Getting to Know Marie Ann
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Marie Ann Altuve and I’m the founder of Self-Made Babe, a community and an educational media platform for influential female entrepreneurs.
Through Self-Made Babe, I’m making sure the barrier of entry for women in business is minimized by making self-education accessible to all women. When I’m not empowering women, I’m most likely hanging out with my two fur babies.
An interesting fact about you?
I have a phobia of pennies. They gross me out. I don’t like handling change for this reason.
Marie Ann’s Mental Health Story
Were there any turning points in your life where you didn’t feel the best with your mental health?
I still struggle with my mental health from time to time. The way I cope with it is by laying in bed and just wallowing in my thoughts. It’s definitely not the healthiest way to deal with it but sometimes I just need a hard reset in between those moments where I’m having an existential crisis and major debilitating anxiety.
My existential crisis triggers in moments where I question, “What is the point in all of this? What are we? Why are we here? What’s my purpose on this planet? Why are we on a floating rock in the middle of space?” But it’s not in a suicidal way.
In those moments, I don’t want to do a single thing.
For instance, when my parents got COVID, I didn’t function at all. Nothing else mattered.
I would lay in bed all day – my signature coping mechanism. My business was on pause because it didn’t matter. My self-care was on-pause because I wanted my parents to be safe and healthy again. I was in the middle of launching a mini course and couldn’t fully commit to promoting it.
Better Me, Better Life
What are some ways you’ve learned to manage your mind and emotional wellbeing to avoid mental exhaustion?
One of the ways I’ve learned to manage mental exhaustion like burnout is by prioritizing three things that help me thrive. In order to avoid burning out, I learned that I had to be creative, passionate, and of service to others.
Whatever I set my mind to has to have all of those 3 things. If not, I will immediately just dread the journey or the process, and I will be unhappy. The best part of all is that I made sure that my business reflected that. I really do feel happy with my business. I learned this by bringing on a therapist, Kelley Anne Bonner.
Your work involves a lot with empowering women in pursuing success and happiness. How do you, as a mentor, find support for yourself?
I think it’s very important to be your own hype-gal, especially when I struggle with my mental health and I can be my biggest critic. Sometimes I will catch myself slipping into the darkness but now I’ve learned to stop it in its tracks.
It’s important to know yourself and learn to replace your toxic thoughts with happy thoughts. A few months back I would convince myself of terrible things. But now, before even letting that thought fester into my mind, I set affirmations. I tell myself that I am a badass and that I can handle anything life throws at me. Those affirmations are what supports my stability.
Can you offer us some tips on how we can build a stronger support network for ourselves?
When it comes to building a stronger support network, it’s important to make sure your network is supportive. It’s so important to understand who exactly is in your sphere of influence.
Sometimes your inner circle can be filled with flowers from above so you have to make sure there aren’t any weeds disguised as flowers. I’m constantly vetting people and I’m very guarded. It may be the INFJ in me but I like to make sure I have quality friendships with quality people that I know will uplift me and support me no matter what.
Marie Ann’s Wellbeing Recipe
What does mental health wellness mean to you?
Mental health wellness means functioning in a way that doesn’t make your mind feel foggy. It’s having the best relationship with yourself and prioritizing self-care and self-love. Mental health wellness is not laying down at the ceiling as I sometimes do.
What is your daily self-care routine?
To be honest, I don’t really have a dedicated self-care routine. I think the reason for that is that I make sure to check in on myself throughout the day. If I need to take a break, I’ll take a break. From time to time, I’ll have a dedicated DIY spa day or cuddle with my dogs and watch Disney movies. Allowing myself to decompress and relax is my form of self-care.
To All of You Who’re Reading
Could you offer us a final word of wisdom to our readers who are also struggling with anxiety and existential crisis?
Take a look inside yourself and look at what needs healing and what needs fine tuning. Understand your demons and learn to overcome them. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to ask for help, ask for help. There’s no shame in what makes you human. You’re not broken, you’re still finding yourself and healing.
Here’s where you can find Marie Ann