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Women In Wellness: Amanda Young of Sunshine and Rainbows Podcast On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Establish a routine: for someone with bipolar, routines are essential to my well-being and keeping my manic/depressive episodes fewer. When my routine gets thrown off or I’m unable to control my surroundings within reason, I without a doubt am at risk of slipping into a depressive state.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Young.

Amanda Young is a Mental Health Advocate, Author and Podcast Host whose personal mission is to help eliminate the stigma of brain illnesses by educating people on what depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and bipolar actually are. She starts important conversations on her social media platforms and podcast by encouraging others to speak up and seek help. Amanda is a firm believer that her brain health conditions, and her unique voice are her superpowers. The ability to feel in extremes gives her empathy not everyone has — allowing her to continue helping others find their voice.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Thank you so much for having me! My story really starts in my mid-twenties when I was laid off from my dream job of working with Killer Whales and truly thought my life was over. Through lots of mistakes, therapy and eventual mental health diagnosis’ I was able to turn that setback into a true set up for something incredible in my life. I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for that devastating phone call in April 2019, I really wouldn’t have become the woman I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

While it might not be the most interesting thing to some, I am still so honored to have had the chance to represent the Bipolar community on World Bipolar Day by partnering with The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in an

Instagram live. It was so incredible to hear others’ stories and share my own in the process. I learned yet again that I’m not alone and that there’s an entire community full of brave and resilient people.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I can honestly say that the biggest mistake I made starting out was trying to be like “everyone else” within my niche. It didn’t work, because they already existed… The world doesn’t want a ton of the same thing, they’re looking for exactly what makes you unique and special. Once I decided to own what made me different, I found that my community grew exponentially because I was showcasing what I uniquely had to offer.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

I pride myself on being a fierce and strong voice within the mental health space. By speaking up about my own challenges with getting properly diagnosed, I am helping others feel less alone in their own journeys. I hope to continue educating the world on what it truly looks like to live with a mental illness AND thrive within society.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  1. Establish a routine: for someone with bipolar, routines are essential to my well-being and keeping my manic/depressive episodes fewer. When my routine gets thrown off or I’m unable to control my surroundings within reason, I without a doubt am at risk of slipping into a depressive state.
  2. Go to sleep on the same day you woke up: again, a huge thing with being bipolar is sleep regulation. If I wake up on Monday morning, I need to go to bed again Monday night before 12a. By keeping my sleep patterns regular, I’m able to let my brain and body fall into a natural routine — it is a key thing for my health.
  3. Give myself grace: with having bipolar disorder, even though I can try my hardest to stay in a stable state, there are moments I can swing into a manic phase or depressive episode. During the moments when I can feel either creeping closer, I remember to give myself and my body grace. Clearly, my body is trying to tell me something, so I try to listen. If I spend too much in a manic phase, I keep my receipts and am not ashamed to return things once it’s passed. If I’ve lost touch with friends during a depressive episode, I humbly reach back out to establish contact and explain why I was so distant. By giving myself grace, I’ve learned to love my mind and body for how strong it is by consistently protecting me.
  4. Schedule self-care: routines are my thing — you’ve caught that, right? When I feel like a depressive phase is coming close, I’ll help future me by writing little love notes to my mind. I’ll also write in my planner reminders to brush my teeth, take a shower, eat lunch, etc. to make sure I’m still taking care of myself.
  5. Speak it outloud: finally, I share what’s going on inside my brain. While it might be scary to open up about an intrusive thought, the moment I speak it outloud the fear loses its grip on me. By sharing with trusted friends, loved ones and family, I’m able to help myself by learning I’m not alone and have people who love me.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Wow. The sky’s the limit when it comes to my dreams within the mental health space. Someday, I would love to speak with employers on how to best support their employees and care for everyone’s mental health. The world is so burnt out right now, and no amount of pizza parties or HR training on lunch breaks will solve that without real conversations and actions.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Failing is good — that means you’re learning… Your setbacks can truly become setups for something better
  2. BE YOURSELF — because literally everyone else is already taken
  3. Don’t let society put you in a box — flip the script and create your own molds
  4. Not everyone is going to like you — that’s ok!!!!!!!
  5. You don’t need to reach everyone — focus on one. If you reach just one person with your unique message, then your purpose is fulfilled.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

While they all hold incredibly important roles within my life, mental health is such a priority to me. I truly wouldn’t be

where I am now as a human if it wasn’t for the battles I went through in order to find a proper diagnosis for my mental illnesses. My entire life was crumbling around me, and even though I cared about all those important issues, I realized I wasn’t physically able to begin helping others until I chose to help myself. It seems counterintuitive, but you really do need to fill your own cup before trying to fill others’. By focusing on my mental health and finding a state of healthy and safe Amanda, I am now able to turn my focus to others and their needs.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

You can find me everywhere online at @that_manda_girl and my website

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

Women In Wellness: Amanda Young of Sunshine and Rainbows Podcast On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.