• Samantha Lehmann

I needed to make me a priority

After months of sourcing products and support from a dear friend building my website, The Empathy Gift Co. has now launched!

The first two weeks have been very productive, I’ve packed and delivered 20 gift boxes for people going through divorce, grief, birthdays and Mother’s Day. I love knowing that my gift boxes are bringing a smile to someone's day.

I'm confident my business will succeed

My short-term goal is to do 6-8 gift boxes per day and I’m confident I’ll get there. Why? Because I’m working hard to share my business and talking to others about it, I’ve also got some great google Ads going.

As I mentioned to a friend the other day, "oh well if the business fails at least I will have presents to give for the rest of my life". For me that’s the worst that can happen, I’m not afraid of failure in business. I do feel pressure to make it work because I’ve spent our family money on stock but as far as my ego is concerned I know it will be ok if it doesn’t work out…..I’ve experienced worse things.

Online is a whole new world for me

This website business is certainly different to bricks and mortar, I’m so used to being on the shop floor and selling.

Not having that face to face interaction is something I suppose I’ll get used to. I plan on using my selling skills and experience to approach corporates and hopefully I can secure some ongoing business relationships with them.

The people interaction is important to me, I love people and learning about them.

Mental illness should bring no shame

In my last Blog, I spoke about being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, GAD, which stands for Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which basically means I worry about a lot of things.

I’ve had a few people approach me since then and share with me their experiences with mental illness,

I commend people for reaching out because to be honest mental illness today still carries a lot of shame and embarrassment. People who have never suffered often don’t understand, get it or know how to support someone going through a tough time with it.

I can relate on so many levels

I don’t know a lot about other mental illnesses such as Bipolar, eating disorders, Schizophrenia, social anxiety or OCD but I think I can pretty much say I’m an expert on general anxiety and even though I don’t completely understand these other mental illnesses, I do try to be compassionate and non-judgemental.

I know how it feels to experience extreme fear, panic attacks, racing thoughts and depression and It’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced because it’s something you can’t actually control or stop. You feel powerless, vulnerable and it can be so debilitating you can’t even function.

My anxiety has manifested from taking on too much and trying to do and be everything and its certainly increased after the loss of my beautiful brother 12 years ago, and most recently my darling Dad.

I take time to take care of me

I’m an extroverted person so having an outgoing personality has helped me reach out for help when I have had to, and lean on true friends when I’ve needed it most.

I have it under control these days, I make time to take care of me, like exercising, following a good diet, taking long baths, acupuncture and having regular massages,

I also make sure I surround myself with positive, genuine and loving people, all these things make a huge difference to your mental health.

I can’t emphasise how important self-care is, especially when you’re a Mum,

I’ve learnt that my girls won’t be happy if I’m not so I make myself a priority too,

I can't give to others unless I'm taking care of me, I've learnt the hard way.

Take a step back and make some changes

So, if you're reading this and you have had some issues with anxiety, take a step back, look at your work load, make some changes and overall, just be kind to yourself.

Do things that bring you relaxation and spend time with people who make you laugh and accept you for you. It will make a world of difference.

And be there for others who you know may be suffering too

If you know or love someone who has a mental illness, be kind, try not to judge, offer your support if they are struggling or even better send them a Gift Box from The Empathy Gift Co to show you truly care.

Mental illness can feel very isolating, even though you may know that others suffer too. You do not feel yourself and this makes you feel very alone. Your brain plays tricks on you and it really is frightening for the sufferer.

Try to practise Empathy you will be glad you did. X

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