The Benefits of Taking Time for Yourself
A counselor’s degree can prepare you to help others find more meaning in life.
For most working professionals, “me time” is often in short supply. And trying to find it amid all the different roles we play can feel selfish. But experts say that free time that’s “me time” is not only good for you but can be good for the people with whom you interact on a daily basis.
If you’re earning an online counseling degree, you may learn about the value of “me time” in reducing stress and improving the quality of life. Later, as a licensed clinical mental health counselor, you may use what you’ve learned to help clients understand the importance of investing in themselves.
Here are just a few of the benefits of slowing down, taking a break, and reducing stress:
You May Sleep Better
Scheduling downtime can help reduce the stress that may be interfering with your sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “More than one-third of adults report daytime sleepiness so severe that it interferes with work, driving, and social functioning at least a few days each month. … Psychological stress also takes its toll on sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. People who feel stressed also tend to spend less time in deep sleep and REM sleep.”1
Creativity Can Flourish
“Solitude sparks creativity,” writes Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and psychology lecturer, in an article for Forbes magazine. “There’s a reason a lot of authors or artists want to go to a cabin in the woods or a private studio to work. Being alone with your thoughts gives your brain a chance to wander, which can help you become more creative.”2
Relationships May Improve
Doing for others without taking time for yourself can build resentment toward family members, colleagues, and even friends. So, silence that inner critic and make time to do something that you enjoy. “Self-care is not selfish, but critical,” says Dr. Paula Gill Lopez in an article for the National Association of School Psychologists. “… Become aware that prioritizing your own self-care will improve your life and the lives of everyone with whom you interact. And go from there. Do something for yourself. You're worth it. Trite but true.”3
Taking a break and shutting off multitasking mode can improve your concentration,4 and from there, the possibilities are endless. With time to think and focus, you can take a look at how you want to spend your time and enrich your life—discover a new hobby, spend more time doing something you already love, or direct your passion for helping others to a mental health counseling career.
How to Become a Counselor
If you’re considering a career in counseling, you’ll want to earn your degree in an online program that’s accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This accreditation signifies the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. It’s also a requirement for licensure in many states.
Walden University’s CACREP-accredited online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program can academically prepare you to seek licensure or certification as a professional mental health counselor. And by offering a General Program and five optional specializations, Walden lets you tailor your online counseling degree to your career interests.
You can focus your mental health counseling studies on Military Families and Culture; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; Addiction Counseling; Forensic Counseling; or Trauma and Crisis Counseling.
An online master’s program in clinical mental health counseling from an accredited university like Walden can help you blaze a path to a career as an addiction counselor, couple’s therapist, military counselor, and many other mental health counseling roles.5
Walden, a pioneer in distance education, offers you the flexibility to earn a mental health counseling degree online while continuing to work and enjoy family life. You can log in to your coursework on your schedule. You’ll practice your skills in both virtual simulations and hands-on field experiences, while engaging with a diverse community of faculty and peers.
And as a licensed clinical mental health counselor, you’ll be prepared to use that knowledge to help clients reach their goals.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
5Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
Accreditation and Licensure
Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement for licensure in many states. The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Because no graduate program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. For more information about licensure, students should visit the National Board for Certified Counselors at www.nbcc.org/search/stateboarddirectory, the American Association of State Counseling Boards at www.aascb.org, and contact the appropriate licensing body. International students are encouraged to identify and contact their appropriate licensing body. Learn more about professional licensure.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.