Mental Health First Aid: Rest is Critical by Kristen Ernst, MA, LPC

People have busy lives. And if you are working in funeral service, life does not stop for death. Arrangements with families, accommodating other people’s schedules, and allowing time for families to mourn will change your own personal schedule. At home, there are soccer games, childcare, relationships, and your own self-care routine to tend to as well. Most of us are overscheduled and overstressed. Staying busy keeps us from paying attention to our bodies, our relationships, and our daily lives.

According to the World Health Organization, there has been a 25% increase in anxiety and depression since the pandemic. 1 in 3 workers has reported feeling burnt out, and by September of 2022, 4.4 million workers had quit the workforce. Exhaustion increases hopelessness and suicidality, and it is predicted that 28% more people will seek support for mental health in the coming year.

What does this mean for those that work in the funeral profession? Boundaries. Boundaries in work. Boundaries in expectations. And lots of rest. Neuroscience research shows rest heals the brain. It improves mood, reduces stress, assists in digestion, and creates a healthier immune system and mindset. It prevents burnout.

Rest is not always sleep, but it can be. Rest can mean slowing down your schedule. It can be practicing mindfulness. Rest is the practice of being instead of doing. Mindfulness can increase mental clarity, objectivity, and concentration. It also gives more space for acceptance and compassion. Productivity does not equal self-worth.

Allow yourself to gaze at the stars, daydream, and shorten the to-do list this year. As an entrepreneur and mental health counselor, I am delegating more things, and modeling boundaries to my staff and clients by creating a self-care routine that is prioritized over reading emails and setting up the next seminar. All of those things can wait, so I can present my most rested

and best self. I hope you can find ways to make small corrections to your schedule. Rest is not earned; it is essential to being human.

Listen in to the Your Funeral Coach Talks podcast episode The Importance of Rest with Kristen Ernst. Lisa is joined by Kristen Ernst, MA LPC  as they discuss the importance of rest. Kristen shares mindfulness tips and tricks and how you can implement them into your practice.

Kristen Ernst