Friday, December 9, 2011

Hey Writer! Are You Mentally Fit? by Jillian Kent

Encouragement takes different forms. Sometimes we need motivation to write. Other times, we need to be reminded that besides working on our manuscripts, spending time with God, our family, and friends is also important. This Fortifying Friday, author Jillian Kent is here to talk about another vital part of our lives. What have you done recently pertaining to self-care and your mental health? ~ Dawn

Hey Writer! Are You Mentally Fit?
by Jillian Kent

If taking care of yourself usually shows up on the bottom of your to be done list it’s time to make a change. Women especially are at risk for depression because we tend to be the first line of defense in our families to take care of others and not us. As a Licensed Independent Social Worker counseling nursing students, I deal with mental health issues every day at work. But what many of us don’t think of until we get depressed or suffer from anxiety is what mental health looks like? What is a definition of mental health as opposed to mental illness?

One definition of mental health is:

1. psychological well-being and satisfactory adjustment to society and to the ordinary demands of life.

My definition of Mental Health is the absence of disease and the enjoyment of life. I like to say the absence of dis-ease. Just like any other part of the human body the human mind can have illnesses. Jesus demonstrated how to care for ourselves when HE said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NIV

There are many ways to relieve stress in our lives (my top pick is massage, bet you couldn't guess). I think other effective strategies include:

  1. Talking about your problems with someone you trust.
  2. Praying and seeking God’s wisdom for your particular concern.
  3. Setting healthy boundaries, in other words, learning to say no. Resource: Boundaries (When to Say YES When to Say NO To Take Control of Your Life) Dr. Henry Cloud, and Dr. John Townsend
  4. Exercising to release endorphins that help you feel better.

One of the biggest mental health disorders that we all know something about and many writers suffer from is depression. Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill suffered from depression; he called it his Black Dog.   

British folklore talks about a ghostly black dog that has large glowing eyes. This made me wonder if that was the thought behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I have not researched that idea but made a quick run of the question on the internet and found not surprisingly that Conan Doyle did suffer from depression at times.

There are many mysteries yet to be solved regarding the human body. The health of the spirit is also related to the health of the brain. Please remember that the brain is part of the body and those who suffer with any type of mental illness are due the same respect as anyone else who has cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. It’s just different. Taking care of you means taking care of your brain, too. What are some of the challenges you’ll be dealing with this month? And how will you getting your writing quota in if you’re on a real deadline or a self-imposed deadline? What tips can you offer to others?

Jillian Kent is a full time counselor for nursing students in a hospital based college in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s been married for thirty years and has two grown daughters. Jillian signed her first contract on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. After selling her series to Realms/Charisma she was able to obtain Rachelle Gardner as an agent. Her first novel, Secrets of the Heart The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One, released in May 2011. Book Two, Chameleon, will be available in May 2012.

You can find Jillian at all these places:

@JillKentAuthor on Twitter   WordServe Literary Authors


  1. Good Morning Dawn and all,
    Thanks for inviting me. It is that time of year again and as joyful as it can be it can also be a bit rough on folks who have lost a loved one during the holidays this year or in the past. If you have an questions just ask. I'll be checking in throughout the day. I can honestly say I'd rather be sitting in the lounge chair in the pic above than at my day job today. How about you? Have a good one.

  2. Good morning,Jill!

    Thanks for being here. I'm not a morning person, but I woke up earlier than usual today. Something is just wrong about getting up when it's still dark out!

    But I have my cinnamon-scented candle lit, the Christmas tree lights are turned on, and I have a fresh pot of coffee brewed. Going to treat myself by adding some peppermint mocha creamer it. I'm striving to keep good mental health while facing a full day's work ahead. ;-)

  3. That peppermint mocha creamer is sounding really good, Dawn. I am not a morning person either. I'm a crawl back under the covers kind of girl and hit the snooze button.

    We still have to get our tree up and decorated at our house. Think it may be time to tackle that this weekend. The more lights the better I enjoy it. I'm thinking it's time I scheduled a massage too.

  4. Oh ... you and I are on the same page! I LOVE massages. They're one of my "favorite" things.


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