40 Better Hours is a Poynter project dedicated to improving your workweek. This is the final day of the weeklong series.

There are a lot of stresses that come with being a journalist. There's the toll of breaking news and traumatic reporting, the uncertainty of the industry and the exhaustion that comes with being constantly connected. That's why, on the last day of 40 Better Hours week, we’re talking about self-care and mental health.

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

If you're interested in learning more about self-care and mental health, here are some helpful resources:

Palpant Shimkets will join us in a Facebook Q&A at 1 p.m. Eastern to answer your questions about mental health. We hope you'll be able to participate in the discussion.


40 Better Hours is Poynter's first crowdfunded project. It was made possible by the generous support of Ruth Ann Harnisch and dozens of other supporters.