Simply put, black women are magical. We are trailblazing. Think of Patrisse Cullors, one the creators of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Issa Rae, the writer and creator of Awkward Black Girl that became HBO’s hit show Insecure or Ursula Burns, former Xerox CEO and the first African-American woman to lead an S&P 500 company. We are the backbone of the black community. With the help of our votes, Alabama now has its first Democrat Senator, Doug Jones. 96 percent of black voters supported Jones, with 98 percent of black women and 93 percent of black men backing him, according to NBC News’ exit polls. Despite racial and institutional barriers, black women are the fastest-growing group of female entrepreneurs, according to a Nielsen report.

I had the privilege and honor of interviewing two black women who are rising moguls in their fields on the Fireflies Unite Podcast. The Black Girl Boss: Depression and Entrepreneurship episode explores the challenges entrepreneurs face while running a business and having a mental illness, and offers resources and strategies to maintain their mental health. Candice N. Mackel is a full-time entrepreneur, owner of Candice Nicole Public Relations and Women Who Hustle, and Lauren Carson, founder of Black Girls Smile, a premiere wellness organization dedicated to providing support and educational resources to close the gap of racial insensitive mental health treatment. Despite their magic and boss status, they both struggle with depression and Carson struggles with anxiety as well. This raises a bigger issue about the “strong black woman” and how it has become the new face of depression.

Although some black women are a part of the faith-based community who have discouraged mental health treatment and view depression as a lack of faith and weakness, black women (once again) are also stepping up and ending the mental health stigma in the community. Dr. JaNaè Taylor is featured during the Mind, Body and Soulness segment of the Black Girl Boss: Depression and Entrepreneurship episode. Taylor is a therapist, owns a private practice and is the creator of ‘Minding My Black Business’ podcast that specializes in providing mental health support to black entrepreneurs. Dr. Joy Bradford, founder of ‘Therapy for Black Girls,’ a platform that encourages the mental wellness of black women and girls, and wellness influencer Francheska Medina of ‘Hey Fran Hey’ and one of the hosts of ‘The Friend Zone’ podcast are encouraging the community to seek treatment. You should listen to ‘The Friend Zone;' it’s hilarious and offers great mental health advice in a digestible way.

If you struggle with a mental illness, mental health challenges and are a black girl boss, here are five tips to help you manage your mental health:

1. Add A Therapist To Your Team

When building a business, our team usually consists of a lawyer, accountant, marketing or business coach, graphic designer and maybe a publicist. Yet, we fail to think of a therapist as a vital part of the team. If your mental health fails, you will put your business at risk. Commit to therapy. It does not mean you are weak. And no, you don't have to have a mental illness to see a therapist. Just like you go to your gynecologist and primary doctor for preventive care, a therapist should be treated the same way. You do not have to wait until you are in a crisis to go to therapy. You can attend therapy even if you are happy and everything is going right in your life. Don’t you want to figure out how to keep things in order and have tools in place when stress arises? Therapy is the answer.

2. Set Boundaries 

Being a black girl boss is great, but sometimes, we let our family members, friends, customers and clients walk all over us. You may find yourself answering the phone and emails at crazy times, and give discounts to your family and friends when you don’t have a promotion happening. Setting boundaries includes saying no to your family and friends requested discounts and returning that phone call or email in the morning. If you are in the infancy stages of building your business, you may work countless hours, however make sure you take breaks, a 10-minute walk to get fresh air and exercise. Find time to pull away. In addition to setting boundaries for others, you must set boundaries for yourself. Consider adding a mental health day once a month to pull completely away from the business. Ask yourself daily, “Did I eat breakfast?” “Did I use the bathroom?” or “Do I need a nap?” This will help to prevent burnout and a mental breakdown. 

3. Take Your Medication As Prescribed

If you have a mental illness and are working with a psychiatrist, please take your medication as prescribed. If your medication is no longer working or you’re experiencing side effects, communicate with your psychiatrist and work with him or her until they can figure out the right “recipe.” If your current psychiatrist is no longer working for you, find a new one. Not only am I an entrepreneur, but I attend therapy weekly and take medication for my depression and anxiety, and it makes a huge difference.

4. Create A Support Team

Communicate with people on your team and let them know that you will have challenging days and need their help during these days. If you battle with bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorders, or any other mental illness, make them aware. Your support team should be able to handle all of you and this includes those days when you just can’t get out of bed. Maybe you don't have the energy to do anything. It’s okay to tell them that you need help cleaning your house and that you haven’t showered in three days.

5. Limit Your Time On Social Media & Alter The Way You Use It

Ok, so here's the thing. For almost two years, social media was one of my biggest triggers and I completely disappeared. Social media can do wonders for your brand, reach potential clients, customers and partnerships. But, spending too much time on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram can force you to compare yourself and make you feel like you are not doing enough. It can also force you to pretend to be something that you are not and before you know you it, you are not being authentic. With hashtags like #grinding and #teamnosleep, you are bound to feel like you are behind your peers. Unfollow and hide people from your feed who make you second guess yourself and bring up any negative emotions especially if you find that your are comparing yourself. Tatum Harrison, business coach and host of the ‘Black Girls Boss’ podcast says, "Don’t compare your chapter 3 to someone else’s chapter 33." Therefore, what you see on social media is limited. You don't see every stage of someone's hustle. The time that you spend focusing on someone else, you could have been working on your craft.

Follow people who inspire you and join Facebook groups that connect you with other bosses who have similar interests. This will help you filter what you see and have a much better impact on your mental and emotional health. Stop scrolling through your timeline and/or limit how much you scroll through it. Schedule time to use social media and occasionally put yourself on a social media detox. If you can, hire a social media manager or publicist to manage your social media. I post a lot on social media, but trust me, my "scrolling time" is extremely limited. This makes a huge difference.    

Remember, we are powerful when we work together. Yes, we are strong and magical. We are independent, but we don’t have to do it on our own.

The Black Girl Boss: Depression and Entrepreneurship episode will be available on January 15 via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud and the Fireflies Unite website.