WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: AMANDA MUHAMMAD
I am always trying to find new ways to manage stress. My bro, Brandon, is always trying to make connections. Last year he thought that I should connect with Amanda, a stress management consultant. A few emails exchanged and the rest is history.
HEY AMANDA, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a Stress Management Consultant - I teach yoga, mindfulness, and meditation tools as an accessible resource to teaching self-care and stress management. I've been practicing for 9 years and teaching for 2.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Every day. Being a Yoga and Stress Management Teacher has definitely made me become more aware of my state of mental health. There's a noticeable difference in the way I carry myself and can serve my clients when I'm taking care of myself.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
When you work in service, it's easy to take on your client's stuff. Secondary stress/trauma or compassion fatigue is a real thing and can lead me to feel burnt out, extremely exhausted, and having to filter through intrusive thoughts.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
When I started being obsessively critical of the work that I do and comparing myself to people I didn't know. Some days I wouldn't even want to work because the Imposter Syndrome would kick in and I would feel like I wasn't good enough or people would "figure me out". It was literally all in my head. None of it was aligned with my true potential or the feedback I was receiving from clients.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I've learned to "teach and release" - allowing myself to "let go" of each class/training and really see each session I teach in isolation. I also have my own practice and tools that I use throughout the day to actively work toward dissolving stress as it arises. Lastly, I make an effort to do things like monitor my time on social media, surround myself with uplifting people/conversations, and take breaks from work to do things I love like checking out art, live music, being outdoors, and exploring.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
Taking care of myself is the only way I can show up and give my clients the best version of myself. I have to drop everything else at the door because my job is to help you find healing. My work delivers most authentically when I'm able to teach from a place of experience, not the textbook. So me taking care of my mental health means I can genuinely speak to the importance of managing your stress and mental health.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Positive stress with my work is finishing my certification, successfully carrying out a training, leading a class that my clients enjoy, learning and teaching something new, and just being able to share something I love (that has transformed my life) with someone else who needs it.
Positive Stress in my personal life is strengthening my relationships with the people I love, exploring new places and getting lost in the experience, a really great workout, and 3 way calls with my Best Friends Drea & Kameron (you never know what you're going to get <3)
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?
Go for it! But definitely, understand the importance of taking care of yourself in this field. When you work in the field and love it as much as I do, it's really easy to blur the lines of mastering your craft and taking care of yourself. Find ways to separate out when you're taking classes to be a better teacher and when you're taking classes to be a better you. For example, when I'm in the mindset of "training" I'll take a Vinyasa yoga class, that's what I teach. I take Ashtanga yoga for my personal practice, that class is all about me.
Be mindful of who could be in the room. People come to these practices for all kinds of reasons from self-care to dissolving stress and trauma. The language you use and even the adjustments you offer can be triggering. It is your responsibility to be mindful of this and hold a safe space for anyone that comes through the door.
Also, find your own unique voice and method of teaching. You don't want to show up sounding like a robot and you don't want your classes or trainings to be too predictable. Create an experience for your students.
Any other information you want people to know?
Check out my membership site that teaches accessible & trauma informed yoga, mindfulness, and a variety of other tools you can use to start creating your own self-care routine. You can sign up at courses.makomindfulness.com & get 50% off for using the code "EUSTRESS" !
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?