Deb McGuire and I have been on each others’ radars for a number of years, as fellow social workers and students of mindfulness and Yoga who live in the same geographic, and rural area.
We had been planning to meet up in person, but then the pandemic hit, so we have connected electronically. I was on her podcast in 2020, and she has contributed to my Staying Sane series for women entrepreneurs.
Deb is a new entrepreneur, but a seasoned mental health practitioner. She shares her mental health story, and why mental health/wellness matters to her, in this instalment of Staying Sane.
A little bit about Deb
I’m a Registered Social Worker and also co-creative director, counsellor, facilitator and most recently, creator of podcasts, at Bend Wellness. My work is rooted in community health. I use integrated and trauma-informed approaches. I enjoy time outside being active, cooking, connecting, reading and spending time with my family. I live in rural Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.
What is mental health?
I see my mental health in the same way as my physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, health: it is all integrated and a part of the woman I am becoming.
If one part is ailing, then all parts feel it.
I have faced a lot of adversity in my life, especially as a young person. I am aware that, if left unacknowledged or stigmatized, then it only gets worse.
If I do not seek support for my broken leg, it will heal in a way that may impact how I move and may create limitations, for my whole life.
The mind and the heart are no different from the physical body.
My mental health story is one of breaking the figurative leg many times, seeking support, giving it time and space to heal, and then figuring out what I need in order to function as best as I can moving forward.
That support has taken on many forms though it always involves some sort of connection – to a professional, a friend, to myself, nature, etc.
How I care for my mental health/wellness today
I stay mentally well by moving my body almost every day. That is the biggest way I can contribute to a healthy mental state. It has always been this way for me, it completes my stress cycle most days.
Meditation is an excellent tool, it helps ground me and offers the beautiful gift, on a good day, of being completely present.
The main mental wellness tip I have found useful
There are so many tips that I think are essential to maintain mental wellness.
This past year, one of the biggest reminders for me has been about the importance of connection. The pandemic highlighted the need for being intentional in who, when, where, how and why I am seeking connection with people.
As an introvert, I can spend a lot of time by myself, re-charging and resetting.
Reach out and nourish the relationships
It has been a lovely reminder this year, to reach out and nourish the relationships in my life, particularly with women.
Doing so, in all of the creative ways that we’ve had to, has made such a difference in how I have been able to navigate this pandemic.
Mental wellness for women entrepreneurs
Being an entrepreneur can be challenging and I am fairly new to this game.
We do not have to do it alone.
I have learned that I don’t have to do it alone. It helps that I have a business partner, I am not sure how women do this alone.
To other women in business, I would say: create a community for yourself. Reach out, collaborate, reimagine, get creative.
We don’t have to adhere to masculine ideas about what it means to create and build something.
Be brave and creative.
Connect with Deb: