Balancing your mental health and business can be difficult. Throw in a lockdown and it can seem next to impossible. But, you’re not the only one going through this. A woman shares how she managed both a mental illness and an international business.
Bella Rareworld, a networking speaker, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 13 years ago, just as she began her journey towards being an entrepreneur. However, once COVID hit, Rareworld faced additional challenges in coping with her mental wellbeing.
Rareworld was not alone in her struggles. In March of 2020, the Samaritans charity provided emotional support to callers over 1,700,000 times. Most callers expressed feeling isolated, hopeless about the future, trapped and suicidal on numerous occasions. Rareworld stated that such feelings were exacerbated by trying to balance work and lockdown.
Recent statistics show that one in seven people experience mental health problems in the workplace, while women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have mental health issues than men with full-time employment.
At first, Rareworld refused to inform her colleagues and peers about her diagnosis for fear of rejection. She has to fix her busy work life around her mental illness. Her depression and medication make Rareworld drowsy, so she must schedule meetings before 11:30 am. She even states that “In my worst depression, I have experienced suicidal thoughts and attempted to end my life.”
As a networking guru, Rareworld has worked with high-ranking clients including the Houses of Parliament, o2 Arena, Metro Bank and NatWest. Now she has decided to share her story of living with bipolar disorder to increase conversations about mental health and break the stigma. By sharing her story, she hopes more people will recognise the symptoms of mental health conditions and seek help early.
To achieve this goal, Rareworld has created a podcast, called Think Tenacity about raising awareness, managing stress, all whilst running a business.
If you or a loved one are struggling with your mental health, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 for free at any time.