Today’s interview is important — important to us as entrepreneurs, as women, and as people who interact with colleagues, friends, and loved ones. My guest today, Dr. Christina Bjorndal, is a naturopathic doctor and an advocate for mental health. Dr. Christina Bjorndal is an intelligent, articulate advocate for your right to gain control with respect to your mental health — and she’s also just a heck of a lot of fun. We had a fun — but intense — interview, where we talked about her personal journey with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, and how her quest to find greater health brought her to naturopathic medicine. Her book, Beyond the Label, addresses stigma and the ideas and ways that we can gain control over our mental health.
This conversation is so important for so many reasons and it was full of actionable items — things we can do if we’re questioning our own states of mental health, or as a colleague or friend advocating on behalf of those who need our assistance.
[1:53] Introducing the topic and guest for this week.
[3:26] Welcoming Christina to the podcast!
[3:56] Christina’s journey and story.
[13:26] Christina’s advice to friends and colleagues who notice someone struggling with mental health.
[16:32] ‘Starting in utero’; how the mental state begins before birth.
[21:09] When — in the normal spectrum of stress — we need to pay attention, and fundamental things we can do to protect ourselves from the adverse effects of stress.
[29:00] Self-love, quieting the outside voices around us, and a hard lesson in learning to let go and setting emotional boundaries.
[37:20] The reality of how we define — and how we should define — success.
[38:50] The concept of stigma and shame around genuinely loving yourself.
[43:29] The four elements in your health that are most important to address, and the ten steps you need to address in order to encompass these four principles.
[48:00] How Christina defines health.
[50:22] Six quick questions; Christina’s KPIs!
[54:45] Where to find more about Christina online.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine, by Dr. Christina Bjorndal (Page 248 for emotional boundaries)
More About Dr. Christina Bjorndal
Christina discovered naturopathic medicine through her own journey of struggling with mental health. After surviving a suicide attempt in 1994, she began healing after reading a book called A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson. Since reading that book, she has spent the last 30 years learning to accept and understand herself, her diagnosis — with the help of her many practitioners — and has focused on finding more natural ways to help you improve your mental health.
Christina is the author of several books; Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve Your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine, Moving Beyond – A Journal into Self-Discovery, and The Essential Diet: Eating for Mental Health.
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CALL TO ACTION
This week’s call to action is to take some time out of your hectic schedule to show yourself some love. It’s time to shift our negative mindset around the word ‘selfish’ and move towards a place of allowing ourselves time for self-care. I challenge you to do something just for you. Whatever your heart desires. Spa day? Rock climbing? Whatever it is, share your commitment with our community on the Entrepology Podcast facebook page. Because when you are accountable, you are helpable.
“I think the key is to keep showing up — no matter what the response is that you get.” — Christina Bjorndal
“What fuels your soul? What really serves you? What makes you jump for joy? That’s the essence of you.” — Christina Bjorndal
“To be emotionally resilient and to be able to really learn to love yourself you have to set some boundaries, and you have to understand when your boundaries are crossed.”
— Christina Bjorndal
“Women are reared to be quiet and subservient and then we associate loving ourselves as being somehow selfish. That word is full of power for a lot of us. We have to shift that in our mind to understand that this is self-care.” — Christina Bjorndal
“I think that is another problem — that our society is driven by this material concept of success. … I think that’s why our society is so off-track; because we’re pursuing the wrong shiny object.” — Christina Bjorndal
“There are four aspects to you as a person; there’s the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. … In my opinion, we need to be looking at all four aspects if we’re going to have a completely healthy system.” — Christina Bjorndal
“Epigenetics — which basically means the genes load the gun but the lifestyle pulls the trigger.” — Christina Bjorndal
“[Health] is about being in this state of balance or homeostasis … for you as an organism … within those three aspects [of the mind, body, and spirit].”
— Christina Bjorndal