Member Spotlight: Amanda Iheme of Ndidi Health
Each month, we sit down with a member of our community to talk about their work, their experience working out of CapitalSquare, and to just generally let the world know how awesome they are.!
This month, our spotlight is on Amanda Iheme, Lead psychotherapist at Ndidi Health
Who: Amanda Iheme
What she does: certified psychotherapist and mental health expert
Hi, Amanda! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background/experience.
Hello! About myself? Hmm… I am human being of the female specie. I am a deep thinker and a warm soul. I am curious about life, so I spend my days meditating on the process of life and what it means to be human. I like animals, plants and food a lot. I enjoy being nice and helpful to people. I like dancing, singing and watching cat and mukbang videos on Instagram and YouTube.
I currently work on Earth as a psychotherapist and an architecture photographer. Photography was self-taught, but I studied for a BSc and an MSc in Psychology and Clinical psychology.
How long has NDỊDỊ been around for? What led you to choose a career in psychotherapy and ultimately found NDỊDỊ?
NDỊDỊ has been around for almost two years. Ha! Curiousity. I wanted to be a Neuro-Surgeon but it did not work out, so I figured the next best thing to opening a human head was to understand the human mind. I studied for a BSc at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. I decided to continue my education to get an MSc which I studied for at Swansea University in Wales. I wanted to own my own clinic, y’see. I wanted to be a shrink. It seemed fitting to my personality, y’know. Plus, I really wanted to help people heal.
After my MSc and failed attempts at getting admission for a PhD, I came back to Nigeria. I went into Human Resources because I could not figure out how to move forward or create for myself the life I wanted. I worked in a Brewery, then a Bank and finally, a luxury fashion store. I strongly believe that all those stops were to teach me the lessons I needed to learn which were going to help me create my own story. I was young, and I needed to grow up and be responsible for the happiness I was looking for.
After my MSc in 2015, a darling friend, Ayodeji Osowobi, founder of the Stand To End Rape Initiative took a chance on me and offered me the opportunity to practice as a volunteer counsellor. This role and the experience I gained really helped me feel confident in my decision to practice. By 2017, the lack of a fulfilling job and the inner desire to spend my time creating for myself what I wanted to see and creating what my community needed started to get to me. The search for purpose. I was miserable. At this point, I knew that that was a sign that something had to change. She had come knocking at the door and truly, the only way that I was going to know if I could do what I wanted to do was to do it. On Valentine’s Day of 2017, I handed in my resignation letter and a month after that I started my practice. I gave myself a chance.
What’s your typical workday like? Tell us about what you do for NDỊDỊ.
A typical workday? I do not have a typical work day, to be honest. Every day is different. It actually is. My timetable is flexible, so I can work in a different space today and another tomorrow. I could have meetings for my practice or site visits for photography. However, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I will most likely be at CapitalSquare having therapy sessions with my clients.
There’s been an increase in the conversation around mental health and well-being lately. Why do you think it’s important to look after your mental health? When does it become necessary to seek professional help?
WHAT A FINE TIME TO BE A SHRINK! Hahahaha! Everyone wants to talk about their mental health now because they starting to see how it influences every facet of their life.
Your mind is the experiencer and factory of your life. When you make decisions, they are filtered through the many experiences that you have had as a human being. If those experiences left you with a negative view of yourself or the world, then decisions that come from you will have a negative flavor to it. You’ll find yourself self-sabotaging, seeking validation from unhealthy places and relationships, being manipulated or manipulating other people.
I think that it is important that every human being visit a therapist at least once every year for a checkup like they would for their physical health. It does not have to get to clinical depression before you get help. Events like changing jobs or starting a new friendship or relationship affect one’s mental health.
Running a startup or side hustle, and adulting in general can be a source of immense stress. What are the ways to deal with stress in a healthy way?
First and the most important rules you must adhere to are: SLEEP WELL, EAT WELL, DRINK WATER AND EXERCISE. Lack of sleep will make you cranky and easily irritated, not eating well or being dehydrated affects your mood as well. Your body needs exercise to remain healthy, to help uplift your mood and self-confidence and to give you energy for the day. They can never be under-emphasized.
Secondly, take breaks. Take an hour break during the day to escape from the craziness of everything to do something that makes you happy or is calming. I dance or I sit by the ocean and watch nature. It makes me grateful to be alive and fills me with joy and inspiration.
Surround yourself with emotionally intelligent and kind people.
Ask for help. Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You cannot do everything. Doing it alone does not make you special or different. It can make you egotistic and lonely.
Understand your ambition. Being an entrepreneur, you want to be the best and have the most, so you can be seen as successful but think about it, is it worth all the effort and sacrifices? Is it what you want or what you feel obligated to want or have? Have a healthy sense of ambition.
Do not grow too fast. Grow when you have been able to offer seamless service or experience at the stage you are in. Grow well not fast. Make sure you have the capacity to handle whatever you are signing up for.
Do a good job and be good to everyone and I mean EVERYONE. Your reputation will take you very far. Being good to people helps because when you are not there to defend yourself or worth, someone who has experienced time with you might be there and be your saving grace for a contract or a referral.
What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about mental health?
Ah, one thing. Nah, I have two. 1) Your mental health is solely your responsibility. 2) If you want happiness, be willing to change your mind, your expectations and your beliefs.
Clients come in and share their problems but in the end the changes that we make that relieve them from misery hardly involved other people. It involved them identifying what roles they were playing to sustain the effect that their environment was having on them. They learnt to set boundaries, find their purpose or meaning, practice self-love, be more understanding and accepting, be responsible for their actions and reactions, how to process their emotions better, communicate better etc.
What productivity tips do you swear by?
Plan your day. Use your calendar. Google Calendar is a life saver. Plan your movement, dinner dates, breaks, study breaks, lunch time.
Be flexible. Your day will not always go according to your plan.
Simplify your tasks. If you have to go through many steps to make something happen, simplify it.
If you do not know how to multi-task, then practice how to focus on a task and finish quickly and efficiently. It’ll help.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you choose to be and why?
A Tibetan Monk. I want to experience their level of higher consciousness.
One fun fact about you 😊
I talk to myself a lot.
What’s your favorite way to unwind?
A long walk while listening to music and dance or dancing.
You’ve worked out of CapitalSquare for a while now. What do you think of the space and community?
For almost two years! The office space in Ikoyi is where I work from. The community members are warm, friendly and supportive. The service at Capital Square, the location and the décor are the three major reasons why I work from there. Blessing, the Front Desk Officer has been a gem and I am truly grateful for her. Ikorodu Crescent is quiet which is perfect for the kind of work I do, and the bright colors of the furniture uplifts your mood when you walk in especially in the space where I meet with my clients for their therapy session.
Thank you for your time Amanda! I’ve really enjoyed this conversation
That's all, folks! Get in touch with Amanda via:
Social Media: instagram.com/ndidi.health