Meet the Blogger: Introducing Briana

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Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!

Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Briana from Learning to Be Free!)

That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.

This is our seventeenth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Briana, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: https://diffusingthetension.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-ilona)

Interview series questions

First of all, tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Briana and I’m a licensed social worker and self-care coach. I live in the Greater Cleveland area (Ohio!) with my cat Chloe. I love reading, watching YouTube, and traveling.

What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community? 

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and my blog focuses on self-discovery, self-care (including mental health), and self-improvement.

As far as mental health goes, other than my blog, I’ve been working in crisis intervention for the past 5 years and have de-escalated thousands of crisis situations including helping individuals facing suicidal thoughts. I love working in crisis intervention and supporting people who are going through difficult situations.

What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?

I think the hardest part is carving out the time to put out quality content. I work full-time in crisis intervention as I mentioned before, so I have to prioritize my blog over other things sometimes. I use time blocking to carve out dedicated time, but it doesn’t always work. I also have chronic pain so sometimes I would rather just rest instead of doing anything.

What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?

I think the biggest challenge facing the mental health community is stigma and lack of awareness. I work for a large mental health tech company and as much as we are known, I’m still surprised at how unknown we are outside of the mental health space. We’re working to change that though!

What are 5 things many people do not know about you?

That’s a hard question! I’m pretty open about everything.

1. I write poetry and short stories. I had one published in a book when I was in middle school.

2. I don’t know how to swim

3. Brownies are my favorite dessert

4. I don’t like coffee

5. I have a pretty large mug collection

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I love it because it blends historical fiction, art, fantasy, mental health, and romance altogether. I bought it at Shakespeare and Company, which is an independent bookstore in Paris when I was studying abroad so I think that makes it extra special for me. I would go there almost every day and would stay for hours.

What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?

I’m pretty optimistic most of the time but definitely get into funks that are hard to get out of. I usually watch YouTube videos that are soothing (beekeeping, cooking, etc). If it is a really hard day, I call my partner and just talk about what’s going on or I have him tell me interesting stories.

What makes a person brave?

A person is brave if they are able to live their truth, even if it can only be in small doses sometimes.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Empathetic, Optimistic, Nurturing. I think they all describe me pretty well. I love supporting others and helping them grow into their fullest state of being. And even when things are hard, I can usually find something positive that happened or that I have to look forward to.

What is your biggest flaw?

I’m a huge procrastinator. It rarely gets me into trouble so I keep doing it lol

What is your greatest strength?

My optimism is probably my greatest strength. It helps me to know that things can get better.

What is your best childhood memory?

My best memory is driving around in the car with my parents. I had a hard time falling asleep so they would drive me around the neighborhood until I would go to sleep. I’d wake up in my bed the next morning. I think it’s really the little things that mean a lot. I still fall asleep on car rides.

Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?

I envision my blog as growing into one of the biggest blogs in the mental health and self-care space. I hope to be blogging and coaching full-time by then (but really hopefully by October 2020 – fingers crossed!).

Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?

I think we’ll be much further than we are now in regards to stigma and awareness. I would love to see mental health training be provided to every, but especially students and teachers. The way that I see it is that teachers (I’m also an educator) have a huge role to play in mental health because they are with students for the most formative years. My wish is for a national mental health curriculum that would be integrated into all public schools. That way we have teachers who are educated, but also students and in turn those students will become educated and empathetic adults.

Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or  mental health? Share their links below!

Here are a few of my favorite people!

Dominee – Blessing Manifesting: https://www.blessingmanifesting.com/

Cate Rosales – https://sweetandsimplelife.com/

Crisis Text Line (I work there!) – https://www.crisistextline.org/

About the Author

Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of her website. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.

Website – https://www.learningtobefree.com/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/learningtobefreeblog/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/learningtobefreeblog/


Thanks, Briana, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!

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