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Women Entrepreneurs : Dietician : Priya Maisa

Priya Maisa is a nutritionist. She has graduated in Food Science and Nutrition and has done her Post Graduation in Dietetics. She has 12 years of experience and started her own company named ‘ Complete Nutrition’.

1) What or who inspired you to become a nutritionist?

This field was fairly new when I started. My teachers have been my inspiration. Since they knew more than me and taught the subjects well, I learnt a lot from them and used that knowledge positively.

2) What skills are needed as a nutritionist while dealing with their clients?

With knowledge about good nutrition, counselling skills are the most essential to motivate a client. One has to have a good understanding of nutrition and update the clients with the latest research in this field along with the kind of nutrition that is suitable for them. Once they start, they need to be kept motivated. I make sure I am connected with my clients and keep them on track by being in constant touch. Counselling the client only once in the beginning is going to be ineffective. It is important to take regular updates from them. I have clients from all age groups and they can approach me at any time with a query or a problem regarding their nutrition.

3) How do you stay updated with the latest research and information in your field?

You get updated when you are actively working in the field. I get updated information from many mediums like when I collaborate with many hospitals. Also, the health apps that I use. Due to constant changes in the environment and our lifestyle, like the current pandemic, I have to keep myself constantly updated through social media, articles and books. I always manage time to get more updated information as it helps me when I am counselling.

4) What is the least favourite part of your job?

I like each moment of it. There are clients who are unable to follow and still I like to manage them to motivate them. I take it up as a challenge to manage their schedule and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5) What do you do during a typical workday?

I get my clients updates on WhatsApp daily about their weight, food schedule, queries, etc. While having coffee I sit and clear their doubts. Post this, I take some time out for myself. I work out for half an hour and then attend calls from the hospital. Then, I check up on the few updates from the apps while on my way to the hospital. After reaching the hospital, I counsel and manage my patients. I schedule appointments for my clinic.  I have clients all over the world and have kept a 24 hrs online service on my site. After the counselling session, I go through my emails and prepare diet plans for the clients.

6) What are your strong beliefs as a nutritionist?

I would say positivity and belief in good health, a healthy regime and diet. If you believe in positivity then it will work on you. When my client comes in with positivity, it is easier to motivate them to focus on and follow proper nutrition plans. If they are getting in touch with me it means they already come in with a positive mindset. Before starting my counselling session, if the client is motivated enough then it is easier for me to guide them. It is always a two-sided effort and the client has to update me every couple of days with their progress. Being healthy should be a lifetime trend and our mantra should be ‘I have to do it’.

7) What are the three most important work values you follow?

My first value is being punctual. The second is being very active and physically healthy, if I can maintain myself while having a busy schedule so can you. Looking at me they get motivated and I make things possible with counselling. Practising what you preach is important. The third is being available for my clients so they can always call or text me and I revert.

8) How would you approach a difficult client?

I always like to face difficulties and not run away from it, and take difficult clients as a challenge. Once I book a client’s appointment I listen to them carefully and answer their queries. Show them there is a way out by following a proper diet. Initially, there were limited options to add to our diets, but now there are many options. We can order raw materials online to follow our diet. Keeping an updated and regular follow up to resolve the client’s difficulties is a must. I suggest alternatives if a certain diet is not working for them or they are not complying.

9) Has the pandemic changed the way people look towards their health?

Yes, it has a lot and in a good way. People have realized that only working hard and earning money is not enough, taking care of their health is important. In terms of food and health, people are more health-conscious and want to get benefited from the food they consume. Even those who were not into fitness have started working out. There is a change in all age groups from elderly to children. There was a huge increase in new clients, I was completely occupied during the pandemic. Most of them wanted to lose weight, get fit and reach their ideal body weight. Even after the lockdown was over, people have continued to manage and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

10) What type of training would you recommend for someone to advance in your field?

Being updated due to new trends, being active in your field and taking regular follow up with your clients as they will help in recommending you to others, connectivity is important. Give time to the clients if they need more time to adapt to the new diet, be a good listener so when they have a concern you can resolve it. Counselling sessions should be fruitful and it should not be one-sided in which either of you is only listening or talking. I take time to explain to the client about their diet plan which is important.

11) What are you most proud of regarding the company?

My company has been active and functioning since day one. I keep adding new clients every month. I can proudly say that I am handling my company smoothly and effectively.

12) What are the tools/ platforms you use to promote your business?

Initially, I promoted through virtual ads, pamphlets, brochures. Word of mouth by my clients has helped a lot too. Currently, I promote through digital marketing. My husband helps me in digital marketing. He helped me build my website and blog. Digital marketing has helped me see tremendous growth in my business.

13) What do you want to achieve next?

In the future, I was to have a bigger set-up with more staff. I want to hire dieticians and doctors, provide internships for freshers, etc. Online counselling to reach a wider audience and also keep my website and blog updated and active. I want to be one of the topmost dieticians with my own setup.

14) What advice would you like to give to women entrepreneurs?

Each person has a unique skill. So, I would like to motivate them by saying that take things positively and give their 100%. Be more active. Take your time and keep yourself updated with recent knowledge. Entrepreneurs need to be socially active and put more effort into connecting with people. Always being on your toes is a need for your company. Welcome new ideas and opinions. Follow entrepreneurs who have been successful to keep yourself motivated. There will be obstacles but take them as a challenge.

15) Where can one reach you?

Instagram – priyamaisa1910

Website – https://complete-nutrition-by-priya-maisa.business.site/

Women Entrepreneurs: Pharmacist : Deena D’souza

Pharmacy Owner: Holy Cross Medical Store (Santacruz E)
Qualification: B Pharm, Post-Graduation in Clinical Research, MBA
Work Experience: 15 years
Insta handle: @lianjenelledsouza

1) Describe yourself in three words.
Helpful, health-conscious and update with the latest information and researches.

2) Why did you choose a career in pharmacy?
I was always interested in healthcare and pharmacy.

3) What made you choose to start a company in this industry?
I have worked with TATA Cancer Hospital, Cipla and many other health-related organizations. When I was working with them, I didn’t get a chance to work closely with people, wherein with my own pharmacy I got the opportunity to work and understand people and serve them.

4) How did you come up with the name for your company?
We are located in Santacruz and I named my pharmacy Holy Cross because Santacruz means Holy Cross in Hebrew.

5) What are the three most important values you follow at work?
Integrity, teamwork and also helping my vendors grow.

6) Which habits helped you become successful?
My sincerity and commitment to work and constantly updating myself and working living with an attitude of ‘do it now’.

7) Which qualities do you look for in new employees?
I appoint people who are committed to working, have excellent people skills and are sincere.

8) How do you handle the failures?
I learn from my failures. I prefer to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.

9) Do you believe in destiny or do you think you can control your fate?
There are challenges and I feel we can overcome those challenges. There will be situations that can go wrong but we must learn to not dwell on them and overcome those challenges with hard work, smart work and fate.

10) How did you manage your business during the pandemic?
Pandemic was an extremely challenging time for all of us. Hospitals, healthcare workers, pharmacies, etc. We had a really hard time during the pandemic, medicines were not getting delivered and people were desperate to get the medicines on time. Lives were at stake. Since the medicines were not delivered quickly, we had to go to each and every distributor. While making the rounds to visit every distributor, I had to manage my pharmacy too. Thankfully, I had a very supportive and understanding staff so I was able to manage everything well.

11) What’s your favourite quote for describing entrepreneurship?
Jobs are created by business owners and entrepreneurs. We need to create more jobs to stimulate the growth and development of our country.

What exactly happens in a therapy session?

Mental health concerns affect all age groups throughout the world. Many individuals who have never been to a therapist have curiosity and certainly have many questions like; Will he read my mind? What will I say when I go to a therapist? What if someone else comes to know about my problems? Will I have to talk about my childhood all the time?

What is Therapy?

Therapy is also known as ‘Psychotherapy’. It is a form of treatment that aims at relieving] emotional distress and mental problems. A trained professional who listens and guides the client to resolve his/her issues conducts therapy.

 Art therapy, talk therapy, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the different types of therapy. 

 Before a therapy session is booked, some therapists ask the client to fill up a ‘client intake form’ that has the basic background information of the client. It could also include details about how long the session will last, confidentiality and session fee. 

The Process 

Therapy sessions are professionally structured meetings between a trained therapist and a client. 

  1. The therapist will do some rapport-building exercises. This provides a supportive and comfortable environment where the client talks openly and the therapist actively listens to the client without any judgments or criticism and with a positive approach.
  2. Therapists might take notes while listening to the client during the session.
  3. The therapist will ask the client to share – traumatic experiences, feelings and incidents. 
  4. Initially, most therapies begin with ‘talk therapy’ where the therapist asks the client questions to understand their struggles and establish a therapy goal.
  5. A therapy session is not like a magic wand. It does not solve the client’s problems but instead, the therapist helps and leads the client to possible solutions and coping strategies. 
  6. The counselling psychologist might refer you to a clinical psychologist for psychological tests or may refer the client to a psychiatrist if needed.
  7. At the end of each session, the therapist might give you a mental health activity before the beginning of the next session. These activities help the therapist analyse the client’s progress.

Tips:-

  • Do seek professional help if needed.
  • Be honest with your therapist.
  • Avoid missing the scheduled sessions.
  • Complete the mental health activities assigned by the therapist.
  • Be patient. 
  • Change your therapist if you feel their approach isn’t working for you.

Grief and Bereavement: Coping with the loss of a loved one

The global pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone’s life. During this pandemic, many people have lost their loved one. Not connecting with the deceased before and after their death has potentially increased the risk of complicated grief. 

What are Grief and Bereavement? 

Bereavement is the situation of having lost a loved one. Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief reactions range from normal to diagnosable psychiatric conditions; people adapt to the loss and accompanying life changes. 

Social distancing has impacted the usual form of religious and cultural aspects of the grieving process. “Physical distancing” has invariably resulted in “social distancing”; the isolation and quarantine result in “touch starvation.” 

Signs & symptoms of grief:

  • Shock, disbelief, or denial
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Periods of sadness
  • Loss of sleep and loss of appetite

Tips for coping with grief and bereavement: 

Communicate: Talk to people, expressing how you feel is a healing activity. Find ways to express your grief through communication. Join an online bereavement support group. Conduct a ritual with your friends and family to share happy memories about the deceased. 

Heal At Your Own Pace: Healing is not linear. Each one heals at their own pace, never compare yourself to another grieving.

Space: A space or specific area for grieving may help in the easier expression of emotions without hesitation and facilitate healthier acceptance of death.

Journalling: Penning your thoughts down can help you understand your feelings better.

Exercise: Physical exercise along with relaxation will improve your sleep and concentration.

Spend time with others: Allow yourself to have moments of happiness or escape, spend time with others. Resist the temptation to isolate yourself.

Stay healthy: Get plenty of rest and eat regular and healthy meals.

Pandemic leading to Loneliness

After surviving the first wave of the pandemic, the world is now in a battle with another strain of Covid-19. The second wave seems even more intense than the first outbreak of the vicious disease. People are getting affected either by the virus or by worrying about the situation and its danger to them or their loved ones. It is affecting an individual’s mental health to a great extent.

Whether a 5-year-old child or a 50- year old, every age group faces detrimental effects on the physical and mental health due to social isolation. 

Recent research tell us that the lockdown measures have decreased physical activity and interaction with peers, which has increasingly contributed to loneliness and symptoms of poor mental health.

 MODERN WORLD IN ISOLATION

The modern and social world has rarely been in isolation and restricted. It’s been the longest time where people are imposed many restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Today, individuals who have been socially interactive since their childhood are now staying at home. People feel miserable and lonely along with developing obesity and chronic stress. This leads to anxiety and depression among elderly individuals and young adults.

The emotional unpreparedness of such a situation has led to more frustration that has created a stressful environment at home, where women are more emotionally drained and neglected because of the unshared load of household work and some also faced domestic violence.   

Another reason, it has negatively affected people’s mental health is that they are forced to work from home or are unemployed. Financial instability has added mental pressure on the only breadwinners of the house. Daily wage labourers and low-income people were jobless. At the same time, the migrant workers with family and homeless people stayed at railway stations, bus stops, and basic amenities were scarce. Loneliness has reflected differently in different socio-economic strata.

THE WAY FORWARD  

The first step we could think of is to reduce the terror and desolation from our thoughts. The first key to overcoming this feeling is the ability to be at peace with oneself. We are uncertain about the facilities provided during the treatment, which makes one more vulnerable to the current scenario. 

But at some point, we need to be productive at home being with our loved ones. This comes with enjoying one’s existence and the ability to cherish the bonds with others. Many of us have found our old lost hobbies to get back in touch with during these isolation days. We cannot meet our friend and family but can get in touch with them on social media and video call, and undoubtedly people have felt amazing.

Many mental health professionals started programs online or pro-bono therapy for people who were in need or kept them busy, and people enrolled themselves in art therapies, yoga, and many other short-term programs. As mental health professionals, we need to be sensitive to an individual’s personalized needs, especially when the whole world is sharing the same thread of anxiety: the emotional preparedness for isolation at times of crises and mental well-being is forming the foundation of public health.