Women In Wellness: Amanda Marks of Resilient Counseling On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Women In Wellness: Amanda Marks of Resilient Counseling On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing


Identify and set boundaries for yourself. This includes energetic, physical, emotional, and mental boundaries. Don’t take on feelings and emotions of other people. Be empathetic but don’t accept responsibility for other’s feelings. Be OK with saying no and not people pleasing all the time.

Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Marks.

Amanda Marks is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Georgia where she works with individuals that struggle with the aftermath of trauma, anxiety and disordered eating. She is also a yoga teacher with over 500 hours of yoga training and incorporates yogic principles into her work as a therapist. She believes in living intuitively, authentically and is not afraid to take up space.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Thank you so much for asking, I’d love to share my backstory with you. I feel my story of becoming a therapist is quite cliché but I wanted to help people and has always been told that I was a good listener and helper when I was younger. After changing my undergraduate degree to psychology, I eventually decided to pursue becoming a licensed therapist. I took a few years off between undergrad and graduate school and then worked full state while pursuing my Masters degree. After working for hospitals and other organizations, I opened up my own practice in the middle of the pandemic, Resilient Counseling, and haven’t looked back! It’s certainly been challenging and hard at times, but I recognized that my work-related values were being ignored while working for others so I decided to take the leap of faith and go solo with my career.

Yoga came into my life shortly after the death of my father and I quickly found an amazing community at the yoga studio where I initially started practicing. I also realized how the practice of yoga was helping me to process my father’s death. A couple of years after that, one of my teachers, Isabelle Casey, said she was hosting a yoga retreat in Italy that would involve yoga, wine and pasta…I immediately gave her a deposit and a few months later I was sitting in Italy talking to her about starting her upcoming yoga teacher training program! I’ve now completed over 500 hours of yoga teacher training courses and host workshops and retreats that blend mental health and yoga.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

One of the most interesting things that has happened to me was when I was selected to go teach yoga in India! I was looking at various opportunities of teaching yoga abroad and saw that an ashram in Goa, India was looking for a yoga teacher to teach Yin yoga for a week. I was very surprised to see this, as yin is a style I specialize in and the fact that they only needed some for a week! I immediately applied and was surprised to hear back from them a couple days later. Much to my surprise, I had misread the initial post and they were looking for someone to co-lead a Yin Yoga Teacher training program! I hadn’t even been a yoga teacher for a year at that point, but had studied and practiced yin for a few years at that point in time. After discussing it further, I was offered the position and approximately 2 weeks later, I was on a flight to India where I had never been before!

My takeaways from that experience are to take the risk, try to do something out of your comfort zone and you don’t think you can do. Go to a foreign country alone, apply for the promotion. Do it with fear! You might just surprise yourself!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I know I’ve made countless mistakes when I was a new therapist and I will continue to make mistakes because I am human. I will say the wrong thing to a client. I will trigger them and challenge them. I will remind them of the person they are trying to forget. I’ve been vulnerable with the wrong people. I’ve trusted the wrong people. Through all these mistakes, I don’t regret any decision I’ve ever made in my life. They have all taken me to the location where I am today.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

When it comes to health and wellness, I am helping people thrive. I help people manage their emotional and mental health by learning how to identify and regulate their feelings, process past trauma and learn healthy, new ways of dealing with life stressors. I offer people a chance to heal, to work through past narratives of not feeling good enough and to help get people out of their heads and into their bodies. Yoga means ‘to yoke’ and I also facilitate mind-bottom healing. In the therapy world, we call this ‘bottom up therapy’ where we use somatic based therapies to bring the body into healing as well. As I’m also a therapist that works with eating disorders and disordered eating, I am also fighting against the diet industry continues to focus on making people feel bad about their bodies and that they need to shrink themselves in order to be acceptable into today’s society.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

1 . Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself. Figure out your values and what is important to you. Make actions that align with your values to improve and enhance your emotional and mental health. For example, instead of saying to yourself “I should go to the gym today,” figure out why that’s important to you and how to connects to your values. For me, I would say ‘I’m going to go to the gym because I value being challenged and the gym is a great way for me to feel challenged!”

2 . Start therapy or keep going in therapy. We all need support at times in our lives. Let’s help to continue to reduce the mental health stigma and be OK with not being OK and getting support and help during difficult times in our lives. It’s also a great way to grow interpersonally and learn healthy, safe ways of dealing with life’s challenges.

3 . Stop measuring your self-worth in numbers. Does your weight, GPA or how much income you earn truly define you? When our self-worth is based on quantifiable, it will fluctuate depending on the numbers. When we value ourselves because we are human beings and focus more on what how we are as humans, our self-worth is more stable.

4 . Identify and set boundaries for yourself. This includes energetic, physical, emotional, and mental boundaries. Don’t take on feelings and emotions of other people. Be empathetic but don’t accept responsibility for other’s feelings. Be OK with saying no and not people pleasing all the time.

5 . Breathe. One of my meditation teachers once said “as is the breath, so is the mind.” I strongly believe in this. Most of us go through life holding our breath and not taking deep breaths often enough. This causes us to stay in a state of fight or flight and causes more stress and anxiety. Slow down your breath and you will notice that your mind will start to slow down as well and you can make decisions more clearly.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The movement I would want to start would be to stop the hustle culture which I believe greatly impacts our mental health. We don’t have to do all the things all the time. Let’s slow down and reconnect with ourselves and the people we hold dear to us. Identify your feelings and start to make decisions that align with those. When we aren’t constantly competing and comparing ourselves to others we are able to focus on what truly matters to us.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. I wish someone had told me that the road less traveled can be lonely at times. When we reevaluate our values, goals and priorities, it can make our journey feel lonely at times. Many people may not understand the reason we are doing things but it’s not about them, the focus is on us.
  2. It’s OK to not be OK. Be honest with yourself about your struggles and growth areas. Stop with the toxic positivity. Pretending everything is OK isn’t always helpful and can lead to denial. Ask for help and support before you actually need it.
  3. You don’t have to be perfect. I’m a recovering perfectionist. Perfection does not exist. The marker is always moving further out when we try to be perfect at everything. Make mistakes, you’ll learn from them.
  4. Take care of your physical, mental, spiritual and financial health. Set realistic goals. We only get one life.
  5. Remember to have fun! As adults, we stop playing and having fun. Having fun is so important. Get outside and spend time in nature. Paint a painting. Take a dance class. It’s important for balance in our lives.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is a topic that is most dear to me. As a therapist, many of us are taught at a young age to ignore our feelings, stuff them inside, don’t be weak, etc. This leads to a huge disconnect from ourselves and impacts our relationships with others. We need to continue to fight the mental health stigma in our country. Being honest with ourselves about our feelings is a great place to start! Research continues to show that ignoring and not taking care of our mental health does contribute to physical health problems. We can’t continue to ignore it!

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

Readers can follow me on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmandaMarksRYTLPC and on Instagram at Instagram.com/amandamarks.lpc.ryt My blog is located on my website ResilientCounseling.net

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at CrunchyMamaBox.com.

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