Today’s episode is a conversation with Tristyn Sepersky, a Boston-based performer and personal friend. Together she and Dr. MC discuss their self-care routines, the benefits of having various interests, Michael Sheen and much more!
And as always we’d love to hear from you! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or topics you’d like to hear about on future episodes.
You can learn more about Dr. MC and this podcast on her website: https://drmcselfcare.com/podcast-home/
Speaker 1 00:00:27 Welcome to the inaugural episode of Dr. <inaudible> self care cabaret podcast. I’m Theresa Melito-Conners a PhD level self care expert in the greater Boston area with a passion for helping others recognize the importance of caring for themselves. This is a brand new podcast where we will dive deep into the true meaning of self-care dismantling the stereotypes and the societal ideals that make us feel that self-care is selfish and a luxury reserved for those who can afford such things. The time is now to stop the cycle of deprivation. Let go of the idea of perfection and step into the world of genuine self care. I will teach you sustainable realistic cost accessible, effective, and efficient ways to attend to your mental, emotional, and physical needs. I am so excited to take this journey with you. Today’s episode is a conversation with Tristen. <inaudible> a Boston-based performer and personal trainer currently working as a patient coordinator for an orthodontics office, but more importantly, a dear friend, Tristan and I met 10 years ago when I was choreographing and award-winning production of the musical hair, where she was a member of the cast.
Speaker 1 00:01:49 I immediately recognized her spirit and fearless attitude and asked her to be my dance captain for the show. Typically a dance captain is someone who is not only a skilled dancer, but is able to help others learn the choreography and run dance rehearsals in the choreographers absence, basically the choreographers right-hand man Tristan and I later went on to work on several shows together for both children and adults. I am delighted to chat with her today. She brings a unique perspective to talking about self-care great. So we’re going to go right in, so I’ll wait for you to finish your, putting your hair in a ponytail. She is now ready for her clothes for my voice up welcome Triston to Dr. MC self-care cabaret podcast.
Speaker 2 00:02:47 Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 1 00:02:49 So let’s just dive right in. So first question, can you tell me a little bit about your self-care routine?
Speaker 2 00:02:57 My self-care can look like a lot of different things depending on my mood. Sometimes it’s like, I need to like flick off my brain and then I’ll play Sudoku for, you know, half an hour or like binge watch a show or something I don’t have to think about, but it engages my brain and just enough to kind of keep autopilot running. Sometimes it means working out. Sometimes it means cleaning my house. Sometimes it means doing laundry. I find repetitive actions to be helpful because I think somehow it like burns off excess energy that I, um, I tend to have an anxious brain. So doing repetitive actions that are also helpful to my environment, I find to be therapeutic. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:03:47 Excellent. It’s interesting that you described several activities that you like to do, and actually some of them, you hit upon the domains of self care because in my presentations and folks will hear me talk about this a lot, but the kind of the 10 different domains of self-care and you already mentioned moving your body. So this, the exercise domain, the environmental domain, making sure that we’re staying organized and our environment is not cluttered and chaotic because that’s hard for us to relax. And those types of spaces, you also mentioned a little bit about maybe some soothing strategies for yourself and having repetitive, um, things to kind of make sure you’re maintaining, um, calmness for yourself. So that’s great. Do, um, specifically, what are some ways that you like to manage your stress?
Speaker 2 00:04:37 Um, I find making lists helpful. Hmm. I love a good, I love a list. Um, sometimes I’ll even, this is sort of a cheat, but I will, you know, on my to-do list I’ll do something and then write it on the list after it’s done and cross it out so you can cross it off. All right, cool. I’ve definitely done that. Yeah. It’s helpful to see it crossed out. I’ve gotten better over the years. Like in my time at therapy and in my time kind of figuring out different strategies for myself. Um, I’ve gotten much better than I used to be at recognizing what stressors are actually a problem and which ones aren’t like. For example, my cat is very loud lately because she’s growing up and she’s in heat now. So she’s, she yells a lot and I used to freak out about it a few months ago.
Speaker 2 00:05:42 And then I learned that I could just get her out of my bedroom and shut the door and that’s fine. Perfect coping strategy. And I realized that it wasn’t worthwhile to, it was, it was not doing any good for anybody to have her just be in my room and keeping me awake. Sure. So once I realized, uh, I was much better off and, uh, time management I find is quite helpful because then the part of my brain that gets overwhelmed quite easily, um, doesn’t really have a chance to get purchased because I’ll think of all these things I have to do. And, but then I’ll, I’ll figure out when I’m going to do them and make a schedule for myself. And then I realized, oh, it’s just, this thing will take five minutes. Just get it done.
Speaker 1 00:06:31 So when it comes to like your to-do lists and stuff, because this is how I like to actually conceptualize my self-care routine. I’m wondering like what types of things go on your to-do list? Do you ever put like any self-care practices or stuff like that on there, like maybe reminders to do stuff like that? Or does that come more naturally?
Speaker 2 00:06:49 I don’t ever put self care as like a task, the things on my to-do list. If they, if they do end up being self care, like for example, cleaning, I find more are just executive functional tasks, but then I get them done and it is a therapeutic thing to have that be fit to have it be done. Right. One of my favorite things to do for self care is to read, um, a fan fiction. And like, I like to read good omens fan fiction lately that I find, oh, I would never put that on a to-do list. That’s something I would do. If I’m, if I’m waiting for my laundry to be done, then I’ll open my Kindle and like start reading that or I’ll, or I’ll start binge watching something. Or I don’t know, I’ll play with my cat. I suppose. That’s interesting that I don’t ever, I don’t really think of it as like an assignable verb. It just kind of happens like when it does and I don’t actually make time for it. It just occurs.
Speaker 1 00:07:45 Well, that’s good. I mean, typically we don’t want to view our self care is like a chore, right. Or as like a task on our to-do list. But I find for myself, I like to see it like laid out on a calendar. So I will kind of put things in like, I’m going to meditate for 15 minutes today or I’m going to journal.
Speaker 2 00:08:03 That’s the thing. I mean, there’s that side of the coin is that it can be viewed as, uh, you know, a task which perhaps might not be the best way to go about it. But then you’re also not assigning it the same weight and significance gravity or importance as the way that you go about it by actually seeing it being a part of your day and making sure it happens
Speaker 1 00:08:26 Well, that’s the key, because of course those are the first things that we just brushed to the side. When other things we have competing priorities and other things that come up the self care is the first thing to go out the window. You mentioned a little bit about, um, your kitties interrupting your sleep time, and I’m glad to see that you have come up with a way, uh, a physical barrier. So that doesn’t, that doesn’t happen. So tell me a little bit more about how you ensure that you get adequate rest, because that is another important domain of self care.
Speaker 2 00:08:57 I mean, I’d be lying if I said that I always got adequate rest. Well, I mean, not for nothing. She, she wakes me up every day at three in the morning and hopefully that will be curbed soon, but I’m not as diligent as I think I could be when it comes to responsible sleeping. I suppose I could say like, you know, making sure I, I could prioritize my sleep schedule much, much better. Okay. Um, like I could physically make the choice of, okay, it’s 10:00 PM go to go to the bedroom, get in the bed. But I, again, I guess that doesn’t come to the forefront of my brain, which is, I know that it’s so important to get adequate, consistent sleep. And somehow that’s, it’s not something that I ever put a ton of thought into because it, you know, it’s just going to happen. It’s not something that I, you know, put a whole lot of priority into managing as well as I could. Sure.
Speaker 1 00:10:05 Do you find, I know for myself, I need a lot of sleep. Do you find that you can function? Like the recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours? Do you find like you’re within that range or more or less? No,
Speaker 2 00:10:19 I I’m. I’m lucky if I get six hours because I’ll go to bed probably like right. You know, uh, 1130, maybe midnight. I get up for work at seven 30. So if I slept that whole time, that would be great. But Maggie wakes me up, Maggie, my cat, perhaps you can hear her in the background. She’s mewling I
Speaker 1 00:10:44 Think I just heard a little music. She’s new, she’s viewing right over there.
Speaker 2 00:10:48 Um, Maggie, the banshee wakes me up at around 3:00 AM and then she’s such a pain that then I’m awake for a few hours and then I’ll go back to sleep and then I have to wake up. So if I slept that whole time, that would be great. But I’m probably functioning on whatever the sleep version of, of being dehydrated is. I’m like chronically sleep dehydrated. Oh no. Which interesting facts. Most adult humans are chronically dehydrated all the time and they just both water and sleep and they just live that way. Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 1 00:11:35 Nutrition and hydration is a whole nother domain of self care that I don’t know if we’ll touch upon today, but certainly rest is, um, is very important. And I find, you know, even if I get like eight hours of sleep, sometimes I’m still not refreshed and restored. When I wake up in the morning,
Speaker 2 00:11:52 The last time I’m a little grumpy. The last time I got a lot of sleep was when I got my, my second vaccine shot, I slept for 11 hours, three days in a row, which is absurd for me. I’d never do that ever. And it was fantastic. It was a, your body probably needed it. It was amazing. The third day I went into my room. I was so immensely tired and I went into my room and Maggie was just hanging out on the bed. And I went to go schmozzle my face into her bur and I fell asleep face down on the bed, but like the wrong way on the bed, like sideways. And then I woke up like four hours later. Oh my God. And then I got a snack and then I went to bed.
Speaker 1 00:12:48 That was good though. You let your body rest. You let the VAX do its thing and let your immune system do what it was designed to do
Speaker 2 00:12:56 It. And it was working overtime. For sure.
Speaker 1 00:12:59 I wanna touch upon a little bit of, um, an area of expertise that I know you have as a personal trainer and as a performer. And I know that the exercise domain is very important of self care and we have to move our bodies. And a lot of people, you know, have some funny ideas and, and complicated relationships when it comes to movement and exercise. So I’m curious for you to share a little bit about your exercise routine and your thoughts on movement. Well,
Speaker 2 00:13:28 First things first, all movement is good. Correct. And I, my exercise routines have changed a lot over the years, kind of a lot, depending on what hobby I was into at the time. Like I did rock climbing for awhile. I did archery. I did like, I forget what it’s called, but Boston like the Boston city softball league, there is one. Cool. Um, so I have, um, a smattering of random <inaudible> from like seven different sports in my house. And the other thing I have seen a lot in the gym is that if you don’t like the thing that you’re trying to do to move, you’re not going to do it. Right. You have to, you can’t view it as a chore because you’re not going to want to do it. So you have to find either find a way to like it or find something you like.
Speaker 2 00:14:26 Like I knew someone, I trained, someone wants who he hated, hated lifting weights, but eventually he found this really profound satisfaction in lifting heavier and heavier weights. So he found something in it that he liked. And then he liked it. Well, that’s important, right? It’s extremely, it’s extremely empowering because through work, it’s just like, I have a lot of friends who, um, do obstacle course races and Spartan races and all, a lot of their social media, their Instagram stories and their Facebook profile, their statuses, whatnot. They’ll say like, I hate running sprints. The best reason to do them today. It’s like, no, no. What are you thinking? Do things you like, for example, one of these crazy people, I was talking to them and I hate taking culture. I hate cold water. I hate being cold. I hate being cold and wet. So I hate cold showers. I’m never going to willingly take whenever. And they were like, well, that’s the reason to do it. It’s like, oh no, I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s fake. And they’re like, no, like, no, it’s really good for your brain. And it’s like, actually it makes me, makes my brain want to stop braining. So that’s mine
Speaker 1 00:15:50 Not good. I’m always stressing in my workshops, especially when we talk about exercise because people have complicated relationships with how they move their body. I’m always telling people it’s, it’s joyful movement. There’s no sense in doing it. If it doesn’t feel good.
Speaker 2 00:16:06 Yeah, no. And it’s such, it can be such a social thing. There is such stigma about size. There’s such stigma about somehow there’s such stigma about, um, laziness and not, uh, hustling 24 7, like not, you know, living your best life. And one of my favorite comedians said once, you know, people are always comparing themselves to people and he says, okay, so you don’t have the body of a, of an Olympic athlete. You’re not an Olympic athlete. You’re Dawn from sales, you wear khakis. And I was just like, yeah, there’s no, whenever I would do a Spartan race, I was never ever, or a tough Mudder or whatever. There’s a million of them, but I’m not fast. I was never a winner. Like I never placed on the podium. I always finished, but I never something to write home about. I would never have a time that I would brag about.
Speaker 2 00:17:04 And, um, I’m fine with that. I kind of wish I were a faster runner, but like, it’s fine. And I would always come, I would, I’d get to a point in, in each race where I’d get, you know, I’d be really hungry and I’m tired. And my brain’s not being my friend in that moment. And I would look at these people who were like physically, uh, kind of the body of an Olympic athlete. And I think like, what, why, what am I doing? And then I would, I would be like, they don’t do anything else. Those people do one thing. Right. They, instead of digging many holes where you have areas of interest, they’ve done that they’ve dug themselves one singular hole.
Speaker 1 00:17:51 That’s it? That might be the title of this episode.
Speaker 2 00:17:57 I think we just nailed it. No, it’s a great metaphor though. And if, even if we think we take that
Speaker 1 00:18:02 One step further and think about like celebrities and we see celebrities that are able to morph their bodies for different roles, like Chris Hemsworth is Thor and, and people like that. And it’s like, yeah, that’s
Speaker 2 00:18:13 Awesome. Yeah. He gets paid with that at every day.
Speaker 1 00:18:17 Right. And there are the top trainers in the world working with him with unlimited resources to achieve that,
Speaker 2 00:18:25 Placing his meals in front of him, dictating when to eat what Maggie’s going nuts. He has world-class trainers.
Speaker 1 00:18:32 Cause we started talking about thoughts.
Speaker 2 00:18:35 He has world-class trainers dictating every single movement that he makes. Like he still has to do it. He’s still doing hard work, but oh, absolutely. Also not working eight hours a day in an office. And then he’s not commuting 45 minutes, both ways. There’s not time enough in the day to be, you know, uh, not celebrity and to look like that. There’s not time in the day, especially if not, if you want to have any friends or like a social life or any hobby.
Speaker 1 00:19:01 Absolutely. And for you, like, I know you have lots of, of interests and holes that you’ve dug for yourself, many forming and, um, w uh, you’re singing and dancing and working on shows and taking care of your kitties and working a full-time job and all these different areas that you do. So, yeah. Chances are, you’re not going to place on a podium in a Spartan
Speaker 2 00:19:23 Race. And that’s fine. I used to really be upset by that once I made that realization that like these people don’t do anything else, then I started realizing like, oh no, I prefer my way of doing things like the phrase, Jack of all trades master of none people stop it there. And that indicates, oh man, I’m not a master of anything. Oh man. But that whole entire phrase is Jack of all trades master of none is better than being a master of one, which means it’s good to dig many holes. For example, Thomas Kail, who directed Hamilton, the musical, he, I believe has a degree in theater. And he also has a degree in American history. So Hamilton wouldn’t exist, at least not the way it is without him digging at least two holes. That’s very true because you have to, it’s not at all detrimental to have many interests. What if I had dug one big hole and been like the Spartan master and then something happens and then I can’t do it anymore. I break my knees off. What am I supposed to do that? Right.
Speaker 1 00:20:42 I think it’s better that we have lots of interests and that we move our bodies in ways that are, that feel good. And we engage in things that feel good. And we abandoned those that don’t like, for me personally, I don’t like going to a gym, nothing personal against personal trainers and people that like going to the gym. But for me, that environment just doesn’t bring me joy. I would much rather either be outside doing something, even swimming, if it’s appropriate for the weather or the season, or just dancing and moving my body in a dance studio, or even a five minute dance party in my house. Like not, it doesn’t have to be for me to feel joy. And I’ve done that extreme aspect as, as you know, and some of my listeners may also know if they’ve been following along on the blog and whatnot that I’m in recovery for exercise bulemia and disordered eating as well as atypical anorexia. So I’ve definitely done the extreme exercise thing.
Speaker 2 00:21:35 It’s called orthorexia.
Speaker 1 00:21:38 No, orthorexia is, um, the obsession with clean eating.
Speaker 2 00:21:43 Oh, you’re right. You’re right. You’re right. You’re right.
Speaker 1 00:21:46 Yeah. No atypical anorexia is when you actually are in a larger body, but you still have a meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, but you don’t meet the physical picture of what we think in a Rexy. It looks like, so it’s atypical anorexia, but around that, you know, I’ve definitely done the extreme thing and it was not
Speaker 2 00:22:09 Joyful. No. Well, I remember it was very, it was very, it was very, very, uh, yeah. Like I remember that time it was quite stressful and I feel like there was like a brimming paranoid, like, uh, like an under, like a simmering paranoia of like, I can’t do anything wrong. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:22:29 Absolutely. It was, it was an obsession. Like it was even like beyond,
Speaker 2 00:22:36 We would spend Friday nights at the gym. Like we would do our like Friday friend group and go to the gym, which I, that wasn’t the worst kind of like, that was a bit fun.
Speaker 1 00:22:49 No, I enjoyed that. The problem was all day. I restricted my intake for food. And then I would go to, um, the local boutique fitness studio. I was attending, take a couple of classes, then we would all be at the gym. So there was it wasn’t, it wasn’t that I was just going to the gym on a Friday night, like for, you know, an hour and a half or whatever, with my friends. Like that was probably the most healthy of the, um, activities I was doing. It was the fact that I jam packed a couple of classes, even I would have gotten up early and maybe gone before work worked a full day, did not feed my body from a place of love, but from a place of restriction, squeeze in as many classes as I could, and then went to the gym. Like that was the really, um, disordered piece of
Speaker 2 00:23:35 That, that I’ve I tried it and try it and try it. And I just hate it. And I don’t want to do it ever again is yoga. I hate yoga. I hate it so much. I know.
Speaker 1 00:23:49 I know. So tell me why, tell me about
Speaker 2 00:23:50 That. I’ve ever, I’ve only ever found one yoga class that I enjoyed and it wasn’t even yoga. It was just like a relaxed class. It was like, we were like, we was, it was dark and it was kind of warm in the studio. It wasn’t like hot, but it was like nice and warm. And we all wrapped ourselves in blankets and this British guy led the class and he sounded like David Attenborough sounds great. It was, it was fantastic, but it wasn’t, no guy was just relaxed class. And that was lovely. And forms
Speaker 1 00:24:22 Of yoga. Was it like a restorative class or was
Speaker 2 00:24:25 It we’re really just in it? We just kind of laid on the floor. It was my breathing class, I guess. And that was nice because he was very soothing to listen to. It was like a sleep story, but every other yoga class I’ve ever been to a is not geared for beginners at all. No, they’re usually not. I find that counterintuitive a and B several of the yoga classes I’ve been to the teacher didn’t even do it. Like they didn’t demo the movement or the movement transitions. And I just had to look at the girl next to me and be like, I hope she’s doing it right. Cause I’m just going to try to do what she’s doing. I just, I’ve never been to a yoga class, like an actual yoga class with, you know, the sun cellular Taishan and et cetera, where I didn’t feel like I was just counting the minutes until it was over. And I don’t know that that was the, like, I, one time had a lovely instructor. That was very nice. And I just hated it. No. So I’ve tried it. Maybe. I don’t know. I think I just hate it.
Speaker 1 00:25:38 Okay. I mean, not everybody has to love yoga. It is a tremendous and very helpful, um, practice to engage in, certainly to help us connect our movement to breath in that mind, body connection and increase our flexibility and our stamina and all that good stuff. But it sounds like, you know, a bit of a setup because here you are walking into a class and, and everyone’s
Speaker 2 00:26:00 Got their spot in the thing, right.
Speaker 1 00:26:03 Everybody understands the Sanskrit cues. And if the teacher wasn’t modeling the, um, the poses, like how are you expected to feel good in that environment and to really be successful? So that’s too bad. And I feel like a lot of folks will get themselves into situations like that unintentionally and to no fault of their own, but that’s not going to be a welcoming, comforting environment to really teach you about yoga and to really let you experience the benefits. So I usually tell folks, you know, especially now with so many online options for virtual classes, you don’t have to make a fool of yourself in a public class. You can do it right in the comfort
Speaker 2 00:26:40 Of your own home. And
Speaker 1 00:26:42 You know, but also people tend to put up a lot of barriers and feel like, you know, I’m not flexible enough or I’m too old or I’m too, this I’m too that. And we put up these barriers and we’re not even willing to try. And there’s no shame in doing modified poses, maybe even chair poses or just some standing poses or some gentle restorative poses and stuff like that. Or starting small and meeting yourself where you’re at. Well, before you try to advance, I
Speaker 2 00:27:11 Saw I’m, I’m not a big fan of, of like inspirational sports posters that are like, I don’t know, it’ll have some dude drinking, a protein shake. And it’s like, you’re only as far as your mind will take you or whatever. Like it’ll say something dumb. But I saw one once that was the best thing I’ve ever seen. It was a picture of Bibi Arnold Schwartzenegger in Austria and he’s maybe 14, 13. He has arms like a noodle and he’s like a baby. He’s not got any facial hair. He’s adorable. But like, he’s a child. And it said, we all start somewhere. And I was like, oh my God, this is brilliant. Like, he’s the, I have a, I have a, I have a, a concept that I call trophy names. And it’s like, whatever. Like the concept is that you’re talking about, there’s a person that you assigned to that thing.
Speaker 2 00:28:14 Like you’d call a smart person. Oh no. Okay. Einstein, like, that’s th that’s the trophy name for like smart person pop star for me, Brittany Spears. She’s the trophy. Like I would say, you know, oh, this person is like the Italian Brittany Spears. She’s what I assign is that thing in Arnold Schwartzenegger is, is most people’s trophy name for big strong guy. And I loved that. They were taking this worldwide famous person that is famous for being really huge and strong and heavy and tall and whatever. And it was like prepubescent, noodley, arm, Arnold. I thought that was a brilliant strategy. That’s the only one of those posters that I’ve ever seen that actually worked well. And I
Speaker 1 00:29:06 Love that. That’s great because a lot of times, you know, we just want the trophy. You just want to be Brittany Spears or Arnold Schwartzenegger or whoever were idolizing or looking up to, or aspiring to be forgetting that there was a whole journey. And that there was a time when Arnold Schwartzenegger wasn’t the, the person
Speaker 2 00:29:26 We know he was a kid, was that noodley kid
Speaker 1 00:29:29 That wasn’t all jacked, um, out of his mind and same thing, you know, with other people. That’s a really interesting concept. I, I like that. You’re you’re true. What do you call it? The trophy trophy name, the trophy
Speaker 2 00:29:41 Trophy trophy names. Uh, I’m going to see if I can find this picture for you, which will be very exciting for all your listeners. I put an Arnold Schwartzenegger young. Maybe I should put Arnold Schwartzenegger teen, but he has kids. So that might be confusing to the internet anyway, while I’m looking for this. So
Speaker 1 00:29:59 When we find this image of Arnold, if we can, we will be sure to include that on the reference information on the podcast episode. I mean,
Speaker 2 00:30:10 Albert Einstein didn’t graduate school, he was a weirdo in Germany, and then he just made the journey to be Albert Einstein.
Speaker 1 00:30:19 Right. Which is certainly a trophy name. When we think about intelligence and smart people up. And there it is, we got it. I know, I know my listeners can, you’ll see, it can see it, but they will, it will be posted with this episode. Like he
Speaker 2 00:30:35 Looks like he could be embraces.
Speaker 1 00:30:38 Excellent. All right. So tell me about any particular self-soothing strategies. For example, I mentioned, I enjoy a five minute dance parties. That to me can change my mood in just a very short period of time, put on my favorite song, dance it out and, um, feel better and help soothe myself. So what do you like to do when it comes to that? Like
Speaker 2 00:31:04 A, like a, like a quick thing or have to be a quick thing? Well, all right. Well, I like to, this is stupid. I don’t care. No, it works. Um, for me, I like to go on Twitter because Michael sheen is my favorite actor and I follow, um, I don’t know how many people I follow, but I would say 88% of the accounts are like Michael sheen fan accounts. So it’s just a bunch of pictures of him. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It works a treat. It’s so good. It’s instant. It’s an instant. Interesting.
Speaker 1 00:31:42 A lot of times people will say another, you made me think of another one that I like to do, and this might seem silly to folks, but it works for me. Like you said, that works for you, but I’m looking at cat photos or watching cat videos. Like, I can’t own a cat because I have allergies and asthma and my mom’s significantly asthmatic, so that wouldn’t work, but I love looking. They just crack me up. They’re awesome. So cute. And
Speaker 2 00:32:08 When cats are being dumb, like they’re so elegant and beautiful, and then they’ll like, miss the countertop or something. And it’s so funny.
Speaker 1 00:32:21 Oh, it’s awesome. And so I’ll definitely like waste a few minutes here and there. So there’s some websites even have live cams, like nurseries and stuff. There’s a few of those out there that, um, that are awesome. And you can actually watch different animals. Doesn’t have to just be cats. There’s ones for dogs and, and other wildlife. Certainly the, you can watch as a great soothing technique.
Speaker 2 00:32:44 What else I like to do? This is kind of, this is quite random, but I like to go on my iPad. So the, with the bigger screen, go on my Google earth and try to find like national landmarks without putting it in. I’ll bring up, uh, France and like in Paris I’ll find Paris. And then I’ll try to find the Eiffel tower. Oh fuck. It’s like a, it’s like a little game for myself that it’s just me playing,
Speaker 1 00:33:18 Like, kind of like that in anything. I think that can kind of get us out of our head for a minute. And like, so for you, either scrolling on Twitter and looking at pictures of one of your favorite actors or having a quick dance party, like I like to do, or watching a silly cat video or scrolling through Google earth to look around the world and see what’s there and what we can find. I mean, that gets you out of your head for a few minutes and really just almost grounds you in a way and kind of can bring you back down into the present moment to practice some, some mindfulness.
Speaker 2 00:33:52 Well, and in a, in a way it’s like I have adult ADHD. So I find that activities that can occupy like a white noise part of my brain do help executive function and my mood for the day, because otherwise I feel jittery. I feel like I have too much, I got to burn something off. And so things like that that are kind of weird and random and just for me, and like nothing fill that purpose. That’s great. Yeah. Good. Self-awareness well, I realized why I like to have, sorry, my cat Maggie is just running ragged around the house because she’s blooming currently. She’s yes. She’s being quite rambunctious. Um, I’m uncomfortable in like silent rooms and quiet places. I, I I’m very uncomfortable unless I have some kind of stimulus, unless I’m extremely focused in an activity. So if I’m doing something like puttering around the house or whatever, I’ll put on a movie that I’ve seen a million times and just the noise of it fills that fills that part of my brain that needs to on the static. And then I can go do whatever I need to be doing. And I realized that, oh, that’s why I have a, like a movie on all the time. That’s why the TV is always playing something and I’m not even paying attention to it. I just need it to be there. I needed to fill that gap and serve that purpose so I can actually be a functional person and do do my tasks. Sure.
Speaker 1 00:35:36 I think that sometimes I’m like that. And sometimes I’m not, sometimes I do really need the silence and then other times I can be productive if there’s just like noise. Even if it’s music that I’m passively paying attention to, or maybe a YouTube movie or something like that, or even a podcast that I have on, in the background or something like that, that I’m, that I’m not trying to focus on. Um, I can do that too. That kind of multitasking, but just letting that, that like white noise, like you said, kind of happened in the background as a way to,
Speaker 2 00:36:11 Well, and like, I like listening to stuff to go to sleep. I enjoy those sleep apps. Some of them play noises, some of them are like, one of them has Kate Winslet reading like a bedtime story. And it’s, that’s so good that one’s 10 out of 10 would recommend it’s called.
Speaker 1 00:36:32 I think that’s the con that calm.
Speaker 2 00:36:35 And they have a thing in calm called sleep stories. And she, Kate Winslet reads this really nice one about Thomas the tank engine at Christmas time. And it’s just so chef’s kiss for, for our listeners, but because I can never go to sleep. However, in grad school, I needed to take a class where we practiced it’s called Alexander technique and it focuses on, um, body alignment and connection to breath. And in this class we had to lay on the ground and practice breathing, just breathing in and then immediately breathing out and then immediately breathing in no vacuum, no stopping, just a continual movement of breath, which I learned at age 28 is the way people are supposed to breathe. The human body is supposed to constantly be either breathing in or breathing out. You’re never supposed to just be doing neither of those things, which is not, I would breathe out and then wait, not on purpose.
Speaker 2 00:37:50 I wouldn’t like time myself, but like, I would not breathe in until then I needed to. But in this class it would be breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out slowly. You’re not hyperventilating, but he would constantly have to, the instructor would constantly have to like wake us up because some, we would start to doze. And I was like, why do I get tired in this class? Like, it’s a dark room. Yeah. And it’s, you know, he’s, he’s soothing to listen to, but like, why am I sleepy? And then I realized, that’s how sleeping people breathe. Sleeping. People breathe in out, contained out continuously. There’s no vacuum because you’re not awake. And you don’t have any in your awake breathing to bug you in your sleep. So then I did an experiment where I was like, okay, I’m gonna pretend I’m in class. And like set myself up aligned correctly and whatever.
Speaker 2 00:38:52 And now I’m in class and I’m going to breathe like class, but I, you know, I’d be in bed and it worked like a charm. And I realized, you know, I don’t have to like trick my brain into being relaxed. If I breathe like a sleepy person breathes my brain’s going to get tricked into being like, oh, is it, are we sleeping? Oh, okay. My, my bad we’ll put him sleeping now. Okay. It honestly worked like a charm and I’d recommend it any day. Breathe like a sleeping person breathes slowly but continuously. It’s amazing. That’s
Speaker 1 00:39:31 Awesome. That is a great tip for our listeners and gentle stretching, deep breathing practices or breathing like Tristan was sharing can definitely help promote better sleep. You should go back to doing that breathing, trusting.
Speaker 2 00:39:45 I know I wasn’t breathing that entire time,
Speaker 1 00:39:48 But go back to doing it before Ben.
Speaker 2 00:39:50 I should just say the remind me of, do you remember in date night when Steve Carell was saying like, are you breathing? I needed to breathe. Are you breathing? And she goes, oh,
Speaker 1 00:40:02 I don’t think we actually made it through that movie, which was unfortunate because I like Steve Carell and edit Tina Fey. I find I hold my breath a lot and I’ve been trying to get better at that. But as soon as I’m like, oh yeah, well lifestyle and stress and different things. We’re naturally born nose breathers where we breathe this in and out continuously. Like that’s how babies breathe through their nose. And then like lifestyle and stress and different things. We, we tend to then breathe through my mouth and that’s you, and that’s not as healthy for us. So that, that’s a whole thing we talked about in a later episode. But, um, I tend, I notice like even when I’m in yoga classes, I’ve been doing yoga virtual, um, with my cousin, who’s a yoga instructor all throughout this pandemic. And, um, my mom does it with me and cause sometimes she’ll, she’ll say like, she’ll comment on things. And I’m like, well, where are you breathing? And she’s like, well, no. And I’m like, well, no. And like when I have to constantly like remind myself to breathe,
Speaker 2 00:40:59 Well, you know how the thing for if you’re, if you’re freaking out about something is, is okay, okay, breathe, breathe. And if that change in breath makes you calm down or, or you just, or suddenly you decide to like take some deep or you’re angry and you’re just like, I’m like that calms you down. That means that you were not doing that. And that’s everyone. Yep. I’d say probably from gym experience. I would say that I literally would about 85% of working adults do not breathe. You know, I don’t want to say correctly, but like they hold the breath and you can tell if you hold your breath in exercise because you’ll just do it and then your face will turn into the color red. And uh, I’m wondering
Speaker 1 00:41:54 For our listeners that are listening to this episode, are you breathing right
Speaker 2 00:41:58 Now? I literally wasn’t just then
Speaker 1 00:42:02 I’ve been catching myself as we’re talking. Yeah. Am I still breathing? I am breathing. That’s good. No, make sure that you, um, you do that. It is really important. And I always say in my sessions when I’m, when I’m teaching a workshop on self care or something like that, that like a deep breath, two or three deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth cleansing, deep breaths, so quick, efficient, and effective and free way to just almost immediately come your nervous system and really promote that sense of calm. So that’s excellent. Thank you for sharing your experience with that.
Speaker 2 00:42:36 I enjoy the app called Headspace. Well, that’s another good one. Yeah. The icon is a white square with an orange circle in it and it’s just, uh, it’ll, it’ll go to my watch and my watch will say a minute of deep breathing can, can help you for the rest of the day. And I, one time I was like, okay. And I clicked it. And it like has a thing that kind of goes in and out for when you’re supposed to breathe. It’s it’s right. It’s correct.
Speaker 1 00:43:07 That’s a great app for folks to use even to learn to meditate because that one actually starts you off small with, I think like two minutes or three minutes. And then over time you can build up to longer meditation practices. So that’s an excellent one. And I know some of these apps even provide, um, free subscriptions if you are working in education or if you’re a teacher. So there’s any teachers listening, you may be able to score free subscriptions to Headspace and calm, which is pretty cool. Well, that’s awesome. Thank you so much, Tristan, for all of your insight and willingness to share about your experiences and your self care routine. I very, very much appreciate it. Of course. And I S I know that our listeners will appreciate it too, when we launched this episode. So thank you again for joining us. Of course. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1 00:44:06 Tristan had so much to share with us and lots of takeaways. First, I enjoy how she described that self-care can look different depending upon your needs across the various domains. That is so true and important to remember. You must get in touch with what you need and want first before you can attend to it. And what works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa. I tend to be type a, and I’m very visual. I need to see things for them to click in my brain or hand up losing focus, a typical Piscean dreamer through and through. So I find that really structuring myself care helps me to be successful. If you find yourself struggling with sleep, you may want to check out an article I was featured in that provides great tips for better sleep, which is linked in the episode notes, and also look into sleep stories on the calm app and the Alexander technique for breathing to promote more restful sleep.
Speaker 1 00:45:01 And remember, it’s okay to move your body for fun. And please stop comparing yourself to others. I will say it was a little heartbreaking to hear my friend Tristan talk about my eating disorder days. We’ve really not discussed that too much previously, but she’s a hundred percent correct. It was an obsession. And I was so fearful of gaining weight for very real reasons that it was crippling. It was not until I sought help, that I realized just how sick I was. At some point I can share the gorier details as even those closest to me were not privy to the extent of my destructive behavior, but I also love the idea she talks about with digging multiple holes. Sometimes we get so focused on one thing. We forget that there’s a big world of opportunities out there. If I dug only one hole, I definitely would not be where I am today.
Speaker 1 00:45:48 I have so many interests. I also love the concept of the trophy name. We all have these ideas of excellence in our minds, and we forget that there’s people with lives that existed before their fame and that there was an entire journey maybe that we did not see, Arnold did not wake up one day as the Terminator. There was a life and a journey that led to the man we know today. Tristan also highlights the benefits of quick short self-care practices. Like a minute of deep breathing. We tend to brush these off quickly as how could they possibly be helpful, but they are just a minute of deep breathing can make a world of difference. I mean, what have you got to lose? Give it a try. Thanks so much for listening to this episode and remember to subscribe and rate this podcast on your preferred player, the ratings help us grow and share the message of self-care. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please reach out directly by emailing podcast at Dr. MC self care.com that’s D R M C self care.com and come join the cast party at Dr. MC self care cabaret on Facebook and Instagram at Dr. MC self care or on my website, Dr. MC self care.com. Be sure to like subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self care. See you next time. Stay well and do good.
Speaker 1 00:47:42 Wow.