My name is Eli Trier and I live in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
I am a community builder for Quiet Revolutionaries. I help introverts with big dreams to get connected and build thriving, engaged communities around their businesses so that they can make a massive impact, find their dream clients, and make their corner of the world a better place. I am also an artist.
I am autistic, and I wasn’t diagnosed until the age of 36. That means that I went through the first 36 years of my life feeling like I’d landed on an alien planet – I knew I was ‘wrong’ in some way, but I had no idea how, why, or what I could do to fix it.
People seemed irrational and unpredictable, and responded to me in ways I found baffling.
I was always out of step, and when I managed, briefly, to fit in, it was exhausting and unsustainable.
Unsurprisingly, this led to some fairly serious mental health issues and a whole lot of shame.
When I finally got my diagnosis, it was like my whole life suddenly made sense. I could look back at events which had seemed so incomprehensible to me at the time and understand what had happened.
It was a pretty intense time, and I found myself with a lot of anger and sadness. It felt like my whole life could have been different if I had just had this one crucial piece of information.
Once I had worked through that, I was left with this wonderful clarity and freedom.
If my autism meant that I was never going to fit in and be like everyone else, why even bother trying?
I finally let the world see me, and stopped tying myself up in knots trying to be something I wasn’t.
It gave me a hook to hang all of my quirkiness on, and a way to explain myself to others in a way they could understand.
Getting that diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me.
It gave me a level of self-understanding that had been sorely absent from my life up till then.
It meant that all of a sudden, I was able to make choices that were best for ME, and (again unsurprisingly) my mental health improved dramatically.
• What does mental health mean to me? How do I define it for myself?
Mental health is the ability to roll with the punches – to process events, thoughts, feelings, trauma etc etc in healthy ways.
Oh gosh, that’s a big question! I think, at its core, mental health is the ability to roll with the punches – to process events, thoughts, feelings, trauma etc etc in healthy ways, and let them pass through you, rather than ignoring or repressing them and storing them in your body.
• How do I care for my mental health/wellness today?
The biggest thing for me has been allowing myself to receive help and care from others.
I spent so many years trying to do everything by myself, and now it’s so healing to let somebody else share the burden, or even completely take the reins for a little while.
I’m incredibly fortunate to have amazing people in my life to lean on when things get tough.
Day to day, I have a laundry list of things that help keep me mentally healthy: therapy, journaling, painting, keeping my house clean, getting outside for a walk in the fresh air, dancing, long baths, taking evenings and weekends off work, getting regular massages, staying off my phone as much as possible, and spending time with people I love.
They’re all simple things, but they all help me to process and let go.
• What is the main mental wellness tip I have found useful?
Put myself first, and fill my cup before trying to look after anyone else.
It’s so hard to do, especially for those of us with people-pleasing tendencies, but when you get it right it makes an enormous difference.
Upholding your boundaries, saying no to opportunities, canceling stuff if you need to – of course, we want to stay in integrity and not let people down, but sometimes that’s just not possible, and that’s okay.
• If there was just one thing I could share about mental wellness with women entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Seriously, whenever you sit down to plan out your day, week, month, or year make sure you block off time for rest first – before anything else.
And when you are resting, do whatever you can to completely disengage from work. It’s not rest if you’re still checking emails on your phone every 5 minutes.