Health

How stress gave me shingles

It has been eight years since I launched The Healthy Mummy and although it has been a complete labour of love it has also been a roller coaster of stress as the business has exploded and has now helped mums lose over 3 million kg on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

And experiencing that stress over such a long period of time has taught me how important it is to manage our stress levels and learn to say no and take time out so that your body can recover.

 

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The big stress lesson came for me after four years in business.

I had been running so hard and so fast for so long that I didn’t know what a slow pace was.

I had the entire weight of the business on me. It was growing so fast. The expansion was crippling me and failure for me was just not an option.

I had 100,000’s of customers relying on me. I had lots and lots of staff relying on me for salaries and jobs. I had contractors and suppliers relying on me for work and I never ever wanted to let anyone down – and I still don’t ever want to let anyone down!

Rhian Rae and Sasha

 

Back in 2014, I had an app and website that were on the verge of imploding as the rapid expansion of the business and customer base were crippling the servers and needed huge investment to rebuild

I was trying to balance my rapidly growing business with being a mum and trying to manage the huge investment needed to continue to sustain the business.

It was very very stressful, to say the least.

The hours were very long. The stress was high. And I worried about just about everything there was to worry about every single day – and I ran on adrenalin – it was FULL ON.

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Then one day I had a rash on my shoulder and neck.

I thought I may have been bitten by a spider so went to the Doctor and he said, ‘no spider bite – you have shingles’.

I was so shocked! To have shingles at only 36. I felt sick to my stomach

The Doctor asked me if I had much stress in my life. I said ‘uuuhhhh yes’.

I told him about what I did and he said he wasn’t surprised as my adrenal system would be so stressed that my immune system had crumbled.

The Healthy Mummies Mini Doco Shoot featuring Jacoby Hall, Skye Fox, Zoe Molloy and Cicily Goodwin. THM HQ Manly Sydney NSW - Tuesday 25th July 2017 - © Karen Watson 2017

The Doctor took blood tests to ensure the shingles wasn’t a sign of something more sinister and I was so so relieved to find out it wasn’t. But it was a BIG wake up call.

I then went to see a specialist who said that I had to get a handle on my stress.

I had to change the way I was living my life. I was suffering from extreme adrenal fatigue and I couldn’t go on putting the stress on my body or the outlook would not be good.

Rhian Healthy Mummy
So from that day on, I changed the way I did things
  • I still worked hard but I handled stress differently.
  • I didn’t choose to let all the little things bother me
  • I invested in more staff – senior staff and admin staff
  • I moved from working at home to investing in an office and a fleet of full-time staff
  • I made sure that I put my health at the top of the list of priorities
  • I started switching off my phone and computer to have breaks so the ‘ping ping ping’ would stop
  • I invested in a complete redesign and rebuild of the website and app with a new team who had the capabilities to take the business into the future and who offered project management of the mammoth task.
  • I committed to go on regular breaks every 6-8 weeks to get away from it with my family

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Taking this approach was the best thing I did as the four years that followed were just huge for the business and we saw 100% year on year growth every year which meant workload and craziness went from level 10 to level 1000.
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There was so much investment and building across the website from 2014 – 2018 from product and app development, so much staff hiring, so many things that did go wrong and so many stressors that would be coming at me from every single angle –  but the way I handled it was better.
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That isn’t to say I haven’t been extremely stressed and exhausted  over the last 4 years since my shingles incident (I 100% have), but I am much better at knowing my limits and saying no to things and I ensure when things get really full on I pull back from other things and re-prioritise so my body – mentally and physically doesn’t get overwhelmed and I don’t end up in a pit of stress.

I also have learned to say no to things and I definitely have got good at that!

But that isn’t to say I have slowed down! Not at all – the customer is still my number 1 focus and in 4 years we have launched more products than ever before – averaging 1 new product a month and now we have launched in the UK and are launching in the USA in 2019.

I just handle it MUCH better now!!

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Health, happiness and longevity are critical to me and I appreciate that if I am not healthy and happy that I will be of no use to my family or the 100,000’s of customers that use The Healthy Mummy every day.
You can follow me on Instagram at @Rhianbusyallen

 

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Rhian Allen

Rhian is the Founder of the Healthy Mummy brand and passionate about empowering mums to live a healthier life. Rhian founded the Company in 2010 and it is now the biggest mums only health & weight loss community in the world.

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