Mental Health Blog Party BadgeIn recognition of Mental Health Month, the Public Education Campaign of the American Psychological Association has invited the world to blog about mental health.

As a helping professional, you know that mental health and physical health go hand in hand. But like many of us in this business, you may be so focused on taking care of your family, your clients and patients, that you end up with little energy to take care of yourself.

I remember, several years ago when my kids were small, that my schedule was so full there was no time for exercise. I complained about this to my husband, who said matter-of-factly, "That's because you don't make time for it." He added, "Just open your appointment book and schedule your gym dates as you would anything else."

Of course! It had never occurred to me to schedule "me" things. Up to that point I relied on left-over time, which never seemed to happen.

So today, in recognition of Mental Health Month, I hope you will also schedule time for yourself - at least one thing that nourishes your body, and one that refreshes your mind. Put them on your calendar.

When you take care of yourself, you will be calmer, better able to focus and be more effective in helping others.