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Member Highlight - Rhoda Olarewaju, Positive Mental Wellbeing Advocate & Founder of Rhoda Talks

My name is Rhoda Olarewaju, you can find me on Insta @RhodaTalks. In my 9-5, I work with with patients suffering from kidney disease. Outside my 9-5, I am a Positive Mental Wellbeing Advocate. RhodaTalks is a Mental Health platform to comfort, motivate, and demonstrate healthy ways to manage, improve and maintain a positive mental wellbeing.

My key achievement since launching this year is creating a community for an under-looked niche in an over saturated environment. I find that there are few dedicated mental health channels on YouTube, apart from the one or two mental health related videos famous YouTubers post. While mental health can't and shouldn't be shoved down anybody's throat, it is equally important to have a strong online presence on YouTube like the 'How to' videos we sometimes binge on. I know I do! I am also hoping this will motivate anyone else thinking to do something like this to get started. There is room for everybody!

I am an expert at making anyone feel special. I mean we are all special beings, but I love that I am blessed with the gift to make anyone feel like a billion dollars! Across my platform, I promote that a positive and balanced mental health is more than a mission, a job title or riding the trend. It is a lifestyle for me. I make the effort to reach others, even in the smallest way possible - be it a smile/conversation with a homeless person, offer assistance to stranded grannies struggling to fold their grandchild's buggy, or giving away my last £20 because I know that the stranger I just met needs it more than me.

Whatever the day may bring, it is my heart’s desire to heal, add joy and be that ray of sunshine that we all need sometimes. I want to create a community whereby people feel like someone cares about their mental wellbeing, and are provided with helpful practical tips to manage everyday mental struggles.

Tell us and our lovely readers what is it that you do? 

As a Positive Mental Wellbeing Advocate, I use YouTube and Instagram to comfort, motivate, and demonstrate healthy ways to manage, improve and maintain a positive mental wellbeing. This part is very easy as all I really need to do - is be myself, even on the bad days. Mental health struggles are real, so I definitely have days and moments.

Nonetheless, having a community to share my mental wins and struggles with brings the comfort that:

1. I am not alone

2. RhodaTalks is a safe space for everyone, including myself

3. I am brave, and can learn to love my life despite my challenging experiences

So, whatever my post may be - be it to encourage, make you think, laugh, entertain or just me be my weird self. It is all real. The best part is - Everybody is welcome! Good Vibes Only of course.

What is your story? How did you end up here?

After suffering a mental breakdown last year due to chronic stress, and different toxic situations - on a really bad day, I was told that 'nobody cares'.

For five years, I studied a full-time undergraduate course, whilst working full-time. I used my full-time job to keep a roof over my head, and pay for University.

Despite the challenges and obstacles, I graduated with 2:1 in Psychology with Counselling Skills with The Open University - if I can do it, so can you!

In addition to trying to hold my life together, my work, family and social life got toxic. Religion got confusing and I felt lost in the chaos created by anxiety, depression and others' drama. My mental health was hanging by a thread!

A vast majority of my 2019 was spent on anger, exhaustion and entitlement. Oh I was angry with the world, and felt like it owed me something. I realized that to stay sane, I needed to spend some time away from:

1. The noise (e.g. friends, family, social media, negative/toxic energy).

2. To love myself, know myself, invest in myself, and replenish myself.

And boy! I feel reborn. The peace and clarity I now have makes the lessons so worth it! Most of all, I have a renewed recognition and understanding of my self-worth. Although I am still figuring it out, I must admit that I am learning to enjoy the process as much as the outcome.

Importantly, my mental struggles have motivated me to share some positivity in a world that is recently becoming overwhelmed with pain and sadness.

Do you have a “WHY” for why you do what you do?

My life changed in May 2020, when I heard the cold truth about being an adult - 'nobody cares'. Being the sensitive person that I am, I can assure you that I went home and had a good cry. Although it wasn't said out of spite, and was definitely a hard pill to swallow, it totally transformed my perception of life!

As a millennial, I find that the system has our lives planned out to the T! You're forced to give a vast majority of your life & time to work, pay taxes, pay bills - in exchange for an income you can barely survive on when you retire, and then you die.

Passing on debt to the next generation, and if they are not careful, they are headed for the same path. Right, so that got dark quick!

My point is - life is hella stressful! Therefore, taking accountability and responsibility for our mental health is important - now more than ever. With a stable mental wellbeing, you'll be surprised with what you can achieve with your mind.

To list a few, you're able to:

a. Focus and channel your efforts/energy on things/habits/mindsets that promotes your growth, and genuine wholesome happiness - not the superficial stuff.

b. Gravitate to the right things/people/ideas for you. Imagine where/what this could lead to.

c. Think and live positively, even when life gets real mad!

d. Live your life your way!

These are some of the things that fuel RhodaTalks - to remind you that your mental wellbeing matters, and to start looking past the distractions in life. That's where true happiness lies.

What are your plans for the future?

Too many to share, but a main one is to change the face of mental health, particularly in the Black Community. As a community, we have a lot of healing to do. Some of us are dealing with traumas we aren't even aware of.

However, by raising awareness on mental health struggles in a clear, digestible, and relatable way. I believe RhodaTalks can achieve some healing through reinforcing the following:

a. It is okay to ask for help when you are struggling.

b. Asking for help doesn't make you weak or a victim.

c. Therapy and emotional intelligence is just as important as religion and culture.

Rome was not built in a day, so it is definitely achievable! That being said, no man is an island. Therefore, your support is as crucial as the goal.

What is the best about being who you are? 

Being good vibes, and creating good vibes!

I am my happiest when I am able to contribute positively to someone else's wellbeing. Be it through my story-telling on Insta, compliments, words of affirmation, act of services or just being my weird self. As an empath, my love for humanity is bigger than my heart.

Although I know that it is impossible to love everyone - I love myself enough to know that I am unable to please everybody. So, I try to do what I feel is right, with a pure heart. Cringe much! but it's true haha.

What does your day look like? 

While my 9-5 can be somewhat structured, as I know what to expect. Being a Positive Mental Wellbeing Advocate is very different, but exciting because I don't know what the day might bring. So, my daily thing is 'mind over matter', and mindfulness.

For example, I could be having a really good morning, because I have done some meditation, uplifted myself, took some selfies, stared at the clouds (one of my current obsessions). Then, I get splashed by the bus and I am soaked. Or I am minding my business, and get dragged into someone else' drama. As an empath, this can be draining!

Regardless, of the hiccups (because that's what they are) - I really try to experience the moment - be it laughing out loud because I am soaked, and cannot go back home to change, or simply tell others' to keep their drama to themselves - especially if it is at the expense of my mental wellbeing.

Either way, I am in control of my day - to some extent. While some days hit harder than others, I remind myself that a bad day doesn't equate to a bad life. There is a lesson to learn in every experience.

What business-related tips and advice do you have for our readers?

I am a firm believer of 'If you want more from life, do more'. We are all capable of living the life that we really want, however, we have to put in the work.

I wanted more for and from my mental health, so I started asking the 'what' question. As a result, I am on a journey of enlightenment, whereby I am re-educating myself on life, unlearning limiting beliefs/habits, reading self-help books, and proactively working on relevant aspects of my life.

Be it acquiring new knowledge, meeting new people, asking the right questions, stepping outside of my comfort zone or challenging myself - whatever it is, peace and growth is my desire. So, don't sleep on yourself!

There is so much more to life than we know or perceive it to be.

What mindset advice do you have for our readers? 

Our experience of life is heavily influenced by our perception of it. If you don't like something - look into it, challenge it, change it. Open up your mind, try new experiences, take a genuine interest in other people, invest in yourself, learn a skill or many skills! Be happy. Live!

Only you know how to be you, but please don't sleep on yourself!

You also joined one of our courses - which one? Why did you join it, and did it end up being helpful in any way? 

I took the 'Empire Building Masterclass Originals' course in July 2020, and it was one of the first steps I took towards investing in myself! No knowledge is wasted, and if 2020 has taught me anything - it is that anything can happen, so having a plan is crucial.

Since the course, my confidence to be successful in whatever I do is absolutely renewed! If these bosses can do it, so can I - and anybody (as long as you put in the work of course). See you all at the top!

We are sure our readers would love to check out your website and your social media. Maybe you even have some special offers that our readers can grab! 

First of all, thank you all for your time. It feels empowering to share my story. An amazing opportunity that I am grateful for - Thank you Girls Building Empires! You did not lie about being a community.

If you've liked my feature, then kindly check out my YouTube Channel: RhodaTalks. Show your love/support by leaving a comment, and I will be sure to shout you out. I love to celebrate, and appreciate people! If you like what you see, kindly follow me on Instagram: @Rhodatalks

Lastly, if you are skeptical about joining Girls Building Empires' mailing list or course - don't be. It is a safe, educative, empowering, encouraging, and positive-filled community! What's not love?

Stay safe, and be kind to yourself x

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