Behind The Anxiety – Mental Health Month

Welcome back to Creative Crushing Anxiety. This week, we are talking about something that is very close to my heart and that is Mental Health Month. I love that we have a month about this to raise awareness and just really get past the stigma and really put these conversations out into the world. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, then you know that that is a huge personal mission for me is to let it be known that mental health is an important topic, we need to address it, we need to be having these conversations, we need to normalize it. What I mean by normalize it is that is to make it okay for people to come and ask for help to make it okay for people to talk about their struggles and the things that they’re facing and to not stigmatize them, or make them feel like something’s wrong with them or that they’re crazy if they go to therapy or get on medication. It’s something that at some point most of us will deal with at some level.

Quote I Love: If you can’t make your own serotonin store bought is fine. -Unknown

Whether it’s depression, whether it’s anxiety, whether it’s some schizophrenia,, bipolar, whatever the issue it is, even if it’s just like the smallest amount of generalized anxiety, your mental health is so important. You know, we’re taught to get enough sleep, exercise, eat right, but we’re not really taught to take care of our brains or our mental health, our hearts and to really just examine what’s going on inside for us. What comes up for us. What triggers us. What makes us happy. What makes us feel safe. What makes us feel healthy. What keeps keeps us up at night. What keeps us feeling frantic. What throws us off our games. Those things are so important because your mental health can have so many effects on your physical health. And if you haven’t experienced that, you may not understand why being sad or being angry or feeling overwhelmed, how paralyzing that can be to someone physically. How it can actually manifest itself into physical symptoms like chronic pain, or hives. It’s so tied up your mental and your physical, it’s so completely tied up. The same way if you’re overweight, you may feel bad about yourself mentally because of the physical condition.

When you have these mental issues, they can manifest themselves physically and then you have pain. I know when I get very stressed or very overwhelmed, I feel physical pain in my upper back, I call it the “little man.” Anytime my massage therapist is working on me she can feel the little man she can feel when I’m doing the stretches and when things are going on for me because I that manifests itself in my body physically.

The Benefits I’ve Experienced Because of Therapy

What I really wanted to talk about today, along with just giving you that message that it’s okay to need help.  one of the ways that I have gotten help for my anxiety and depression is therapy.

I’m not saying that is not my full treatment plan, first of all, but I have been going to see my therapist for about three years now and it has completely been life changing. Now I’ve previously went to therapy back in college for a bit but just this journey that I’ve been on the past few years, especially with starting the business and the growing pains of your late 20s has been

such a vital part of me just making it from day to day. Sometimes it has been the only thing that really got me through. So I want to talk about some of the benefits that I’ve experienced from therapy.

If you are on the fence about going, I’ll say this, it’s not for everyone, like the traditional therapy model, it’s not. Some people aren’t there yet, maybe they will be someday. But if you feel like you would benefit from it, I completely recommend you look into it. A lot of times people don’t realize that, depending on your insurance, it may cover, you know, part of it or all of it. So I would definitely check, I know that I’ve had co pays like as little as $25. I’ll pay that $25 to take care of myself mentally. So definitely look into that, check your insurance company’s website, even call them and ask them about that. And then don’t be afraid to meet with a few, I got really lucky and hit it off with the person that I was assigned with rather quickly. It just felt like the right fit. It was what I needed and who I needed. But don’t be afraid to like shop around because this is the person that you’re trusting your mental health with, like you’re putting it in their hands, like yeah, a lot of it is your responsibility, but they’re going to be kind of your partner on that journey. So please feel free to go see someone if you don’t feel like it’s great, go see someone else. Or if you want to maybe see two people and then see which one feels like a better fit for you.

A Sounding Board

The first benefit is definitely it just gives you a sounding board. I feel like a lot of times we’re so wrapped up in what we’re doing, or we are having conversations with people and we’re thinking about what we need to do afterwards or, or waiting for them to stop talking to speak we are doing more than thinking and feeling.

In therapy, it’s a place for you to just talk and and they’re not going to tell you, “this is how you need to live your life,” they’ll give you exercises and practices to help you deal with certain situations. But a lot of times just having a place where you can talk things out, a lot of times you’ll find yourself solving your own problems.

You say, “I’m going to go home, and I’m going to journal,” the next thing you know, you’re just writing random things or someone texts you and then you’re distracted. But in this, it’s kind of like a silo of really being in yourself.

A Safe Place

Another benefit is it’s just a safe place to share your ugly thoughts. When you’re in a really bad place, and I’ve experienced this, you can have the best friends, you can have the best family members who would totally be there for you but it doesn’t always feel like a safe place to talk to them. Because either you don’t want them to worry about that about you or you’re afraid they won’t get it or you’re going to think that they’re going to treat you differently. When you talk with your therapist that kind of gets stripped away, you know, if you’re like me, I know, I have no idea who my other therapists clients are but I’m sure that she’s probably heard something similar to what I’m saying or something “worse “than what I’m saying. So I can just let out the scary, ugly thoughts that I have in that safe place. And there’s not like I’m, I’m worried that I’m going to be at dinner with a friend and she’s going to be like, “Your therapist told me…” the same way that may have with a friend.

What I mean by that is, you know, if you express like really negative or heavy feelings to a friend, they may not know how to deal with it and they may talk to another friend about it. And not in a gossipy, malicious way. Just in a general “Oh, she said XYZ and I’m not sure what to do about it.” Then you kind of feel like that trust is broken, and then you don’t feel like you you’re in a safe place. If that happens, not saying that would happen. If you would rather talk to a friend, by all means, go for it. But if you have that hesitancy because you’re worried something like that may happen, then a therapist is a great way to go about talking about your problems.

Undivided Attention

Another thing that I have really loved is the undivided attention during the session. I know that that sounds vain but as women we give so much to other people. I know as a business owner I constantly have clients, friends, family members vying for my attention. It’s funny because I had a work day today where no one was supposed to be online, I had my Scrum board all set out for the day was just going to work, focus. I got up started working left my phone on the bed and about two hours passed by and I walked past the bed  and I said, “Oh, there’s my phone.” And I realized that I had all these messages. But it was so funny because my phone was on silent. Once I had it my attention was split. A lot of times we don’t get that undivided attention to focus on what’s going on with us internally. Many times when you talk to the other to the other people in your life, you want to be fair, you want to ask them how they’re doing, you want to talk about what’s going on with them, you want to support them. But in therapy, you’re not really talking to your therapist about how her day is going. You’re talking about what is going on with you. And you can just really get it out without being interrupted, without wondering if the other person is interested, without feeling like you need to reciprocate  and that’s because that’s a different relationship with your friends.

It is important that you reciprocate and you take turns with your friends. Both coming in the relationship giving as much as you’re getting. But with your therapist, honestly, you don’t have to worry about that. It may sound selfish, but you need that, sometimes we all need that.

I had friends before, who I’m not really close with anymore, I would feel like I would bring up something to talk to them about and maybe they’d make a joke or they’d maybe say one comment and then just completely change the subject when I was really still needing to talk about it. I remember one time, I was really, really upset. I called a friend crying. And she said “I’m sorry, I can’t really deal with this right now.”  We’re not we’re not really friends anymore. Like if we run into each other, we’re cordial. We didn’t have a big falling out. But I just realized that is not the support that I need in my life. The crass, cold way that she said that, knowing that I hadn’t reached out to her about anything, it wasn’t like a redundant thing.  I was just in a really low place and I needed someone to talk to in the moment. To be so shut down and never followed up with, that’s something that you don’t really get past. It can make you feel like your problems are a burden and and and then it makes it harder for you to open up again, you don’t have that feeling with your therapist.

I will say that therapists are professionals and sometimes that means that they have to give you tough love. And that may be something as far as calling you out on something that you said you would do that you haven’t done, or a pattern that they see you repeating that is harmful to your health. You have to be open to that feedback. I think that’s the thing that shocks a lot of people when they hit the point where the therapist is like, “Okay, you’ve been coming a while, I know. You have to know your patterns. I feel like I’m not supporting you if I don’t call this out.” You have to be open to that feedback. Yes, it is a place where a lot of times you discover that the answer is all along. You have to know that they’re not always going to tell you everything that you want to hear. Sometimes they’ll tell you what you need to hear. And that’s their job. Even if you do get mad at them, it’s not like you have to go have dinner with them later like with someone in your personal circle. I find that if my therapist says something, and that kind of makes me mad, I go home and I’m like, “Oh, she’s right. I needed that reminder.”

Self Examination

As I mentioned previously, a lot of times you’re so distracted, and you’re so pulled in so many directions, that you don’t stop and really examine what it is that you want or where you want to go or what it is that you’re doing or how you’re really feeling. And this gives you that silo to really just stop and see where you are and ask yourself the hard questions. A lot of times, my therapist is so good at doing is asking questions that I wouldn’t even thought to ask or she asked them worded a certain way that really opens up my mind.

For example I might haven asking myself, “What do I want to eat?” Then my therapists says “What don’t you want to eat?” That reframe really opens my mind. (Don’t worry I don’t spend my therapy hours talking about food lol this is just an example.)

They are trained and they have the tools to position things in a way that will really open and unlock things for you. Because there have been moments where I’m sitting there and I’m rambling about something and she’ll ask a question, or I’ll just be rambling and a truth that I either didn’t want to let out, or hadn’t really accepted or consciously heard yet will come out of my mouth. And I’ll be like, and I feel like a huge weight lift off of my shoulders because I’m you realize, “I did have the answer for that,” or “This is what I want,” or “This isn’t okay.” And that, in and of itself… ir is just it’s so important to know yourself.

I see so many people, especially at my age, who are you know, trying to discover themselves while doing all these things, getting married, having kids, starting businesses, changing careers, all the things. But they’re doing so much based on that outside path and that outside funnel of what they should be doing.  I find that with therapy, you really stop and you say what’s, what’s the inside path? What’s the calling that I feel? What’s the direction that I feel? What’s really going to make me happy and not just look good on paper?

As you know, I’m always very, very open about my mental health journey on the show. And I wanted to just share that with you this month. So my homework for you, if you are considering therapy, is just to look into it. If you feel like you need any help or like you could benefit from talking to someone, look at your insurance if you have insurance and see what your options are. If you don’t have insurance, maybe look into some of the online programs available (I linked to some below). Just see what your options are. Because that is something that is such a small move, but once you make it and you know what your options are you feel empowered to take the next step.

Online Therapy: (Please note: I have not used either of these but have heard good things.)

TalkSpace

Betterhelp

 

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Transcribed by Otter.ai

 

Healing For Success With Meg Baker From Meg K & Co

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This week I talk with friend and former client Meg K. Baker, founder of Meg K and Co. We dive deep into all things business, depression and woo woo. You don’t want to miss this episode.

In this episode:

  • How she started her business.
  • The Kolbe test.
  • Human Design.
  • How the entrepreneurial world is self-reflection work.
  • Explaining your business to people IRL.
  • Dealing with depression, owning a business and life changes.

Listen to the episode here:

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You can find Meg here:

About Meg

Healing for success Meg Baker started her new life as an entrepreneur in July 2017 after being a teacher for 6 years. A move to Chicago was the impetus to get started in the virtual work world. Since starting as a VA, Meg has dabbled in administrative support, content creation, project management. As she’s evolved with the support of her biz BFFs and coaches and masterminds, Meg now loves supporting and collaborating with visionaries who are growing their companies through operations, systems, hiring, and more! Entrepreneurship for Meg has been a lot about self-awareness, growth, and expansion– no matter how uncomfortable (though it’s often challenging but rewarding!)

 

Mentioned in this episode

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Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • Has self-employment super-charged your self-development?
  • What is the biggest shift in your personality since starting your business?
  • What is one thing you wish you knew starting out?
  • How has your vision changed since you started?
  • What is something your past self would be shocked to learn about your current self?
  • What advice would you give your past self? 

Are You Being Proactive or Reactive?

Be proactive. Be, be proactive. Okay, I know you probably can’t tell but no, I was not a cheerleader. First of all, thank you so much for joining me for this episode. Today we are talking about are you being proactive, or reactive? This topic I feel like needs to be discussed. Because it’s so easy to find yourself in your business just reacting to things. I think a lot of times when you start out, you have this big plan of all these things you want to do. And then once you’re in the heap of it, it’s like, “Oh, crap, okay, what now? What’s happening? What do I do okay, this this opportunity came up, oh, this situation came up.” So you’re kind of just always like, “Okay, let me let me handle what’s happening,” instead of saying, “Okay, what do I want to happen next?”

I want to talk about a little bit about the differences and what these two things could look like. So just that you can kind of get the idea and can really examine yourself. So let’s start with proactive.

Proactive is when you’re doing things to make certain things happen. You’re answering questions before they’re asked, you’re solving problems for they arise. You’re making calls, you’re launching your programs or your services. You’re reaching out to potential partners. You’re doing the work before the work is required of you. Another example of this for someone who has a business and it may just be them right now setting up SOPs (standard operating procedures) inside their  business when it’s just them because they know, one day they’re going to need to have those in order to bring on team members. Versus the opposite, which is reactive, which is you’re like, “Oh my god, I need some help,” you bring someone on and then you realize, you don’t have any systems set up in place. Even though you have habits and rituals about the way that you do things, you don’t have those written down or organized or recorded in a way that you can pass on to someone else. So you’re reacting to this new situation of having someone on team and you’re trying to create all that then, instead of doing it proactively to where as you’re setting it up for yourself, and you’re seeing what works, recording that and having it in place so that you can pass it along or share it eventually.

It’s really important that you are comfortable and good at doing both of these things. being reactive is not a bad thing, but it can’t be your only means of operating your business. You have to be reactive. When a client has an emergency you have to be reactive. When you just wrote eight launch emails and the computer crashes, you have to be reactive. When life comes up, when there’s a family emergency, you have to move things around. It’s important to be able to be reactive, and to adjust to situations and to be able to think on your feet. But it’s also really important that you make time where you can be proactive when it comes to your business and really your life. It’s important to think about what you want and how you’re going to get there. It’s important to think about what you don’t want and how you’re going to avoid it.

Being proactive may also kind of look like having strategy meetings with yourself or with your team and saying, “Okay, what is our what is our goal for the next 90 days? What’s our goal for the next six months? What are we going to do to get there? How are we going to set this up? Oh, I really I heard that this person is looking for a client. I know that I have a friend who knows them, or they’re looking for whatever service you provide.”

Oh, I have a friend who knows them. Let me reach out and see if they would be willing to give me a warm introduction,” versus, “Oh, my friend knows I do that maybe they’ll they’ll bring up my name.” No, that’s not proactive. Again, because there’s two sides to everything, I’ll say I’m a big fan of referrals. A large percent of my client book is from referrals. And the reason I was able to leave my nine to five. But you can’t rely on those by themselves. You have to be able to go out there and show that you’re good, you’re willing to fight and that you’re hungry for the things that you want in your life and in your business. And by taking these little steps, yeah, you may need some help along the way, yeah, the plan may change but it’s really, really important to be able to say, “Hey, what am I doing and why am I doing it? And what am I trying to get out of it? What is the endgame here?” It doesn’t have to be the end game forever. It can just literally be the end game for the next 90 days, or even the next month or the week. What is it that you want to accomplish when you go to bed Sunday night and say,”This week was a great week. I got X, Y and Z done, which was what I had intended to do On Monday, I got that taken care of.”

It’s just really important to find the balance of being able to deal with situations as they arise. But then also set yourself up for success and protect yourself from potential failures or lessons learned. What I mean by that is, when you think proactively, it’s not just about planning, how to make good things happen, it’s how to avoid things that may not be so good or may not feel so good. For example, if you’re working with a client, and this is something that comes up a lot, as a project manager, the client will want to do something and it’s my job to break down the steps to that and decide what tasks needs to be done and a timeline for it. But sometimes the client may not put something into place or they may have not thought about a certain thing and say, “Hey, well what about this or I think this is a good idea, or I know that you want to send out voicemails to people. But you don’t currently have a platform that for that I did some research here, three different options. Here’s the price points…”  You’re being proactive so that it’s not at the last minute, you’re having to do research for something that the client didn’t realize that they were going to need. And you don’t want to go completely overboard with doing things that may be helpful. But you do want to provide that service that’s above and beyond and also kind of save yourself in the long run. It’s way more convenient to spend, you know, 20 minutes doing research on something that you know will probably come up then having to rush and get it done five minutes before.

I really wanted to make the solo episodes a lot shorter so you could just digest them I wanted to ask serious questions and just give you some food for thought. So I really want you to stop and think about look at your look at your calendar this week.

This is the assignment for the week, look at your calendar and see if it has proactive items in it? Or is it kind of open because you know that you’ll be reacting to…. “this client wants to hop on a call, oh, this client wants me to write this content, oh, this will happen, this will happen.” But what is it that you can do? So you can set yourself up? Some examples of that maybe if you’re a copywriter, what do you typically write for a client each week? Can you maybe start an outline, draft up some ideas? Do do some research ahead of time? Is there anything that you can do before you’re having to be reactive to them sending you information at the last minute? If you’re a virtual assistant, could you possibly be integrating tasks or setting things up before your client actually asked you, because you know that this is a routine thing? Or could you do some research that will make your job easier or make things easier for your client? So just think of different ways that you can be proactive in your business? Is it creating your SOPs? Are you a team of one and you feel like you’re growing and you know that it’s time to bring someone on or that it will be soon? Can you maybe start recording your task and how you do things and how you’d like things done in your business? So just stop and ask yourself, are you being proactive or are you just being reactive, and finding ways that you can be proactive this week? Part two of the assignment: Check in with yourself, ask like,look at the last time that you had to be reactive to something if you are a proactive person, and how you responded to that. It was there a way that you could have responded better? Could you have kept your cool better? Could you have, you know, not let your anxiety overtake you in that reactive situation? Was it a situation where you let it really stress you out that you were being reactive or even upset you or make you angry towards your client? Or you felt like it was a huge deal, and they didn’t think it was that big of a deal? So just ask yourself those questions. Ask yourself how you react to being reactive. Because that can be a huge trigger for a lot of people with anxiety.

I know for me, sometimes when clients come up with things and it’s last minute and I feel rushed, I get irritated, I get stressed out. My hands sweat. I feel this sense of doom. And I mean, that’s a part of anxiety and depression, but be really be aware of like how you respond to those reactive things and how you can set yourself up to be proactive to avoid them, and then also how you cope with them when they do happen. And sometimes what that may look like is setting boundaries around reactive situations with people saying, “Okay, I understand you have an emergency  a lack of preparation on your part doesn’t warrant an emergency on mine.” So, I’m gonna leave you with that today.

Your assignments:

  • Ask yourself how you being proactive in your business this week, what you have planned, what are you doing to set yourself up for success?
  • Ask yourself how you handle yourself and reactive situations and where you can avoid being put in reactive situations.

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Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Transcribed by Otter.ai