WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: MARKIAS LITTLEJOHN
With his Facebook Vlog, Kairos Korner, Markias informs his viewers about various mental health challenges and skills you can implement into your daily lifestyle to cope. It was an honor to sit down with him to discuss how he adds Eustress to his life. Check it out!
HEY MARKIAS, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am currently Licensed Mental Health Therapist (LCSW) working in the states of California and Oklahoma. I have been a licensed therapist for 3 years. I specifically work in Corrections, Private Practice, Public speaking, and am a Vlogger (FB: Kairos Korner).
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I think about my Mental Health often, its paramount. As a therapist we hear and experience traumas with our patients/clients as they recount and relive past traumas. This is also coupled with the fact that we are human and have our own experiences and situations that arise. I am very conscious to check my emotions and engaged in self relaxation and mindfulness. .
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
In working in the correctional system, it is challenging because normal interventions that are used on a typical patient, are not always applicable to our population.This is due to limited resources, prison politics/ Prison gang culture, dysfunctional interactions with officers, laws/policy changes, external events in the community that affect the patients inside the prison, and mental health symptoms and/or personality disorder traits. Sometimes resources aren't available for us to readily use to address these needs, and we have to become innovative and adapt, to fulfill the specific and unique needs for every patient. .
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY TO DAY ACTIVITIES?
It became apparent when I was a new therapist, and I was coming home and bringing work with me. I was replaying events in my head from the day. I was snapping with family members and friends, and I always felt drained and tired. I had to evaluate this and formulate a plan to address this area because it was not working.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I found that working out every morning before work helps me focus and be prepared to handle fires as I walk into work (there are always fires waiting for me hahaha). Also to transition from work to home, I take a long ride and listen to music to change my flow of energy and to break work thinking and start relaxing thinking.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
I feel being mentally healthy and being able to use coping skills in my own life helps me relate to patients and be more relatable to patients. It helps me be able to give insight and pointers that have proved successful, and I can convey them at the patient's level of understanding and applicable ability.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
I feel Eustress for me forces me to always be observant, always look for areas for self-improvement, and it makes me strive to learn my craft and be on the cutting edge of innovation for effective delivery of mental health to my patients . .
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?
I would tell new therapist, that clinician to clinician consultations are important and necessary with someone seasoned in the field. They may be able to identify issues that you may not have noticed, or give you advice and methods to work with difficult patients.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE UP TO?
Feel free to watch my facebook vlog (Kairos Korner) every Monday 9pm eastern/ 6pm West coast. It will provide you with jewels of wisdom to help navigate this sometimes hard life and it will address the hard issues by having intentional conversation that people avoid but are necessary.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?