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5 things I’m doing right now for my mental health ✨

by Female Startup Club
July 4th 2023

This is Doone for Female Startup Club

Hi everyone and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl! If you’ve just found us - welcome welcome welcome. Thank you for ... More

Hello, everyone. It's Dune here, your host and Hype Girl. Thank you so much for tuning in to my mini solo episode, which we're bringing back from this week onwards where we chat about all the things that I'm doing right now for my mental health. Before we jump into today's episode, I would love for you to be involved in my new solo episodes. All you need to do is send through a voice note in the D MS, either to female start-up club on Instagram or even just my personal account on Instagram. It can be a very specific question you might have about business or life or a personal question, something you wanna know more about or learn more about. We're keeping it super broad so we can totally mix it up over here and do something new. It's part of a new content series where we're gonna play your recording. So whatever you send in the recording, we'll actually play on the show and chat through that topic or question. I'm so excited for this. If you have any questions also, feel free to pop into our D MS, so we can help you navigate how to send the best voice note.

Alrighty, let's get into today's episode. I wanna talk about mental health stuff. Mental health has been super top of mind for me this year, last year was again one of those years that was filled with a lot of lows and to be totally frank, it was kind of shit and I feel like I just wanna be as transparent as possible about that because it is so easy to just see someone else's highlights on social media and feel like they have it all together and we all know what's that saying? Like comparison is the thief of joy and, and I definitely experienced that. And so my thought is that if I can be more open about the things that I'm going through the struggles that I'm going through and how I'm trying to kind of combat that it might help someone else too. So for me, 2022 was basically a follow on from a rough 2021 and I wasn't really able to break that cycle.

We moved back to Australia at the end of last year. And that did, you know, the world of good for my mental health. But overall, it was one of the lowest years on the personal front for me. Um it was good on the work side of things, but, you know, I was just struggling and while things do often look good on social media or in pictures, you know, it is the highlight reel. And in reality, I was having a pretty shit time. I've been trying to keep everything together, you know, focus on the business, put everything into it and make sure that that is just kind of staying alive and growing. But at the same time experiencing what I assume is burnout and that feeling of like, fuck it. We should just give up, we should just change paths here. Yeah. It's, it's, it's funny how life is like that. So my mental health has been a little bit all over the place and there were a lot of moments last year, especially when my soul was sad.

I remember chatting to Wonder. Mine's co-founder, Daniela Pearson on the show at the end of last year and it reminded me of just how much of a shared experience this can really be and why it's important to talk about, you know, mental health and how we're feeling. So we feel less alone if you didn't hear her episode, definitely go back and listen to it. Wonder mine is a mental health fitness startup that Daniela launched with her co-founders, Selena Gomez and Mandy Tey after a powerful conversation that they had around their mental health struggles. And in my conversation with Daniela, it was just so powerful. Daniella shared deeply about having a DH do CD depression, anxiety and her vulnerability in that episode really lit a spark in me when you read through Wonder Mind's content online. It points out that self-care refers to the things we turn to when we're in desperate need of a mental health pick me up.

But the thing is relying on it to put out fires after they've already been started isn't the best way to stay on top of life's stresses, self-care can and should be something that you use as a tool to set yourself up for success every single day. Not just an emergency switch that you pull during crisis mode. And because I've been going through the motions of getting my mental health in a place of priority and focus for me, this might just be the right time to talk about the things that I'm doing for my mental health in the hopes that if you're experiencing any of these things, it might help you too. So today I'm sharing five of the things that I'm doing right now to give my mind that little pick me up and something that's good to remember is that maybe you're in a really great place right now and that's actually a great place to be making sure that you're building habits and kind of um self-care moments that support your mental health ongoing because there's no time like the present when it comes to getting up close and personal with mental health tools, I can assure you from personal experience that you will thank yourself later.

Alrighty, let's jump into today's episode number one out of five things I'm doing right now for my mental health. The first positive mental health habit I'm gonna chat about today is something that often surprises people about me. And that's that I actually don't consume social media anymore. A few years ago, I saw the negative effects that it was having on me and I stopped watching stories on Instagram altogether. And last June maybe it was even a little bit earlier. I also stopped scrolling on Instagram and tiktok altogether. So I remember for Instagram, I had this very clear moment where I woke up. It was a Sunday morning. I grabbed my phone and I just started scrolling and I instantly felt those kind of creepy anxiety feeling coming in because I was immediately, you know, looking at all these things being bombarded with messages and things and a reminder of the things that I wasn't doing and blah, blah. And basically, I in that moment was like, that's it.

I'm done. I'm not doing this anymore. I'm not scrolling because it is not good for my mental health. I had been desperate for a social media break for a while, but with the podcast, basically entirely growing organically through social media and content marketing, it was super hard to find a way how I could actually cut back on consuming content without it harming the business. And so, you know, now I post on social media a lot but I don't actually consume it or get stuck in the scroll. And of course, I'm not talking like 24 7, I never ever scroll. Sometimes if I'm being very specific about researching something I will go and I will do that task. But I really set the boundary. I do it in, you know, in the work day, it's not something where I get into an endless scroll. And I feel like when I talk to other people about this, there are a lot of people in this place at the moment, people who want to cut back on social media, but you know, you have your business success tied up in these channels that you're really sucked in essentially.

And you know, for me, the solution was to draw a very clear line between what it means to produce content where I can be effective on social media and what it meant to consume content and, and where I was kind of failing at social media, uh producing content is necessary for what I do. It's necessary for the podcast. You know, I am lucky that I have an amazing team who also helps me with this. Now, shout out to Josephine, who if you've ever sent us a message or you kind of tap into our female start-up club Instagram. She is the queen of FSC Instagram. But for me personally and my own content, you know, I really had to draw that line of producing the content, posting the content but not consuming So, like I was saying, it was necessary for work, but consuming content was doing more harm than good for me on the personal front. And by separating the two, I have found myself in a much healthier relationship with social media overall.

And if I had to pinpoint exactly what's been so beneficial in no longer consuming social media, it would be this permanent move away from what they call doom scrolling or you might have heard it referenced as zombie scrolling or mindlessly scrolling. And I think, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Your eyes are glazed over your thumb is just moving in that repetitive motion. You're getting the dopamine hit, you're kind of watching the screen, but also it's kind of mindless. You're also not really watching the screen and it's officially defined as mindless scrolling out of habit with no real destination or benefit. And now while I've changed my habit around this, of course, I'm not perfect and I wanna share a recent example that I had where it really reminded me just how negative it is for me personally. And I guess because I'm out of the habit, it was really a heightened experience of, of how it affects my brain. So my husband P A which is, but we call him P A over here.

So my husband P A, he had sent me a tiktok video that I was watching and just, I kind of forgot I accidentally started scrolling And of course I was having the best time I was entertained laughing out loud, really enjoying the experience. But that started that endless scroll. And I did that for literally two hours. I think it was about midnight when I stopped, I'd sent my whatsapp girlfriend group chat, you know, 700 different funny Tik Toks. And it was great. I didn't really think a lot of it. I was like, kinda thinking, damn, I should spend a lot more time on tiktok. This is hilarious. I, I'm learning a bunch of weird hacks in the kitchen that I've never seen before. But actually, what ended up happening was when I put my phone away, I was so tired, but I couldn't go to sleep. I literally couldn't calm my brain down. I'm usually someone that my head hits the pillow. I'm already wound down. I might read a couple of pages of my book, but I'm just out clean asleep, deep sleep, but I was so wired and my mind was like, really weird and it actually took me hours of reading after that to get my brain to its usual kind of tired, calm state.

And it was just so weird to me and it really, it just reminded me of, you know, I guess how bad it can be for your brain, especially if you're in that zone of kind of getting tired, getting ready for bed. I feel like no-one has ever said doom scrolling. Made me feel so much better. It's just not a thing yet. We all keep doing it anyway. I once read a fact that said in a single day, the average person scrolls through about 300 ft of content, which is the height of the Statue of Liberty. How insane is that? And because it has no real destination or benefit, it's literally just a pointless exercise to numb your brain. This is way too much content for your brain to process in a healthy way and surprise, surprise. When your eyes are transfixed on a screen, you're not really opening yourself up to positive IRL experiences. I especially always find myself reaching for my phone in situations that are seen as a little uncomfortable or, you know, you're bored.

And that's when I also feel the biggest urge to go on social media. You know, you might be commuting, you might be like on a bus or something bored. You might be sitting alone somewhere like you're feeling a little bit uncomfortable. You wanna to look like you're on your phone. If you're in a restaurant waiting for someone, something like that, you might be standing in line or you're procrastinating on something that you're anxious about. And it's so easy to just distract yourself with a mindless girl on social media. But when you say no to that, you're also saying yes to sitting with that uncomfortable feeling or bored moment and giving yourself the chance just to have idle thoughts and think differently and, and think creatively and, and just be, which is pretty essential to the human experience. It's not always gonna be, you know, butterflies and rainbows and great moments of laughing and things like that. If you just sit and think and ponder, I, I believe you get more out of those moments versus opening up social media.

So all in all for me moving past, this impulse has truly been a big helpful decision for my mental health. And that's without even getting into the time that you actually save. But I wanna share a few practical tips here because these are some things that I know can be really useful. So there are like these app timer things that you can set to your phone that basically block you out of social media channels that you specify once you've reached your daily limit. So you might say to yourself, OK, I can only be on social media between the hours of let's say five till seven. But within that window, I can actually only use social media for 30 minutes maximum. So it's kind of like a a little support crutch to try and help you curb the social media habit. Another thing that I do is I always read books on my Kindle. So I have the Kindle like the actual Kindle and then I have the app on my phone.

And so if I've got 10 minutes and I know that my impulse is to do the rounds of social media apps that I open on my phone. I will instead open the Kindle app and read for 10 minutes and my favorite tip is to actually switch off all notifications. So your phone isn't constantly pulling you in. I only have notifications switched on from my bank account just in case someone's, you know, going rogue on my account or something like that. I love knowing when the charges are coming out. I've always had social notifications turned off because obviously that would be nuts. But the biggest game changer for me was turning off text and whatsapp notifications. Instead I choose when I look at my phone versus being constantly pulled into it throughout the day. Next on the list, something that you've most likely heard me shouting about at some point because it is just one of my absolute favorite things to do cold showers. This is such a game changer for me and it seriously builds your willpower muscle.

You've probably heard about Wim half. You've probably read about these guys and gals who are bio hackers out there, you know who swear by cold therapy. And I'm telling you, it is unbelievable starting the day doing something difficult and uncomfortable and overcoming and achieving that so quickly has had such a huge impact on my mind. And that over time, those consistent daily actions have had such an impact on my life. It gives you a sense of achievement and it leaves me feeling like if I can do this, I can literally do anything I can conquer whatever this day is gonna throw at me. And you know, there's a science to it. There's like a lot of interesting studies that have been done that show patients who suffer from anxiety and depression are actually helped by simply taking a cold shower, exposure to cold water lowers the heart rate, which makes you feel calmer and way less, way less anxious.

There's also a common belief in science that taking cold showers boosts the immune system. And so for me, it's a question of more like what have I got to lose? It's three minutes of uncomfortable vibes and then it's basically all upside the other thing. And I know this sounds crazy if you haven't done cold therapy, but you actually start craving it and looking forward to it every day because you know how it makes you feel and you're excited about starting your day with that vibe with that energy. And so when I step out of a cold shower, now my blood is pumping, I'm wide awake. I feel very invigorated and happy and just ready to totally crush my day. But as with most new habits and especially ones like this that are a little bit uncomfortable, especially in the beginning, the hardest part is getting started and actually building the routine.

So my key piece of advice here is to pick a song that you absolutely love. It's a song that really pumps you up that you are just obsessed with. That's between two and three minutes long. Maybe it's a little bit longer. Great, whatever press play. Get in the shower, blast the cold water and kind of dance your way through it until the song finishes. Just groove out in there. Deal with the pain that comes, you know, kind of early on and then get into a vibe, commit to feeling whatever you're going to feel. Now, look, I get it. If it's too hard, start with warm water and ease to cold until you're ready to go full cold turkey. But remember in the words of Glenn and Doyle, we can do hard things. You can do this, I encourage you to give it a try. And if you do, let me know on social media, I would love to know what you think of cold therapy.

I believe in you and I know you're gonna get something out of it, which brings me to the third thing I'm doing at the moment to make sure my mental health is somewhat staying in check. I found that during the times where I'm able to stay on top of things, be that work or life admin, I also feel significantly better mentally when I have my shit together. I feel great basically, which shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, but it's really been a light bulb moment in these last couple of months. Now, the way I have found this to work best is to really hone in on a sense of focus, deep focus when I'm getting something done to bring everything back to a singular purpose. Because when you do too many things and you going in too many different directions, it often doesn't work. It leads to major brain clutter. It leads to serious overwhelm.

And then that in turn leads to burnout. Basically, it's a recipe for disaster. However, when you find you're an old star, which we chat about often on the show, you know, where you're headed and you're able to, you know, reverse engineer your road map, stick to that road map and that alone feels good. Plus your not star is likely to be wholesome and vital. So aiming towards it will bring you more and more happiness and benefit to yourself and to others. For me, knowing what my North Star is at all times has really allowed me to stay on top of things. Because whenever you get lost in the day to day, those mundane bla kind of tasks and you know, the inevitability of things going wrong, it's just a really easy way to bring myself back. Give myself perspective of why I'm doing what I'm doing in the first place and then keep that 1 ft in front of the other one step at a time, starting at step number one instead of step number 100.

This reasoning also translated really well. For me, on a business level, you know, at times where I've had 1000 different goals that I've wanted to achieve, it's been really easy to feel overwhelmed. But the truth of the matter is it's near impossible to create something great if you're creating in too many different directions and time has really proven that for me, we would never have been able to launch a community at the same time as launching the book, things simply work better when you're able to have a total clear focus on your one big thing. I like to break things out into chunks of like a month or three months and just go really hard on that one thing, work out any kinks, create a system for it and then you can move on and focus on the new thing and stack on top of the things basically in short, never do five things at once. Always just focus on one core thing or one core channel at a time.

And that's a pretty life changing thing for me. Even though I'm not always perfect at keeping focused, I can definitely go off on a tangent. But when I bring myself back to my North Star and what my focus is for, you know, this month, next month, 90 days, that's when you tend to be the most productive and get the most done that's in line with your goals. Alrighty. The fourth thing I'm practicing for my mental health right now is around connection and scheduling connection. So, of course, I've got cuddles with my dog who is obviously actually my child sweetie and she is proven to fix great vibes, of course, but nothing really beats having a true back and forth meaningful conversation with someone else. I'm lucky in the sense that connecting has been such an integral part of the show. It's an integral part of my job.

And I get to have, you know, multiple conversations a week with some truly incredible people. And I always walk away from these conversations, feeling like my cup is really full and I've got a bonus pocket full of gems along with a healthy dose of perspective, great laughs and sometimes even a couple of tears. It's always such a highlight for absolutely everyone out there. When it comes to well-being, other people matter, relationships and connection matters. Evidence shows that connecting with others and forming good, healthy, strong relationships with family, friends and your wider community are super important for mental well-being, nurturing our relationships can help us feel happier and more secure and can give us a greater sense of purpose. And obviously, we are social animals and our relationships and connections with other people just are, it's, it's just natural, it's so natural to us.

So when you're feeling in a rut mentally, it can be especially difficult to reach out and have those conversations and talk about what you're going through. But it's important not to fall into that negative cycle. And trust me, I've been there. You just want to kind of avoid everyone, lock yourself away, stay in bed, shut out the world. I mean, totally get it. I've been there but at the end of the day, if you force some positive connection in moments like that, like going out and having a walk with a friend or a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or whatever, it might be forcing yourself to have. That connection has a way of immediately making such a huge difference. You always walk away, feeling good, feeling glad that you did it and it can really bring you out of a spiral you might be in, especially when you know, something that I get a lot is the repetitive loop of thoughts that you can't think your way out of.

And so when you're talking with someone else, you can kind of talk back and forth and get your way out of that loop of negative dialogue or negative thought pattern that you might have. And then the beautiful thing about this is that it also just doesn't only benefit you, it benefits the person that you're connecting with. It's a win, win for the person on the other side too. And something that Mimi icon mentioned on the show a while back is that in such a sisterhood of unity, help and empowerment. We can all raise each other up. And I try to carry this with me in every little interaction that I have and it's truly made the world of difference. And I also have one quick tip here as, you know, it's more practical as, you know, I moved back from the UK to Australia at the end of last year. And something that's been quite difficult is just missing my core group of best girlfriends. You know, I would talk to my best friend Beck on the phone every single day, literally every single day.

But because now our time zone difference is really shit. It makes it tricky for those kind of off the cuff phone calls where you have two minutes to quickly just try and explain a tiny micro moment that happened at lunch. So what we've started doing is treating our phone catch ups just like any other appointment and scheduling them into our calendar ongoing. And of course, sure, we have whatsapp Daily and there are off the cuff calls, you know, at weird times when we do overlap at night, late at night usually. But as a backup, we know that we have time scheduled weekly to prioritize a proper catch-up. Connect with each other. Get the proper updates just the same way as you would. If you were booking in coffee with a friend, I think that scheduling your important calls with friends and family. So you don't get to that point where you realize. Oh, shit. It's been three weeks since I spoke to my grandpa or my friend overseas or my busy bestie.

You want to avoid getting to that moment. And the final thing I'm doing right now for my mental health comes down to a mindset, reframe, a reframe. That's all about being super content with being super content. Something that takes a lot of daily practice and a lot of unlearning. I'm working on savoring the little everyday micro moments of joy instead of chasing those big but fleeting kind of highs that are fewer and far between and through that finding true satisfaction with the here and now basically just enjoying the day to day enjoying the journey so important, the more I'm trying to practice this, the more I'm realizing that this mindset is really effective in bringing me back to the present moment. But at the same time, it's not easy. This is the mental health tool that I'm using right now that probably requires the most reminding.

Literally, I'm reminding myself all day long, daily gratitude and daily reflection is key. Whether you're someone who just wants to ponder those thoughts, whether you're someone who wants to say them out loud with a friend or a partner or a family member, or whether you are someone that likes to journal and getting that gratitude um down on paper or key. So to sum it all up high on my action list of things I'm doing for my mental health at the moment are no more doom scrolling on social media, daily, cold showers with your fave music on focusing on that North Star seeking out connections and scheduling them in whenever possible. And finally just being content with being content through the practice of gratitude and reflection. Everyone's mental health journey is entirely different and the thing that does it for someone might not work so well with someone else. It's all about doing that inner work and trying different things to get to know what makes you tick and what works for you.

Your mental health recipe is something that you're going to be able to refer back to throughout your whole life. So it's worth focusing on it even if you are in a really great place right now, I hope that by sharing some of my tips and my experiences and my practices has the potential to make a positive difference in your mental health habits and that they might inspire you to try something new too. They're changing my life and maybe they'll change yours as well. Alrighty, that's all for today folks. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. A quick reminder to leave me a voice note in the D MS so we can chat about whatever you wanna chat about on the show. You can find out the details in the show notes if we aren't already friends on Instagram. See you next time.

5 things I’m doing right now for my mental health ✨
5 things I’m doing right now for my mental health ✨
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