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How Can I Thrive? Part II

Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC


If you read my last blog post, How Can I Thrive? Part I, you learned about a recent interview I did for the Kellogg School of Management. I left off discussing tips on avoiding burnout. Below you will find the rest of the list!  

How Can I Thrive? Part II: Incorporating Mental Health and Therapy into Your Life 

Business school is an unusually stressful time for students. Any tips on how we can avoid burnout?

  • Prioritize self-care and address it on a deep level: A manicure or an intense workout is great, but so is seeing your therapist and meditation.
  • Ask for feedback and learn how to get comfortable with it: Accept that you will spend the rest of your life improving upon yourself and that you are a work in progress. There is never a time that one should stop improving, and let yourself make mistakes; just ensure that you learn from them. 

What are some good habits we can start incorporating now to manage stress later on?

If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. If you find that you are exhibiting patterns that are unhelpful or maladaptive, make some small changes that will give you results that lead you closer to your best self. Here are a few habits that might help you as you finish up school and embark on your careers:

  • Divide up your to-do list into high, medium, and low priority. We can only handle so much at a time and it’s crucial to recognize that not everything is pressing. Also, research proves that if you write things down, they are more likely to be accomplished. Personally, I have learned this one the hard way!
  • When faced with anxiety, break down a situation into best case, worst case, and most likely to happen scenarios. Often you will find that of the things you worry about, most never come to fruition.
  • Never hesitate to ask for help, utilize your support network, or go after something you desire. The worst that can happen is the person says no. Try and try again.
  • Pay it forward and stay humble. We all started somewhere and needed help to get to a place of success. Humility is an important part of values-based leadership and we all know what it’s like to feel “small.” Remember that person that helped you in a time of need? Pay it forward with other people and do your best to build up others whenever you can instead of bringing them down.

What are some ways we can be kinder to ourselves? 

Recognize and know that you are doing great things. Given that Kellogg is full of driven high-achievers, one of the most common trends I have noticed is how hard students can be on themselves.

Newsflash: You are doing a lot better than you think, or than you give yourself credit for.

Next time you find yourself in a downward spiral of negative thought, try to argue or dispute against unrealistic thoughts, or comfort yourself in the same way you’d treat a friend with any concerns they may share with you. If you are an MBA student, I am sure you have already learned the importance of self-care, but remember that it won’t happen unless you are intentional about it.


Anything else you would like Kellogg to know?

Be on the lookout for an event called Paws for Stress put on by both KSA and myself. I have a loving four-year-old golden retriever, and he is certified as a therapy dog through a company called Pet Partners. We do any volunteer events whenever we can! 

If you made it this far, thanks for coming on this journey with me and reading more about this interview! Don’t forget to call Symmetry Counseling today to get connected with a talented clinician of your own. You can reach us at 312-578-9990. 


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