A few years ago I used to have a gratitude journal. Every night before I went to bed, I would jot down the things that I’m grateful for.
Today, I’ve felt the need to restart such a journal and intentionally focus my mind daily on the positives. Today being World Mental Health Day is fitting.
Over the past year, the importance of my mental health has really been a focal point for me. Towards the end of last year, I felt really burnt out and there was a lot that I was dealing with. I consciously made the decision to “take things easy” this year by not taking on too much work. I’ve declined 95% of new PR requests this year. I definitely feel like I’ve had a bit more “breathing space”, but I take what I do seriously (sometimes too seriously) and give 110% of myself, so mentally I do feel stretched in many ways.
Being in the service industry where you’re constantly dealing with people requires quite a lot of emotional management. Often meaning that I don’t really deal emotionally with certain things because I can’t afford to. I need to wake up, get out of bed and make things happen because I have responsibilities. There are many days that I wish I could just lie in bed all day and do nothing… but I also know that’s not healthy.
A gratitude dairy isn’t necessarily a “pick me up” key to my emotional health. I just feel that it will be beneficial to always have the good things going on in my life top of mind despite the challenges and frustrations that come with running a business.
I’ve recently started seeing a psychologist again. I’ve booked a recurring weekly appointment. It is a bit weird to go and not really have anything “purposeful” to discuss, but it’s something I’ve decided I need as part of protecting my mental health. I carry a lot myself – mentally, emotionally, financially… and it does take a toll. One of the reasons I decided to take things easy this year and not be completely burnt out is because without me there is no Sheila Afari Group. I’m an asset and I need to protect this asset at all costs.