Welcome to February. This month we are exploring the intersection of Mental Health + Motherhood.
Good morning ladies (and my 8 gentlemen subscribers)!
Today’s conversation is brought to you by a wellness coach on how she manages the ups and downs of mental health — as a mom, a business owner, and a woman.
Brittany Pennel is a 32-year-old writer, business owner, farmer, and mother of 5. She lives on a farm in Kansas with countless chickens and ducks, 17 sheep, 3 goats and 3 dogs.
With the life-long goal of living 100% sustainably, writing and encouraging women is a huge part of her heart (and happens to also be her livelihood). She has a children’s book currently in its editing phase, and is working on her memoir which focuses on thriving with anxiety.
Here is our chit chat.
You have a faith-based approach to life. What does that mean for you, and why does it work?
Whatever is going on in my day, I am going to do my very best to do it with grace and intentional choices. Like everyone else, I’m imperfect. And I just know that I will do what I can do, and then I’m going to give the rest to God to do what only he can do.
Accountability is EVERYTHING, and we should never go at that battle alone. ️
You have 5 kids. That is a lot of kids. What is a day in the life like at your house? Do you have a favorite? (kidding)
HA! It is a lot of kids I have 10 siblings so it’s really not a lot to me. It’s bananas most of the time, though.
My husband is a full-time farmer (on our farm) and a grain hauler driver. On any given day you can find me trying not to break open a bottle of red before noon as we do Zoom school, hybrid learning, farm chores, my own blog and business, and the 1,297 loads of laundry in-between waking up and supper.
You run a health business. What is it exactly, and who do you help?
I’ve run a wellness blog for several years on thriving through anxiety. I combine my passion and knowledge for mental health and the way it affects our physical health.
I love to encourage and support women through a mix of intentional daily choices, a daily support group on Facebook, and natural daily supplements for wellness that target gut health, anxiety and mood.
You're in the middle of writing a book on thriving through anxiety. What can you tell us about your anxiety struggles? What advice do you have for other women looking for anxiety cures?
My book has been a process for a couple of years now. It’s been a journey as I go through my real life and put that to paper for the whole world to see. Sharing our deepest — and honestly sometimes haunting struggles — that’s hard stuff.
I started struggling with anxiety and crippling panic attacks when I was 22. The last couple of years have been the time when I have really grabbed it by the horns and taken complete control. I have no doubt in my mind that my success in having less anxiety, OCD, depression and compulsive thoughts is a mix of:
Intentionally choosing to love myself enough every day to show up.
Getting with God every day and talking to him even if I have no idea what to say.
And I don’t know that there is a “cure” for anxiety because everybody is so different. Our bodies and minds have undergone vastly different things that has caused all of these unwanted feelings.
However, I do know, without any doubt, that it is possible to thrive in life — with whatever you’re doing — even through moments of anxiety. Because I’ve lived it.
Any wise words of advice to leave us with?
Wherever you are in your life right now — whether your blog or Etsy shop is blowing up, you’re back in the office learning about SEO, or you’re simply laser-focused on your health and wellness — be ALL IN.
There is a purpose for this season. You are worthy of the success that will come from your hard work. You deserve to live life fully. It isn’t selfish.
This is Brittany. You can keep up with her here.
If this woman with 5 kids can successfully run a business, manage her family farm, and publish books can find a way to tackle her anxiety, I think we all can too. Being busy is out, and being intentional is in. It’s important that we understand the difference.
Thank you for reading today!
Have a good day. Here is yesterday’s newsletter on keeping your mental health strong during winter if you missed it, or want to upgrade your subscription. See you next week!
PS. Upcoming themes for Take A Sip are Mental Health + Creativity and Mental Health + Appearance. If any of these areas intrigue you and you want to share your perspective (or you know someone fabulous who does), you know where to find me.
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