In today’s busy world, where daily demands often overshadow our well-being, taking care of our mental health is crucial. Burnout, stress, and anxiety are common challenges, but they don’t have to control our lives.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, VR Beauty Consulting Founder and CEO Valerie Reynaert shares her journey of self-reflection and intentional boundary-setting, which has helped her prioritise her mental health, since experiencing a burnout in 2019.

“I had to do a lot of work on myself, figuring out why it happened and how I could prevent it from happening again. It was not an easy road, but it was a very insightful and interesting one to walk. Once you have had a burnout, it can still linger inside your body, and you must be careful to avoid letting things get back to that stage. It is very important to work towards finding a balance.”

Reflecting on her experiences, Valerie shares how through honest conversations with colleagues and introspection, she learned the value of establishing positive routines and boundaries.

Establishing a daily morning routine of meditation and setting intentions has been a game-changer for her.

“Every morning, I sit outside and journal and do my manifestations. Recently I did a 30-day challenge on manifesting soul abundance through a private Facebook group (link below) where every day, you were given a subject to think and write about. This morning practice is very much about standing still and thinking about what is it that you want in life. What is it that makes you happy? What will bring fulfilment to your life? It was an eye-opening experience. I also read a verse of the Tao in the incredible book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, by Dr Wayne D. Dyer and then I meditate. This time every morning makes such a big difference to my mental state,” Valerie says.

When it comes to setting boundaries, Valerie first learnt to recognise external stressors, particularly the impact of others’ actions on her mental state.

“It is important to distinguish between personal responsibility and external influences. By reframing negative interactions and realising that sometimes someone’s behaviour reflects their insecurities, you are empowered to maintain a good emotional balance.”

Valerie’s approach to managing situations like this involves thoughtful reflection before responding so that you can avoid reacting impulsively.

“If you know that you have done what you promised and to the best of your ability, then you can confidently step away and realise that most of the time, people’s reactions have nothing to do with you. If you take it personally it will affect your mental health.”

Valerie highlights further that making time for an activity that helps her to unwind and the simple habit of ensuring that she has enough sleep plays a big part in looking after her mental health. ‘’I try to get to bed by 10.30pm every night. I never set an alarm as I wake up when I wake up, as it is important to give your body and mind the sleep it requires.’’

“Making time to explore the world and to let your mind wander, enables you to come back with a fresh mind, ready to face daily life. To unwind, I make time for diving and traveling. Diving is like meditation for me. You are fully closed off from the world when underwater and the only thing you do is enjoy the beauty of the underwater world. Travelling also takes me out of my usual space and routine, which is so important to do.’’ she shares.

Above all Valerie is a strong promoter of kindness as a catalyst for positive change.

“The impact of a simple act of kindness, such as offering a compliment or smile can be huge and can make a big difference to someone. When you make someone else happy, automatically, you will be happy as well. “

While these may all be small steps, they go a long way to boosting mental health and nurturing positive habits, which help us navigate life’s challenges with resilience.

Here are the resources that Valerie highly recommends for those looking to boost their mental health: