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Veronda Bellamy of The Relevancy Factor: 5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Veronda Bellamy.

Veronda Bellamy is a nationally recognized mental health therapist with a specialty in trauma. Through her work in mental health, she founded the Relevancy Factor™ — which helps persons understand their purpose and entrepreneurs improve their profits — and also Bridging the Gap of America — an accredited behavioral health agency by the joint commission.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I was working in corporate America for nearly 10 years and was tired of what I called ‘the rat race.’ Eventually I felt my voice wasn’t respected and my opinion was not wanted in many of the spaces I was invited into. So, I had to do something different. Among my friends, I was always the go-to person for advice and figured because of that I would make a pretty good therapist and probably enjoy the career, so I decided to explore it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The transition from employee to fulltime entrepreneur would probably be the most interesting. Right on the heels of the passing of my sweet mother-in-law, I was encouraged to start my own practice. I was burned out with the job I had. So I did. It was like I suddenly had permission to step into this new space of leadership. I wanted to be free to be there for my husband and in-laws without the cares of an employer breathing down my neck. I took the leap and I haven’t looked back since.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

It is humorous now, but that wasn’t always. I had to learn the importance of self-care. For the longest time I thought being super woman was the way to be seen and heard. I thought that being able to do all the things was a badge of honor. I have since learned that is far from the truth. Our bodies are not wired to go non-stop. We have to rest. I have slowed down tremendously since 2017. Selfcare is not selfish; selfcare leads to happiness

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have a mentor who has been consistent for the last decade — a successful therapist and consultant. I call her a ‘spiritual guide’ because she is that for me. When we first met, I was still in corporate America. I was not at all thinking of becoming a therapist. But she said to me me, “I will see you on TV someday. You will reach amazing heights.” I don’t know how she knew, but I believe I am just at the beginning of the impact I will make in the world — and that’s exciting! We all need to know our brilliance, our happiness and our relevance. I hold on to the words of my mentor during the times I question myself — and yes, I do question myself. My family is very supportive as well. I can call on them at the drop of dime for support.

I have other guides that have crossed my path over the years. Another encounter occurred when I interviewed Dr. Maya Angelou on a podcast series I had back when podcasting was still new. Dr. Maya Angelou has always been a huge role model for me, and I was honored to conduct one of her final interviews before her passing. One thing she said to me during the is “a woman can do anything. She can cook some beans, fix a toilet and host a dinner on a Friday. We can do anything.” I was like, ‘Yes, ma’am, Dr. Maya Angelou. We sure can!”

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

Practice selfcare. Arrange your appointments with breaks in between them. Scheduling a two-hour break between sessions can be the best gift ever. Hire a great admin and have your process in place. I can offer help for developing a customized process — it’s one of the things I enjoy doing. And find outlets — practicing yoga, going to the gym, drinking fresh pressed green juices and laughing a lot. Most importantly, know when to refer a client who isn’t a right fit

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Treat others how you would like to be treated. Don’t hold on to dishonest staff or staff that interrupt the energy of your culture. Doing so can seriously cost more in the long run than you ever thought. Also, if you are having to “look out” for someone you will always have to look out for them — calculate this before you say yes.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

1) Practice daily selfcare

2) Assess your relationships

3) Assess your career

4) Assess your happiness

5) Hire a coach

I cannot emphasize enough: practicing selfcare is essential. Sometimes relationships can be toxic or draining, including professional relationships, so be honest with yourself. I encourage my coaching and therapy clients to be honest with themselves about the happiness in their career. Most therapists have a therapist and coaches have coaches. Ultimately, happiness is a byproduct of a healthy mind.

How about teens and pre teens. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

Teenagers and preteens are very aware individuals. They are much more advanced in their view on life and mental health than I was when I was that age. Teens and preteeens should connect themselves to a coach or therapist — and many are with the help of their parents. Start practicing yoga; it has major benefits internally and externally. Starting as a preteen can help with discipline and create a mindset to overcome some of life’s most challenging situations.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

My favorite book is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a mindset book and a great read. Another book is “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. It helped to me narrow my focus because as a visionary my focus can be broad. My favorite podcast is Joyce Meyers; I also watch her often on Day Star along with Bishop T.D. Jakes. All provide me with mindset enrichment and spiritual guidance to help fuel my passion and purpose to be a thought leader and change agent

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I believe happiness is a choice. It is a byproduct of a well-balanced life. My movement would be ‘Just Be Happy!’ Of course, there is much that goes into that and there is a process that you would have to go through, but I have the solution. I see it too frequently for the patients who I serve. It works. But it starts with seeking out a therapist and/or life coach

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Job 13:2 NIV What you know I know, I am not inferior to you. This verse of the bible is relatable because it really does remind us that no matter who you are speaking to you, you are not inferior to anyone. So often, we live out of fear, fear of the unknowns, fear of what others think, fear of what others will do, FEAR, but here we are reminded that God has imparted wisdom into you, so you are not inferior to anyone.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram @Verondabellamy — all social media @verondabellamy and/or www.verondabellamy.com.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.