By Scott Donnell
The Day Everything Changed
I had a mental breakdown a few months ago when Hapbee Technologies, Inc. went public. I’d never experienced anything like that before. I couldn’t think straight. My eyes couldn’t focus on what I was reading. I couldn’t sleep. I was completely agitated.
I was completely broken.
The Year Didn’t Help
2020 was the year from hell for me…and for pretty much everyone on the planet. I gained 15 pounds over the last six months and lost a lot of muscle. I think I’m even balding. My three kids are my favorite people in the universe, but they are exhausting. They literally don’t sleep. It seems like I’m always eating Goldfish and hot dogs since those are the only things my kids will eat. I don’t have good habits at work. I’m getting 250 emails a day and working 100 hours a week. Taking our company public was one of the proudest moments of my life, yet the stress really took a toll on me.
I was beaten up.
When you have a nervous breakdown, it’s scary. You feel like you don’t have any control over your body. How do you overcome something like that?
On the Rebound: The Path to Recovery
I want to share some tips I’ve picked up since this happened to me. I’m the first one to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve learned a lot from people who are much smarter than me.
If you’re ready to take action to bring yourself into a better, healthier place and develop strategies to protect yourself from breaking down in the future, come with me on this journey. Let’s do this together.
- Pick the best area you want to change.
The morning after my nervous breakdown, I woke up with one thought on my mind: I need a change. And my goal wasn’t just losing weight–as important as that is. I needed a full life transformation. I wanted to create something that would enable me to continue being healthy.
What’s the change you need to make? For me, it’s every aspect of my life: mind, body, and environment. Consider everything that’s unhealthy in your life. Then strategize on how you want the situation to be different. Each of these areas impacts your mental health.
If you constantly have toxic thoughts, find a way to practice mindfulness. Start to keep a journal.
If you’re tempted to eat junk food all the time, limit yourself by not keeping any junk food in your house and experiment with delicious healthy meals.
If you have trouble sleeping, create a nighttime routine and ideal sleep environment to train your body to sleep deeply.
Are you desperate to get more deep sleep at night? Click here for our tips on how to get a good night’s sleep without using pills.
I know I’m supposed to focus on ONE THING, but I couldn’t do that. I decided to go for the total revamp. I set up a 100 Days Challenge to regroup my life.
- Rebuild from the ground up.
Now that you’ve decided what you want to change, it’s time to start creating a new way to live each day.
I began my life transformation journey by going to the doctor to get a full diagnostic test. It turned out my body was completely out of whack. I had a parasite and other problems with my intestines. I also learned I have Celiac disease, which prevents my body from properly absorbing nutrients, leading to a lack of energy (which of course affects my brain immensely).
Trust me, your body could be suffering in ways you’re not even aware of. The reason you have brain fog or constant exhaustion might be related to another part of your body. It doesn’t help to treat symptoms if you don’t know the root cause of the problem. Look to a trusted doctor to help you uncover what your body is telling you. Then start the process of rebuilding from the ground up.
- Transform the way you view mental health.
After my nervous breakdown, I felt ashamed. My thoughts turned against me. Why wasn’t I “strong” enough to handle the pressure? Why was my “weakness” so debilitating? Why couldn’t I just pull myself up off the floor and keep going?
Then I realized that all of these negative thoughts come from the mental illness stigma in our society. If we show a sign of not being able to cope with the stress, we’re viewed as weak. The truth is, admitting that there is a problem is half the battle. If you keep trying to suppress it, you will never be able to overcome it.
It’s up to us to triumph over the mental health stigma so it doesn’t affect our children and our grandchildren. We do this by talking about the struggles we face. Don’t feel ashamed of mental health challenges. There is strength in acknowledging your weaknesses. If you need medication or specialized therapy to deal with your mental health issues, do it! You’re stronger because of what you’ve gone through.
To learn more about how I want to overcome the mental health stigma, check out my featured article in Authority Magazine here.
- Get counseling.
This one is so important. It’s almost impossible to overcome a mental breakdown if you don’t seek professional help. Find someone you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to keep searching until you come across the right therapist for you. It’s not enough to just talk to your friends about what you’re experiencing–you need someone who’s going to give you the tools you need to live a balanced life.
The more we talk about counseling, the more normal it becomes. According to a study done by the Barna Group, 42% of Americans are currently seeing or have seen a counselor at some point, and another 36% are open to it. Additionally, younger generations are much more open to counseling than older generations. 37% of Millennials and Gen X are currently in therapy, compared to 9% of Boomers and Elders. Hopefully, the normalcy of counseling will continue to rise as we put the mental health stigma behind us.
- Develop healthy coping strategies.
Are you drinking just a little too much to help you relax at night? Are you consuming tons of sugar and comfort food? Are you smoking to distract you from your problems? For me, the answers to these questions are yes, yes, and yes. That’s why I’m searching for healthy coping strategies to replace these bad habits.
When you start to feel stressed, get some fresh air. Drink something hot and soothing like tea rather than alcohol. Call someone who’s a good listener and tell them how you feel. Consider how you can step back from whatever is causing you stress, whether it’s work, social commitments, or relationship problems. That’s not to say you should quit your job or hastily erase people from your life, but it can make a huge difference to take one day off from your stressor so you can start to recover.
Don’t underestimate the power of meditation when it comes to getting rid of the stress that’s built up in your mind. There are many different kinds of meditation. Find the one that works best for you. Incorporate meditation into your life. Make it a daily habit to harness the power. This habit can shift your mindset.
Looking for other all-natural ways to de-stress? Click here for our complete guide.
- Find helpful tools.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it feels like Hapbee saved my life. While I was going through the most difficult season I’ve ever experienced, Hapbee helped me Focus on work and Relax at night. Without it, I would have found myself in a much darker place.
Maybe Hapbee isn’t the tool you need, but something else could help you. Using an Oura Ring to help you develop healthy sleep patterns or a WHOOP to track your fitness progress might be the solution. Starting the Bulletproof Diet or taking Qualia supplements to improve your overall mental and physical performance could be the ticket. Test out some physical and mental wellness tools and find what works for you.
My full life transformation post-nervous breakdown is underway, and I’m calling it the 100 Days to Change My Life Challenge. I’m tracking my success live: my weight, my body fat, my heart, my sleep, and more. If you want to follow along, find everything at https://hapbee.com/100days, or follow @gethapbee on Instagram.