Mental Health and You

It was the summer of 2009.  A time to celebrate the beautiful weather, embark on vacations, and enjoy each other’s company.  

But something would change in my world that would shake me to my very core…

I spent the summer of 2009 locked in a psychiatric hospital.  Yes, you read that right.  The entire summer—72 days to be exact. You’re probably wondering how I ended up being committed to a psychiatric hospital?

Before I get to that part. Let me introduce myself.  My name is Krista Samimi. I’m a wife, mom, and a humanitarian entrepreneur.  I help individuals end burnout, level up in life, and create abundance.  Doing things differently with purpose, meaning, and intention are at the forefront of my work and Hot yoga, hosting theme parties and gardening are my jam…

After 17 years in the corporate world, I left pharmaceutical and healthcare sales to do things differently.  Not only professionally, but personally. 

What began as trying a holistic approach to my mental health grew into me finding a mission and a movement bigger than myself. 

It’s my passion to share my experiences living with bipolar to decrease the stigma associated with mental health disorders.  As a mental health advocate and speaker, I love to inspire others and provide hope, and how success is entirely possible even with a mental health condition.  

Through my experience, I have a successful business helping high performers elevate their mental wellness via the Gut-Brain Axis.  I’m cultivating leaders and overseeing a large team of Wellness Partner’s.  Together, we are helping others discover their “different” and step into their strengths, and passion and grow into their highest selves. 

So back to 2009!  Stress completely overwhelmed me, and made me have a burnout in my career, leading me to a very poor state of mental health.  Flying coast to coast for meetings and training takes its toll, and my self-care went out the window.  Living on minimal sleep and poor nutrition led me to the worst place possible-the psychiatric facility.

Followed by 3 months in a “half-way” home to relearn the basics of daily living.  Hard to believe I needed to re-learn how to make breakfast and grocery shop.  That whole experience was the biggest wake-up call in my life.  All of my “material” possessions I worked so hard to attain (homeownership, a company car, etc.) meant absolutely nothing at that time.  My mind and body were completely broken,, and my ego was fully crushed.  There is nothing more humbling than to realize that all the “success” in life means nothing, without being healthy enough to enjoy it.  

It’s taken me years to fully step into my power and take radical responsibility for my mental health and wellness.  

There were too many years of feeling ashamed, broken, wishing I had something more socially accepted like diabetes or heart disease.  Acceptance is not an easy road, in fact, not accepting kept me stuck for years.  But it didn’t happen overnight; it took time.  Gradually, over time, I began to accept myself (and others! My dad also had bipolar).  Through support groups, endless hours of therapy, and years of symptoms, I fully accepted what was happening in my mental health.

Acceptance led to solutions, solutions have helped me heal.  It hasn’t been a linear journey.  Just like the entrepreneurial journey, my mental health journey has had its ups and downs.  

I’d love to share with you, the 5 most impactful mental health & wellness strategies that have me living fully and authentically…

#1) Always be true to yourself—if you or someone you know has a mental health struggle, remember it is a medical condition.  It does not define the person, it does not define you.  If someone passes judgment, that’s on them, not you.  

#2) Learn to move your body often – exercise is always important, but with a mental health condition even more so.  Aerobic exercise and other forms of movement are linked to a reduction in depression and anxiety.  It will also significantly lower stress levels. Reducing stress is vital in managing mental health.

#3) Optimal sleep hygiene – This can not be understated. Getting adequate rest is so vital.  Your body and mind can not heal and rejuvenate without proper rest.  Try these 3 tactics for optimal sleep: turn off devices/technology at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.  No food or drink 1 hour prior to bedtime.  And lastly, make sure your bedroom is just for sleeping…no TV or reading in bed.  This will keep your mind focused on falling asleep.

#4) Holistic supplements targeting the Gut Brain Axis – after years of only taking prescription medications, I added holistic supplements to my regimen.  The supplements help balance the gut brain axis.  Did you know the gut is your second brain?  Yes!  In fact, 80-90% of serotonin (happy hormone) is produced in the gut.  Optimizing my gut brain axis has got rid of my brain fog, anxiety, and depression.  I have more energy, better mood, can better tolerate stress, and overall feel more joy!  And the best part… I take WAY less medication than I did two years ago.  

#5) Quiet time by meditating and journaling – taking even just 10 minutes out of your day to sit in silence is so good for your mind, body, and spirit.  And releasing any negative thoughts by writing them down in a journal is a great way to let go of anything that is not serving you.  

I hope you find these strategies helpful!  And reach out anytime with questions or comments!

Would you like to connect?  Or if you have any questions, you can find me here on social media or book a 15-minute connection call!

Krista Samimi

Mental Health Advocate, Mental Health Speaker, Kidney Trails Guest Author.

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