We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Castrillon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance can be hard being in the mental health field, add working from home this past year and It’s easy for lines to become blurred. Surprisingly, the increased difficulty has pushed me to become more aware of the value of work life balance. I’ve become more diligent in my pursuit of it. Like everything in life, balance is key. Anything in extremities creates too much of one thing and too little of another, thus becoming impossible to achieve balance. I have worked towards balance by better structuring the things that keep me engaged in work mode. Things like: always being accessible to clients or staff (whether by text or email), being mindful of the length of my work day, work related social media breaks. I am trying to work on being better about being present in the things that are meaningful to me personally. It is important for me to remember that outside of my role as a therapist I am a human being before all. My work is extremely important to me, but my life can’t just be all work. I find that tapping into connections within my life allows me the energy to give better at work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work as a therapist providing individual therapy services in a private practice setting. I focus on issues related to generalized mental health and transition, but have a strong passion for working with trauma. It was a mix of wanting to be in the helping profession along with a curiosity for human psychology and behavior that led me to seek my masters in Counseling. This allowed me to move forward with becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. It was a long process that took a lot of time and dedication. Taking the approach of being a life long learner is what turns a challenge into an learning experience. I’ve learned valuable lessons in humility, gratitude and always being open to the ‘why’ of things. I’d like the world to become more open to the importance of mental health, respecting the need to value it as any other part of their overall health and wellbeing. As well as showing dignity and respect towards differences in others they may not understand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a nature person, so I like the out of city drives to the mountains, desert or ocean. If in the city, the Huntington Library as a beautiful setting to enjoy some lovely and eclectic gardens. The Self Realization Fellowship in Mt. Washington or Pacific Palisades have peaceful meditation gardens to enjoy. The Echo Park Lake has some good people watching, local vendors and is close to eateries and bars. Masa of Echo Park is an Italian staple. Salazar has great food and drinks you can enjoy outdoors. Big Foot Lodge is a Sasquatch themed bar that is always a good time or you can’t go wrong with Short Stop before or after a Dodger game.The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I shoutout all of the amazing individuals in the health care field who selflessly and tenaciously give of themselves for others. May you receive back all the beautiful energy you put out in this world!