Speaker 0 00:00:01
Hi, sweet friend. Welcome back to another episode. I’m your host, Volta Vol lotion Smith with the Calm Creative podcast. Today’s guest is Whitney Prude, who is a nationally certified health and wellness coach, as well as a public speaker and the c e o of whole and happy living, where she helps individuals truly transform their health from the inside out. Together we dive into topics such as the idea of actually feeling uncomfortable with calm, as well as looking at caffeine from a different perspective and how that can impact our mental and physical health. Hi, sweet friend. Welcome to the Calm and Creative Podcast. This is a podcast for artists and creatives of all backgrounds who seek to build a resilient mindset. Together we’ll dive into all things mindfulness and mental health as they relate to a creative journey. We’ll explore different tools and tips that can help us cultivate a more resilient and positive perspective on life. I’m Volta. I’m an author, a watercolor and animation artist, and the founder of Color Snack. I’m so happy that you’re here feeling stressed. I got you, sweet friend. I created a free resource just for you. It’s five creative exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere. To tap into a moment of calm, you can access the resource on my website, color snack.com/calm. And again, that’s color snack.com/calm, c a l m. Hi, Whitney, welcome to the Calm and Creative Podcast. I’m so happy that you’re here.
Speaker 2 00:02:03
Thank you. I’m super excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 0 00:02:06
So, I know you are a transformational health coach, and I’m curious if you could share with our listeners about your experience with cultivating a calm mindset and how does that impact your creativity?
Speaker 2 00:02:21
Yeah, so, well, it’s interesting because, so what I do as a health coach, I mean, I help people lose weight, but it’s a lot more than that because I, I bring in, you know, the mental and the emotional aspect. And it’s really interesting, one of the biggest things that I see with people is that like we live in a really busy society, and so our minds are constantly going a million miles an hour, right? We’re just busy. We’re one thing to the next. And the reality is, is that usually there’s, there’s something underlying underneath that, right? There’s a reason why we’re so busy or we’re, we’re kind of avoiding calm. A lot of people are actually uncomfortable in calmness, right? Just being, having nothing to do, just being stuck in the moment, like with themselves, with their own thoughts. And usually there’s something beneath that in what you do with those like art and creativity and that type of thing. Even within health and wellness, there’s this element that makes it really difficult to embrace calm. And so I help a lot of people to really kind of start digging in to why are we avoiding the calm? What is it? What is it that we’re actually avoiding? You know, why are we, why are we kind of staying away from it? What makes us kind of nervous to be inside our own brains, inside our own skins?
Speaker 0 00:03:45
Oh my gosh. And thank you so much for sharing this perspective, because I have always thought that, you know, well, obviously people wanna pursue calm because it’s how, you know, it’s better to feel calm than say the opposite, which is like stressed out and anxious. But this is such a good point that it does sometimes happen that people get so used to feeling a certain way. So like, if you feel like if you only know like stressful situations, then you are seeking that out almost. So it’s, and then it becomes like uncomfortable, like you mentioned, to be in that state of calm. Do you have any, any advice or like any kind of questions that might kind of help someone to start maybe even just paying attention? Like how do you, how do you realize that, oh my God, maybe I should, I should like dig deeper.
Speaker 2 00:04:38
Yeah, for sure. I’ll actually, so I was on, I was on a call with a client yesterday, so I, I, I coach my clients kind of through this stuff. And this client in particular is, is someone who, her entire life has been super, super busy, overachieving involved in all types of organizations, has all of these leadership positions. And we, we were just talking about how she’s like, oh yeah, I do have a little bit of downtime on like Sunday, you know, and I’m like, well, what do you do with your downtime? And she says, well, I do this and this and this and this. She’s always doing something right. And I was like, well, what, what would happen if if you didn’t have anything? Like, if you were just sitting there and you didn’t have anything, right? There was nothing to do, intentionally, nothing to do.
Speaker 2 00:05:21
Mm-hmm. And she got really, really uncomfortable. Oh. Because that just wasn’t, you know, that’s just not what she’s used to. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so <laugh>, what I did for her in particular is, I actually, her goal this week is to start scheduling in nothing, like scheduling a block of time. Yeah. Where she is literally putting nothing in her calendar and that, that, you know, because she equates, she equates busyness with accomplishment, and then it also equates to her self-worth, you know, it’s like she feels accomplished and she feels like a valuable human being when she’s doing all of these things. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But when she’s doing nothing, she feels completely unaccomplished. She feels like she’s wasting her time, right? Mm-hmm. When in reality to really take care of ourselves, to take care of our health, we need that time. Yeah. So we’re trying to transition our mindset in terms of, okay, so let’s take, let’s take time in your schedule where you’re scheduling nothing, but this isn’t like empty space where like you’re not accomplishing anything, right.
Speaker 2 00:06:25
Taking care of yourself is accomplishing something. Hmm. If you wanna put that as a task on your list to feel busy, because right now, this time is filled because I’m taking care of myself, that’s fine. Whatever helps you to feel comfortable in that space, that’s okay. But what you have to start to do is you, you have to start to allow the time to exist for there to be nothing. So that you can start paying attention to what are all of these things going inside on inside of myself that’s keeping me incredibly busy. What am I trying to avoid? What are the emotions? A lot of times people, like, if they have a down day, it’s very emotional. It’s an emotional day because, you know, or they’ll have a meltdown or something just because they’re so uncomfortable in their skin, in their life that like, when they’re not busy, life catches up to them and so then they start searching for more things to do. Mm-hmm. So the first step is allowing yourself to sit in the calmness, allowing yourself to like, schedule in absolutely nothing and start realizing like, what happens to me in this space if I just sit here? How uncomfortable is it? What’s going on?
Speaker 0 00:07:38
That is so powerful. And oh my gosh, it feels like you were talking about me almost. And I’m like, I wasn’t the, I wasn’t the client, but I can so relate to this because I’ve always also just wanted to always find myself doing things. And I think a big reason of why I am investing so much time into cultivating calm and like calmness in general, is to kind of get away from that and take more control of like associating the, my self-worth to whatever outcome, because it’s just not healthy. You know? We’re, we are as humans, we are already enough. We’re already worthy. And yeah, we works in progress, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not already like, worthy of that self-love. And I feel like, especially in, in like modern day society, it’s just so easy to fall into that trap where you’re like, oh, well I see everyone else is doing all these things. I should be doing them too, because then that will mean that I’m, I, I mean something in this world. And it’s just like, yeah, I’m good enough.
Speaker 2 00:08:41 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:08:42
And that, and that is not a healthy place to be in. So I love that you brought that up. And I was wondering, do you have a particular, like, for example, for your client, did you say, should they schedule like 10 minutes? Or how do, if you, if you’re like super uncomfortable with this idea, but you wanna try because you, you, you know, you’re starting to see like, maybe I should do this. What would you say to that person? Like how can they, like first approach this? Like, should they do it 10 minutes, five minutes? What? What’s your recommendation?
Speaker 2 00:09:15
Yeah. So it, I mean, it depends on the person, but even for my client that’s like really uncomfortable. Like, she was just getting really uncomfortable even just talking about it. So for someone like her, it doesn’t have to be a long period of time. Like if the longer the period of time is, the more uncomfortable you’re going to be and the more uncomfortable you’re going to get, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it kind of depends on how quickly you wanna fast track this <laugh> Yeah. To, to overcoming it, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you’re really forcing yourself to be in the calm, you’re gonna make more progress. I always tell people that, that are in my program, if you’re uncomfortable or if it feels like it’s hard, then you’re doing it right. And the reality is, the reason that I say that is because change is hard.
Speaker 2 00:09:58
It’s challenging. And the way that we change is we find and change specifically for us in our own lives, is we find all of those
things that are making us incredibly uncomfortable, and we start working through those things. Why are they making us uncomfortable? Right? Yeah. So discomfort is actually a good thing. We always think discomfort’s a, you know, an awful, terrible thing, and we should run away from it. We actually need to go towards, if we wanna change, right? We need to be going towards the things that cause causes discomfort, because that’s our own bodies telling us like, this is where you need to, this is what you need to work on. Right? So it’s giving us kind of a sneak peek, but to specifically answer your question, if it’s incredibly difficult for you to be in that uncomfortable calm space, start with a small amount of time.
Speaker 2 00:10:45
Start with scheduling in 10 to 20 minutes. And I would say even in inside of that space, like try to do some sort of mindfulness. So meditation is a good place to start, where you can start just learning to pay attention to what’s actually going on inside of your own head. It’s not like you have to do a consistent meditation practice and meditate the rest of your life. But the cool thing about meditation is, is that it can take us, it can take our minds from this, this extreme busyness 24 7, that we can hardly even sleep. ’cause our brains and our minds are so busy, and it can just start to teach us how to notice like what’s going on in our brains, be aware of it, and then just, you know, we can slowly start to kind of calm, you know, as you work through some of those things that you’re discovering and that you’re finding, you start working through that until, like, you get to a point where you’re becoming significantly more calm. And whether or not you wanna continue meditation at that point is up to you. Right? But it is a tool that can help you to move towards that.
Speaker 0 00:11:53
Uh, I love this conversation so much because I, I feel like it’s gonna provide so much insight to someone who’s always on the go and trying to, you know, find a way to, how do I feel better? Well, well, this is one really great way to start moving towards that. And, and I, I love that you mentioned, you know, moving towards the discomfort, because I’ve always heard of like, if something scares you, like go towards it, because that’s like, you’re probably gonna overcome a fear or something that you need, you need in order to grow. Well, the discomfort is kind of like a different, it’s not necessarily like a fear, but it’s like something that not comfortable to feel, you know? Yep. But I love that you are encouraging people to go towards it.
Speaker 2 00:12:38
Yeah. That’s, I mean, that’s how you change, right? If you can’t get yourself to go into the discomfort, like, you will always stay where mm-hmm. Where you are. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 0 00:12:49
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Oh my gosh, I love this. And I just to kind of like switch gears just a tiny bit. So as a health coach, I know nutrition is a very important element of what you coach for your clients. So I am wondering if you could share a little bit on are there any specific foods that maybe impact our mental health in a negative way? Like is there, is there something that you, you know, recommend people stay away from if they’re like, feeling sad or, I don’t know, anything that you could share with our listeners?
Speaker 2 00:13:28
For sure. So there’s a ton with nutrition and the, the connection between like our emotions, right? Our mental health. If you were to ask me one food that just like, can significantly impact your mental health, I would say, I would say caffeine can have like a direct, like a very direct impact. Like someone who’s struggling with anxiety, caffeine can, can worsen that, right? One thing that I like to consider with caffeine, I mean, even in my program, I don’t necessarily encourage people to stop caffeine if they wanna drink their coffee in the morning, totally fine. Whatever you do, you, but my approach to like coffee and caffeine is essentially what we’re doing when we’re drinking caffeine is we are trying to give our body energy that it doesn’t already have. So if we’re getting up in the morning and we can’t function without caffeine, then we really should be taking a step back and saying, why can’t I function without this?
Speaker 2 00:14:28
Well, probably because there’s other reasons. My body’s not getting the energy that it needs, because we shouldn’t have to have something in the day, in the morning, throughout the day to get us through, right? If we’re taking care of our body, if we’re getting enough sleep, if we are managing our stress levels, if we’re taking care of ourselves in the way that we need and we’re getting all the nutrients that we need, we shouldn’t need something to give us a pick me up in the morning. We should feel rested, we should have the energy that we need. We should be able to get up and get through our day. So
caffeine is something that actually causes us to push ourselves further than we should, right? So our body is saying, I’m exhausted. And we say, well, here’s some caffeine to cover it up, right? As opposed to why am I so exhausted all the time?
Speaker 2 00:15:18
And how can I better take care of my body so that <laugh>, I’m not exhausted? Right? So we use, in a way, we use caffeine to cover up a lot of, a lot of, I guess, the aspects of our health that we’re not taken care of. So that’s one thing. But on the flip side, I mean, nutrition affects our mental health in every possible way. So when, whether that’s eating healthy to get our body the energy that it needs, or on the flip side, <laugh>, whether we’re using food to help us cope with life, this is a really common thing that we might not turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with life. We might actually turn to food. And there’s a lot of people, I would say the majority of the population in some form or another, if we’re stressed, if we’re emotional, we’re angry, we had a terrible day at work, we’re exhausted, whatever, a lot of times we turn to food.
Speaker 2 00:16:13
And that’s where a lot of people get in trouble with food, right? Because then we start gaining weight, what we feel internally starts to manifest externally, because all of our decisions, all of our actions are driven internally. They come from our mind, right? It’s all driven internally. And then our mental and emotional state starts to manifest in our physical health. So food and nutrition impacts our mental health in really every possible aspect. So really and truly, if you wanna take care of your mental health, eat good, healthy quality foods, yeah. Get good sleep, manage your stress, like slow down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s okay to slow down. You don’t have to run at a million miles an hour to feel worth it in this world. Like you’re worth it no matter what. Even if you did absolutely nothing, right? You’re still a valuable human being. But what we need to do is we need to switch, you know, transition our mindset to us and taking care of ourselves as actually being a number one priority and a huge accomplishment that like, if I’m taking care of me and I’m taking care of my body, I’m doing freaking awesome, and everything else can fill in.
Speaker 0 00:17:23
Yeah. Oh my gosh. So I feel like you’re giving us so much hope with your message, because it seems that with time, and like in our lives, sometimes we can learn a certain behavior or like you said, coping mechanism for whatever it is, and maybe we do that through food. Well, that is a learned behavior that we can unlearn or we can learn something better instead of it. And I just feel like that’s so, it’s so hopeful because sometimes people may assume this identity of like, oh, I just, you know, eat trash food all the time. Or like, I, for my own, like my, the, the name of my business is color snack. And I always say like, I love snacks, and I do, but I’m also, the more I’m learning about the impact of nutrition on my mental health, I’m realizing it’s like, you know, there’s like bad snacks and then there’s good snacks.
Speaker 0 00:18:12
And I’m trying to always like, kind of stop myself and like, think about it. It’s like, do I wanna do like reach for the like unhealthy, like super sugary snack because I know what’s gonna happen. Like I’m gonna, my glucose is gonna spike, I’m gonna not feel great, my anxiety is gonna go off the charts, and then, or do I just like, can I have an apple instead <laugh>? And you know, luckily for me, I love fruits and veggies anyway, but it’s, I, I just feel like it, it’s so important to know, like, you can unlearn these behaviors. You can, like, there is definitely hope as long as you just start to train yourself to make that choice, make a better choice. And, and even if sometimes, like maybe a very stressful day happens and maybe you do eat like a pint of ice cream, like sometimes I know it’s not ideal, but I guess I’m just trying to to say like, come from it from a place of self-compassion too, because it is a, a hard journey to, you know, always like, do the right thing and like pick the right habits for yourself.
Speaker 0 00:19:19
But if you, I guess, take a misstep, it’s okay. You can pick better, pick a better choice next time.
Speaker 2 00:19:28
Yeah. 100%. I, I mean, you’re on point with that because people, you hear people say like, I’m on a diet, but I just messed it up. I’ve fallen off. And like, I might as well give up, right? Like, I just failed that diet. So like, I might as well, I might as well just give up very, very, very common mentality mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So yeah, we do, we do have to be more compassionate with ourselves, right? We do have to be understanding it is a hard journey. And one day doesn’t mean that you just messed everything up mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But on the flip side, again, it is a hard journey. And especially when
you’re dealing with like mental and emotional wellness and those types of aspects, like, it is really challenging to be able to work through those on your own. Like if, if we don’t actually know how to dig into ’em or have the tools and resources to like help us and the support to help us to overcome those things, the majority of the time we’re probably not gonna be able to do it completely on our own.
Speaker 2 00:20:25
And so to that, I would say like, invest in yourself in getting help, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, whatever that means for you, wherever you are in your life, whether it’s doing you working with someone like me, or if it’s, you know, going to a therapist or if it’s, you know, it’s like there is absolutely no shame in getting help invest in yourself because you’re valuable enough to be able to get that help. You’re valuable. Like you deserve it. Yeah. And a lot of people, when we put ourselves on the back burner and we’re so busy in life and we’re meeting expectations, we’re achieving all of these things, whatever, and we forget about ourselves, we also forget that we actually do deserve to be taken care of to show up for ourselves.
Speaker 0 00:21:03
Yeah. Oh, thank you so much for sharing that. And I, I totally agree. Like it’s so absolutely worth it to ask for help and to pursue that journey. Because like, if you think about, say you fell off a bike, you like broke your arm, like you will go to the doctor, right? Because you, you wanna take care of it. So similarly, I think it’s harder for like, in terms of mental health because it’s not so visible, but it’s probably even more important than like taking care of a physical injury because so much more of our like behavior, everything in our life stems from the thoughts that we think and, and if like we don’t have some kind of guidance to help us make the right choices, then, you know, we are not gonna end up where we aspire to end up or, you know.
Speaker 2 Absolutely.
Speaker 0 Yeah.
And just, I mean, just to help with that stigma. So I honestly think that every single human being should have some sort of therapy. Yes. I really think that mental health should be taught in schools just like nutritionist, just like physical education is like, it should be taught in schools so that we do know how to manage these things. But just to say, I mean, I’m a health coach and I help people through like these mental and emotional barriers all the time. So like, I am kind, I’m not a therapist, right? But I’m helping people through work, through these things. But even still, like if I’m struggling with some something, I’m going to therapy. If my husband’s struggling, he’s going to therapy. If our marriage is struggling, we’re going to therapy together. So everyone should have a therapist or someone that can help them in their back pocket. That shouldn’t be an embarrassing thing. Going to therapy and getting help should be <laugh> a badge of wisdom, right? Yeah. Like you’re smart. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:22:50 You know,
Speaker 2 00:22:50
You’re smart to get help to like, take care of yourself, take care of your life, and get yourself where you need to go. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it just means that you’re trying to improve, you’re trying to get better, you’re trying to live your best life.
Speaker 0 00:23:01
Absolutely. And, and I wanna add to that, that I, the way that I judge a good therapist is by the fact if they have a therapist themselves. So yeah, <laugh>, because like when, when I started seeing my, my current therapist Susie, I was like, well, like through talking to her, I, she, she shared that she has her own therapist. I’m like, okay, this is gonna be good because I just, it’s impossible to self therapy yourself or self coach yourself even. I mean, like, even, you know, coaches have coaches, right? Because it’s, it is like, there are cer certain things that we just will not be able to pick up on, like our blind spots that even if we know the subject and the mindset and the tools and like all the logical stuff, there are just some things that
another person’s perspective can like, help you uncover that deeper or better. So there’s absolutely, yeah. I I just, I love that you brought that up. ’cause I am such a firm believer in <laugh> finding the help. And like, and I know too, it’s, it’s really hard sometimes to take the first step and finding the right person. ’cause sometimes it could be not the right fit, you know? And, and I just like, if, if you’re listening and you maybe feel like, oh, I’ve tried a therapist, it doesn’t work for me. Well just please keep trying because try a
Speaker 2 00:24:22 Different one.
Speaker 0 00:24:23
Yeah. Try a different one. ’cause it, it’s kind of like you have to shop around a little bit and that’s okay because not everyone’s gonna be your cup of tea, but once you meet someone that can really help you grow, I mean, it’ll make such a huge difference in your life.
Speaker 2 00:24:38
Yeah. 100%. And the reality is, is like, so I mean, everyone’s following influencers and that type of thing on Instagram and you know, it’s like you see these really big name people. Like obviously they have huge businesses, they’re really successful. They’ve had coaches the entire way. They’ve had people mentoring them and helping them to get there, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So like when we’re looking at these other people and we’re like, oh my gosh, why can’t I be them? Why can’t I be there? Like, get some help. Yeah. You can get there, right? But like, you can’t look at those people and think that they got there all on their own. They’ve had help the whole way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s the same thing with me. Someone might be like, well, you’ve got it all figured out. It’s like, well, I’ve got a lot of people that, you know, it’s like I’m paying to help me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> get it figured out, right? Yeah. I’m investing in myself and I’m growing.
Speaker 0 00:25:27
Yeah. Uh, I love this. Such a great conversation, Whitney. Thank you so much. And I was wondering if you could share some, some resources or like, first of all, where can people connect with you and find you and if there’s any resources you would like to share with my listeners?
Speaker 2 00:25:44
Absolutely. So there’s two places where you can find me. Number one is on Instagram. My Instagram handle is at my whole and happy life. So you can find me on Instagram if you go to my bio and Instagram and go to the link. There’s, I mean, there’s tons of freebies in there. So that’s the number one place. If, if you want some free resources for nutrition, for a sugar detox, for if you wanna get on a call with me, that’s where you would go to find me. And then also you’re welcome to visit my website, which is www.mywholeandhappylife.com. So it’s all my whole and happy life. If you either search my name, Whitney Prude, or my whole and happy life, you’re gonna be able to find me.
Speaker 0 00:26:25
Awesome. And I’ll be absolutely sure to link to all your links in the show notes. And thank you so much for sharing so many free resources with the community because it’s, it’s always helpful to, like, for someone who’s not maybe totally ready to invest in a coach, they can still like, start to kind of get some of that knowledge a little bit. Baby steps, like we’re, we’re taking baby steps here. And Whitney, before I let you go, do you have any recommendations as to maybe a, a book or a podcast that you really enjoy listening to? Just something that can help someone, help someone cultivate more, like calmness, mindset, resilience, all of that?
Speaker 2 00:27:07
Yeah, for sure. In terms of like a book, if we’re talking about mindset mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there’s a book called Mindset and there’s a book called Mindset. So mindset actually really dives in to really helping you to understand your brain and the way that it works. Mindset helps you more with obviously your mindset. Trying, kind of shifting your mindset, understanding how to, to change it and how to allow yourself to grow. So those are, I mean, those are two books that I really enjoy. I don’t listen to a ton of podcasts just ’cause I, you know, I was like really focused on working with my clients and, and growing my own business. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I do put, I do put a lot of information on my Instagram and so that’s, you know, that’s another resource where people can learn, can learn a lot of that information. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:27:55
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you sharing so much, like, just valuable information with our listeners. So thank you so much, Whitney.
Speaker 2 00:28:05
Yeah, no problem. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 0 00:28:10
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Sweet Friend. I’ll close this out by mentioning the acronym calm. The C and CALM stands for community. Remember, you’re Not Alone. I invite you to join the Calm and Creative Community group on Facebook. It’s a private and free group where we can share various supplemental resources to help us feel more creative and calm. The A in CALM stands for apply. I encourage you to apply some of these learnings from this episode so that you can integrate this knowledge better into your day-to-day life. The L in CALM stands for Leave a Review. If you enjoy this episode, this will help our podcast reach a wider group of creatives that are seeking to feel more mindful and creative. The M in CALM stands for Mindful, and that’s simply just being kind to our minds and remembering that it takes intention and practice. And no matter how you’re feeling today, I want you to know that we’re all doing the best that we can in a given moment of time. So keep going. Sweet, friend, you got this.