Holidays to Remember

Holidays to Remember
Investing in Vitality
Holidays to Remember

Dec 14 2023 | 00:15:25

Episode 0 December 14, 2023 00:15:25

Hosted By

Shannon Vivar

Show Notes

Holidays are often filled with food, family, and fun! But in all the hustle, setting boundaries and focusing on what matters can be challenging for women. On this special bonus episode, we share a clip from our live discussion with an esteemed panel of women in healthcare: Dr. Chez Leeby Ph.D., LMFT, Dr. Meg Longyear DC, and Aspen Vazquez, BSN, RN, RAC-CT. They share their insightful thoughts on women's wellness and ways to navigate the holiday season effectively. We discuss how to manage expectations, address isolation, create memories, and find meaning and joy in our everyday lives. A video of the full conversation that was held in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on December 12, 2023, will be shared through YouTube and in the WellStylist Lab Community Platform.
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Episode Transcript

Welcome to Vitality Exchange Boosting Conversations, the interview series behind the Investing in Vitality podcast. On today's bonus episode, I'm sharing a clip from a live panel discussion that was held at the refinery in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I was joined by three amazing women in healthcare, Dr. Chez Leeby, a licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Meg Longyear, a chiropractor who practices neuro emotional technique, and Aspen Vazquez, a registered nurse at UF Health. We chatted about women's wellness and how to navigate the holidays well. We also touched on a healthy dose of mental health. This special conversation will be posted on YouTube in its totality and can be found in the Vitality Exchange Group within the WellStylist Lab Community platform.  You do feel the pressure to, meet the status quo. And that alone throws you off of your normal patterns. All year, you could have been following a certain, nutritional plan and doing well, maintaining your weight. But then, around this time of the year, you want to satisfy the family or the events that you go to per se. Oh, we're having a Christmas party or Thanksgiving party and then you kind of fall off of your regiment because you are at these functions and trying to, keep up with everything that's going on. So, it's okay to create that leeway for yourself but also it's okay to create boundaries and say no sometimes as well. Boundaries are hard. . Yeah. Just a little. That, that ability to say, no thank you. Yeah. Right. Especially to Thanksgiving dinner. Right. I think that, for me, my experience with the holiday, stressors for people is around what you're saying around expectations, like I think people have. really kind of off kilter expectations of being all these things that we see on social media, the perfectionism or what it's supposed to look like. And so those expectations lead people down a rough road. And then what I noticed as a family therapist is that the unhealed family dynamics and individual dynamics get amplified because of stress. I think everybody thinks it's supposed to be this Norman Rockwell kind of holiday thing, and then when it's not, and or we have all these other pressures from the unhealed old stuff, which everybody's got. you know, all of us. That really plays into it. And I see that as an opportunity to really do good assessment and be like, what's really triggering me in this situation? And where's that stem from? What's the old, old, old, , root cause analysis. And use that as information to make changes or to start therapy or all these other kind of alternative, options that we have to heal the old stuff. But interestingly, the suicide rate is not the highest at the holidays. So that's important to think about, but, but it's a great time to intervene and to self assess. I do know that, isolation is such a, Health detriment to people. They don't even realize when they're isolating themselves how impactful it could be on their health. Actually the surgeon general just came out with a warning that said that isolation is the equivalent of smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day or drinking six alcoholic beverages a day. So if you think about it, it's such a profound impact to our health. And there are so many people, isolated since covid But then, being, in a fight with your family and the holidays of being alone, I mean, that has to amplify that isolation even further because of our expectations for that Rockwell Christmas or holiday or Hanukkah or whatever your, family tradition is, if you're separated from your family, , and not being able to, socialize in the way that you think you should be socializing. Do you see a lot of isolation? Um, yes. Has that worsened or is it getting better? No, it's an epidemic. As the surgeon general said, loneliness is at an epidemic level. And I see that because It, again, is so interesting because we're so connected through our phones and different things, but we are , lonelier than ever because it's not meaning filled. It's not a meaning filled connections. I find with the women that I work with, the women's groups that I do, when they feel seen, heard, and can share their meaningful purpose. That is like eons worth of therapy because that's something that we're all craving is to find that meaning. And I think that's the root of loneliness and isolation. Because it feels like a different world where we're not making meaning and we're not making purpose. I think we have to find ways to build that in. And especially for the people that you know are lonely and isolated. Even more so than ever. We really have to find ways, I think, to help people with that. And to help kids, teens, with finding more meaningful connections. Ways to do that. Covid altered a lot of family traditions. So you already kind of seen that downfall with the cell phones and the social media. But then you add that layer of, families weren't getting together like they were. So you really lost that connectedness, with other people. We're one of two species that has to have that interaction like we have to. We thrive on a healthy brain through that. So if we're not doing that, we're holding ourselves off behind a computer screen or, you know, distancing ourselves from people. We're keeping ourselves in a much more limbic place. That's the subconscious mind. That's keeping us a fight or flight more in that scared space that, you know, bad things happen that loneliness increases all of that But when we're in that space and especially like around the holidays and stuff Then it starts bringing up those old memories and bringing in those fears and bad things that happen and so then people are struggling even more now we're driving that part of the brain even more instead of being able to Realize that things are going to be okay. I can go out and, yeah, I may feel kind of silly that, , I don't have the latest clothes on or I didn't have the perfect dinner or whatever, but healthier brain showing us that, I am doing all these things and focusing more on those positive things. Instead of keeping us more in that survival place, I feel like a missing piece too is. We're really good as a society, and maybe a world, but really good as a society at numbing. Like, we know how to numb. We know how to numb whatever's going on, right? Whether it be through food, alcohol, drugs, all other kinds of things. I was doing kind of a self assessment about joy of what the opposite of numbing is to be like vibrant and alive and vital, you know, and like what brings me joy. And for years, forever, I think until this year, service to others is what truly brings me joy. Like I would say the goodness tour brings me joy. And then I was like, but wait, that is again about. And service is great, so like, I'm all for that. But what brings me my vital joy? Like, what in me do I get really excited about or really, you know? And so that too I think is missing. I think that we're great in society , at recognizing how to numb things, but we're not talking about the ways to be vital, vibrant, out of pain, out of, boredom, out of Looking at social media like what brings our vibrancy alive and especially as women I don't think we're equipped well to Know how and what we do because we're so ready to be in service to others like we know how to do that, too So anyway, I think that's another piece of it is like finding your vibrancy and Your thing that you're like lost in the moment because you're in such a space of joy And I think that affects our hormones or I know that affects our hormones and I know that affects our mental health for sure But that's also a very conscious everyday decision every minute really I love that you're saying that because so many people it is all about, well, I get that acceptance from somebody, women, I think we do that even more so that, I want to please my boss. I want to please my husband. I want my kids to be happy, but what is it that pleases you and like to your core? And that being said, both of you keep saying my almost Favorite word in the entire world. Triggers. What is triggering you? Those are blocks that are standing in your way that you can figure out. Well, what's keeping me from doing my joy? I mean, in my own experience, that was one of the biggest things that used to drive me crazy and put me into the deepest depressions is I didn't feel like I had a purpose and everybody has a purpose. Everybody has a purpose. I couldn't find my purpose and the more that I would just keep serving people and doing things, but I didn't feel that fullness inside. And then started doing the work and started finding that, okay, peeling away these layers, what are these triggers? Why am I feeling so low on myself? Why don't I feel like I'm worth anything? And that's what I hear in practice every day. Most people, the biggest thing is I don't feel worthy, right? I think there's a lot of cool tools out there now, which is beautiful because we're rising to the need. Like all the coaches that are coming up now is a beautiful thing for my profession because we have such a big need now that it's going to take all of us. It's going to take teamwork to, to help what's going on these days. and I do feel like . We're equipped with everything that we need to heal ourselves from within. But you have to have that willingness to put the work in and finding that team of people, that group of people to be around to keep you supported and keep you accountable. That's important too. So a great way to end the podcast because I want to know what brings you joy about the holidays personally because there is joy in the holidays and we should be celebrating that. And yeah, I want everybody to answer because I'm dying to hear what you guys have to say. But, , I feel like it's not just a holiday thing. There's certain parts of the holidays I love. Like, I do love decorating because it's memories. Every ornament is a little memory or whatever. And I do love that my kids come home and I get to be with them as adults in a different way. , and create new memories. But I feel like , it's an everyday thing. I feel like if we extend it beyond just the holidays and Start there, because we're right upon it, but then extend that every day of bringing those momentary joys with the people you love, the memories, and creating new memories, creating experiences. That's to me the joy of being a family. And, not worrying about do I have the right gifts, food, decorations, and all those other nonsense things. my favorite thing about it is, creating new traditions, creating new ways of, doing things. Like this year we said, Because all my parents children are grown, obviously. Let's just do Secret Santa this year. Let's make it fun. Every year we go pick out the Christmas tree on my mom's birthday. we might go to dinner. She might say, okay, we're not gonna do the traditional dinner. Let's try, cuisine from another country or something like that. Just, like you said, experiences, creating new memories. And what I said earlier, remembering what's important to you for the holidays and not feeling like you have to live up to the status quo or what you see on social media. Honestly, my favorite thing about the holidays is Christmas lights. I just get lit up walking around and seeing them. I don't know. It's got to be some good childhood memory. My heart just wants to explode. I love it. It fills me up. I like seeing how people get excited when they're looking at the lights. I was raised up in Michigan, so it was a lot different seeing the snow covered on the lights and stuff. I won't go back there. But I, those memories were wonderful. The warmer weather here is much more of a blessing. But I've been the opposite of the traditions. I've never been, like, I like how you said make new traditions. I am not a traditional person. I don't like doing like the I have to kinds of things. And that was something that through my own self work, I realized just wasn't for me. I don't like doing what's expected. I like doing what's exciting right now. So we started doing donations to our favorite charities instead of giving gifts. Don't buy me another sweater when I'm just going to end up probably donating it, but let's donate to, a shelter that really brings, joy to my heart , since we've moved down here, , we've started doing things for the homeless. We got involved in a group in Texas when my husband was in school and they had that this guy had a huge event where the homeless would be put up in a whole bunch of different rooms that they had in like the Omni. And they would spend Christmas Eve, wake up Christmas morning in the hotel, and they'd have backpacks, clothes, different things for them. So we've tried to do that, and impact the community here, togetherness. How can we all come together to help people that are maybe less fortunate, that don't have families? Or things that they can do. So trying to kind of find different ways and you know, then obnoxiously dress myself in Christmas lights so that I can spread that little joy to people too. Well, you do have the hair strands that are glittery, a spark, like, oh, I wanna touch 'em. I'm just gonna, I mean, for me, I love entertaining so. Making kind of more extravagant meals and really sitting around the table and not eating quickly and having conversation and that interaction. We too, try to do that throughout the year. It's not just a holiday thing. But that's my favorite parts of the holidays. I used to do Christmas cookies all the time. I don't do that anymore. My son probably would like that, but I have got away from the baking. You know, it is a cool, , thing that I've appreciated on social media is the, minute to win it games. Like I'm literally engrossed in these like candy cane and hungry hippo with the cups on the hands, like family games that you can do. We're totally doing those. Have you seen the one with the mousetrap? And you're blindfolded and they have all this money all over the table and they have mousetraps and they're, they'll snap. Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. Like, real mousetraps? Real mousetraps, yeah. And you're watching the strategy, this one woman kept like tapping, we're like, What are you doing? Slide your hand in there, don't smack your hand. She kept getting whacked every time. But you get all, collect as much money. You gotta look it up, that looked amazing. But like, that's cool. Those are really bonding, creating memories, good, clean fun, like. Fun things to do as families and friends, you know, so anyway, I appreciate that. Thank you for listening, and a special thank you to our panelists and event sponsors. Check out the Vitality Exchange for more resources, interactions, and online classes. The conversations I had with these remarkable women touched on everything from self-care to finding joy. These topics align very well with the focus areas we'll be working with in the new year. So if you wanna transform your life and incorporate wellness into your leadership style, check out the Vitality Exchange Collective's new Conscious Leader Wellness Program. This seven month program starting in early 2024 helps leaders explore a new definition of success, one that incorporates wellness and daily decisions of embracing joy in our everyday lives at home and at work. Check out our show page for more information on today's guests and event sponsors. Tune in next week for more trends in women's wellness on the Investing in Vitality podcast, episode eight.

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