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Getting Zesty – Interview with Emma Napier

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Happy August! Each month for the rest of the year, Ment is partnering with a local business on our blog and social media accounts. This month is Zest Juice for Life, owned by Emma Napier: a 24-year-old from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The local juice shop located in the heart of the downtown scene has many flavors of tasty, healthy juice and they promote a healthy lifestyle in everything they do. 

Emma Napier, a graduate from Western Kentucky University, got her start working in an office for a national company in a corporate office. She was teaching spinning at The Spot next door to what would be her future business as well. She loved her coworkers and the work she was doing but disliked the stuffy and strict culture that was in her cubicle-filled office. “I soon realized that sitting at a desk was not for me,” she recalls.  

                             

Emma knew the previous owner of Zest from her job at The Spot and soon became friends with her. From this friendship, she fell in love with juice. She would drive all the way across town to get juice from the original Zest, the home of the former owner. The owner mentioned selling the business and asked if she knew of anyone who was interested. Emma knew instantly that this was the perfect opportunity to transition out of the cubicle and bought Zest Juice for Life. 

One of Emma’s favorite things about owning Zest is the amazing small business community located in Bowling Green. While she is a fairly new business owner, owners from all over town have offered to help her. “Bowling Green has such a thriving community of small business owners and truly want to see each other succeed,” she notes. She says learning a lot from so many people who have been in the same shoes as her. She has gotten to work with and collaborate with some of them and says they have helped her create her space, the logo, the menu boards, and more. 

  

Of course, I had to ask Emma what her -ment word was, which is a little something we do here at Ment by picking your favorite word with -ment as the subject and having it describe you, such as experiment, achievement, nourishment. Emma said her word was encourage-ment. She aims to be a smiling face to anyone who walks through the doors of Zest, and hopes her encouraging spirit keeps people coming back for years to come. 

Emma’s favorite juice she sells is kickin’ carrot, a juice that contains apple, ginger, and the star: carrots. Other juices you can find at Zest include Kale Yeah!, Jolly Green, Happy Beet, or my favorite, Hula Hooch. 

Check Emma and the rest of the Zest team out on their Instagram: @zestjuiceforlife

Coworking and Your Mental Health

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It is no secret that the coworking industry is flourishing. People are flocking to spaces that offer flexible work hours, a community aspect and in-house perks in droves. What is the secret of coworking? How can this industry be doing so well? 

Mental health is a taboo subject in our society. We are taught from an early age to bottle our feelings up, leaving them unaddressed and us unfulfilled. Maybe it stems from being in a society where we are taught to conceal our feelings and push them aside. We have lost touch with expressing our emotions that they can cause us detriment down the road. There is a stigma surrounding mental health. The World Health Organization reports approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental illness. Coworking, while not a sure-fire way to address and tackle mental health, is a step in the right direction. 

The coworking industry, through GCUC, strives to do more in this fight against the stigma of mental health. They have created the #CheckYoMate initiative, which is a movement that inspires you to check up on those around you: in your coworking spaces and your life in general. It is all about “dismantling loneliness and destigmatizing mental illness in the coworking community.” While it is important to check up on your coworkers, make sure you are doing the same for your friends, family members, neighbors, and whoever else you come in contact with. 

One of the best things about working in a coworking space is the community, there is no doubt. According to Global Coworking Unconference Conference, “Coworking is creating communities of happier, healthier, more productive, more connected professionals.” These communities are improving the lives and the mental health of every single person that walks through the door. 

A major component of working in a coworking space is the ability to make your own hours. Maybe you just cannot take working in a cubicle 40 hours a week and it is affecting your mental health. Sitting in such a small space makes you feel small. Your surroundings affect your mental health more than you realize. A coworking space is an alternative that promotes flexibility and freedom. Coworking can alleviate stress in a number of other ways. A space takes care of all the logistics of running an office for you: changing light bulbs, heating and air-conditioning, keeping the refrigerator stocked with snacks, and a myriad of others. All you have to do is sit down and get to work. 

Coworking was introduced as an alternative to working from home. When working from home, you might feel isolated, trapped, and you may slip into bouts of unproductivity as you slump down on the couch with your bowl of popcorn in the middle of the day. Aside from fueling procrastination, large periods of isolation at home just isn’t healthy for us. Humans crave interaction, simple as that. The alternative in a coworking space is the community. Working with others in a space that is not your home helps you separate your work life from your personal life, giving you some peace of mind. You are surrounded by people every single day. There are members all across the space doing their own thing, but you know they are there. You know you are not alone. 

It is unfortunate to think about, but millions of people suffer from some sort of mental health issue every single day. You do not know what is going on in someone’s life. That is what makes the coworking industry so unique. It provides ways for people to connect on an individual level, creating bonds and helping each other become successful in what they do. 

Here are some mental health resources if you are seeking help: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

MentalHealth.gov 

Mental Health America 

Bowling Green Mental Health Resources 

5 Tips to Defuse Conflict in the Workplace

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Conflict is all around us, no matter where we go. It’s people fighting for the closest parking spot to the front at the grocery store. It’s two friends arguing where to eat for lunch. It’s passive-aggressive glances when your coworker walks in late. Conflict, while unavoidable, can be helped through some easy techniques that you can implement in your daily work life. 

First, let’s start off with what conflict is. Conflict can range from a small difference in opinion all the way to two people not being able to be in the same room with one another. I am sure all of us have been in some sort of conflict in our lifetime and I, for one, am not a fan of it. Not all conflict can be harmful, but regardless, it will happen and it is imperative to know how to deal with it when it comes along, especially in the workplace. 

How should you deal with conflict in the workplace?

  1. Be on the lookout. 

I know this may sound easy, but it can be harder than you may think. When you start to notice alarming behavior from one of your coworkers, address it before the conflict gets out of hand. 

  1. Assess the situation. 

Just because you assume a conflict may be rising, don’t assert yourself in like you know best. Before you go saving the day, know the facts. Make sure you have a grasp on the real situation before you address the conflict. 

  1. Listen to both sides. 

We all know people can exaggerate when they are heated or in a difficult situation. Once you hear the other side of the story, you might realize the conflict is just one-sided, or it was all taken out of context. 

  1. Encourage compromise. 

The whole point of addressing a conflict is to ultimately end in a resolution. This step might take a little bit of prying, since people can really be set in their ways and want the resolution to go their way. However, once you can find common ground, a compromise becomes a more attainable goal. 

  1. Be positive. 

Moving forward can be difficult after a big fight. Make sure all is resolved before this stage and then make a point to be positive and encouraging to the other party. Treat the other person in a positive manner. The conflict is resolved, so there is no need for bad blood anymore! 

It is pretty much impossible to go through life without experiencing some sort of conflict, especially when working with so many different types of people in an office setting. Hopefully you can take some of these tips and apply it to your workplace!