Due in part to May officially being Mental Health Month, we will be using this episode to talk about two related articles that have recently been published on the website and delve into the always important subjects of self-care, relationships, rest, therapy, and everything else that influences our mental health. The two articles in question are specifically focused on resilience and imposter syndrome, and we get into the importance of these two areas of the conversation. This episode also ties beautifully into last week’s chat focusing on self-care more directly, and of course, these are topics that we will continue to explore and unpack in future conversations too! Though there is still a lot of room for improvement and progress it is worth noting just how far we have come as a collective in the way to recognize and address issues of mental health, and the societal conversations on the subject are noticeably further along than they have ever been, even just a few years ago. The pandemic and the isolation that so many people have experienced to varying degrees in the last year or so is also an important aspect of this discussion and we get into the major impacts, both positive and negative that we have seen in our lives. We also talk about some simple coping strategies for replenishing your energy, managing relationships and engaging with inspiring content, so make sure to join us for this essential episode!
Read The Articles:
Key Points From This Episode:
Increasing your own resilience and building better coping mechanisms.
How the pandemic and isolation have impacted our health, wellness, and connection.
Making the time for self-care and allowing space for recovering and recharging.
The benefits of reconnecting with loved ones in real life, instead of just on video calls.
Reassessing the value of relationships and interactions with the people in our lives.
The therapeutic potential of creating lists and writing out goals that you want to achieve.
Picturing the worst-case scenario as a way to make things less daunting.
Finding activities that give you purpose and focusing on those!
Across the board benefits of therapy and the variety of approaches that are now widely available.
The rise of podcasts and how helpful they can be learning new tools and awareness.
Women and imposter syndrome; the array of ways these thoughts can creep in.
Acceptance of the imperfections and continual learning cycle that we are all on!
Asking for help and connecting with common struggles that are often overlooked.
The prominent figures who are helping the world make progress in the mental health conversation.
“We need to normalize having a creative outlet that you are not pressured to monetize.” — Megan B [0:09:15]
“My time management is much better when I have a list, because then I can see flat out, right in front of me what needs to get done.” — Megan B [0:15:03]
“There are always people that are doing better than you, and there are always people doing worse than you and if you can contribute to your community, and to people less fortunate than you, it really helps you to not make as big of a deal over your own problems.” — Kelly Castillo [0:26:11]
“I have yet to meet a single adult human who could not benefit from therapy.” — Kelly Castillo [0:29:27]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Charlotte’s Web good coping mechanisms
Michelle Obama good coping mechanisms
Demi Lovato good coping mechanisms
She’s A Full On Monet good coping mechanisms
[00:00:01] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to She’s a Full On Monet, a digital lifestyle magazine for women. Every week, our Editor-In-Chief, Kelly Castillo, along with Megan Black and special guests, participate in a deep-dive discussion about recent articles and topics we have covered. We invite you to become part of our community, where everyone’s welcome.
[00:00:27] KC: Hello, everyone. This is episode 3 of She’s A Full On Monet. We are back to discuss some of our most recent articles with you today. This is Kelly and I have with me, Megan.
[00:00:37] MB: Hi, everybody. How is everybody? Hopefully, good. It’s been a whirlwind of a week for me, again. I don’t know about you. I literally just got back from hanging out outside of my kids’ school with a pig.
[00:00:50] KC: How did the pig wrangling go today?
[00:00:53] MB: I literally was there just to – I think, it’s because of again, a pandemic and them having the closeness and stuff. They just needed to make sure that the kids were distancing themselves. I was just there, frankly, more kids than pig. They’re reading Charlotte’s Web in their class right now. One of the kids, one of the students has a farm and had a pig. They were like, “Oh, let’s bring the pig to school.” They brought the pig and they talked about the pig and the different parts of the pig and all the kids got to touch the pig.
[00:01:26] KC: That is actually adorable.
[00:01:28] MB: I mean, I love Charlotte’s Web. My daughter hasn’t seen the movie yet. She’s just reading the book first, which I think is good. It’s better. Both. It’s such a great story. To have an actual pig come to your school is a cool hook-up. This is like, stay there.
[00:01:46] KC: That’s amazing.
[00:01:48] MB: Yeah. It was more just it was more just babysitting. Anyway, how was your morning?
[00:01:55] KC: My morning was not pig related, but also hectic. This week, you’re right, has been – I feel like, I have back to back appointments every single day this week and zero downtime. We’re going out of town Friday, so I’m trying to squeeze five days of work into four days a week. It’s a little hectic. I still have three more appointments after this today. I am excited to be back recording with you.
[00:02:19] MB: Yeah. Same.
[00:02:20] KC: Yeah, and I’m excited about our topics today, too. Today, we’re going to try to cover two of our articles and I think they relate to each other a little bit. We are recording this in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, which is I think, a great time to touch on these issues. We’re going to talk about resilience and we’re also going to talk about imposter syndrome. I think, those two topics probably appeal, or touch on a lot of women’s own thoughts and feelings. I know for me, definitely. I think they’re good topics for us to cover. We probably both have quite a bit to say.
[00:02:55] MB: Oh, yeah. I know, especially the resilience topic, actually coincides really well with last week’s topics with self-care, and how to build daily habits and stuff like that. I mean, it just bleed into each other. Absolutely. May is the best month to be talking about both of these things. I can relate and have my own opinions on both subjects.
[00:03:19] KC: Well, let’s dive into the topic of resilience. We wrote an article. Neither of us wrote the article. One of our writers test wrote. I think she did a really good job. She wrote the article about how to increase your own resilience and give yourself a little bit of a thicker skin and have better coping mechanisms to deal with what happens in your life. I think, every single person’s life is messy. I don’t know anyone whose life is puppies and rainbows. We can all use some tips on resilience, because sometimes it seems like a tsunami. That’s the time when you really need to have as thick skin as possible.
[00:03:57] MB: Absolutely. Especially, I mean, if you didn’t have resilience before the pandemic. I mean, resilience was now built upon us, especially anyone, I can relate to the people that had to all of a sudden be a full-time work from home employee, as well as a homeschool teacher, as well as all these other things. It’s just like, even if just the resilience was just making it to the end of the day. My father personally lives alone and his form of resilience was just having to get through quarantine, and not be able to see the people that he loved and do the things that were routine for him, that gave him not purpose, but gave the day a bit of a spice. Resilience comes in all forms. We’ve all had a taste of it, I feel, in 2020.
[00:04:47] KC: I was just going to say that, because I feel like, not only as wives and moms, we’ve had to wear so many hats over the last year and a half and we’ve had to play roles that we didn’t have to play before. I think, it’s been equally hard for people who live alone and people who are retired and are more isolated. Because I know that that social support system, that is so important for your mental health. It’s so important for your brain as you age. Being social is one of the biggest factors in having less cognitive issues and you get older.
Without that support system, so many people were really isolated. If you had a lot of programs you were involved with, whether it was volunteer work, or part-time work, or anything that you were doing before the pandemic, you really lost the sense of being relevant. I know that’s been really hard for a lot of people. Yeah, it’s been a tough year-plus, year going on two years now. Hopefully, we’re over it quickly. I think we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves and learned a lot about resilience.
[00:05:50] MB: Absolutely, absolutely. As we touch back on Tessa’s article, the first part that she talks about is self-care. I know we talked a lot about following those daily habits, making sure you’re taking time for yourself to self soothe, or whatever it is. It’s so hard to find that time, especially during the time that we’re in with quarantine to set aside that time for yourself, but making sure that you do set aside that time. It makes you more whole. Do it for the sake of being more whole and showing up better for everything else. Yeah, self-care is very important.
[00:06:29] KC: For so many of us, it’s the thing we put last on our to do list for the day. I know, when my kids were at home and they were growing up, I’ve always had issues with high blood pressure. I would go to the doctor and the doctor would say, “Well, tell me about your lifestyle.” I would tell them I’ve got four kids at home and I’m juggling a lot. He would say, “Oh, well. You need to reduce your stress level.”
I’m like, “Yeah, I’m aware of that. Are you offering to take one of the kids, or all of them for the weekend? Is that what’s happening now?” Because it’s easier said than done. I think that ties in, yeah, to that article that we did in episode one that you have to carve out. Even if you’re a schedule person, you have to put it in your schedule and that can be whatever that means for you. They say it a lot of different ways.
People like to say, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you put on your child, or anyone else’s. The airplane always tells you that. Or people will say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to be able to fill up your own cup before you can give it out to other people. I think that’s so true. We all hear it and we all understand the concept. I mean, if you’re a busy mom, and you haven’t even had time to take a shower, it sounds very daunting to do self-care.
[00:07:43] MB: Or even if you were used to going to an office, and now you’re working from home, and now your whole entire lifestyle has changed, I mean, you don’t even need to necessarily have kids to be too busy for self-care. You just have to make sure that whatever you’re doing, whether you’re now working a ton of extra time, or you don’t have that separation anymore that you’re taking the time to make that separation from everything else and yourself. Because when I started doing that, I showed up to everything else so much better. It was a simple thing, like taking a walk outside in the sunshine. Didn’t have to be a full-blown candles lit, bubble bath –
[00:08:23] KC: No. You just have to carve out short periods of time to recharge your batteries. I think you’re right, if you don’t have kids, it’s still an issue because we have an article coming out about this soon too, about hustle culture and this idea that we have to be on and working all the time. Every hobby you have now has to be a side gig and you have to monetize it.
I mean, there’s this #GirlBoss, concept and culture where if you’re only doing one job, then where’s your side gig? Why aren’t you hustling on the weekends? Sometimes we need to recognize our own limits and what’s best for us might not be that. It might be to have hobbies that you just do for pleasure. It might be to spend that time that you would be “hustling” on self-care. It’d be okay with that. As a society, we need to normalize that, because that’s okay.
[00:09:14] MB: We need to normalize having a creative outlet, that you’re not pressured to monetize yourself off of. Yes. What are you doing? How much do you do? No, I just do it for fun. That’s okay.
[00:09:23] KC: It’s okay to work a 9 to 5 job. Clock out and come home and leave your work at your work. Bosses need to normalize that too, because I feel like a lot of employees have a ton of pressure to work overtime, take work home with them, show that you’re the most valuable employee by working the most hours. It’s not healthy for us. We need to chill out. We really do.
[00:09:47] MB: We really do. Self-care is more important than ever now, right?
[00:09:49] KC: Yeah. How can you be resilient? How can you react to things with an appropriate level of reaction when you’re at a high-intensity level all the time, in every part of your day. That’s number one. Practice self-care, for sure.
I think, second one was reach out to loved ones, which is again, back to this pandemic that we’re in. I’m vaccinated now and my hubby is vaccinated, as my son. It makes us feel much more relieved to be able to get together with loved ones we haven’t seen. I just saw my sister last weekend and we’re back to seeing my in-laws and having a much wider family circle. That makes a huge difference, because for most people, your family and your loved ones are your support system.
I know that’s not true for everybody, unfortunately. Hopefully, for the people who that isn’t the case, they can find a family that they choose, a family of friends, that is their support system. I would still call those people your loved ones that happily relate to you.
[00:10:50] MB: Yeah, I know. Absolutely. Some people, where they’re like, “Oh, my whole entire family is terrible. I’ve created my own family.” I feel so much better when I have just a silly FaceTime with my best friend. It’s just like, I feel almost like I went to the gym, almost like I went to church. It’s almost like, I just feel better, I feel lighter. She’s not necessarily related to me, but I have the best conversation with her, because it’s just more free.
Whoever your loved ones are, whether it’s your actual family, I haven’t gotten together with as many people as I want to yet, but the fact that we’re aiming, we’re getting towards that. it’s a possibility to make plans now and travel and do stuff is the most exciting thing, because you need human – as humans, we need connection. We need to connect with people. We start to feel just depleted and a little grouchy all the time, and we can’t really understand why. I mean, yes, Zooms and FaceTime are all fine and good, but it doesn’t – it’s not the same as actual human interaction.
[00:11:53] KC: I’m a huge introvert. I mean, when I’m social, I really need time afterwards to decompress. If I had a big gathering of people, I really need quiet time after that. At the same time, during the pandemic, I realized, even though I’m an introvert, I really still need that outlet of having those social interactions. I don’t want to be alone all the time. When we say, reach out to loved ones, we also need to keep in mind that that might require people to weed through the people closest to them in their lives, that maybe they were closest to them pre-pandemic and pull out the ones that don’t have a positive – that you don’t have a positive interaction with. If you come away from an interaction with a family member or a friend and you’re exhausted emotionally, either it’s all about them, or they are making comparisons all the time, or they’re just not supportive of what you’re going through, those are the ones you have to really take a hard look at.
[00:12:46] MB: It’s hard. Because some of those people, it could be family. Some of those people, you could be that person that’s the light to their day, and it’s more obligatory on your end, but you’re doing it because you know they need it.
[00:13:00] KC: Yeah. That’s important too. I think, if we have even one or two people that we know if something good happens to us, we can call that person and we’re going to get a huge cheerleader response. Or if something bad happens to us, we can call that person and they’re going to be there, that’s all you really need, is one or two solid people as a safety net to fall back on. You can still keep relationships with the people that aren’t that for you. Just, you need to understand what the relationship is, and not expect things of them that they can’t provide for you. That’s not the relationship.
[00:13:31] MB: That’s true. I totally agree. I have a mix of both. Almost, like you need to have – actually, you have the one where it’s more one sided than the other. You need to go to that one that’s more of a lighter, more fun to leveled out. Because it can be heavy, having people rely on you. Man, during the pandemic, especially for people who we talked about were alone, and all they have is FaceTime or Zoom, it’s the highlight of their day. You have to be there for those people sometimes when you might not necessarily want to, or you might not be getting the same amount of good energy from.
[00:14:10] KC: Yeah. It might not be an equal exchange, but you get an emotional benefit, too, of knowing that you are there for someone when they need you. I mean, that to me, acts of service is my love language. I totally get that. There are people that I have close relationships with that I wouldn’t necessarily lean on, but it gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that I can be that for them. Yeah, there’s a benefit there, too.
[00:14:33] MB: There is totally a benefit there. Creating a list of goals. I thrive on lists.
[00:14:39] KC: I know that about you. You are a to-do list queen.
[00:14:43] MB: Man. You know what? There’s a basic list and then there’s a list you can do that just makes it really – I find it therapeutic. I really do. I start my day, and the days that I don’t do it, I don’t feel as solid. I know I got this done. I know that my time management is much better when I have a list, because then I can see flat out right in front of me what needs to get done. I also am the type of person that will write what we’re having for dinner, or three things that I need to remember, like drink water is always one of them.
[00:15:18] KC: I am very easily overwhelmed. My to-do list and when I start writing it out, starts to give me anxiety. I’m one of those people who add things to the to-do list just to cross them off, like things I’ve already done that morning just to have a win. I start my day with win. Got out of bed, check off that. Fed the dog, check off that. I am going for this today.
Seeing it, even when it overwhelms me, if I see it all written out, it really helps me prioritize. Then I can say, “Okay, you know what? This is too much. I can delegate this to that person. I can push this off until tomorrow. These are the five things, or the three things that are must do today.” Then, as long as I get those done, I give myself permission to count that as a full win and let myself take care of myself in that way, by not trying to complete the whole list.
[00:16:14] MB: As I’m writing it out, I feel my heart starts to beat really fast. I’m like, I almost want to do things as I’m writing them. I’m like, “I have to get that done.” It overwhelms. At the same time, I also find such satisfaction in crossing it out, and knowing that I did get it done, because if I try and make a mental list, then that anxiety of like, “Shoot, did I do that?” Things fall through the cracks. Deadlines fall through the cracks.
I’m trying to balance my schedule and my kids’ schedule. It’s almost like, and then I get this overwhelming feeling of, do I need to make a personal to do list and then a work to do list separately? Because if they bleed into each other, it’s –
[00:16:56] KC: It goes on for pages, and you’re like, this is impossible. Yeah, you can just start your day with a breakdown. I know for work, we use the Asana app. We both use that. I also have my personal calendar on the Asana app. I keep it separate from the work calendar, but it is on the same app. One thing I love about Asana is when you cross something off your to do list, it sends you a flying unicorn that crosses a screening glitter and confetti, and it’s a little mini-party, every time you complete a task.
[00:17:25] MB: Whoever created it knew exactly what we were going for with that.
[00:17:29] KC: What we needed. Yeah. It speaks to my soul to see the little unicorn fly across the screen. I’m like, “Yes. Thank you, unicorn.” I feel the same.
[00:17:40] MB: If you just completed the task, and nothing happened. No. You need some unicorn glitter.
[00:17:46] KC: No. I want confetti. I want a party. Yeah.
[00:17:50] MB: That’s so fantastic. If that doesn’t sell people after that, I mean, I’m in. Totally. I think, there’s something to writing it out that it almost makes you remember it twice, because you’re writing it out. You are right, there’s a very fine line between it being helpful and it being almost a trigger for anxiety and a trigger for overwhelm, which if you’re one of those people which man, I am, it can be hard to continue that list after it gets to a certain point, because then you’re like, “This is impossible.”
[00:18:22] KC: Yeah. That’s when I break my list into separate lists. Where I start, I keep it. I start a whole new one with the top five things I need to do. Then a wish list, if I got those done, I would start here, so that I don’t have to see that crazy, long – Because I will. I’ll go crazy. I’ll start adding things that I would love to do, like clean out the storage closet. It’s not a priority today. This is not something that needs to be done today, but I start thinking of all the things I know eventually need to be done and I start writing them down. That’s when I get in this shame spiral of I’ll never ever going to finish all of these.
[00:18:58] MB: Absolutely. I mean, I feel like, if I don’t write certain things down, like drink water, whatever the self-care is that I’m going to do for that day, whether it’s workout, or stretch, or read. I have to literally write, read for 30 minutes. Because if I don’t, then I just won’t do it. If I write it as a part of my list, then it’s almost a priority thing, or a reminder, like a physical reminder like, “Oh, yeah. I haven’t read today. Oh, it’s 5 p.m. and I still haven’t taken time to read today,” which is supposed to be that self-care.
My list can be overwhelming. I don’t know if I’d recommend it for everyone, but it works for me. I do agree with you. When I do make the list, I start to get a little bit a heart palpitation. I don’t know if this is a good idea. The next one, remain cautiously optimistic. That’s always helpful.
[00:19:47] KC: Yeah. I think, some people do this – Well, I’m a naturally optimistic person, but I know not everybody is. My husband isn’t. Sometimes I have to hold his hand and walk him out of the negative zone, because when things start to go wrong, he just assumes that everything is from that point on, is going to go wrong. I’ve learned for him, the strategy that works for me to talk him off the ledge with that mindset is to remind him of things he’s been through before and made it through and handled well.
Look, you handled that. You accomplished that. You can take this on. This is not a big deal. Or, to have him in his mind, verbally do it with me, walk things out to the worst-case scenario. He’ll say, “Well, I’m just worried that this isn’t going to happen.” I’ll say, “Okay, well, what if it doesn’t? Then what?” We’ll go all the way to the absolute end of the worst-case scenario and we make our peace with that outcome. Absolute worst of the worst. If we can handle that, then we can handle anything that falls short of that.
Once he’s figured out, “Okay, if this absolute worst thing happens, this is what I’m going to do,” and he has a strategy. Then he feels like, anything that happens that’s that bad or less bad, he’s got it. He can handle it. He has a plan. That has helped him tremendously to turn his thinking around.
[00:21:06] MB: I actually do the same thing, too, in my own head. I’m like, “Well, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” You go to the worst place, and then you realize that it’s really not as bad as your brain is trying to get you to think it is. It calms you down, which is people hear you, thinking about the worst thing would make it worse. No, it actually makes it better.
[00:21:25] KC: It does. It sounds like a very negative thought process, but it isn’t. I mean, I get anxiety, or stressed out when I’m running late for something. It doesn’t even need to be something important. It can be meeting a friend. It can be the dentist. It can be something like not a work deadline or something, but I’m running late. I start to stress out, because I hate to be late. I think it’s super disrespectful. I don’t want people to think that I believe my time is more valuable than their time.
My brain starts going down this whole thing. I ask myself like, “Okay, you’re late. What will happen?” Well, they might be offended, or they might think that you don’t care. Or they might leave me before I even – I will come up with some, “Okay. Well, I’m going to apologize when I get there. I’m going to explain why I was late. I’d tell them it’s not a habit.” You can talk yourself off the, this is the worst thing ever ledge.
[00:22:18] MB: Absolutely.
[00:22:18] KC: Because most things that we worry so much about don’t even end up happening. We’re doing all this worrying and it’s a lot of effort and for no reason.
[00:22:28] MB: Something about like, worrying about it. If it doesn’t happen, then worrying about it did no good. If it does happen, then you worried about it twice. It’s true. I try to remind myself, which is so hard. It’s a skill you have to practice. It’s like a muscle you have to practice, because your natural instinct is going to, no matter who you are, is just going to want to take you down that path of horrible, horrible thoughts. It’s like, no, that doesn’t actually happen. If you really sit back and think about it and calm down and rationalize it and realize that worrying about it also does no good, which is easier said than done.
[00:23:06] KC: Worrying about problems that you don’t have yet, especially if nothing that you can do will affect the outcome. We just had a health scare in my family. There was a lot of worry going around and a lot of people not panicking, but quite concerned. I was asked by several people like, “How are you so calm? How are you not freaking out?” I was like, “I’m not going to spend energy worrying about something that I don’t even know if it’s true yet. Let’s just wait until we have an answer, then we can worry.”
[00:23:35] MB: Very emotionally mature of you, by the way. It’s hard to do, because it’s like, this brain-heart separation thing. It’s tough.
[00:23:46] KC: It is tough. I knew in that situation, there’s absolutely nothing I can do to affect the outcome.
[00:23:52] MB: Yeah. No. Absolutely. It’s true. You just got to keep reminding yourself of that and reminding yourself of that. I had the same situation this morning. I was per usual, lately, I don’t know why, but late to, or almost late to dropping off Em at a school. I kept thinking to myself, “Okay, worst-case scenario, what’s going to happen? Okay, I have to park and I have to walk her up and I have to check her in versus her going to the gate, which she normally does.” I’m thinking to myself like, “Oh, they’re going to think I’m the worst mom,” or that you were thinking like, “Oh, my time is more valuable than theirs, or I don’t respect her time being at school.” All these different things go into my brain. At the same time, it’s like, it was fine.
[00:24:34] KC: No. The truth of the matter is, most people aren’t thinking about us. We always imagine, everyone is so concerned with what we’re doing. Nobody cares. They’re all worried about their own stuff.
[00:24:45] MB: That’s a whole another podcast conversation about how we visualize the people thinking all these things about is that really no one’s thinking at all.
[00:24:54] KC: Nobody’s thinking about us. Yes. It’s a very selfish mindset to think that everyone’s so concerned with what we’re doing. Yeah. The next one is do what gives you purpose, which I think ties into the self-care, at least for me, it does. I have certain things that I do that I say are just for me, whether it’s my website, which is a huge creative outlet for me and a personal project of mine. If it’s volunteer work that I do. Anything that I do during the day that isn’t necessarily for my kids, or my husband, or other family members. It’s just really to feed my soul. That is do what gives you purpose thing.
I think, when you’re really in a bad place – I know for me, there have been a few times in my life when I was really in a bad situation. One of the things that helped me the most was to do volunteer work. When you least feel capable of it, if you can go and do something for someone else, it doesn’t have to be a huge volunteer effort through some organized – but doing something for someone else that isn’t an obligation, not a kid, not a parent, not a spouse, not an obligation, something for the community really helped me with my perspective on things and just see my situation in a more rational light. Because there are always people that are doing better than you and there are always people that are doing worse than you. If you can contribute to your community and to people less fortunate than you, it really helps you not to make as big of a deal over your own problems and what’s going on in your life and keep that perspective.
[00:26:29] MB: Yeah. Absolutely. I feel like, especially during the pandemic, when we were all put to ourselves to figure out who am I? What do I like? What do I enjoy? I mean, we all went through some really interesting –
[00:26:42] KC: We did a lot of puzzles.
[00:26:43] MB: Oh, man. I mean, I’ve –
[00:26:44] KC: Too many puzzles.
[00:26:45] MB: I’ve crafted more in this year than I’ve ever crafted in my life. You know what? For that time, in that time, that gave me purpose; waking up and having people tell me that they were inspired to do something that they saw me do, gave me purpose to do something more. Because I felt like I was creating small joys and environments. I’ve never met these people. They’re literally telling me, my blog, or my DIY really inspired them to do something.
Then, that transitioned into me making a ton of things for my friends and finding joy and giving things to other people. That was really great. Then I realized that that time, as much as it was that I enjoyed giving to other people, wasn’t feeding my soul necessarily. Now, I do a lot of working out, which feeds my soul in a whole new way. It doesn’t serve any purpose to anyone else, but it makes me feel a whole lot better when I’m done working out, or I’m done doing – it’s a personal thing for me that I haven’t never done before. That’s what’s feeding my soul right now and giving me purpose.
[00:27:54] KC: I think that, do what gives you purpose is so personal. It can be something different for every single person.
[00:27:59] MB: Oh, yeah. Volunteer work is a great thing. A lot of people find joy in playing guitar at home, whatever it is. You got to find something that just really is just outside of everything else that just – the person you are, who are you, gives you something that just makes you feel great, whatever that is. You have to dabble. I realized –
[00:28:21] KC: It’s just your thing.
[00:28:22] MB: I am not a puzzle person. Or not my thing. I wish they were. I had to try out puzzles to realize that I am not a puzzle person.
[00:28:32] KC: You got to try a lot of things, for sure.
[00:28:34] MB: Yeah. You have to keep trying to find your jam. Then maybe, your jam for a little bit, and you may find something new. Always having that thing that feeds your soul and gives you purpose is so rewarding.
[00:28:45] KC: Yeah. You don’t have to be great at it. That’s an important thing. A lot of people would love to try painting, or sculpting, or –
[00:28:52] MB: Baking.
[00:28:52] KC: – making ceramics.
[00:28:53] MB: – or cooking.
[00:28:54] KC: Yeah. You can be terrible at it and that’s totally fine.
[00:28:57] MB: Absolutely. As long as it’s giving you joy, and it’s not destroying anyone, or harmful to anyone, yeah, rock on it. You don’t have to be the next big super pop star violinist. You just need to want to know how to play violin and when you play it, if it feeds your soul, then hey, you found it. That’s all that you’re looking for is that connection. Go to therapy.
[00:29:22] KC: Okay. Well, that’s a big one for Mental Health Awareness Month, because I have yet to meet a single adult human who could not benefit from therapy.
[00:29:31] MB: Yeah. Any therapy, it looks in all different forms. It’s not like, when I think therapy, I think person listening and somebody’s sitting on the couch, or lying on the couch and telling their feelings and somebody’s writing down like, now, because of the pandemic, there’s so many forms of therapy.
[00:29:49] KC: Right. There’s talk space, there’s better health, where you can do it by text message, you can do it online, you can do Zoom with your therapist. There’s so many options now. I think, especially for the younger generations, being able to text a therapist when they are having some issue, or crisis, or just have a question, is the way that they communicate. That is such a huge benefit. They are not necessarily comfortable talking face-to-face with a relative stranger. I think that’s so great that they’ve come out with that. I wish that was available when I was a teenager.
I’m so, so thankful that the younger generations, I think starting with our generation and younger, are so open to therapy and are so open-minded to mental health issues. Whereas, I mean, my parents’ generation for sure weren’t. I mean, if they had been, maybe we would need less therapy. I don’t know.
[00:30:42] MB: I just feel like we all know someone who’s just really gone through something, or been through therapy, and it’s changed them. I feel like, we’ve normalize therapy and going to therapy and being open about your journey in therapy. We’ve normalized it, where it was more taboo to admit that you were having some mental struggle. Back then, it was almost a weakness.
[00:31:04] KC: People would go, “Oh, well, what’s wrong with you?” Nothing has to be wrong with you to want to go to therapy.
[00:31:10] MB: There’s just four different things that could be wrong with you. Now, there’s just such a huge spectrum of what could be wrong, or not even wrong, but what could need a little bit more attention.
[00:31:22] KC: Right. Sometimes it’s finding better ways to communicate, whether you go to a couples therapy, or go on your own and just reframe some of the internal conversations that you have with yourself, and just find ways to be kinder to yourself, or you find ways to communicate better with your children and your partner. Maybe you repeat habits that you had experienced growing up and you don’t want to do that. You want to break the chain of some things.
[00:31:50] MB: Breaking the chain.
[00:31:51] KC: That’s so important. A therapist can help you see the reasons behind some of the behaviors in yourself that you’re not happy with. That is huge, because it does take a neutral person. It’s not criticism, but you don’t want to hear that feedback from a partner, or from someone who’s super close to you. You need someone who’s an expert to say, “Hey, I think the reason that you keep repeating this behavior is because this. Let’s find better ways to handle that.” You’re going to be open minded to it and you can actually take that constructive criticism and learn better strategies for your life. It impacts every aspect of your life.
[00:32:32] MB: It does. Yeah, you definitely need that non-bias third-party to tell you sometimes that it’s like, this is what’s happening. Or to bring something up that they’ve heard before about your childhood that could be connected to that. That could go from couples therapy to just going by yourself, like you said.
Therapy, also, I had a hard time finding when pandemic started to happen and I needed someone to talk to, podcasts are really helpful. I know, it’s almost coming from a bias perspective, because I do choose topics and people that I feel might relate to, more of speak to me, when if I were to be with someone else and they were to hear me, they might have just a completely non-biased perspective. I will choose topics and subjects and people that I feel are more in-tune with my level.
It really does help me hear things and see things. It’s free, and it’s on my phone, and I can listen to it any time. It’s almost like, when I was having trouble in my relationships, I would look up. There’s so many great relationship podcasts.
[00:33:38] KC: There really are.
[00:33:39] MB: Go through each subject and you can find something that if you’re just going through something in that moment, and you may not have access to a therapist, you can still have helpful information by therapists that create podcasts that have information out there that can speak to you. YouTube is also a great feature to use. You can type in anything, and there will be licensed therapists on there that have created free helpful tools and videos that can help talk you through a hard situation that you may just need someone to talk to you. Sometimes, you might be going through something that you don’t even want your best friend and have an awareness that you’re going through, or your sister, because they worry. They tend to worry for you.
[00:34:20] KC: Or they’re going to look at you differently, or that you’re going to be a burden.
[00:34:23] MB: Or they have to fix it. You need someone to either further telling you that how you’re feeling is valid, or to help you understand that maybe you’re being irrational. Whatever it is. There are helpful free tools out there that are immediately available on your phone.
[00:34:39] KC: Yeah. I mean, there used to be a huge, huge push for self-help books. I know in my child in the 80s and 90s, self-help books were such a big deal. Anytime you read a book like that, or you listen to a podcast, hat’s based on whether it’s psychology, or therapy, or any of motivational stuff. If you take away one thing that helps you in your life, like it was worth the time that you spent on it.
[00:35:06] MB: A 100%. Yeah.
[00:35:07] KC: I think, if you’re listening and you’re open minded, you can almost always find at least one strategy that they’re talking about, that will help you.
[00:35:16] MB: Yeah. It’s just, it’s something to listen to. You don’t have to actually say your side, but you can hear their advice and you can either apply it, or don’t apply it. I always, always take away something. It’s almost like, I take away something from the other person’s perspective that I wouldn’t have seen had I not listened to it. I think that those are really helpful tools that they aren’t necessarily your standard therapist, but they are something that if you just need something in that moment that has to do with a certain subject, there are tools out there that can help you, that will give you guidance on how to handle it next, so that it doesn’t snowball into a bigger thing and a bigger thing and a bigger thing, whatever that may be.
[00:35:58] KC: There’s a big benefit to some social media aspects of life now. Maybe not so much like Instagram or Facebook, but things like Twitter and Tiktok, where it’s strangers conversations that you’re hearing bits and pieces of, because I feel that a lot of people have found a community where they’re like, “Oh, my gosh. It isn’t just me. I’m not alone in the way that I think.” I’m not the only person who’s been through this, or who thinks like this. That helps anytime you know that you’re not “strange,” or you’re not isolated in your thinking, that there are whole community of people who have the same issues that you do, it helps so much just to not feel alone. Even if it doesn’t give you a solution, if you just know you’re not the only one dealing with it. I mean, that’s such a huge benefit.
[00:36:44] MB: I’m really excited that mental health is talked about more and more and more, because it just makes me happy for the generation after and after and after, because then they don’t have to feel so silent about what the things they’re going through. Because that’s so destructive. The more open we are to people – it’s okay not to be okay all the time and to be able to talk about it and go to therapy and not be like, “Oh, that goes.”
Because I went to therapy when I was a kid. I’ve been in therapy since I was a kid. Because my parents were going through their own issues and they thought that putting me in therapy would help. Which it did. It’s something I’ve always been around and it’s something that I’ve always think – I’ve always thought is very important.
[00:37:31] KC: Now in society, now it’s so normalized. For our kids, it’s going to be really just a part of their everyday life, like any other aspect of their health. They take multivitamin, they exercise, they get enough sleep and they do therapy. Mental health is health. Like I said, I’ve never met an adult who couldn’t benefit from therapy. I’ve never met an adult who doesn’t have trauma, because we all do. Now, some are way worse than others, but it affects your response to all the other people in your life. If you haven’t explored that and you don’t see it, having someone walk you through that, that has that knowledge is so beneficial.
[00:38:09] MB: Absolutely. Yeah. The more aware you are of it, the more – I mean, you don’t have to fix it. It’s just, being aware of the situation helps you feel less, like there’s something off. Because you’re always like, “Oh, what’s wrong?” Well, if you’re more aware of it, then there’s more ways to help that.
[00:38:28] KC: It’s so much easier to break habits, if you know where they came from and if you know the psyche behind why you behave the way that you do. I think, this topic is a great segue into the imposter syndrome topic that we have coming up this week, because I think they both fall under the category of Mental Health Awareness Month. They also just are how we handle things, how we see ourselves and how we see ourselves in relation to other people.
I know from imposter syndrome, it was briefly, thankfully, a huge issue for me. I was able to overcome it, but only because of experience. I think, I’m probably not alone in that. I think, probably a lot of women, especially in the workplace have this same issue, because women have been so marginalized in the workplace for so long; talked over, not promoted the same as men, not paid the same as men. I think, we have this mental image of ourselves as women as being less than, or being less valuable, or what we have to say being less valuable.
I think, we’re overcoming that. We really have come so far. Just in the last, I mean, very short last few years, I’ve seen such a huge, huge difference in society and how they’re talking about feminism, how they’re talking about women in the workplace. For me, with the imposter syndrome was my life changed pretty quickly and pretty dramatically. I was very fine as a single mom and doing fairly well in my career. Then I met my husband, and he’s extremely successful.
Suddenly, I was around all of these people who were highly, highly successful, high achiever people, graduated from the best universities, whatever you can imagine times a 1,000. I didn’t graduate college. I was a young mom. I was a single mom. I consider myself to be an intelligent person. I got inside my own head a little bit in these social situations with people I had never been around before. Thinking, “Oh, I can’t add anything to this conversation. Nobody’s going to want to hear what I have to say. I’m not at the same level.” I wouldn’t really speak as much when we were out socially. I wouldn’t share my opinion freely, which isn’t my personality at all. I very much share my opinion very freely.
I went through this period of time where I just felt I was not comfortable and I was not adding anything, that I had less value than the people I was around. That really was not good for my mental health. The way I worked my way through that was because I spent more and more time around these people and I realized pretty quickly, they are just as messed up as me. Maybe more.
I watched these highly intelligent, high-achieving people from the top universities, totally screw up on things and say stupid stuff and say stuff I knew was wrong, or have issues in their personal life that were the same that I had seen in my family. That took time. That took time and experience for me to realize that people are all the same. We may have opportunities that other people don’t have. We may have privileges that other people don’t have, and we need to be aware of those, for sure. We need to be sensitive to that, but everybody’s opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s.
To eliminate yourself from the conversation, just because you feel intimidated by the people around you, I really went through something having that imposter syndrome, because I am usually so outspoken and I usually consider myself to be able to add to the conversation. For me to dull my sparkle and silence myself, was really damaging for me. I really needed to explore where that came from. A lot of it came from my own insecurities. I did have not a chip on my shoulder, but I did have regret that I hadn’t gone to college, that I had had kids young. I needed to reframe that as something positive.
That took a lot of effort for me to figure out everything that has to do with having kids as young as I had them and with no role model. I just had to figure out life. That’s school of hard knocks. No, I didn’t go to Harvard, but I definitely went to the school of hard knocks. I came out of it with, I think, really great kids, and a lot of work experience. I’ve always worked and I’ve always worked really hard.
I just had to talk myself through that. It was a big issue for me. To see the article that we’re talking about, one of the examples that we use is that even Michelle Obama has come forward to say that she really felt like a fake for a long time, and that she was going to be caught out as an imposter. That’s insane. She’s so accomplished. She’s so educated, well-spoken. I can’t imagine where that would come from.
It doesn’t have to come from anywhere. It’s just something within yourself that you need to work through. For me, yeah, it took being around people who I consider to be “way above my station,” and seeing them be just as human as me, to realize that everybody has the same mess. Everybody has the same mess. We just have different privileges and different opportunities. I’m probably not alone in that. I think a lot of women probably feel that way.
Especially, we do take time off from our careers to have kids. Maybe we wouldn’t have the same opportunities for education if we had our kids young, or we put it – we go back to school late in life and finish our degrees. Whatever it is that makes you feel you’re not able to add to the conversation in the workplace, or the conversation with people who weren’t on the same trajectory as you, you really just need to examine where that’s coming from, and give yourself credit for all the things that you have achieved.
As moms, we struggle more than most men, but we take on most of the childcare responsibilities. We take on a lot of the household finance responsibilities, while we juggle work, while we do a million other things. A lot of times, we’re caring for elderly relatives as well. I mean, they call us the sandwich generation for a reason, right? We take care of our kids and we take care of our elderly parents and grandparents. We have a lot on our plate. We deserve self-respect for that, to give ourselves the credit of what we may not have achieved the same things in our career that other people had, who don’t have the same challenges we have. We’ve done so much and we have been capable of doing so much at the same time. We have to give ourselves credit for what we have achieved, and not downplay it.
They say, “Oh, I’m just a homemaker. Or I only work part-time.” Don’t do that. Don’t downplay your accomplishments, because all of us work incredibly hard, doing all of the things that we do. It’s all honorable and it’s all valuable and it all adds to the conversation.
[00:45:23] MB: Absolutely. I can totally understand that. I come from a space where I’m an influencer, like a content creator, influencer. I do it in a space in a Disney space, mainly. That space is super saturated, super, super saturated. The women that I consider my friends are wonderful people. They all do similar things. We all have different types of account engagement reaches and follower accounts. That’s a big factor when you’re getting certain deals and stuff like that. There’s this whole imposter syndrome going on, where if someone gets a brand deal, and you don’t, that means you’re not as valuable, or there’s this constant comparison game going on that, man, I mean, I’ve been doing this for years now. I’ve been doing this for two, three years, and during the pandemic was especially hard when we didn’t have things, like the theme park to access to create content and showcase our value with.
It was supposed to be a creative space. Then it became a competitive space for me, which I’m still all about. I’m really competitive. Then, it just became a space where I never felt any of my achievements were good enough, because I wasn’t getting certain deals that other people were. My best friend also does the things that I do, but her follower count is much higher. Her opportunities are much bigger. I also know, because we’re best friends that her life is as equally crazy and impossible as mine. We all go through the same things and it’s like, we’re laughing because it’s like, no one’s life is perfect.
I’m so happy for her. At the same time, I also know that if she’s going through that with that type of following, then everyone’s going through it. You know what I mean? We’re all just trying to juggle and look like we can do it perfectly. That just dwindled the fun for me for a little bit. I had to tell myself. I had to remove myself. I had to remove the toxicity from it. I had to tell myself that I was going to cheerleader the you know what, out of every single thing that I had coming my way. Even though it might not be what ABC and D got, it was still an opportunity that I got and I should be proud of every opportunity that I have.
Because if I was constantly comparing myself to others, and showing what I wasn’t getting opportunities for, then I was dulling my own sparkle in my own head. Then who was I doing it for? I decided that if I was going to continue to do this, that I was going to do it with the idea that I was going to be proud of everything that I did. Because if I did it from a place of comparing myself, or not feeling it was ever enough, then there would be no point to any of it.
It’s a toxic place that influencer will. It can be any type of influencer. You’re always competing with the next person next to you, who by the way, is losing their mind too. Don’t think that they have it all together. They don’t. Whatever that is, you have to make sure that it’s healthy. If it’s not serving you from a good place mentally, then maybe removing it, or toning it down, or being more selective on the things that you put inside your life to value your mental health above all else. You have to take care of yourself.
Because if you’re dulling your own sparkle for whoever, who cares whoever it is whether it is? Whether it’s the people that you were speaking of being around, or the people online, that’s not what we’re supposed to be doing as human beings. It can really affect a lot of areas of your mental health that you’re not aware of. It’s like a swell effect.
[00:49:02] KC: Yeah. I think that comparison can happen in any space, even if you’re not an influencer. It’s really, really common to do the comparison thing with other moms, if you have kids the same age, especially when they’re smart, they’re meeting milestones. Then when they get older, my kid got into this college, and this kid got into that college and they got this scholarship, or they’re in sports varsity, and my kid only made JV. It’s so ridiculous. It’s so ridiculous.
We need to let that go, because it’s horrible for us, it’s horrible for our kids. I think that happens in workplace as well, in an office environment, that who’s getting promotions, who’s not, who’s salary is what? I mean, we have to let it all go.
[00:49:41] MB: It’s a tough thing. It sometimes can be driven by people way higher than you, but at the same time, it affects your mental health.
[00:49:49] KC: Yeah. If you know that you’re doing the best to your ability and you’re happy with whatever you’re producing, whether it’s in motherhood, in career in the online space, whatever that is, you just have to be happy with what you’re doing and compare yourself only to yourself. It’s a lot harder said than done. I know that.
I know for me, I will get brand deals. I will get collabs, jobs that people give me. I think, “Oh, my gosh. They’re going to figure out that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.” Nobody knows what the heck they’re doing.
[00:50:21] MB: Nobody does. Nobody does.
[00:50:22] KC: It’s true. Nobody does. We are all completely clueless. At least the first-time people do things, they have no idea what they’re doing. That’s universal for everyone.
[00:50:32] MB: Yeah, don’t worry about being perfect. It’s okay. The only way to figure it out is to practice and go through the rough patches, because no one has it figured out.
[00:50:42] KC: There’s a full fake it till you make it thing, which I completely – I wing it all the time. That’s how I did my life.
[00:50:48] MB: We all do.
[00:50:49] KC: Also, it’s okay to admit that you don’t know what you’re doing and ask for help. Because sometimes, we’re in over our heads and that’s what’s required. It’s hard to do that.
[00:50:59] MB: It’s hard. It’s hard for people to admit too, that they don’t have it all together. There’s almost with this imposter syndrome of not being enough. Also, when you have it, you also don’t really know how to be vulnerable about it at the same time.
[00:51:17] KC: Yeah, your defenses go up.
[00:51:19] MB: When I have a bad day and I’m open about it online, people are like, “Thank you for being open about your bad day.” I’m like, “That just reminds me, too many people think everyone has a perfect day all the time.” You don’t have to be completely open and vulnerable, but you do have to be a little bit open and vulnerable. The vulnerable factor is big to it.
[00:51:39] KC: You’d be surprised how many people, if you are vulnerable, will come out and say, “Thank you so much, because I thought it was only one,” or we’ll let you know privately, I went through that too and I wasn’t comfortable talking about it.
[00:51:52] MB: It helps you almost release the pressure from yourself to be perfect all the time. When people thank you for being more human, you allow yourself to be more human.
[00:52:03] KC: Right. I just wrote an article on Mental Health Awareness Month that touched on that, because I had said in the article, I have a child with mental health issues. When that started to come about in his preteen years, that was very hard for me. Because for one, you feel like a terrible parent. You feel like you did it. You caused something to go wrong. That’s normal. I think, anytime our kids do something outside of our expectations of them, we assume it’s something we did and that’s a normal mom thing.
Also, I realized, first of all, I had no idea what to do. I had no idea who to reach out to, how to handle it. I’ve never been through anything like that in my life. It was very difficult, because when my kids needed braces, or when my daughter needed glasses, I had no problem calling all my mom friends and saying, “Hey, what orthodontist do you use? What obstetrician do you – What optometrist do you use, because I need one?”
When it was a mental health issue, I did not feel that I could do that. Because first of all, none of my friends had even mentioned that they were dealing with anything like this. I was embarrassed. I really had to sit with that and examine where that was coming from, because it wasn’t healthy for me. It wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t what was best for my child. I needed to advocate for my child and that required me being vocal. It doesn’t require me telling my child’s story to the world, because it’s not my story to tell.
It did require me being able to ask for resources, whether that was from their school, whether that was from their doctors, from treatment centers, whatever that my child needed, I needed to be able to A, admit that they needed that and B, ask where to get it. If I had had friends who had been more open about things they were going through, I would have had a support system, and I didn’t. When I was open about it, which I have been from the beginning, so many people came to me later and said, “I was going through the same thing with my husband, with my best friend, with my mom, with my child. I was too afraid to talk about it. Thank you for giving me even one person I can talk to about it, who I know has been through this.”
It’s so important. It’s incredibly important that we are open with all aspects of mental health. Mental health is how that we are able to support each other without judgment. We have to be able to ask for help.
[00:54:19] MB: I think just being open about it, and just admitting that it’s okay to talk about and normalizing it, it helps. We’re all naturally prideful people.
[00:54:30] KC: Of course.
[00:54:30] MB: If we get permission to be who we really are by somebody, then that’s sometimes all that we need to get the process going. Because if you feel weird, or feel unaccepted, or feel judged, or feel it’s going to upset someone, because you don’t want to pour your issues on someone else, whatever it may be. If you never open the door, then nothing will ever happen. The minute that somebody is like, “I know exactly what you’re going through.” I’m a big fan of Demi Lovato. She is someone –
[00:55:02] KC: Yeah, she’s been so open.
[00:55:04] MB: No matter what she’s going through in life and of course, she probably hasn’t said every single tiny little detail. Man, I watched her. Of course, I watched her documentary. I’ve been a fan of her since she was on to Disney Channel, I followed her. She is someone that has been so open about being a human, about making – about relapsing and coming through and being so grateful to be alive and being – Oh, she literally wrote a song called It’s Okay Not to Be Okay. I have a child with mental health issues as well. If they have someone out there who is in such a public eye, that is just so okay with being themselves, they have an advocate that they can relate to you and talk to. You just need to open that door, because the minute we feel judged is the minute we go silent. The minute you go silent is the problem.
[00:55:52] KC: Yeah. The moment that someone says, “I see you exactly where you are, and I accept you exactly as you are,” that is so freeing. That is all we need to hear. That can be a therapist. That can be a loved one. That could be a friend. That could be a celebrity, who says that they are in the same boat and we feel accepted.
[00:56:11] MB: Exactly.
[00:56:11] KC: Because we see how society reacts to them with such love and acceptance, usually, hopefully. That tells us that we can be more open about it. I am so thankful that we had this conversation today about Mental Health Awareness Month.
[00:56:23] MB: Me too. Me too. It’s such a perfect time. You were right. They coincide with each other so well, yeah, the two topics.
[00:56:31] KC: Hopefully, someday we won’t need to have a Mental Health Awareness Month. It can just be a normal part of our health.
[00:56:39] MB: It can. Yeah.
[00:56:40] KC: At least we’re talking about it.
[00:56:42] MB: It’s a good start.
[00:56:44] KC: Yes. It is a good start. Well, I loved our topics today and I can’t wait for next week. We have more to talk about. Thank you, guys, for joining us again. If you have articles that you’ve read on our site that you would love to have us cover on the podcast, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to cover your suggested topics.
[00:57:06] MB: Wonderful.
[00:57:07] KC: All right, talk to you soon, Megan. Thank you so much.
[00:57:10] MB: Bye.
[00:57:10] KC: Bye.
[00:57:12] ANNOUNCER: Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to bookmark our site, shesafullonmonet.com. Subscribe to our newsletter. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If you’re enjoying this podcast, it helps us a lot if you can follow, rate and review. See you all next week.