On this episode of Breakthrough Barriers With Damali we had the pleasure of having Kristen Castree as a co-host. Kristen is the campaign director of a non-profit anti-hunger organization called “A Place At The Table”. She has over a decade of experience in roles spanning from business development, marketing and production globally and in the U.S.
Our first caller wanted practical tips for taking back time for yourself. She is a successful professional with 3 kids who often is giving herself to the world and although she has accomplished a lot, has very little “me time”. Kristen reminded us that perfection is not the best ‘north star’ to try to orient your life around. You should embrace your imperfections. It will make you more relatable to others and bring you closer to people once you realize, no one is perfect.
As parents setting perfectionist expectations for ourselves will make our children think they have to do the same, which puts a lot of pressure on them. I tell my kids the same thing my mother told me, you can do anything you put your mind to and always do your best. This will help them realize that although they can do anything, everything might not be for them. Preparing them for the no’s they will inevitably face.
Don’t be afraid to delegate and ask for help. If someone can take a load off your shoulders, it will give you more time for yourself. Damali states “I know I personally asked my husband to help me with creating the caregiver’s schedule. It was more work than we realized it was a responsibility we could easily share”.
Vacations are important in order to have balance. Even though we are all tempted to get work done on vacation, try to give yourself a proper break. Or, try the 20-20 rule. Work for 20 minutes – relax for 20 minutes.
The gratitude practice is something I try to do every day and even have gotten my children to engage in. Every day write down 3 things you are grateful for, this will make you scan for positivity in your life.
Kristen told us about a great book called The Clarity Cleanse by Dr. Barry Sagedi. The book features an exercise where readers write anything they want to for 10-12 minutes, then light whatever they wrote on fire. It is a release exercise that helps get out whatever is stuck inside.
Other tips to consider are meditation at night, apps like Headspace and Calm and accountability partners. Accountability partners are people who hold you accountable for the goals you want to reach and the things you say you want to do. No matter how hard a day may seem, or if things seem to be slipping through your fingers try to remember that tomorrow is a new day and the sun will rise again. A new chance to get things right.
Our second caller was a busy professional who was having a hard time prioritizing health care and sometimes found it difficult to do so due to outside external pressures. A quick tip given to us by Kristen was the use of essential oils. Lavender can be calming and help you sleep deeply. The focus blend of oils her daughter uses before homework helps her remain focused and engaged. Peppermint oil in the morning may help wake you up. It may not be about the oils themselves, but the ritual triggers something in your brain that prepares you for whatever you are trying to achieve.
Feeding your mind, educating yourself and learning new things are also part of health care. It sounded like the caller was already implementing these in her self-care diet. But reader, yoga, joining book clubs, listening to informative podcasts, visiting museums and having dates alone may all help with self -health care.
Damali really enjoys listening to audiobooks which are narrated by the author. When she spends her day listening to Michelle Obama’s book, she feels like she is speaking to her directly, almost like they are friends.
Another tool Kristen finds helpful is devoting time to value the friendships in your life. I always say that friends are the family you get to choose. Making them a priority will be a source of energy, inspiration and most importantly, love.
Please tell us about some ways your friends help you overcome hurdles in the comment section below.
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