Practical Tips for Mental Health, Isolation and Working From Home in 2020 - E007
It's that time of the pandemic again, folx, and this time I want to share with your some practical tips for mental health. It's time to (continue) working from home. Summer is over for the Northern Hemisphere, and Covid-19 is back with a vengeance. On today's episode, I sit down with Silvia Pinho, work at home expert. She shares simple and actionable ways to attempt to keep organized amongst the chaos that is 2020.
TODAY'S GUEST: SILVIA PINHO
> Website: TheSilviaPinho.com
> Instagram: @thesilviapinho
> How having a structure through your day will help you be on track when working from home (06:34)
> Why finding the sweet spot on structuring your day and the amounts of tasks you can take on every day is something that you get to decide so you don't end up overwhelmed (10:17)
> Entrepreneurship is a deep dive into self-development (14:39)
> How to find what daily routine works for you so you can work more efficiently and stay sane (22:09)
> Practical tips to fight imposter syndrome while working from home, Silvia's approach for trusting yourself (30:33)
E007: Practical Tips for Mental Health, Isolation and Working From Home in 2020 with Silvia Pinho
So many people don’t know about practical tips for mental health, especially in the COVID-19 era.
I know you’re sick and tired of hearing about COVID-19 or the coronavirus, but I’m going to talk to you about it today. And that’s because one of the big issues arising from this pandemic is mental health.
Wow. We, as a country and world, I don’t think realized just exactly how much your working environment impacts your mental health as well as… I don’t know, say being in contact with people? I have been - I don’t want to say honored, because that’s definitely not the right word - but I have had the privilege (let’s put it that way) of going through what work-at-home isolation looks like in advance of the pandemic.
That’s because prior to entering my master’s in counseling psychology, I used to be a virtual assistant. If you don’t know what that is, essentially I got paid and made a really great career around helping other people build online businesses. Social media, website creation, SEO, all those boring internet terms that I’m sure you’ve heard but either went in one ear and out the other or you just didn’t care. I get that because it’s pretty boring, to be honest.
I have been working from home since 2015, and I will continue to do so for a long period of time, as my master’s degree is completely online, and not only because of COVID. But what problems we face and have faced in the aftermath of being forced to work at home with very little human contact as well as unlimited access to our environment, which also means the kitchen. I mean, I know, I’ve put on that quarantine fifteen.
And the reason that I’m bringing this episode to you is because we’re definitely talking about the pandemic, I get that.
But what we’re not talking about is the drastic mental health illnesses and problems that are rising from the pandemic because people do not have practical tips for mental health I will say that I’ve noticed a lot of, “once this is over, everything will be fine!” and that’s something we can talk about at a later date because I definitely don’t agree with that perspective.
But what I’m going to do in this episode is, I sit down with Sylvia Pinho, who is a dear friend and a virtual assistant and virtual assistant coach that is located in Portugal. And she is going to sit down with me and share some really amazing tips that have helped her succeed in combating that isolation and also just making sure that you’re getting stuff done from an organizational perspective.
Now, I know that there’s people out there that are finding a really hard time to do that. And that you might be recognizing that those are issues that you might need to process and overcome. This episode may not be for you. This is more for people that are looking for some ideas and insights into how to elevate the working from home situation in 2020 and going forward into the near year because I believe that a lot of people are going to be continuing working from home. I do believe that it was always going this way, this pandemic has really just kick-started and pushed it into high gear.
So, in this episode we do share some of my own struggles when it has come to isolation and depression, and Sylvia does share her struggles as well.
This episode is great for anyone and anyone who’s feeling stuck at home and that they can use a little kick in the pants to create a routine and really thrive. I hope you enjoy it.
Amy: [00:04:50] Welcome back to this episode of What We're Not Talking About. Today's guest is Sylvia Pinho. Welcome.
Sylvia: [00:04:59] Hi! Nice to be here.
Amy: [00:05:01] I'm very excited to chat with you today, Sylvia! For everyone who does not know who this lovely lady is, she is someone that I started an online internet friendship with, or whatever adjective you want to use to describe it, when I was working in the coaching industry as a virtual assistant. And we came across each other, I believe on Instagram and we both have, or had - cause I've moved into a different area of the internet if you will - but had very similar backgrounds.
We both started our freelancer career on Upwork, and you are still on there doing amazing things. And now you have transitioned to the coaching industry yourself, and you're helping other freelancers start their online career through Upwork and beyond. So again, welcome. Happy to have you.
And we're going to talk about the fun yet incredibly serious side of mental health and being a freelancer. So, Sylvia, just welcome. I'm excited to chat with you. And is there anything that you'd like to start off by telling the audience.
Sylvia: [00:06:17] Well, you said it perfectly like where you started, like, a friendship last year, I think. I believe I found you through your podcast and then followed you on Instagram, but I'm not entirely sure either.
But you were actually a big inspiration for me, both in the VA world and a coaching role.
So, for that, I want to thank you so much.
Amy: [00:06:43] Awe, thank you.
Sylvia: [00:06:45] And I really, I was super excited when you invited me to this podcast because... I'm here. So, I've obviously struggled with mental health in the past as well. And of course I still struggle a little bit, so... But it's something that I know that a lot of people are a bit iffy about talking or they think it's maybe a bit taboo or something that they're ashamed of admitting, but I'm super open about it.
I just need someone to start the conversation and keep me talking about it. I'm super open.
Amy: [00:07:18] That's awesome because that is my specialty: asking questions. So...
Sylvia: [00:07:25] I'm here to give you the answers.
Amy: [00:07:27] Amazing. Well, first of all, I want to say thank you for your kind words. I'm not great at taking compliments, but thank you so much. It feels like ages ago that I was doing. That stuff and it really wasn't. But, yeah, I'm so happy that we were able to connect and continue our friendship.
And mental health is something that I have always talked about. It was something I talked a lot about in my coaching business because it was something I was struggling with and it was also something. I was able to share practical tips for mental health.
One of many plus sides to being a freelancer is that when I was dealing with my days of like severe anxiety or depression, I was able to take a step back and kind of be like, “okay, Amy, you can't do great work right now. So, why don't you just have a rest?”
Which is one thing about working from home and in this freelance community that is obviously like a perk. But a lot of people don't really understand how great it is for people that are dealing with mental health struggles on the day to day, that started in 2020 or way before, because I know it's been a boom in the last little bit, so for you-
Sylvia: [00:08:38] Yeah. Can I just add something to that? Like working from home? Yes. You can take days off, but sometimes I even struggle with that. So sometimes I try to power through those anxiety or less good days. So it's a perk, definitely, but I wish I let myself do that more often. I sometimes take like slower days instead of like the whole day off.
So I clear up my calendar a bit, but I still sometimes struggle to take the whole day off. I feel like I start feeling even worse.
Amy: [00:09:15] Yeah, absolutely. And that's definitely something that I had a problem with as well. My journey through the freelance world with my anxiety at its height, because that's really when it was its worst throughout my entire life was probably between 2016-2018. And yeah, I did the exact same thing.
I'd be like, “Oh yeah, I'm going to take the time off.” But I would be so anxious that I would lose the time that I would work. Which causes a whole other set of problems because for anyone that's ever been anxious it's really hard to focus and produce quality work during that period of the day.
So it creates a complicated situation if you will. Because I didn’t know practical tips for mental health.
Sylvia: [00:10:05] Yeah, you can see me, but I'm nodding along with everything you're saying.
Amy: [00:10:10] Yeah. So I'm really excited that we started talking about this now, because I think one of the most important things is to not paint this 100% beautiful picture of what it's like to work as a freelancer, because it can be quite isolating, especially without practical tips for mental health. And I know that a lot of my friends in Canada that have transitioned from an office setting during this whole Corona virus pandemic to at home. They've been having some struggles and they have lost a lot of their routines that they would have, because you don't really think like, “Oh, you save all this time when you work from home, right.
You don't have to prepare your meals and do all that fun stuff. You can just go to the kitchen and grab something. But when you lose those routines... sorry?
Sylvia: [00:011:03] You still got aides.
Amy: [00:11:05] Yeah, of course. Yeah. But when you lose those routines, it makes your day to day feel like not as structured and that can be a huge problem when it comes to adjusting to that work at home atmosphere.
I'm wondering for you, do you have any routines that you implement throughout today? Maybe not necessarily like all day, every day, but things that have really helped you stay on track?
Sylvia: [00:11:35] Well, I used to have an excuse to have a routine because my boyfriend had a real life job and he had to go out of the home to work.
I would only work during the time.
I would ideally only work during the times that he was out. So that gave me a bit of structure, which I think then now since he's working from home too, I think it kind of helped that we had a structure before,because we kind of have been able to keep that structure.
So we usually wake up around eight something and then we have breakfast until nine and that's when we start working, both of us. Most of all, we have a schedule. It's not always... Like sometimes it's like a half an hour difference. Instead of finishing up at noon, we finish up at like 12:30, but for the most part, we have a good schedule in place.
The only thing I personally struggle with is knowing when to finish, because sometimes it's like, we should be done for today. But I'm like, “look just this extra task and just that other extra task. So I don't have to do it tomorrow.” And then sometimes it's like 7:00 PM and I'm like, “Just one more!”
But yeah, we have a good schedule in place. I wouldn't say necessarily routines, but we have a schedule in place, so that helps with the whole…. We have an hour to have lunch, for example, we can take that break at the middle of the day. And I'd say I really liked that structure, but I also like to have the flexibility of, for example, working more hours in a certain day to work less on another day.
Amy: [00:13:23] Yeah, absolutely.
That's another perk of working from home too, when you're a freelancer.
Sometimes it doesn't work if you are on salary working just at home, right? Because you're kind of on their time sometimes. I'd love to talk to you more about what you said about you just have to do one more task and one more task and one more task because I've been there.
It's like a little addictive component to it where you're just like, “just one more, just one more,” because it feels so good to complete it. How do you find that? Does that affect you? Like in a day-to-day, on a regular basis, if you're constantly just doing one more thing.
Sylvia: [00:14:07] I'll shift your question a little bit. It's not necessarily that it affects me to have to do just one more thing. Whatever affects me most is like, I know I'll do those extra things, right? So I'll know at the end of the day, let's say I was going to work until 6:00 PM.
I know that at 6:00 PM I'll want to do two or three more things. So on the previous day, when I'm planning for the next day, I'll say, okay, just one more task. I can do that after 6:00 PM. So I'll put more things into my schedule than I should, because I know myself and I know I'll want to continue working.
But then in the morning I look at my to-do list and I'm like, “geez, I'm overwhelmed.” So it's not directly related to wanting to work just one more task, but yeah, it's like a snowball effect.
Amy: [00:15:08] So how does that work in the morning?
So if you wake up overwhelmed, how does that set the tone for your day?
Are you able to kind of just move through it pretty quickly or does it affect the overall feeling of how you're going to take on the day?
Sylvia: [00:15:24] Hmm, that's a good question. I definitely don't work well if I have like say 15 tasks in one day to accomplish, even if those are like pretty small. That overwhelms me a bit. But if I only have five, that doesn't work for me either, because I'll take twice as long to do each task. And at the end of the day, I'll feel defeated a bit.
It's the thing of finding the sweet spot of the amount of things to do. And also something else that I like to do is within that first hour of work in the morning, usually from like 9 to 10, I like to tackle the smaller tasks. I know some people start with the bigger tasks.
I usually leave that for after 10:00 AM and tackle a bunch of smaller desks at 9:00 AM so I can start the actual workday in a way at 10:00 AM that I am with less stuff to do. Does that make sense? Like at 10:00 AM, I'm less overwhelmed because I tackled my to-do list.
Amy: [00:16:32] Yeah, absolutely.
I'm gonna make a really strange comparison, but there's two ways that you can pay off debt.
You can kill off all the small bills that you have and then you end up with just one large credit card, if you will. Or you focus on that big thing first and then do the small tasks.
Or in the case of paying off debt, you focus on paying off your big debt first and then pay off the small ones because it's easier. So I think what I have learned as a freelancer, and I think what you're saying here is, it's really not as easy as an article says it is. You don't just do this specific schedule and everything will fall into place.
You have to do trial and error and make sure that it works with your circadian rhythm or the way that you like to work, because some people are night owls. So getting that big thing done in the morning actually doesn't feel nice to them. It feels excruciating. Keeping up with your way of doing things is one of the practical tips for mental health I can give you. I used to be that way, so that's one of the reasons why-
Sylvia: [00:17:40] Yeah, me too. I used to be a big owl.
Amy: [00:17:43] I think you go through phases too, of your business and how you work at home. If you don't have that set schedule of working nine to five for your company or whatnot.
Sylvia: [00:17:56] Usually I end up working like nine to five, but I work like 9 to 12. Then like 1 to 5 or 6, depending on the day. I've never actually worked a 9 to 5, so I can't necessarily compare it. But like you were saying, if you have, if you're working on someone else's time, that has probably a bit more structure to it and you have things set up for you.
But as a freelancer, it's that bit of extra work. It's not like a turnoff, it's not something that you are going to take an extra hour every day, but you have to do that planning. And like you were saying, know, when you work best on certain types of tasks and plan accordingly. And that’s one of the practical tips for mental health you have to keep in mind.
Amy: [00:18:46] Absolutely. And I think that's one reason or not one reason, sorry, but one thing that a lot of newer entrepreneurs - which, you know, they are freelancers, entrepreneurs and freelancers are one of the same - really don't think about when they're starting their business is that this is not the same as a structured job. It requires practical mental health tips.
There's a lot of self-motivation and self-preservation and self-care management required. And really in order for you to really be on top of your game. At least in my humble opinion, there was a lot for me. And one of my favorite quotes, and I'm paraphrasing because I never know actually. I don't even know who said it to be honest, but they said “entrepreneurship is a deep dive into self-development” and I feel like nothing has better been explained than this.
Because you are thrown, excuse the cliche into the deep end of a swimming pool and they said, “Yo, you want to learn to swim. This is the only time it's going to happen.”
And then you have to figure it out and it can be quite daunting. For me, it was super exciting, but also very stressful. I had to rely on some practical tips for mental health to get me through it.
How was the beginning stages of that for you?
Sylvia: [00:20:01] Well, I started off pretty slow. I started off doing some jobs on Upwork when I was still in high school. So, it was like a mix between a summer job and a part time gig. I got to start off pretty slow and build from it because then I went into college and I was doing it on the side as well.
I kind of built on it. So, I didn't start off like going part-time or even full-time. I started off with like individual gigs. So, that kind of maybe gave me a way to get dip a toe in the water first and then get onto an actual full-time schedule of working from home and working for myself and determining all the tests that I need to do.
Because when I was in school, you had that one or two hours after school to work on things and kind of the schedule was next.
It was dictated by you by others for you. Does that make sense?
Amy: [00:21:06] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that's... I forget because you're only 21, right?
Sylvia: [00:21:12] I’m 24.
Amy: [00:21:13] I said 21, oh god. Pardon?
Sylvia: [00:21:17] I just said 24, close enough.
Amy: [00:21:22] Oh, close enough. I thought you said listen up. And I was like, Oh, what are you-
Sylvia: [00:21:24] Oh, no, no.
Amy: [00:21:26] Um, but yeah, so you were younger. Sorry. I feel like I must've met you when you were 21 or 22. And I just think that time stands still, so.
Sylvia: [00:21:36] Yeah. I was probably 22 because I just turned 24. And I never know how old I am either. So you’re not that far off.
Amy: [00:21:42] Yeah. So it’s interesting because I was the same way. My, this was my first quote, unquote, real job post graduating. I mean I had other jobs, but they really weren't what people would say could develop into a career, if you will. And it's so weird because I think of having to enter the real world marketplace, job marketplace, and it just sounds horrible.
And I am so thankful that I don't have to do that, as it might totally change my practical tips for mental health. But I digress.
So how have you been impacted by the lockdown and quarantine procedures in Portugal?
Because for everyone, not that I didn't mention this at the beginning that you live in Lisbon. So, things would have been a little bit different, but you are used to working at home.
So how did that go for you?
Sylvia: [00:22:44] Well, actually, like you were saying, since I'm used to working at home, nothing's changed that much. I actually am so thankful that I didn't lose any clients due to this. If anything, I got more work because I had one client store to do workshops about the topic, about marketing during these times.
And if anything, I got more work thrown my way. So... And that's good. But, nothing would change. I almost feel bad by saying this, but my life looks like nothing is happening for the most part. Unless I'm like on the weekend, I want to go to the movies and I'm like, okay, well I have to wear a mask now. So that's weird.
But yeah, nothing much has changed. I have my boyfriend home now, but that would have happened anyway, since I wanted to start transitioning one of my clients to working with him instead of with me. So that would have happened anyway. So actually not much has changed. I don’t have any practical tips for mental health when it comes to that.
Amy: [00:23:54] So can I ask you a little bit about that? I won't ask too many personal questions, but-
Sylvia: [00:23:58] Sure, ask away!
Amy: [00:24:02] How has that adjustment been? Because even regardless of it was going to happen with that with or without coronavirus, like it would still be an adjustment for you guys.
Sylvia: [00:24:14] Sorry, I don't have a better answer for you, but everything's going great. Like we don't like-
Amy: [00:24:20] That is a great answer. What are you talking about? That's-
Sylvia: [00:24:23] The only thing that I'd say sometimes is harder - or not necessarily harder, but like an inconvenience - is when one of us is taking a break and the other one is in focus work. Like I usually... So I take less breaks than him.
So I usually stay here and then he pops along and I'm like, “okay, I’m deep focus work. Can you just not?” But that's the only thing. And that's so small, I don't see that being an issue. It's not like he stays and he's like wanting to mess around with me when I'm in deep work. When I say like,
okay, not now,” we respect each other.
Amy: [00:25:10] Well, that's awesome.
Sylvia: [00:25:12] And like right now with this podcast episode, I just told him, “okay, stay in your office because I'm recording a podcast and I need to have the door open for wifi purposes.” So, yes, it's different, but it's not an issue.
Amy: [00:25:28] Well, that's great.
And yeah, I think that's one thing that a lot of people do associate with is that because it's different, it might be harder.
So it's nice that you don't find it to be a huge struggle because, for me, I'm so independent. If I had to work with my boyfriend - I don't have a boyfriend - but if I did have to work with my boyfriend in my apartment, I would have lost it. But I-
Sylvia: [00:25:53] Well, we have different offices, so we don’t necessarily see each other the whole day.
Amy: [00:25:55] Okay. You do. So you're not in the same spot.
Sylvia: [00:26:00] Yeah. That wouldn't work. And when we buy a house, hopefully next year, we want to have separate offices. We kind of need that because I get on calls during the day, he gets on calls during the day, and I can't.
I know it's such a privilege to be able to have two different offices, but I can't imagine having to have calls on the same room as someone else.
Amy: [00:26:25] Absolutely. It's so wonderful you're able to one, acknowledge that you need that. Also have the space to be able to do that. That's part of self-care mental health management because you know what you need and you're making that happen. Right? So that's awesome.
So what would your advice be to the people that are just starting to adjust to a long-term work at home environment?
Sylvia: [00:26:55] Well, like we were talking before, try to find some structure to your day. Whether you call it a routine or whether you call it a schedule or fixed timeline, whatever you want to call it, try to find something that keep your days in not a jumbled mess. So try to find some like common ground between all the days, whether it is you start working at the same time every day, or you do.
You take some time for yourself in the mornings. Or you take some time for yourself in the afternoon, if you feel like you're one to jump right into working. I personally tried having a morning routine and doing yoga and journaling and all of that in the morning, but I eventually found out that for me, that doesn't work. I wake up and I am super driven to start working right away.
And yes, I do take a bit for breakfast because I find that's important. But that morning routine for self-care, I find that didn’t work for me. So I try to put my self-care into the afternoon after I'm done with work. Kind of like a wind off routine. So find whatever works best for you. That’s one of the best practical tips for mental health I can give you.
I'm not saying you create a morning routine or create a night routine, but figure it out through trial and error to find what works best for you and try to stick to that.
Amy: [00:28:28] Yes.
I think that's the most important piece of advice is that try to stick to it for a bit, because it's not going to happen overnight.
I have been playing with my morning, night, evening, all my daily routines for two years and I still haven't quite hit this sweet spot yet.
Sylvia: [00:28:47] Yeah. You can’t figure it out if it works for you in a day or even a week, I'd say try it for at least two weeks to a month and see if it sticks. If not, don't just do a morning routine because you heard someone else say that a morning routine like this works. Because it may work for them, but it won't work for you.
And that's totally fine.
Amy: [00:29:13] Absolutely. And exactly. This is one of the great practical tips for mental health. You said that it doesn't work for you. For me without a morning routine I get so... what's the right word? It's not anxious, but I get very scatterbrained. I feel like my thoughts are all over the place and I need that 30 to 45 minutes in the morning to journal, to do a quick meditation, maybe a stretch or two.
I also have a dog, so I go for a dog walk. And that allows me to just center and really step forward to the day in a way that makes me feel good. And I think again, the best and most important thing to highlight is you've got to make sure that you're doing it for you. Not because your mom told you or this podcast told you or you read this article that some important influencer wrote.
You take that advice and then you try to implement it into your life and then just play around with it because it ends up being quite, in my opinion, quite therapeutic.
Sylvia: [00:30:16] Yeah. Find what works for you. It's definitely, it’ll eventually helped with your anxiety. Like for me, I heard people say, Oh, do yoga in the morning. You'll calm you down. Or journal, so you can put all your thoughts into paper. But I was doing those things that were meant to call my head down and I was feeling more stressed because my thoughts was like, “this task this task and that task. And why am I not doing those? Why am I wasting time on this stuff that everyone seems to say it's worth it and it’s the best thing ever?”
And I even did my own video with my morning routines that ended up falling completely apart because that just didn't work for me. But still it may work for someone else. So I'll keep the video up.
Amy: [00:31:05] Yeah. And I think that’s important. We also go through phases of our lives where sometimes we're morning people, sometimes we're afternoon people. Sometimes we're just nothing people, like we just don't want to do a morning routine because we don't have the mental bandwidth, and that's okay too. And I think just knowing that it's all customized. But this is one great example of practical tips for mental health.
Then also to not be too hard on yourself if you're not doing the 400 things that Oprah does in the morning. I don't know if she does 400 things, but...
Sylvia: [00:31:37] I don't know either, but I tend to fall into that trap of... It's me.
I am too hard on myself.
It's not my clients or anyone else. Instead it's me that wants me to do everything and do everything on time and do everything right. And then obviously nobody's perfect. So that won't happen every time.
And then that's what like sometimes gets me frustrated and anxious and all the things
Amy: [00:32:06] Yeah, and I think that's also super really awesome that you were vulnerable and shared that because I think that is a problem with a lot of us, is that... or maybe not a problem, but very real experience that we all have where it's ourselves that we are beating-
Sylvia: [00:32:24] Fighting against.
Amy: [00:32:25] Yeah, exactly. It's like, “okay, we know what to do.”
We, exactly what I said! We know we should. Who, why should we do this? Because Oprah says? Because like our favorite social media influencers says? Yeah, there is most likely a grain of truth to it, but letting go of the shoulds is one of the most important things as just a human being. Not even just as someone who works at home.
Sylvia: [00:32:49] Yeah, you should have a data fits for you. Like the rest it's like, you can try this. It doesn't mean that it worked for you. Okay.
Amy: [00:33:00] Absolutely. Absolutely. So Sylvia, before we wrap up, I'd love to know like a few fun questions about working from home. And more practical tips for mental health if you have any.
So what's the one thing that you actually don't like about it? If anything.
Sylvia: [00:33:17] Yeah. Glad you added that “if anything.” I mean the only thing I'd say, like, again, it's me. The only thing I don't like about is me. Because I'm that person that, I'm like a people pleaser. So if a client messages me at 5:00 PM and I'm wrapping up for today, I struggle really hard to either ignore that client or let them know too that I'll just get to their message or get to their task in the morning.
So the only thing I don't like is the way that sometimes I can be related to working from home and working for myself. And for clients? I just don't like my attitude towards it sometimes. But yeah, for the most part, it's great.
Amy: [00:34:08] Okay. What's your favorite thing about working from home?
Sylvia: [00:34:12] I get to make my own schedule for sure. Being able to sometimes either work a lot on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and have like a long weekend. Obviously not so much right now because we're not traveling anywhere, but hopefully soon we'll get to pick those habits back up. But yeah, the whole schedule freedom.
And we were talking about having those down days and being able to either take those off or take them slow. Like I usually do. Yeah. That's my favorite. And that’s one great thing for practical tips for mental health.
Amy: [00:39:50] Awesome. And one more question for everyone that's listening to this. That is either thinking one, they want to try out being a freelancer. Although we didn't really talk about that.
Or for anyone that is a freelancer, what would be your suggestions for when it comes to trusting yourself in the process?
Sylvia: [00:40:16] Trusting yourself regarding can you do certain things? Okay. So, one thing that I love doing is, and this obviously will work best with the more clients that you get. But I keep a folder on my computer that has positive messages from clients or emails or testimonials and everything like that. It’s one of the great practical tips for mental health I can give.
Everyone will reach those days where you feel like you can't do anything and maybe, or it's like imposter syndrome. You feel like you can't do it and that you shouldn't be charging for this because there's someone out there that's better than you. So I keep that folder to remind myself.
During those days, I can look at it and see that I may think that I suck, but these people think that I'm the best. Obviously it's something going on in my head because if a lot of people say that I'm the greatest, like, why am I putting myself down and thinking that I can’t do this?
So I keep that motivation folder for myself.
Amy: [00:36:29] That's awesome. I really like that. What great practical tips for mental health! Do you read in that folder to remind yourself of how awesome you are?
Sylvia: [00:36:35] Yeah! Well, not like every day. It's not like a daily routine.
It's mostly for those days where, like I was saying, I'm feeling like a fraud or feeling like I'm not motivated enough to do this today.
I look at that and I'm like, okay, these people think that I'm great. Why am I thinking these things? Or why am I not feeling motivated if these people need me right now?
So it's like a pick me up.
Amy: [00:37:03] I love that. That's so, that's so wonderful. I'm so happy that you do that. I'm going to start doing that. Great idea! That’s definitely one of the practical tips for mental health.
Sylvia: [00:37:09] Yeah. I recommend that to everyone. When they say, Oh, I'm struggling. I don't know if I can do this. I keep a folder. Like it may sound stupid, but screenshot everything.
Amy: [00:37:20] I love that. Well, Sylvia, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and talking about mental health and your adventure as a freelancer, entrepreneur, and coach for individuals wanting to start their online service-based business. As always-
Sylvia: [00:37:40] Thank you so much for inviting me.
Amy: [00:37:42] Yes, as always. I love chatting with you and I know we've had a few chats before, but every time I talk with you, I'm just like, Ugh, I love you, Sylvia. You're just great.
Sylvia: [00:37:53] Yeah, the feeling is mutual, so.
Amy: [00:37:53] Amazing. Well, thank you so much.
And I would love it if you would leave the audience with some last words of advice, when it comes to taking care of your mental health and making sure that it works for them.
Sylvia: [00:38:10] So, I don't want this to be too repetitive, but definitely. And this is something like do, as I say, not as I do. But try not to be too hard on yourself. Like for the most part, especially if you have anxiety, you're your worst enemy. So, try not to be too hard on yourself. Try not to, obviously you want to take things seriously, but don't take things to heart.
Don't take them too seriously, sometimes. And have fun in the process because you're working for yourself hopefully to find that freedom and to do what you love. So don't, don't forget about that.