schedule which can cause stress because while I'm working most evenings, I'm missing out on vital family time; but these are the times that best serve my clients.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
In 2015, my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and my family was under a lot of stress. There were many days I found myself sitting with clients unable to give any emotional energy or space to serve them. It was at that time that I realized how important it is for me to be full and in harmony with my entire well-being in order to this work
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Stress is inevitable in the work that I do so I find new tools everyday. Recently, I have been going to the gym, setting work boundaries and read my Bible aggressively .
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
My own mental health is everything to the way I serve, show up and deliver services to the people I work with. I'm the primary instrument and facilitator of change, so it is imperative that I monitor and work on anything that would impact my emotional well-being.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Good stress at work is having too many clients and not enough time, having a client who is ready for change and helping them to locate the resources to facilitate the change and having a public speaking opportunity and fitting in the time to prepare along with my other responsibilities.
Good stress at home is when I'm talking with my wife about our family goals and the direction that we are going in as a family.
Some self-care practices I try to incorporate into my life are: listening to vinyl records, reading my bible, spending time with my son and wife, watching sports, cooking, and listening to informative podcasts.
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?
Use your time wisely- Take the mental health day, go on vacation, and use your calendar. Find a mentor in the field that you respect and can exchange dialogue about everyday work challenges.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
I'm a lover of all things urban culture and spirituality. My favorite food is my momma's fried steakfish. I love to have fun and I'm extremely personable. The nickname that my family has given me is the governor.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to launching a private practice with my wife called Rehoboth Christian Counseling in the next few months.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?