September 23, 2016

40 Better Hours day 5: Managing stress and mental health

"More and more people are having the courage to come out and talk about their own experience with mental illness, and that they’ve recovered from the illness.” — Rebecca Palpant Shimkets, Associate Director, The Carter Center Mental Health Program
Happy Friday!
It’s the final day of 40 Better Hours week and we’re ending on a powerful topic. Today we’re talking about self-care and mental health, issues that many of you asked us to address.

Today’s guest is Rebecca Palpant Shimkets, associate director of The Carter Center Mental Health Program. Rebecca runs the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, which seek to increase accurate reporting of and reduce stigma around mental health issues.

Today, though, she’s addressing how journalists can better take care of their own mental health.

We’ve addressed burnout throughout the week, and today's video is a great way to wrap everything up. Not only is Rebecca smart and full of actionable tips, but she’s also got a soothing voice that just makes you feel like it’s all going to be just fine.

Don’t forget to join in the Facebook Q&A with Rebecca at 1 p.m. Eastern (and if you’d like to submit questions beforehand, you can email us at

Stop, collaborate and listen
Yesterday, we asked you to tell us about some of your favorite collaborators.

Is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation hiring? These lovely tweets from Hannah Wise make us want to join her team, stat.

Ross McCall, who has participated in 40 Better Hours week from day one, shared these nice words:

One of my favorite collaborators is a videographer I work with called Jonathan Duggins. I am always looking for projects that will allow me to work with him. His playful creativity permeates his life and his work, so projects involving him are stimulating and fun.

And three cheers for crowdfunding campaign backer Joy Mayer, who has a 40 Ways to Have 40 Better Hours poster hanging in her home office. (If you want your own version, you can print it here!)

Let’s keep this going
There’s no official challenge today, in part because this is the last newsletter of the week. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to share some of the other great work that Poynter is doing and invite you to support us.

Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Tell others about this project: We’ve collected all of the videos, related articles, newsletters and Q&As here. Share this page with coworkers and friends, and let us know if you put any of the ideas into practice in your workplace!
  • Continue the learning: Today is the application deadline for Poynter’s New Managers and Leadership Academy seminars. Both offer an invaluable opportunity to build upon this week’s lessons.
  • Become a member: By joining Poynter’s Membership Program, you’ll receive discounts and other perks. More importantly, your donation helps advance Poynter training and outreach to journalists.
This project wouldn’t have been free and available to everyone without a successful crowdfunding campaign. If you enjoyed this week’s training, please consider showing your support by spreading the word, enrolling in related training, or becoming a member. 

TGIF, amirite?
We’re going to miss you guys! Interacting in the daily Q&As, hearing your feedback and seeing your challenge responses have been such a joy all week. 40 Better Hours was an experiment in teaching for us, and we hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. Enjoy your well-deserved weekend.

Katie and Ren
Team #40BetterHours

40 Better Hours was made possible by the generous support of Ruth Ann Harnisch and dozens of other supporters.