6 Expert-Backed Tips For Finding Success Without Sacrificing Your Mental Health
A certified master life coach outlines some helpful solutions for gaining perspective.
Success looks different for everyone. But women may be more likely to sacrifice their mental and emotional health on the way to achieving their professional goals. In a recent poll, 53 percent of women surveyed reported their stress levels are higher than they were a year ago, and nearly half reported feeling burned out.
According to Julie Reisler, a Certified Master Life Coach, podcaster, and author, burnout occurs more often in women, especially mothers, due to the cultural expectations that still place women as the primary caregiver in families.
“We’ve been raised in a society that values achievement and rewards ambition, hard work and success — often at all costs,” Reisler says. “Now that women have the opportunity to be the breadwinner, head of the household and a mother, they’re wearing more hats. More roles bring on increased stress, feelings of being overwhelmed and anxiety, or what I call the ‘have it all’ syndrome.”
To help women strike a balance between success and their mental health, we partnered with OLLY to find six expert-backed tips for boosting your mental and emotional health on the road to reaching your professional goals.
1. Access Your Greater ‘Why’
When you devote so much time and energy to your career, it’s important to periodically take a pause and assess your purpose and passion for your profession, Reisler explains. The same should be done for your life outside of work.
“Journal and ask yourself the following questions,” Reisler explains. “Why is my career so important to me right now? How might I approach my career with more balance and kindness? What would that look like?”
Use these same questions for your wellbeing and family. This exercise can help guide you to take actionable steps toward creating more harmony in your life.
2. Practice Self-Care
There are countless coping mechanisms and products that help prioritize and practice healthy mental and emotional hygiene, and Reisler’s favorites include music and sound frequency therapy, aromatherapy healing, and guided meditation. But there are also well-known supplements that can offer support when it comes to balancing your mood and stress level. Products like OLLY’s Ultra Strength Goodbye Stress Softgels combine a powerful blend of Ashwangandha, GABA, L-Theanine and lemon balm to help you stay calm, cool, and collected during moments of pressure — without losing your focus.
If your goal is less stress management and more general mood management, then OLLY’s Hello Happy Gummy Worms are worth checking out. The pineapple, peach, and orange-flavored gummies combine Saffron, a spice known for its mood-balancing properties, and Vitamin D, a brain-protecting antioxidant.
3. Find Opportunities For Movement
We all need movement in order to feel our best, but it can be difficult to find opportunities for exercise when we’re stressed with work. Emily Golden, founder and CEO of Golden Resources, a coaching and consulting firm, recommends shifting your mindset from work or movement, to work and movement.
“Take walking meetings, get a portable recumbent bike for under your desk, set reminders on your phone for stretch breaks, and block out lunch breaks for a yoga class,” Golden recommends. “Most of the newer fitness tracking devices will remind you to move. Take advantage of that!”
4. Maintain Your Connections
When you’re overwhelmed with work, cutting out social activities can seem like an easy way to accomplish more. But humans are pack animals — we need each other to thrive, says Golden.
“Be intentional about connecting with like-minded individuals you can be authentically yourself with,” Golden says. “Share challenges, celebrate wins and have some good laughs! Make plans with friends regularly and stick to them even if it feels like you should be working. It's amazing how energizing a good night with friends can be!”
5. Seek Outside Support
While maintaining friendships is incredibly important, it’s also vital to recognize when you may be struggling with feelings of burnout and need outside professional help, Golden says.
“This could be help from a doctor, a therapist, a personal trainer, a coach, or all of the above,” Golden says, noting that it’s a vulnerable and courageous act to recognize your mental and emotional health — but it’s also often the first time in reclaiming your personal power.
6. Adopt A Daily Mindfulness Practice
A consistent daily mindfulness practice can help train your nervous system to calm down and be present, which will help you be less reactive, feel more at ease, and have the bandwidth to embrace your emotions and challenges.
“Because your nervous system and body is so highly affected by your stress levels and emotions like worry, doubt, fear and overwhelm, I always recommend adopting any kind of daily mindfulness or meditation practice,” Golden says. “This doesn’t mean you have to meditate every day for 40 minutes, but it does mean creating a routine, which can be as short as 5 minutes to start, where you are focusing on your breath and being present in the moment.”
Even if you’ve experienced burnout before, it is possible to strike a balance between success and mental health. As Reisler recommends, having compassion and nonjudgement for yourself and others will go a long way.