Mental Health Matters: Navigating Personal Burnout During Uncertain Times

New connections and opportunities to work with others are something that I am always interested in.

The fact that I am a family therapist, attorney, publisher, author, mom, and wife makes me more tuned into the chaos of the world around us in many ways.

But as a mom, sister, and wife…I am struggling right alongside everyone else right now.

Recently I worked with The Everygirl to share information about an unfortunately popular subject. It is unfortunate because it is something so many are dealing with right now. The Everygirl recognized this and I am excited about the quality of this article they shared with their more than 90,000 followers on Twitter this week. Please view the entire article here:

This is an awesome article and I am so honored to be included in anything that helps us be better at being people.
Some of the things I contributed to this article had to do specifically with how to identify and treat personal burnout when your work environment has shifted to your home. This is something that I am hearing from my own clients I work with as we all adjust to different work environments and endless Zoom meetings. In normal times, it is difficult to work from home because we do not come home to work. We come home to relax. We shut our door to get away from the world, not bring it through with us to the other side. I want to share some additional details about burnout and what you can do about it below.

Mental Health Matters

It is important to have an area of your home just for work. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, make one little corner where everything work-related stays and do not carry it into other areas of your personal space.
This will help you separate the stress of work from a relaxing home. Another reason it is difficult to work from home, especially during a pandemic, is that we are truly worried about our very survival and the safety of our loved ones. It is difficult to focus on work when we constantly hear stories about uncertainty in every other area of our lives. You have to seek balance in life. It is not something that comes naturally. Putting work into perspective within your life (not your life into perspective within your work)  is crucial to your personal and professional success.
My favorite product for work/ life balance is the good old-fashioned paper calendar.
I open it every day and write a list of what must be done. I get through that list and then move on to my master to-do list. This is a way to stay focused and not be overwhelmed by these giant to-do lists that some of us have. My favorite app is Sanvello. Depression and anxiety are the two most prevalent types of mental issues that Americans face. In fact, all people will experience some level of depression and anxiety in their lifetime. The best way to proactively manage either is to be aware of what causes you stress and how negative emotions are triggered. Sanvelo uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you better navigate your emotions- the good and the bad. CBT should be used all the time, not just after you have identified that you are depressed or overwhelmed. It is a practice you incorporate into your daily life.
Why do you need to better navigate good emotions? So you can do more of whatever it is you are doing to produce those feel-good times.
Seems as though in our digital age everything comes laced through your phone. We all want some gadget or app to help us sort through the chaos that is life, but you know what my absolute favorite feel good, get centered, get organized, get going trick is?
Turn off everything. Don’t just put your phone down. Place it out of your reach. Turn off all the noise and sit quietly for ten minutes. Be intentional about taking full breaths. Look at something beautiful: the sky, flowers, a picture, a piece of art, the cover of a book. There is something about this simple act that tends to reset you and aids in putting things in perspective. It is 100% like turning off your phone and turning it back on. Everything seems to work better when it has been unplugged for a few minutes.

When burnout reaches a level that you cannot address on your own, never underestimate the power of finding a good therapist. Do not hesitate to seek professional help- that is exactly why there are more therapists available now than ever- because they are needed and it works!

I would love to talk with you or otherwise answer questions about emotional burnout. I am all the things I listed above, and an author of 11 diverse children’s books that reflect on issues and therapeutic skills for children. My books are geared towards children, but I work with clients of all ages and backgrounds.
Please contact me at if you would like to discuss this or others in the mental health and writing world!
mental health matters

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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