Erica R. Jones, MD is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician who has mastered the Art of Transition. She is skilled in providing patient-centered care in many settings, including Urgent Care, Occupational Health, Telehealth, and Outpatient Care Facilities.
This month, we celebrate National Minority Mental Health Awareness, and one of the things Dr. Erica Jones is fond of to kickstart an amazing mental health journey, is journaling!
Her mission for this 7-Day Challenge is to encourage the people to focus on the control that they have over their own wellness—journaling is part of that.
We had the chance to chat with her and get some insight on what she is doing!
As a Black, female Family Medicine MD, how does it feel to also be an entrepreneur pushing important concepts for the culture?
I appreciate your question, Brittany. It is an honor to be able to be an entrepreneur and be able to advise my community and my culture as well as other cultures on important aspects of their health. I feel grateful that my lifelong dedication to uplifting others as they transition through their own wellness journeys is aligned with concepts of self-care and self-preservation that our culture is continuing to curate. In the past few years, I have ventured into podcasting as the host of The Art of Transition Podcast. Being in this realm of content creating has provided me with even more opportunities to connect with creatives and encourage them to focus on self-care as well.
What experiences can we expect from your journal?
I currently have three journals available on Amazon. In my latest journal entitled, “I AM WELL. ALL IS WELL. A GRATITUDE JOURNAL” you should expect to be prompted to write and focus on being grateful. There are different prompts at the top of each page that you can follow. On the bottom of each page is a quote to inspire you as well.
Experiences are what we make them. Journaling is a journey that you won’t regret starting, especially when you are focused on gratitude.
Tell us about your personal passion for journaling; and some of the benefits it can bring.
I’ve been journaling since elementary school. My English teacher would force us to sit down and write for a few minutes about whatever she wrote on the board. It helped me learn to reflect and develop my writing and critical thinking skills. When you take the time to incorporate journaling into your life, you are able to focus on your experiences whether they’re in the past, present, or future. You sit still and think. With so many distractions in the world, journaling has helped me gain clarity and focus.
In an effort to share the benefits that I have received from journaling, I began to create my own journals and encourage others to join me in journaling challenges. For those who are interesting in building a habit of journaling or just looking for a mindset shift, participating in a gratitude challenge with others can help with that. On July 22, I’m leading a 7 day gratitude journaling challenge and encourage those interested to sign-up on my website DrEricaJones.com and follow me on Instagram and TikTok @DrEricaJones
What kind of effects can mental health have on our physical health?
The connection between the mind and body must be honored. Mental health directly affects your physical health and the opposite is also true. For example, some conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can lead to issues sleeping, which harms one’s physical and mental health. That being said, poor physical health also negatively affects mental health.
As a minority, tell us about the significance of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!
As a black female physician, I’m inspired by communities that have been built by so many others who look like me. For example, Bebe Moore Campbell ensured that world understood her passion for uplifting the community by taking the necessary steps to name the month of July National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Others like Dr. Joy Harden Bradford of Therapy for Black Girls and Dr. Thema who are encouraging folks to pay more attention to their mental health and help provide resources to do such.
Do you have any tips you can share, as it pertains to self-expression and release?
As human beings, we will always experience tension and must find non-destructive ways to release. Treat your mind and body like the most expensive thing you’ll ever own, because it is. Build a team of trusted advisors that will help you stay true to yourself and your values. It makes no sense to neglect or betray yourself for anyone or anything else.