May 15, 2020


Crystal Washington: Hello, I’m Crystal Washington, Technology Strategist, and Futurist

Karen McCullough: and I’m Karen McCullough, the millennial evangelist who helps you deal with change. And today we want you to rethink it forward.

Crystal Washington: And by rethinking for we mean it, there are things that have worked for us in the past that probably won’t work for us in the future. And if we were to be really honest, they’re not even working for us right now.

Karen McCullough: Now today is Friday.

Crystal Washington: Fun Friday!

Karen McCullough: It is fun Friday, but we’re going to talk about something a little deeper, right? We decided to talk about self-care and um, we all have different opinions of self-care. Uh, so I thought I would kick it off this time and talk about, uh, what I need for self-care. When I think about self-care, I think about me being the biggest enemy to me. By that I mean I’m hard on myself.
I pushed myself. I don’t think that you know, I’ll look at the video and it’s not good enough or it’s not, and I’m continually editing and I’m continually judging. I’m thinking maybe I’ve gone to an event or I’m talking to someone and maybe rethinking, I get home and I, why did I say this? And so I have like this sometimes this tape that has gone on, it’s gone now cause I’m going to tell you what happened to help me really stop being so hard on myself. And it was my physician, it was my doctor and it was a few years ago and I went into a, it’s not my doctor right now, so I can say. So I went into this guy, he was the eye doctor and he said when I walked in, Oh I’m so glad that you, every time I see your name on the patient list, it makes me happy.

And I looked at him, I know, I know I will never forget what he said because it’s here. And I realized that when he sees my name, it makes me happy. There must be some value to me. Does that make any sense? I needed the validation and you’re going to say, Oh what you get it with speaking again. But for some reason, that comment made me so much happier about who I am and I got to believe with that comment that if I just show up and I’m just me, I’m going to be okay. Okay. Because he liked me. For me, I went into the doctor’s office, he said that. And I think sometimes we have to hear what people say to us and we have to begin to hear it and to believe it rather than, Oh, you would say that to everyone or, and I think that for me, that helped me so much with self-care. So I can tell you that I, I take better care of myself now because I love myself. I know that’s going to sound weird, but I do. I like myself. I really do like myself.

Crystal Washington: I think that’s a huge piece of it.

Karen McCullough: It’s for me, that’s what self care. I mean there are so many things that I do, but in my head, I had to believe it.

Crystal Washington: Right.

Karen McCullough: Does that make sense?

Crystal Washington: No, makes perfect sense. I, in my case, I, it was almost similar, not a doctor though, but you know, as I started to get older, not, I know that I’m a millennial, but still as I started to age, I took less. I didn’t really take care of myself. Right. So I was putting on weight, which wasn’t the bigger issue. The issue was my health was not where it should have been. Like I get winded going up my stairs and you know, I just, I wasn’t feeling the way I should have been in my twenties at the time. But I remember my husband who would always encourage me and he was working out. I mean he was, I used to joke and say he was going at Ninja school, he’s going to like this MMA gym. Okay. So my husband incredibly fit, eating really well and I wasn’t, cause I love baking, right? So I’m eating whatever and not exercising. And he would always encourage me lovingly. There was never any push. It was just, you know, maybe if you, you know, let’s go do this. And I was like, I don’t want to. But I remember my 30th birthday, he surprised me with this party and it was so mean. What I mean is the level of detail he put into the surprise party.

Karen McCullough: I was there.

Crystal Washington: Yeah. Yeah. You were there and break flying in people that surprised me and just all the little things he did.

Karen McCullough: It was amazing.

Crystal Washington: Yes. And it hit me. This man loves me this much. Why don’t I love me this much?

Karen McCullough: Oh, that’s good.

Crystal Washington: And that was the beginning of Karen like me starting to do my annual cleanses. And so I lost all the weight. And again, it wasn’t about the weight. The more important thing is, is that now I can run up all the stairs you want. Now I actually run stairs is exercise since I can’t go to the gym. So I run up and down. I have 33 stairs in my house, so I’ll run up and down those for like 20 minutes. And I think, you know, oftentimes for us to really be good at self-care, we have to appreciate ourselves and we don’t always do that.

Karen McCullough: Well, I’m going to tell one more, um, because this is all learning, you know, um, I started taking this class called Pilates studio. I miss my Pilates so much because I was going twice a day sometimes because I do overboard, but it’s so relaxing. But that’s another whole story. But what I found was in pilates there, I know many of you might think that it’s just like laying in a little machine and doing some Pilates is all about balance and it’s all about the TRX and all kinds of things that challenged me. Hmm. I used to say I’m not going to do that. I’m afraid and Pilates made me every time I was there, every time we went do something that scared me. And what I have found is that self-care for me because it’s another believing in myself. Because as I started saying yes to being a little frightened and pushing myself a little bit more and saying yes and saying I started to see myself improve, I started to see my balance get so much better.

Karen McCullough: I started to see myself walking a little taller. I started to see myself liking who I was becoming. And so I think that when we talk about this whole process of life, we need to keep becoming and we keep, we must keep pushing ourselves a little bit and then watching that progress and then patting ourselves on the back. So now I say, good, I get out, walk out of that class and I go, you did well today. You did great today going for it. So I’m finding self-love is coming in so many different ways.

Crystal Washington: Yeah. I think, you know when I think of self-care along those same lines, so I did, I did my cleanse this year. Normally I commit to doing it for 14 days. I’m past day one 30 now. So am I what my cleanse is, I know it’s nuts because I do this every year, but usually for two weeks. But now 130 days in and what it is is I’m already vegetarian so that’s it. But in addition, no dairy, um, no alcohol, no processed carbs, no sugar. So I, I haven’t had any of those things in over 130 days since Christmas Eve. And, um, the reason I kept it going was I’m not committed. Like it’s not a lifestyle forever because I like baking and I like sugar too much. Y’all like it, and I like wine too. But when COVID hit, my mind was so clear and I, I wasn’t, I knew that being a different place. If I had eaten like I normally did Karen, then I was like, you know what, let me just keep going with this right now because it makes me in a good place. And so for me, self care is actually denying myself some of the naughty things would normally be comfort foods because, in the end, I feel so good right now. So I’m not trying to convert anybody to eat how I’m eating. I’m not even gonna eat this way forever. But for now, it’s amazing.

Karen McCullough: So I think that when we talk about self-care, we’ve got to think about what is, what are we doing that makes us feel better, that makes us alert, that gives us the energy to keep going. Because I think, you know, I mean I do the lavender bath right now and I do a lot of things to keep myself. Um, it’s gorgeous as I am for self care. But I’m, for me it’s deeper. For me, it’s about me appreciating myself and sometimes listening to the compliments, you know, my grant, I was just with my granddaughters and they think you’re the best. My grandson say you’re the best. Maybe I am. Maybe I am to them and I’m going to own that. And so I think that self-care is even deeper when we begin to believe and take care of ourselves and believe what people say about it.

Crystal Washington: So can’t, I think it would be cool if we even left people with ideas. So for me, self-care is typically sensual. Okay. And I know that sometimes there’s confusion between sensuality and sexuality, right? But sensuality or the, all those things that appeal to your senses. So when you feel like when you feel yourself getting stressed out or when I feel myself starting to tighten up, maybe it’s a candle I like the smell of and so I’ll go like that. Or maybe it’s just getting a nice cold cup of mango juice. Cause I have an addiction to mango juice y’all. Cause that’s where I get my sugar content, right? Cause I come that haven’t baked goods right. Or it might be going in the garden like we were the other week and putting your fingers in the soil, the cool soil and just feeling how it feels. And so I think playing with your senses, it’s a great way to take care of yourself.

Karen McCullough: I like that. I’m a candle person too. I love the smells. And for me, it’s about understanding my energy and knowing that I have to slow down because I could pick a project up at night and I could just keep going and going and going and going. So for me, self-care is about enjoying the evenings, enjoying closing the computer, not answering the phone, taking some time off, and then going to bed actually going a bit early, which is probably why I’m getting up at five every morning. I have no idea. But I think it’s for me shutting down and restoring my energy. And I love lighting candles

Crystal Washington:  No. I love candles too. Um, and I think there’s one just one last thing. Um, and maybe you have a different perspective or your own experience. To me, self-care is also setting boundaries. And I think right now when we have so much pulling on us, it’s more important than ever to be able to set boundaries. And you know, it took me a few years to be able to do this, Karen, but I think you’ve, you’ve seen me do this in action with other people. I can say no without feeling any guilt. And so I think just knowing how to say no, sometimes I’m invited to zoom happy hours. And most of them I say no to because I don’t want to like, I need to rest, right? Or I just, I might want to read a book and so you know, if someone asks me to do something like, Oh it’s okay, you’re not going to catch anything, just drop it off. I’ve had this happen with family. No, and I don’t feel bad about it. Right. So I think setting boundaries is one of the ultimate acts of self-care.

Karen McCullough: That’s funny you said that because I just sat one yesterday and yes, because setting boundaries says that you were in charge, that you believe in yourself enough and you’re going to take care of yourself and not to put you in a situation with people or even with an event like a happy hour you don’t want to go to, we’re just, we just know ourselves well enough to say no and feel not, feel guilty about it. Yeah. Yeah. That’s good.

Crystal Washington: I’d be curious to know anybody who’s listening to us right now, like what are your top two to three self-care actions that you take? Like what do you do to just maintain your energy and just take care of yourself so you’re below cause you might actually help somebody else. That’s reading and people need suggestions.

Karen McCullough: I would love to read more. Yeah.

Crystal Washington: Don’t forget to share and subscribe.

Karen McCullough: Have a good weekend. Have a good weekend.