WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: JHAZMERE PRESTON
Substance abuse has impacted us all in some fashion and often times there is an underlying mental health challenge. Jhazmere is tackling both as a mental health counselor. Check out how he adds Eustress to his life!
HEY JHAZMERE, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a Mental Health Counselor offering Outpatient therapy for a private provider and Suboxone clinic. I serve children and adults diagnosed with MI and substance abuse issues. I have been providing counseling services for the past 2 years.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Yes I do, I consider the stress of dealing with multiple personalities on the daily basis, counseling so many unique clients with mental health issues, and balancing time for my personal affairs and family. I feel like my field of work triggers mild anxiety and depression for me. .
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
My unique challenge honestly is balance. I dedicate an extended amount of time towards my clients and sometimes my own children suffer from lack of attention and support from me. I struggle with trying to save the world and my household simultaneously, which triggers anxiety for example trying to pick my daughter up from school on time after leaving a clients house and being stuck in traffic, who can relate? I sometimes feel I do all I can for my clients and not enough for my own tribe, which sparks guilt.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
When I started to have unexpected panic attacks, which is totally new to me. I started to feel overwhelmed taking on a handful of cases. Once I checked into the hospital and the doctor stated my condition is due to stress I knew then, one person cannot save the world and I began to reduce my caseload and strategically plan my days, implementing exercise or sitting down at a restaurant by myself to release tension and get a moment of peace to myself.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Again, I manage my stressors by planning my day. taking no more than 7 clients a day, arranging time to spend with the family, daily exercise, and alone time to reflect and find peace. I also find it imperative to take 15-20minutes in between sessions to dissect the discussion and go outside for some fresh air to recharge.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
Being mentally healthy allows me to work with a full cup. I cannot assist my patients if I am drained or depleted mentally; therefore, I focus on reading healthy material or surrounding myself with insightful clinicians to enhance my self motivation and increase my mental desire to try new things for the benefit of my patients.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Eustress at work for me looks like the challenge of meeting a new client. I am usually anxious and curious if I can make a difference in this persons life. However, this experience requires me to increase my attention span, conduct research on the patients symptoms to better serve them, and it challenges me to enhance my performance. At home, Eustress looks like playing Uno or checkers with my children. We are extremely competitive in my household, but it gives us time to communicate with each other, discuss goals, and learn new information about one another. Also, planning vacations, it’s a headache trying to get everyone together,but it’s well worth it.
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?
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You come first, if you are not healthy, mentally, spiritually, or physically you can’t provide the best care to your patients. Learn to manage your time and balance your life, to prevent burnout and to move forward in your career without losing your own sanity.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
I am approaching my last few weeks as a LPC-A. I will be fully licensed after June 2019. I am in the process of opening my own agency “Mentor Raising Mentors.” There is nothing you cannot do, focus your time and energy on your purpose and it will happen for you. Peace and blessings.