In this interview we talk to Suzannah Butcher of Calmpreneur who helps business owners with their mental health.
I’d like to thank Suzannah for being so open and sharing some truly personal moments that helps other mums realise we’re not alone and also to be so appreciative of the things that go right in our lives.
The tips at the end are suuuper helpful and things I have definitely noticed help and need to make more effort to do myself.
Mental health can make or break a business and a business can make or break your mental health so support from businesses such as Calmpreneur could make all the difference. Building a business around your passion can be such a great way for mums to build a career when the kids are little so this interview will be useful for you even if you don’t have a business yet.
So enjoy the interview and don’t forget to check out the Calmpreneur website and socials!
What benefits to your mental health are there by creating a business around something you love?
Calmpreneur is a business designed for me, by me! Combining my passions of supporting others, being authentic and wanting to do something that matters in some small way, is really important to me. I honestly cannot wait to get to my little garden office each day.
It enables me to be truly ‘me’, warts and all. Having struggled with mental health issues for most of my life, I finally feel like I’m able to be honest about what it’s like and how it affects me and my business.
There are some times that I need to retreat a little and nurture myself and my business allows me to work with the ebb and flow of my mental health.
How does your business improve the lives of its customers?
Calmpreneur helps business owners to manage their mind wellness through resources, training and support. In addition to this, there’s lots of ‘calmspiration’ to be found on my blog.
I hope that Calmpreneur will serve as a great reminder that it’s OK to run your business however you please! There are no rules. Your business should fit around your life and not the other way round. Whatever works for you is just perfect.
What has been your darkest moment since having children and how did you find your way out?
My husband and I had to go through 8 years of fertility treatment to conceive our children. It finally worked in 2004 and my son was born in June 2005.
I loved being pregnant, but was incredibly anxious that something would go wrong. Despite the usual issues and an unfortunate onset of painful Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction in the third trimester, my pregnancy went quite well but the labour was another story!
My son was born after 37 hours; a back to back labour and a severe tear meant I’d need a caesarean next time round, but not only that, when my son was born he was whisked off to special care for breathing issues. It turned out he had congenital pneumonia and everyone was really worried about him.
I went a bit odd for a few days and think I detached from the situation. Finally after a stressful week or so, my lovely new baby boy was well enough to come home.
For that first few weeks, I felt sick in the pit of my stomach and there was definitely a dark cloud looming. I frequently worried that he wasn’t breathing properly and even recorded him on my phone to show my midwife. She was great and rather than dismiss my worries, showed me how to do CPR. That gave me a feeling that I had some control and that things would be ok.
Thankfully I think my sheer disbelief and joy that I actually had a baby took over and I was able to come through it quite quickly.
I still have anxiety which crops up, but I have lots of great coping mechanisms to deal with it, so I’m usually able to get back on track within a day or so.
Do you notice a difference in your mood when you focus on healthy habits?
My health has improved a lot over the past few years. The whole family, kids included! decided to go vegetarian about 4 years ago and I noticed a difference within weeks – I felt ‘cleaner’ somehow!
Now I’m in my 40’s, I do take some supplements such as evening primrose oil and a multivitamin specifically for peri-menopause, but I also try and eat quite well too.
As someone who struggles with IBS, gut health is something I’m really passionate about, especially with the evidence coming out about the link between the gut microbiome and mental health.
I still have treats, dark chocolate especially, but have cut back on things like alcohol and processed foods. This change has had a really positive impact on my overall mood and energy levels.
What advice would you give to other business owners about keeping healthy?
- Sleep well and don’t underestimate the importance of rest either. Make good sleep hygiene a priority.
- Be mindful of tech stress and make sure you take some time to unplug completely on a weekly basis. Smartphones are great because you can work on the go, but it can make a business seem all-consuming. I have my phone in sleep mode between 8pm and 8am, so I don’t get distracted by emails and notifications.
- Connect with people. This has had a really positive impact on my mental health. I used to hole myself up in my office and become a bit of a hermit but human connection is really important. We need it to thrive.
- Getting outside in nature is something I do every day (having a dog helps!) it helps me to practice mindfulness and increases my focus. Some of my best ideas ping into my mind when I’m away from my usual work space too.
Author Bio – Suzannah Butcher
Suzannah is the founder of Calmpreneur.com
Calmpreneur helps entrepreneurs focus on their mental wellbeing and find new ways to reduce stress and increase productivity through training, resources, and support.
Connect with Suzannah