August 19, 2021

The Balancing Act

By Michael Ellis

Wellbeans Coffee has now been live for just over six weeks - and what a journey it has been. As the dust settles on the launch period, I’ve had time to reflect on the experience so far and plan on sharing my journey with my Wellbeans Community through this blog.

I have been overwhelmed by the response to our company following our launch. Wellbeans has received an incredible response from its already growing community and we’ve already had great customer feedback to our product and brand.

After months of planning and anticipation in the run up to the launch, it’s really felt like all that hard work is paying off. With that in mind, this first blog post will focus on working effectively while maintaining a happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Before I share my own tips on how to strike a balance, it seems only right to start with when my mental health was at its worst. In 2016, I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. I was longing for a sense of calm that I just couldn’t seem to find.

I have always loved keeping fit. I’ve never been a person who’s ‘ripped’ but I thoroughly enjoy exercise and have always been involved in some form of competitive sport throughout my life. But, as I entered adulthood, exercise became even more important as a tool to keep my mental health in check. 

One morning, after rather stupidly choosing to drink while feeling anxious, I woke up with a feeling of dread. I ended up spiraling into a panic attack and was sitting at the kitchen table unable to catch my breath when brother Andrew came in and told me: “Get your running shoes on, we’re going out”. 

We hit the road in the pouring rain and ran along our local beach. I remember the feeling of the cold rain hitting my skin while my aching legs pushed me to move faster. At the end, I finally found myself feeling tired and more relaxed. From then on, I made physical fitness a priority in my life - my motivation wasn’t aesthetics but my mental wellbeing. 

These simple steps have led to a significant reduction in my anxiety, to the point where I can now say that it doesn’t typically interfere with my day-to-day life. However, I found launching Wellbeans challenging. There were a lot of late nights, stress levels were high and business worries were keeping me awake at night. 

I found myself resorting to ready meals and exercise went out the window. I was mentally tired and the last thing I wanted to do at night was go to the gym. After finishing work I would melt onto the couch and watch Netflix, or go straight to bed. 

Mental fatigue quickly snuck up on me, during a period where I needed to be on the ball. I’d find myself staring blankly at my screen, switching off and being unproductive. I was too tired to work effectively but too worried to not work at all. 

Ultimately, I pushed through the struggles and we launched on June 21st but I’ve had time to reflect on what I could have done differently. I had a check in with myself post-launch and realised that I needed to rebalance my life. 

For me, this usually entails what I call a “reset day”. It tends to always involve four things:  a deep clean of the flat, getting very sweaty, cooking a nutritious dinner and then getting into bed early.

In day-to-day life - and especially whenever I’m getting myself back out of a slump - there are two other practices I use to get myself in check that focus on increasing my productivity and making sure that I am working effectively. 

I first like to prioritise tasks to stop me from getting distracted when something new comes along - I'm guilty of trying to juggle too many tasks at once. Instead, try organising what you have to do based on urgency. I will then set realistic deadlines for myself - for example, based on XYZ tasks, I plan to be finished by X time. I’m no productivity guru but these simple steps help me minimise stress. 

Launching a business by myself has been a huge learning curve when it comes to finding balance, as is often the way when major projects or life changes come along. At times it felt isolating but using my support system of friends and family has been essential. The entire ethos of Wellbeans revolves around community and I’d like to reiterate to anyone reading this how important it is to reach out to people when you’re feeling stressed.

Leave a comment