WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: MADELINE FOSTER
I always say that Mental Health is not important to just one particular race, gender, or social class. It is also important to every nationality as well. In my travels, experiences, and connections, I have had the pleasure to meet an array of people and it is amazing to hear the stories that they have. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Madeline Foster from Australia and had the opportunity to pick her brain about mental health.
HEY MADELINE, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
Brand Account Executive at a social media start-up for 6 months.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Not explicitly in my current profession but in my home country (Australia) I am completing my training to become a clinical psychologist, so in that profession, I think about it all the time of course!
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
In my current job, I have to be adaptable. This is my first start-up job and I am learning that every day is different and you have to be willing to take on whatever the day throws at you. I am a person that likes to plan, so initially, I struggled with not having set tasks each day. This constant stimulation and stress had a significant impact on my mental health when I started my job as I was unable to perceive my workload as 'under control' without being able to organize and plan for tasks.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a family the viewed success as holistic, therefore from an early age, I was encouraged to always value my physical, emotional, social and psychological health equally. As I got older and went away to university I realized how difficult this is sometimes to balance as an adult. Between work, study, family, and friends I started to neglect my physical and mental health. I found that once I started to neglect my mental health in my every day activities all other areas of my life started to suffer. Therefore, I started to educate myself on how important it is to consider my mental health every single day in order to live a happy, healthy and successful life.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I am also a huge believer in taking regular breaks during the work day and fitting in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. For me, I like to exercise for 30 minutes right at the end of my work day. Then I can leave behind the stress of the day and start my evening on a positive note. I feel that this also helped me feel as though I had the structure in my day that I craved. For say 1 hour, I sit at my desk and work through whatever I have been tasked with and then I have a hard stop where I break and refocus before I get back to work.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
Being mentally healthy helps you in any and every job in the world. In my particular job being able to acknowledge when a task/situation is stressful and then use my daily routine and stress relieving strategies (exercising, taking a break etc) is invaluable in keeping me feeling not only mentally healthy at work but also mentally healthy in all areas of my life.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
For me, Eustress is when I am tasked with something I perceive as challenging both at home and at work. It usually comes from a task that I have never done before, that is just beyond my current skill level. These sort of tasks require me to research, practice, execute and reflect and often end up in me learning a huge amount! The stress that comes from being (gently) pushed out of your comfort zone is well worth it when you realize how much you can achieve when you put your mind to it!
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
Say yes to every opportunity. Every internship, every travel opportunity, every study opportunity - take it! You need to see what you don't like as much as what you do like so take every chance to experience new things both personally and professionally.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?