Dr. Marvette Lacy Ph.D., (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Qual Scholars where she helps higher education folks finish their dissertations and start a profitable consulting business.
In this week’s episode, Marvette goes over some of the most common lies and misconceptions people believe when it comes to self care. Dr. Lacy gives actionable tips for you to follow so you can protect your peace, put your self care first and make sure that your workflow is sustainable.
Hey friends, the time has come to finish your dissertation graduate and become doctor. Welcome to office hours with Dr. Lacy, where we talk about how to finally master this time management thing. So you can stay on top of it without losing your mind. Every Wednesday, you can find a new episode wherever you listen to podcasts. Make sure you hit the subscribe button to make sure you never miss an episode. I’m Dr. Marvette Lacy, your dissertation writing strategist here to be with you along every step of the way. I would like to thank you for coming to today’s office hours. Let’s get started on today’s episode. Hello.
Welcome back to a new leak of the podcast. How y’all doing. I am doing great. Last week was a little bit rough for me, but I’m doing good. I am so thankful to be in my house after traveling for a few leaks. There’s too much people. And clearly the us of aid things COVID is over. And so the people just out here in the streets while, and so I am just grateful that at least for the next couple of weeks, I get to just be in my house. Because if you don’t know this, I am an extreme introvert. I love my alone time and being around a lot of people, whether I love them or not, it’s still draining. So that’s your fact about me for today, but today I am so excited for this topic. I tickled to myself coming up with the title because I just feel like a lot of people are walking around with some version of the thoughts.
Self-Care is. And I am here to talk all about it because as you know, inside of the membership Qual scholars are thinking for the month of may has been self care, self preservation. And what better way to round this month? Often talking about the thoughts, those sneaky thoughts that I know, some of y’all are thinking, and you may not even be conscious that you’re thinking it, but I know that you are because the more that I coach, especially when we come around journaling, listen, y’all, I’m going to need to get some healing or some, some like support groups around your disdain for journaling. Listen, journaling is the way, and I know, I know writing is not everybody’s thing, but I’m starting to feel like it’s my personal mission to get everyone to at least try journaling for 30 days, which wink, wink, cough, cough.
That is what we’re going to be focusing on for the month of June. Now I have some different ideas. Like I don’t think journaling has to be that you’re sitting down with a notebook and just writing out your day. I feel like journaling can be anything that allows you to get your thoughts out of your head. We spend a lot of our time in our days, trying to make things make sense in our minds, but that’s dangerous because your mind is a completely different, I don’t know, universe in that like real world. So when you have to, whether you’re writing or you’re talking your thoughts out, it forces you to engage with them in a different way. And so I’m someone like you can just write, right? You could S you could do journaling where you talk about your day. You can journal about a particular problem, or you could just journal, like, in terms of writing, just emptying
Out your thoughts, like literally whatever thoughts come to your mind, writing those out. But for my friends who don’t like writing, I encourage you to talk them out, right? You can do this through video, recording yourself, audio, recording yourself, talking to the dog, right. Don’t .I would encourage you not to talk to another person because they’re just going to go into a mode of trying to fix it. And that’s not the point. At least for me of journaling, the point is just to be more aware of the that’s going on in your brain. And you may think like, I don’t have time for that. Like, what’s the point of that, which we will get to in a second, but I promise you, it makes all the difference. And at first it will be intense. Like if you’re not used to empty, you’re not your brain.
Oh, just hold on. Because just like a closet, that’s overflowing that you’ve been ignoring. When you go to finally clean it and declutter it, and you look at all the that comes out, you’re like, wait a minute. Where did all this stuff who bought all this stuff? The same thing would be true in your brain, but you can always go through it, sort out the thoughts, like you sort out your clothes and put the things like the you’re going to throw out the things you’re going to donate and the things that you’re going to keep and put that back in neatly, essentially. That’s how I look at journaling on an everyday basis. It’s your process is your system for cleaning out your brain, because when you are going through your day with a cleaned out brain, oh, the way you feel, it’s like no other in your, you will find that you’re able to make decisions more confidently.
And you’re able to just to get more things done, because you’re not constantly fighting with the like clutter and garbage debts, taking up space in your brain that you don’t need. But that’s enough about that. We will be talking all about journaling for June, but I just wanted to give like a little sneak peek. But before we get to the rest of like, self-care is. I do want to do a spotlight and today won’t be a client per se, but it will be our amazing coach faculty and residents. My good friend, Dr. John Collier, or Dr. J one point, oh, how we call her in the group. She is someone. And I think I may have talked about this on a podcast before, but she is someone who is a, I look at her as a possibility model in terms of self care, which is why I wanted to talk about her in this episode, because she is an external processor.
She will externally process, especially around self-care. And so she will tell you, like, here are the things I’m trying this week and here’s how it’s going. Like, she, she prompts herself to give updates to her friends. And I know that, you know, at first, especially that it’s not something that came natural to her to talk about things that are pretty vulnerable, like go into therapy or like working on body image or having hard conversations with other friends and other relationships. Like those are types of conversations that you don’t hear in everyday. People talking about an hour, arguing, even in some friends groups, you probably are not talking about those types of things with each other. Like, you may say like I’m going to therapy, but do you talk about the actual topics and like how you’re working through it and ask for help. And it’s just been amazing to watch Joan over these past, especially this past two years of her really taking ownership of how she wants to feel and who she wants to be in the world.
And, and it’s been amazing to like watch her journey and be a part of it. Of course. If you had a know, it is also my personal mission to get everyone to see my therapist. Cause I think she’s amazing. I would love to have her on the podcast. She’s amazing. But yeah, Joan sees, we see the same therapist and Joan like go through promotions at work and have more responsibility. And her just being a whole grownup at work how she’s upleveling her identity and how she sees herself with these new external things. That’s been fun to watch. And her working through that and getting support to work through that senior her journey with online, dating her, talking about her stories and being someone who can be more vocal about this is what I want. This is what I need. Here are my boundaries in God
She has a whole like, like gym in her apartment because she is someone who her home is like her safe Haven. And she wanted to practice more movement, not for the sake of looking at a certain way, but just in terms of general self care and the things that she has like lately, she, she does walking. That’s been a thing, but she’s also been doing Pilates. And I, you know, there’s a past part of me that wants to be into Pilates, but I just can’t, I can’t y’all but just watching her as fun. And so she, I’m saying all this to give you an idea that it’s not like this all encompassing thing, but her consistently putting effort into who does she want to be and caring for herself, you can see the amazing results and the folks inside of qual scholars get to witness it every month.
You heard the recording from last month’s call with Dr. J. And if you haven’t heard last week’s episode, you can to go listen. Cause it was, it was a whole thing and she just dropped gems like that all the time. And people will often ask her like, you know, how do you do it? Honestly, she just does a little bit every day, a little bit. And so I just wanted to shout her out because I, again, I’m, I’m grateful to call her friend. I’m grateful for her to be a part of qual scholars. And I’m grateful that clients get to experience her brilliance. She is the person who is giving feedback to all the clients. She loves to talk about a good research design and theory and making sure things are in alignment. And she is really just helping people with their dissertation, their job search materials, any other things they want to process.
So listen, if you enjoy listening to her last week and you’re like even more intrigued, you need to be in this group. So you can also witness the amazingness of Dr. J. Okay. So in the spirit of Dr. J today, I’m looking at my notes. I got notes y’all today. We are talking about self-care is. Now, at the time, when you are listening to this, we would have had our self love summer of self love welcome call. It was yesterday at the time of recording, and I’m so excited for this series. It’s a, it’s a 12 week series, and we are really just going to be focusing on what is your relationship with yourself and who you want to be? Just like how I just talked about Joan and as the outside is starting to open back up. And I know we’ve been stuck inside for like over a year and a half, but I’m not because I’ve been having conversations with a lot of you still feeling like, even though you’ve had this dedicated time, if we will to be just what yourself, you really don’t feel any closer to truly understanding who you are, what you want out of life.
Right. That like that question of what is my purpose, right? And especially for folks who are coming to the end of the dissertation, you probably thought that you would be more clear on what life looked like after the doctoral program. And you’re like, no, I don’t. I don’t know. And so, because it’s summer, because as is usually the time where people are going outside more and having time to be around people or reflect that it would be perfect to do a summer of self love series. And so the goals of this series of the 12 weeks is number one, get to know yourself, like, do you know yourself? Like, do you really know, like take a, take a minute? Like, do you know what you like? Do you know what you want for yourself or your others for your life? Like, which leads me to number two, like, do you have a real relationship with yourself?
Like think about the most recent relationship you’ve started, how much time you probably put into getting to know that person and spending time with that person. Are you doing the same thing with yourself? We’re going to talk about it in this series. We’re also going to be talking about having boundaries with yourself and others without the guilt. We don’t need to go. We can have boundaries and we can enforce our boundaries, but we don’t need the guilt part. We’re gonna be talking about that. Talking about developing a self-care practice, that’s simple and easy to maintain. We’re not over here trying to do all things like you see on the Pinterest and the Instagram. No. What are the things that would help you the most to become who you want to be into? Learn more about yourself. Number five, we’re going to be talking about how you can spend less time doing and working and having more time with joy and rest.
And again, this isn’t, we can’t do this without the guilt. We go, still get our work done. We can still be on top of it, and we’re going to have joy and rest. And then the last part is for you to look and feel good from the inside out. So that is what we’re going to be talking about over the next 12 weeks, you can still join us. Everything is recorded so you can catch up on your own time, but you don’t want to miss this live. You want to join us. So you want to come on over to www.qualscholars.com forward slash love and sign up. We would love to have you in the group. Okay. So I also hear you. You’re like, oh, that sounds nice. But I don’t know. I don’t know if I could do something like the summer of self love series.
And then usually there are the three most common reasons why people would say either they can’t join the series or they, they think self care is. And that is what I’m going to talk about in the next few minutes and what you can do about it. So for the people who are like, just tell me the reason. So the three common reasons I’m going to discuss is that, or should I say lies that you probably didn’t tell yourself is like self care is supposed to feel good and it doesn’t feel good. Number two is self care is too expensive. And number three is self-care is too time consuming. So let’s take this one by one self-care is supposed to feel good, right? Media loves to paint this picture. Like self-care is all about bubble baths and dream vacations. And you know, just living your best life and not working.
And you’re probably like, no, that’s not how self-care feels to me. Or like who has the time and resources to do all these things? Do these people work? Do they have real jobs? And the question I want to start this off with is what if self care is not supposed to feel good at all? Yes. What if it’s necessary? But what if it’s not supposed to feel good? Because I think that’s, what’s getting people into trouble is thinking that it’s supposed to be rainbows and butterflies and daisies, but what if it’s not, but before we get too deep, let’s look at some definitions. You know how I like to look at definitions? So I went home to the good doctor, Google and typed in self care. The two definitions that came up was the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
And number two, the practice of taken an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness in particular, during periods of stress. So this is, think about that during periods of stress or to preserve or improve one’s own health and wellbeing and happiness during periods of stress. Right? So if you’re, if it’s during periods of stress, particularly whether it’s good stress or not, right, and you don’t need to put a value on it, the body just recognizes it as stress. That is not a feel good process. There usually means there’s a lot coming at you. There’s a lot going on. And the practice of self-care is how can you still maintain well-being and the happiness, even though the world outside of you may be chaotic, right? I often use the phrase, protect your peace, because it’s helpful for me to think about it as I’m protecting my peace.
Like no matter what’s going on around me, my self-care practice is helping me to have an internal piece so that I am not victim to the whims of the external world. Like, it doesn’t matter, right. It doesn’t matter. Who said what to mean what happened? Right. I know that I can feel at home with myself no matter what’s going on. And another thing I love to say is when you’re protecting your peace and your presser, Mary, that ain’t always peaceful, right? Like think there history, it ain’t always peaceful to protect your peace. Right? That, that, and what that could look like is there’s going to be some hard conversations you have to have with yourself and others. Right? There’s going to be some things you’re going to need to do that you don’t feel like doing or that you don’t feel comfortable with. Right. In essence, self-care is trading temporary comfort for long-term sustainable peace.
Let me say that again. An essence self-care is trading temporary comfort for long-term sustainable peace. So I’ll give you an example. I have a hard stop during my work week that I have to stop every day by 8:00 PM. And sometimes I can be like, like in the zone and like working and the words are just flowing and things are just getting done. And then my alarm goes off. Cause yes, I have an alarm that says, Hey, it’s eight o’clock. And I have to like, I still today, like sit there and be like, I want to keep going. But then I think about the rest of my week, or I think about what else is coming up, or I think about my why. And I asked myself, like, I think about like, I want to have an even pace of productivity throughout my work week, instead of what I used to do, which was these like short bursts of productivity, like medic productivity, or I would do all the things and then spend long the rest.
Like, like, let me give you an example. Like on a Monday I would be like, okay new week, new means I’m going to work for 12 hours straight and I don’t need to eat what I need to drink. I don’t need to do anything. And I’m just going to work, work, work, work. And I feel good about all the things that I’ve gotten done, but the rest of the week is shot. I don’t have the energy to show up. I’m tired. I don’t feel like it. Right. I’m sitting on the couch procrastinating and I’m exhausted. Right? I feel guilty because I’m not working in order to stop that. I put this rule in place to say, you have to stop at 8:00 PM. And that I am willing to be uncomfortable when it gets to 8 a clock, because I know that my body and my business will be better for it in the long run.
So I’m willing to have this temporary uncomfortableness for longterm, sustainable peace and comfort in being able to show up the way I want to. So what are some areas that you are allowing yourself to be comfortable in the moment at the expense of your long-term wellbeing? Right? A lot of you, especially in dissertation process, you’re like, no, I it’s so hard for me to write. And so when I started writing and I don’t, I don’t want to stop, even though you’ve been sitting in front of the computer for like hours and hours, because you have this thought of, if I stop, I don’t know what the next time I’ll have the motivation to do this. You force yourself to keep going. And then you wonder why for two, three, four weeks, you don’t have anything else. It’s because like you’re doing this whole short-term manic productivity, which inevitably there’s a crash coming.
What if you allowed yourself to have a more, even pace that you set aside, a schedule. So inside of qual scholars and the finish your dissertation program, I tell clients set up a 10 hour schedule for every week and tell yourself to show up at those times and do your work and be very clear, right? If you’re doing your weekly planning, you would know exactly what to do, and you can stop this short minute productivity in the crash at clubs, you would feel one more energized. You wouldn’t be so anxious to start writing on your dissertation because you wouldn’t have proven to yourself consistently that you could show up, do work and that everything will get done when you allow yourself to follow your 10 hour plan. But when you’re just manically being like, you know, Monday, oh, I don’t feel like working. I’ll do it on Tuesday, Tuesday.
I guess. I feel like it, like when you’re only writing, when you feel like it, this is how we get here. Okay. This is not what this episode is about before I go too far on this tangent. But you get what I’m saying. So that’s number one. Number two, self care is too expensive. How much is your time worth to you? Like for real, sit back. How much is your time worth to you? If you had to put a dollar amount on your time, how much is it worth to you? How much is every hour worth to you? And if you need a little help, I encourage you. Okay. Think about how much you get paid in your, in your job. Sometimes that’s helpful to think about right. They’re paying you X amount for every hour. Are you willing to throw like however much? That is a way cause you, you know what, I’m a, let me, let me, before I go there, let me give an example.
Cause this might be more helpful. So I’m thinking back to when I moved to Chicago last October and moving stressful and the moving company, the people who were coming to move my stuff, God, it was a whole thing anyway, but we got to the end so long day, a stressful day. And then they had the movers realized that they were not going to be able to fit everything into the pod that I ordered. And especially my bed was not going to fit into the pod. And so the moving guy came over and was like, I think you need to call the company or request a bigger container. At this point though, it was like eight o’clock at night. As I started to quickly add up all of the time, frustration and money, it was going to cost me to get a new, to order a new container, essentially.
So I quickly told him to throw the bed out and I would buy a new one. And he just kept looking at me like, why would you give up? He was like, that bed has to cost you at least $500. You can just call for a new container. And what I, what I realized in that moment, where he was in fact was that there’s going to be extra pickup and drop-off fees. Now you’re extending the time we’re already behind schedule. I’m supposed to leave the next morning at 7:00 AM. We’re already extending the time that it’s going to take for me to move. I got to drive all the way back to Chicago and I was already anxious and tired and exhausted from moving. So, no, I wasn’t about to call a company, extend my time, pay even more money that it would cause to just go buy a new bed.
Yeah. I didn’t want to give away my bed. But at that point, like the situation is what it was. And I wasn’t about to pay them extra, to take all this stuff out and move it back in. And I just realized he can keep his own emotions in. Right? Like he can feel, however, he feels about me throwing away a bed. That wasn’t my problem. His emotions were his own problems to deal with. And a lot of time we spend time trying to handle other people’s emotions. Right? Like the past me, the people pleaser in me would have been like, oh, he’s right. He feels stressed. Let me try to figure out an order. A new thing. Even though I would’ve felt like that was the, but because I’ve been doing my work and self care, I was like, no, no, throw a bed out.
Let’s move. I already paid you extra. I’m ready to go. And being like, what’s the word I’m looking for? Like directing that and unmovable in that and being like, he gets to keep his feelings. I ain’t got nothing to do with me, but I want you to think about just your life in general, when you’re going to buy something or you’re deciding to invest in something a lot of time, we will spend more time finding a hack, a coupon or shortcut without factoring the extra time and energy that it takes. Now. I’m not saying if you, if your coupon and you love it, you go right ahead. But for the people you don’t, you just you’re coming from this place of scarcity and thinking like, you know, I gotta find a coupon. I gotta find a shortcut because I don’t have enough time. I want you to sit back and realize you’re taking more time trying to find a shortcut than if you would’ve just done the thing.
Right? Another thing that I think about is a friend telling me, like, sometimes you have to pay for peace and that just stuck with me. She told me that probably like 10 years ago, sometimes you have to pay for peace, right? So sometimes, I mean, instead of finding that coupon at a shortcut or, you know, trying to order a new container for the bed, I’m just going to have to pay for peace. I’m going to pay for a new, a new bed, which now I got a king size and I felt like that worked out great. Sometimes that means that I’m going to just pay for somebody else to do it. I think a lot about that when I first started this and getting my own life coach, I was like, I could do this myself, but it’s like how much time and energy is that going to take?
You trying to go at it alone. When you can just work with somebody who has a process who has a, a way to help you get what you want, just pay for the piece, pay for knowing that you got your own back enough to show up and get the type of support that you need in order to achieve her goals. So what is your piece worth to you? What is your time worth to you? Number three, self care is too time consuming me again. It comes back to, what is your piece worth to you? How much time are you spending over thinking about how to please everyone around you and being a resentful about how you do for everyone else. And nobody does for you. How much time do you have thoughts like that? I think about moving, like what has helped me to rethink self-care is really like last year it really hit me.
I wanted to have more energy. Yeah. It was hurting me to talk about me and like, I just want to work. Right. But I wanted to have the energy to work. I didn’t want to feel like working. And I knew that in order to work as much as possible that I needed to change how I was eating and I needed a way to relieve stress because of what, the way I was going was not helpful. Y’all this is a, again, a whole nother podcast, but legit, I was not eating anything when nutrients, just caffeine and sugar. That was my life. I know it was not any way to have sustained energy. And that was not helping me manage my anxiety and depression. So I just decided that I would just add more plants. I wouldn’t take anything away. I would just add more plants.
And I really got on like kalel kick. I would like to kale with red onions and apple cider vinegar and some olive oil. And let that sit and break down. Y’all you couldn’t tell me nothing every day. And then I told myself I needed to walk at least 30 minutes every day, which is how I ended up getting little sir, to begin with, to force me to outside or walk. And those two things along with like, I was already in a habit of taking my like nightly baths because that tub was amazing in my old apartment. But those three things really helped me to feel my body with energy that was going to last and to relieve the stress so that I could work as much. And so now on this side of things, I am focusing more on not working as much. So this year that’s been really like, how can I achieve the same results without working as much as I did before?
Because I really realized, like I really realized I, it really has hit me to think, like, we think that we have to tray like our time, like our dollars for hours, but we don’t, again, it’s a whole nother podcast is in my spirituality. I’m coming. What if you can achieve your goals without and working half the amount that you work. Now, this we’re going to be talking about this in the summer of self-love series, but like, I know your brain wants to be like, that’s not possible, but what if it was? And what is help me this year to do that, to really lean into getting the same amount done. And half of the time and energy is being more disciplined with what I’m eating with, how I’m relieving stress with my baths, with getting massages. I have a massage gun. I mentioned it before going to get a massage, doing my inner child, work, doing my breath work to really help my body release stress and process my emotions.
I have learned this year of how to connect with my physical body so that I can manage my depression and anxiety. And I do have the thoughts sometimes that I don’t have time for this. I got to keep doing this, but I have to remind myself of my why, as cliche as that sounds, I remind myself, what, why are you doing this? And it always comes back to do. I want to trade long-term peace where my temporary comfort, which one is more important to me. And like nine times out of 10, I choose a long-term piece. But there is a that those are, there are some times where I’m like, Nope, I’m just gonna, I want to be comfortable now. And that’s fine because it’s all a part of the process. But these things are not taken me hours and hours to do. Especially now that I have a routine it’s not taken me hours.
It’s a really small part of my day of my week, but it has so many benefits. So for you, where may you be telling yourself that to do the things that you know would help you the most, that is too time consuming, right? Where are you saying that to do the things that will help you to most it’s too expensive or that it doesn’t feel good? So it must not be working. Those are all, all lies. They’re all just thoughts that we made up and that we’re acting awkward. The self care is about right. Trading your temporary for long-term sustainable peace because with peace, comfort and all the things, but you have to be willing to let go. I’m trying to clean, go into comfort in the moment. You’re letting that go in service of a bigger return in longterm peace, right? So what can you do?
Here’s three steps of things that you can do to get started today. I mean, before we get to these three steps, you could join the summer of self-love series. And when we can really get deep into this, but if that is not an option for you right now, first, what I want you to do is pick one area, one area of your life. That could be your sleep. That can be how you’re eating. That could be finding hobbies. That can be your dissertation. That could be your business. That can be relationships, your love life like pick one area that you want to focus on for the next 30 days. The number two, what you want to do is every day, find a simple way that you can improve that area by 1%, just 1%. What is one little small thing you could do every day to improve that area?
And number three, adding that one way to your top three. Now we’ve talked about your top three, your top three or your three priority tasks for the day that each take you 20 minutes or less to complete. One of your top three should be, should be the 1% of how you’re going to improve that area that you’re focusing on for the month. If you do that every day, that’s really simple. Again, this shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes doing a little bit, and I know we want to see dramatic results, but that’s the quickest way to not see any results. One little thing. So here’s some reflection questions. Cause I wanted to bring these back just in case you’re like, I don’t know what is one thing that it love to change that would make the most difference for me right now. Whatever comes to your mind, write that down, focus on that.
Don’t overthink this. Now that you have that one thing, what are five things that would need to happen in order to make that change? Just write those out. Just write out, like whatever comes to my answer to this question and what is one thing I can do right now that will get me closer to that change. That’s it. And if you answered these questions, I just want you to know that you just journaled because that’s all it is. Okay. That is going to do it for me today. Again, you want to take this deeper. Join us for the summer of self love series today. Go to www.qualscholars.com/love and join us. I will see y’all there. Bye for now.
Thank you for joining in forToday’s office hours. If you’re ready to take this work to the next level, I invite you to join the happy free and pay collective. We will show you how to finish your dissertation and build your consulting business, using the skills and knowledge you already possess. Come on to Marvette lacy.com and let’s get started. I’ll see you on the inside of the collective bye for now.