Mental Health overall has been getting more visibility in main stream media and socially, now more than ever. The awareness continues to increase, and more and more people are understanding the importance of not only their physical health, but also their mental health.
We don’t always realize however, that our mental health at work is just as important as when we are outside of the office or job site. With the responsibilities of every day becoming more and more strenuous, we find ourselves with fewer and fewer opportunities to address our mental well-being. There’s a million and one things that pull us in a million and two directions every single day, which means that self-care can go by the way side in favor of simply trying to make it through the day. Opening up and talking to someone; reaching out for help when the pressures of life become overwhelming, feels more like a luxury than a necessity. Or worse yet, feeling like asking for help is a sign of weakness, rather than self-awareness and strength.
My colleague, friend, and fellow podcaster, Petra Velzeboer joins me on this episode of the podcast to talk about her work as a mental health business consultant; how using her own life experiences helps break down the walls in the office and job site, encouraging employees to speak out about their own struggles and not be ashamed in asking for help.
I also had the honor of being Petra’s podcast, Adversity to Advantage, where I share some of my story of surviving and thriving after trauma. Give it a listen on her podcast website or your favorite podcasting app.
Petra Velzeboer is a psychotherapist, living in London, as well as an executive coach, mental health consultant, speaker, and podcaster. Her expertise of mental health in the work place, allows her to travel abroad speaking to companies or all types, about the importance of addressing mental health within the company. By sharing some of her own story to help break the ice, she encourages employees from all walks of life to normalize the conversation of mental health in their lives.
In addition to our chat about normalizing the conversation of mental health in the workplace, you’ll learn how Petra was raised in a religious cult, where she experienced multiple types of abuse and public punishment. By the time she was able to leave and strike out on her own, she had no idea who she was, and how to survive in a world which was so foreign to her. The pressure was so unbearable, that she found herself nearly unable to function outside of of the bubble she was raised in, which eventually lead to thoughts of ending her life.
In a final effort to survive, she made a pact with herself to give it 1 year to figure things out and learn to live successfully like she saw others doing. This was the opportunity she needed, and during that time she learned and practiced mindfulness, living authentically, taking care of herself, and realizing her own potential to not only survive, but thrive.
As she shares, you’ll learn more about her struggles with being sexually assaulted, living as a young mother of two, learning personal boundaries in relationships, and eventually through all her trials; realize her calling as a therapist and coach. Even in the midst of extreme circumstances, she was being transformed into someone who now inspires and encourages others not only in the work place, but in their personal lives as well.
Petra talks about the important lesson she learned during the darkest parts of her life, and throughout her ongoing healing; to show continue showing up in life. Be authentic, and keep tearing down the walls that only keep others out, but keep you from receiving the help you need as well.
We discuss the importance of allowing yourself a designated time to “fall apart”, and feel the emotions and struggles without pushing them aside and burying them in favor of simply pressing on. Learning to take care of yourself in this way means that you are setting healthy boundaries to feel your emotions, but not let them take over your life.
There is much more to Petra’s story that we talk about on the show, so please give it a listen, and share it with your friends and social media. Don’t forget to subscribe to her podcast, Adversity to Advantage, and check out some of her past episodes featuring guests who have overcome incredible struggles and found a way to thrive.
-Matt Pappas, CLC, MPNLP
All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.