Transcript for Dr. Jen Ashton on the importance of self-care
We have Dr. Jen Ashton here with us. Dr. Jen your latest book, "The self-care solution" is your latest best seller. It couldn't be more timely during a national pandemic. This is the usual time to answer covid-19 questions. We'll answer some questions about this book. What was your motivation for writing it? I didn't know we were going to be living through a pandemic as you said. I was coming off the worst year of my life. My children lost their father to suicide. I needed to help put my life back together again. I looked at the little things. I turned that lens that doctors turn on their patients on myself and wanted to focus on some discrete monthly 30-day challenges and do an experiment in self and see how I felt at the end of the year. This can apply to all of us. We're all experiencing this new normal, trying to figure out how to take care of ourselves and others. It's dedicated to monthly challenges. Cutting out alcohol, stretching, I love laughter is one of your monthly challenges. How did you pick the challenges? I wanted to pick things in three categories. Food and drink and nutrition. Not necessarily taking something away, sometimes it's adding. I wasn't drinking enough water, so there's a hydration month in the second category is physical activity. Notice, not exercise necessarily. Just things about how we move. The third category is about our mind, our spirit, the check-up from the neck up kind of thing. Was there a challenge that was particularly impactful? I learned something with each month. I found that just looking at little chunks of time made it easier for me to go all in. The one for me that had a lot of bang for the buck was stretching. I figured I don't need to stretch. I'm not that sore usually. I made myself stretch for a couple minutes every morning. I felt my posture which is usually horrible was better. I felt better. I felt a difference after every month. That's funny you say that. That's something I'm horrible at. I'm going to use that one. Tomorrow is August 1st. It's not stretching for August. It's mindful tech which is interesting given all the tech we're experiencing to communicate. That's right. Using technology is part of our jobs, it's part of a lot of people's jobs. I wanted to see if I could be more mindful about the use of my screens, my phone, when I wasn't doing it for work. You know how our kids are our best teachers. They accused me of being a do you know what that is? No. It's horrible. When you're sitting at the dinner table and you're supposed to be giving the person you're with your undivided attention and your head is down. It's rude. My kids caught me fubbing all I wanted to be more mindful of how I was using my device. It was hard for me. I literally found out how addicted I was to wasting time on my screen which is an eye I'm with you on that. I think if everyone was honest, they're like that. August 1st, starting tomorrow. Absolutely. I know the community response on social media has been amazing. Why is that so important? It was unexpected for me. I got a lot of incredible feedback, this community of support. People of all ages, men, women, teenagers really inspired me. Kept me going. I was curious what results other people had with it. It was really something I didn't expect. I got some ideas from a lot of readers and so I encourage people to try it. It's the circle of encouragement. I love that. An experiment of self. At the end of the 30 days you decide if you want to make it a permanent habit. I love it. All right, Dr. Jen, thank you. You bet. "The self-care solution" is available online. And in stores.
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