Motivation, Mental Wellness

Eleni Wiebe Motivation & Mental Wellness

How She Is Making A Difference By Helping Others & Sharing Her Advocacies-One Video At A Time

Motivation, Mental Wellness
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June 21, 2022

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

Hi there, my name is Eleni. I am a Canadian-based creator, full-time Bachelor of Social Work Student, mental health advocate/blogger, singer/songwriter, suicide prevention advocate, big sister/mentor to youth, and a registered Social Service Worker in my province. What I do on YouTube is a fun side project (or in the Christian world it's called a “ministry” ministering the love of Jesus to others). I make videos once a month or every few months just to help give back to the community and to make a difference by sharing the love of Jesus with everyone.

I make uplifting and motivational, mental health, wellness, positivity, life advice, suicide prevention, self-care, music/songs, and faith-based videos to help Christians (as well people from any background) and youth/young adults/adults to have hope through their mental health and life's challenges, or if they are looking to seek God. I share my mental health journey (dealing with anxiety and OCD) with others (as well as on my Facebook blog of the same name) so that they do not feel alone. 

In my videos, I also give my own opinions on a lot of things. I try to share to my followers some tools that can help empower themselves, that is, if they choose self-help in their mental health recovery or in their everyday life, or even if they want Christian lifestyle coaching/advice. I also give life lessons and speak about mental health and Christian topics in a safe space, acting the role of a friend (to people my age or older) or as a big sister especially to my younger viewers. 

These tools and teachings are learned through training that I have learned in my education to become a mental health therapist (Social Service Work and Bachelors of Social Work education), tools that I learned from attending therapy myself, or biblically-based teachings, and self-help and wellness tools that I have learned throughout my life. 

Of course, I put a disclaimer on all my videos that this is not a replacement for seeking a mental health professional nor should what I say to replace their treatment plans. I am an email away if people need help finding mental health resources near them or in their country. I aim to help support others in their wellness journey and to find the help that they need. I offer this for free. As a social service worker, my role is to help support people to link them to mental health resources to find help for themselves.

I do everything by myself on my channel too. I brainstorm, film, write my video scripts, edit, upload, do my thumbnails and share to various groups - women’s, couples, and friends groups and send them individually to people who might need help or encouragement. Moreover, I share tips and tools and advocate for others all by myself. 

Way back when my channel started in 2018, I had my fiancé (now husband) Ethan help me film scenic shots, but now I just do it solo. I came up with my brand name because of my name and that in everything I do in my daily life, I love to encourage people and motivate them to keep going by discussing mental health, wellness, hope, positivity, and faith in all that I do. 

It took me maybe a year to lock down this full name because I am a perfectionist. Back when I was a teenager, I would use many different alias names online to do the same purpose (to encourage people online that they were not alone). Names like “Animelen” or “Livelovelifeeleni” or “Eleni Happy Sunshine Wiebe”, and now it is “Eleni Wiebe Motivation+Mental Wellness”. 

It used to be “Eleni Happy Sunshine Motivation” a few years ago mainly because everything I love to do is rooted in wanting to be a ray of sunshine and helping people.  In 2021, I felt brave to have put my name as well as motivation and mental wellness. Motivation and mental wellness are some of the many main things that I encourage others about. So there, I guess this is all you need to know about that.

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

Content creation found me, for sure. I believe God put it in my heart to make uplifting and hopeful content to help give hope and positivity to the world. Everything started when I was 13 years old in 2010. I was an anxious, lonely, and depressed teenager with not many friends in real life. Somehow I joined an anime roleplaying community on Facebook (using Anime characters’ names as our Facebook names basically pretending to be anime characters or made-up characters of our own). 

Through making online friends, young and old alike, I would encounter many people who needed a friend, someone to talk to, and those who were sad and needed support. It was a lot to deal with but God is good and used these opportunities to help save lives and to see that I was not alone either. 

It was on Facebook, way back, that I started posting uplifting statuses about not giving up or doing my own photography trying to capture the beauty in life, and putting uplifting quotes on them. I would also later on go by the name 'Animelen' on YouTube in 2011 making positive and uplifting videos and making friends online through YouTube too. This was way back when you were able to customize the background of your channel. I had to delete my channel because my parents did not want me to post videos of myself until I was older. I also had an old channel Livelovelifeeleni Positivity +Motivation and a weheartit blog of the same name too. 

I also posted on DeviantArt, maybe around 2012 and weheartit, around 2011 under the name Livelovelifeeleni Positivity+Motivation. On those sites, I would post a lot of my writings about activism, ways we can help our world, environmentalism, mental wellness, having hope, etc., and photographs that captured beauty from things. I put inspiring texts on them on weheartit - weheartit is like Pinterest but way older and I got much inspiration from there). 

Also on DeviantArt, I did full-length blog posts and posted a myriad of my photos on DeviantArt, as well to help reach out to people that life is beautiful and that there is hope on all of these websites. Throughout my teenage years, I used Facebook and DeviantArt the most to reach out to thousands of users to listen to their problems, to help give hope, and to tell suicidal people not to give up. Sometimes it would take me up to 4 hours of sending nice messages to random profiles and people would take a look at my pages and see my colorful bright photography, writings, and videos I made. 

Now, what kept me going to keep making content is just my want and love of following God's purpose for me. Ever since I was younger I knew I was meant to be a social worker I guess, as well as an encourager. These keep me going to post things even if I took some breaks every now and then, I am happy to be making creative content currently when I can. 

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and what is your advice in getting the creative juices flowing?

I get my inspiration from things that I notice in my daily life. For example, when I am hanging out with my friends or with the young adults’ group at church and they are discussing things that concern them (e.g., regarding their faith, mental health, or life advice in general), I get most of my inspiration from there. I note anything in my brain or just on a notebook app on my phone to help brainstorm. I use Notion app to write down scripts or jot down any possible future video ideas and it is free to use!

I aim to give helpful tools to help empower people to help themselves in their faith journey or mental health through real experiences from real people around me. Since I make videos once every month or every few months, I try to make my video around the most important topic that has been circulating around my friends’ group and that God has pressed on my heart to do the most to service someone with this video idea. 

When I deal with any mental blocks on what video to do next, I try to focus on the idea of just servicing others. So, I want my next video to be about a topic that other people deal with so that they do not feel alone and can feel more equipped to handle it in the future. I also try to not be a perfectionist. If I have two ideas on my mind, I will just pick one and then I can do the other idea for the next video after this one. 

Also, it helps to make videos about things you enjoy and are passionate about. For instance, since I am a positivity, faith, advice, life coaching, and mental wellness and hope channel, I will make videos around these things I enjoy. It also helps to enjoy making videos (which is super important too) and that you enjoy the creativity that goes into it. I will not make videos on topics I do not know much about nor do I enjoy, so that’s something. 

What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

For some reason, technology stresses me out, so I do what I can. I just use Facebook for my public mental health blog posts and to post my videos, Facebook messenger for inspirational and encouraging stories to post, YouTube obviously, email and my text messages app all to share videos to people who I think could benefit from it. 

I used to use Adobe Premiere Pro for big video projects. I would put photos of my life adventures in the intro, some intro music, and also video clips from my adventures into the introduction of my videos. It took me a month to learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro, and I had to watch some YouTube video tutorials to learn how to use it. As time went on, I got better at editing and using this video editor. It might take some time to learn something new, but just be patient with yourself as you learn. It is a way to invest in your content and craft!

I use Canva app to make my own thumbnails. I sometimes look it up on YouTube if anyone did similar videos and what they did for their thumbnails if I'm stuck. It is so fun to make thumbnails though and trust me, Canva is so easy to use to make wonderful graphics and thumbnails and it is free (I also used Canva to make my YouTube channel banner too!). 

Lastly, I use my good ol' simple calendar app on my phone. Because of my busy schedule being a wife, homemaker, and full-time student and also encouraging people and reaching out to people on a daily basis, plus wanting to enjoy my life and actually live out my wellness values and valuing my mental health, blog posts on my Facebook page are usually posted once or twice a week. YouTube videos are posted once a month or every two months (depending on how busy school is). 

I also create stories to encourage people in their mental wellness and faith a few times a week as well as to share those to close friends and family through text messages (I call it my weekly newsletter sending encouragement to people). Also, people email me from time to time and I pray for them or try to help them locate mental health resources from whatever country they are from. 

What were your fears when you were starting? How did you handle it? 

I was always anxious that my videos needed to look perfect and grand. Over time, I realized that all the hours trying to capture perfect shots and editing for a few hours was not worth it nor sustainable for my mental health (at first my videos took like 15 hours to edit). I decided over time to make it simpler and this has helped me so much! I also realized that I did not need to worry about views. Some videos have different ranges in views but as long as it helps even one person, I am happy with that.

Also, I know God is proud of me. So again, to combat that fear, I spent time doing things to remind myself of my self-worth away from technology and remember who God says I am and that views, subscribers, etc. don't define me. Views are just a number and don't really matter.

God loves me, I am enough and I define myself. 

Lastly, I had to overcome social anxiety by playing music on camera. It took me maybe 4 takes to record any song. But again, anything with practice helps you feel more comfortable and confident each time. It is okay to retake things but also know that perfect doesn't always mean done. It is better to post than to let your perfectionism ruin it from ever being published! Your video can really help someone and also you deserve to enjoy creating what you make too! 

A sweet and sunny dream - Wallpaper too-

How did you build your brand to where it is now? Take us through your process.

Honestly, it took years for this brand to grow as well as to actually come up with it's name. I guess I have not really thought that this is all a brand, but a kind of service to others. It is just me being me trying to do some good in the world. 

I would make friends with and reach out to people who seemed sad and depressed and would share encouragement with them or listen to their problems. This continued for years on different online social networking sites. I deleted some of them or lost the password to some of my old accounts on those sites but I found a new myriad of followers through my YouTube channel and by reactivating my Facebook account and by meeting more people through my real life/offline and growing my network from the ground up again. 

I just do what I can to be a kind person each day and add those people to my social accounts. I also just share by word of mouth or sharing my heart for people and it seems to resonate a lot with people. I also just decided to talk about what I do more in case someone needs help. So it is a daily thing I guess, but again I am more than a brand since it is my name on my YouTube channel and Facebook blog. I am me, haha but I am always growing and with that, the brand is always improving and growing as I learn more things about faith, life lessons, mental health, and more therapy tools to help people as I progress in school and daily life in general. 

Also, my mental health videos started gaining a lot of views a few months after I started my channel in 2018. Even though now the views are a little lower, I am happy because the videos still impact people. Honestly, I would rather have my true viewers and supporters still be here today. I also believe God had put certain people to see certain videos that they needed to see at the right time and I am happy that my channel was able to help them in a way at the time that they needed it. 

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

Honestly, you need to be enjoying it a bit if you are making content. It also helps if you make money from YouTube to obviously pick a niche or topic that you are passionate about or that you know about. Moreover, you might struggle with motivation or inspiration sometimes but believe me, if it is meant to be you will find inspiration to post again.

If you enjoy making content or videos but have no inspiration right now, it is okay. God has good plans for you but also each person is different. Perhaps you might not want to major YouTube videos anymore because of life being busy or your mental health is compromised and it is okay if you enjoy making stuff try a new platform or share it offline with some friends or just make it for you to enjoy.

You can try a new platform or start over. I had a project that I did on content creation/YouTube. I made a prayer and mental health support group on Facebook for people to pray and help each other. Eventually, the group died down and I deleted it. It served its purpose and I have too much on my plate to keep track of maintaining a group. You will learn what works and doesn't work for you anymore and to learn to adapt, and that is okay. 

Also, you don't need to capitalize on everything, I mean you are allowed to enjoy. But again, if you have things you really wanna share with the world, that's great too. Just don't compare yourself, stay in your lane, and don't get caught up in views (that was the biggest thing I had to learn) or the number of subscribers (sometimes I get one or two new people to subscribe to me a month, and I lose 2 all in the same month). Don't take these things personally and try to remember stuff like this does not matter in the long run as long as you are following your passion or calling. If this is something that you enjoy doing, keep doing it! 

Tell us the biggest obstacles you have experienced in your content creation journey. And how did you bounce back?

I am not going to lie to new creators - you will, at some point, be anxious or tend to focus on views, likes, comments, subscribers, and expectations that you have about how well a video is doing, etc. (because I mean, it is YouTube). Please remember that these don't define you. I know what it is like to expect a certain video to do well. You are brave for putting your stuff out there and if it even helps one person (or as I say to my Christian friends, "leads someone to Jesus") then it is all worth it. To be able to make content that you enjoy and that is out there in the world and make a difference for someone, is more than any amount of views, likes, comments, or subscribers that you can have! 

But honestly, I am human. Whenever I find myself getting caught up in expectations of how many views I think a video should be getting or sad if I lose one subscriber then gain another then lose another (trust me, it happens with smaller channels, you notice it more than larger ones but it happens to everyone), repeat to yourself that "this doesn't define me". I say to myself at the end of the day, I am enough, God is proud of me for sharing something to help others in the world and He is pleased with me for serving others, and His approval of me is worth more than anyone else’s. My worth doesn't change. Repeat things like this to yourself or remember the main reasons why you started your channel or did this video in the first place. 

Second, I urge you to do self-care and detach yourself from the online world. Take a break from social media apps, delete them off your phone, spend some time away from your phone and do activities that uplift you, nourish your soul, and help you recharge. Just enjoy life. Do not force yourself to find another video project to do, just let yourself be inspired naturally as you go on about your life. And spend time with your loved ones who remind you of your worth and again, also doing things that remind you of your self-worth and whatever you enjoy doing. For example, I will delete the YouTube app, stop checking it for a week after iI have posted a video, spend time with my husband and puppy Sunny, go out with friends, hike, have adventures, cooking, and spend time with God, watch movies all my hobbies etc. And I will come back onto YouTube when I am ready or I make my next video whenever the inspiration strongly strikes, and if I have any free time in between my busy schedule and school work. 

Lastly, enjoy the process and making the video. It can be fun to film the shots and do all the stuff, but if you find it is not enjoyable and very stressful, again set those boundaries and reflect on yourself why you are doing this, how do you feel and what are some ways that you can step back and protect your self worth, your mental energy etc. 

So to shorten this, basically just remember your worth and to spend time away from the platform by doing self-care to just enjoy life and to help remember who you are outside of YouTube. 

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Definitely, one of the best milestones would be being able to see this channel and my other past online accounts reaching out to others, and seeing it impact lives. This is the most incredible feeling. I have met so many amazing people through the internet, various websites, and YouTube too that I even have some of them currently on my friends list on Facebook lol. It's great to be able to connect with my viewers, make friends (and fellow Christian ones too) from around the world, to encourage each other, and more. 

Another one, a lady who found my YouTube channel, added me on Facebook and we have been best friends ever since. We voice and video chat maybe once a week and we encourage each other and pray for each other all the time. I'm just gonna call her Mel. Love you, girly!! God is so good to bring us together as best friends. 

Also, other viewers who are some of my best friends (whether they found me through YouTube or if we met on another social network app) there are a few people who I talk with regularly throughout the week, who are my viewers too! Also, I have met some viewers who are younger, it feels an honor to be able to be a big sister/mentor to encourage younger girls and guys in their faith walk. I learn a lot too from each person and it brings me so much joy to see lives being impacted to know God's hope and love. I also met an older lady friend back in high school when I made content on DeviantArt, and we still are close and email and text throughout the week too. So amazing! 

Lastly, just even the odd comment where my video or blog post helped someone and that they really needed it, or that it helped save their life or feel better about themselves or their lives. God is so good! Definitely, it’s not about the praise but doing the right thing and being obedient to put something out there after all the hard work. It is worth the number of hours to film or edit if you enjoyed it and if it could impact anybody. Remember to touch a life that is worth more than any amount of money. 

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

I would literally just share my videos on social media. I would share my videos to help people by posting them on group chats that I was a part of in Messenger, to friends and family through text messages, on my Facebook blog, and sharing through email too. I also would leave kind comments on YouTubers' videos that I watch as well as leave kind comments sometimes on popular music videos to share words of hope and encouragement. I do all this myself. Also, one of the pastors at one of the churches I attended in the past has shared some of my videos on their church’s Facebook page, which helped a lot too. 

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