October is Mental Health Month and is a great opportunity to spread awareness of mental health and learn some tools to help ourselves and others become more resilient. Our CEO Esha Oberoi overcame depression in her twenties by helping others and founding Afea Care Services. 11 years later, Esha may have emerged from her darkest hour, but remaining positive amongst the daily stresses of life is a continuous practice. This month, Esha shares her strategies for mental self-care whilst working in an industry that involves giving so much of ourselves to others.
“I fell into this industry because of depression.
I stayed because I love to help.”
Let’s be real, you can’t be in this work unless you have a deep-seated love for humanity and are generous with compassion.
But like any strength, excessive compassion can become a weakness without a balanced self-care approach, leaving us depleted if we are not looking after ourselves. So how do we look after our mental and emotional beings and strengthen our resilience so we can continue to be there for our clients and our community?
This October Mental Health Month, I thought I would share what I do every day in order to make myself more resilient and in the best state of mind to keep serving:
I always begin my day at work with a minimum of 30 minutes meditation. Once I have worked out, dropped the kids to school and come into the office, before I open my emails or step into a meeting, I meditate. It clears my mind and it grounds me.
It took me a while to find the ideal time and place. I tried many times at home but with small kids it hasn’t been possible. I can easily knock off a couple of extra hours of work from home, but meditating is different because it requires time without noise and interruption. It isn’t easy to fit it in and the times and places may change with life’s priorities, but I cannot imagine a day without it.
Words cannot explain how complete I feel after my meditations and the peace remains with me for the rest of the day. I love the sense of universal connection that meditation can leave you with. I often sneak in 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day in between meetings if I feel like I need to strengthen my connection with myself, my purpose and intensions.
I probably write through a journal a month, sometimes two. This is another form of release for me. It energises me when I have written everything that I’m feeling on paper, it leaves me with freedom and space. My top anxiety release technique is journaling!
I can be very self-critical and have this voice in my head that I have to work really hard to control and contain. The voice that I’m very aware of that constantly says I am not good enough and I am not worthy enough which chains me to limiting beliefs systems. Hence writing affirmations and bold, fearless statements gives me a sense of alignment again to my purpose. I feel in many ways this has allowed me to make some of my aspirations come to life over time.
3. Purpose before pay cheque
Developing our resilience has a lot to do with our purpose and what’s motivating us. When we have a strong sense of purpose that expands beyond our own aspirations, or when our motivation is bigger than ourselves because it is about another person, I feel we develop resilience. We naturally seek solutions and go above and beyond because our purpose has big intentions behind it, like offering support, being of service and generally bringing joy to others.
Being in this industry for the past 11 years has made me realise how much we can achieve when our purpose involves helping community.