Ask an Expert: The Berman Center’s Madeline Huerkamp, APC

Ask an Expert: The Berman Center’s Madeline Huerkamp, APC

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re highlighting different mental health resources in our communities each week.

Today, we’re sharing thoughts from Madeline Huerkamp, APC, a mental health therapist at The Berman Center in Atlanta, GA. She understands firsthand what it’s like to have to prioritize her own well-being in order to tend to others.

We’ll let Madeline take it from here!

As we all know, life can get busy.

From keeping up with work, family and social life, it can feel challenging to prioritize our mental health. However, when we make room in our routines for wellness practices and self-care, we’re able to show up in other areas in our lives in a more wholehearted and grounded way.

What is mental health?

Mental health is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” If you took a psychology class in school, chances are you learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Without going into too much detail, the idea is that there are certain needs that we must meet in order to function. (And some of these needs must come first before meeting higher-level needs!)

For example, it’s important to make sure that you are well-fed, rested and feel safe in order to attend to things like nurturing relationships, performing well at work and working toward life goals.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

It’s important to remember that although we love our jobs, friends and family, we cannot show up as the best versions of ourselves if we are running on empty.

I’m overwhelmingly grateful and humbled that I get to be a therapist. It brings me so much joy to encourage, validate, challenge and walk alongside clients through the ups and downs of life. There is no greater feeling than helping others grow into the fullest potential.

Although I love what I do, there are many days that I come home feeling drained. (I’m sure those of you who are parents, caretakers and healthcare workers can relate!) In order for me to be an effective therapist, I have to make sure that I’m continuously practicing self-care.

I often say to my clients, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” So I have to take my own advice and make time to take care of myself! For me, things like having a steady skin care routine, working out and making fun plans with friends are crucial to my routine.

What is self-care?

The term “self-care” is having such a moment right now! Self-care comes in many different forms. For example, Skin Pharm has become a staple of many peoples’ self-care routines. Getting regular treatments and using Skin Pharm products can be a helpful form of self-care, because it allows you feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin. This, in turn, enables you to be a more present, grounded and resilient version of yourself.

That said, it’s important to remember that wellness is multifaceted. Here are some habits you may want to consider integrating into your self-care routine:

  • Moving your body
  • Practicing saying “no”
  • Spending time outside
  • Organizing and decluttering
  • Planning a fun vacation
  • Making a gratitude list
  • Attending therapy
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Booking a massage, pedicure or skin care appointment
  • Solidifying a morning and nighttime routine

Above all else, make time to check in with yourself. This can look like noticing where tension lies in your body, journaling your thoughts or exploring how you feel.

After all, nobody knows what you need more than you do!

RESOURCES:

The Berman Center | mental health + substance use treatment center for adults

Evolve | mental health treatment center for high schoolers 

Berman Psychotherapy | group private practice under the supervision of Alyza Berman, LCSW 

JW Counseling & Associates | group private practice under the supervision of Jill Weinstein, LPC


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