How becoming a parent gave me more energy

Prior to having my son in 2008 I kept a pretty busy social schedule in addition to managing my clinic and working full-time as a chiropractor.  I probably had a modest level of energy but there were certainly times where I would hit the wall and be overwhelmed by all my commitments.  

I anticipated that having a newborn would further deplete me and readied myself for a decade of fatigue.  In fact the opposite happened and becoming a mother ended up giving me more energy.

I have discovered that at the heart of it all I am quite an introverted person.  True introverts recharge their battery while being on their own while true extroverts feed off the energy of being with others.  All my socializing pre-motherhood and hands-on work with patients was tiring me out.  

I took 11 weeks maternity leave after my son was born and it was a lovely time to hibernate at home with my baby. Once I started to branch out and leave the house I realized that I didn’t want to be away from him two nights in a row. Even though I was taking care of an infant, I wasn’t completely exhausted since I was home more through my self-imposed restriction.

It was also interesting to discover my natural limit at parties and social gatherings. I would bring my son all bundled up to a party and he’d be happy as a clam for 1.5-2 hours and then begin to fuss. I realized that I actually had had enough of the party at that point as well – it became a perfect time to either head home or grab some quiet in a room to breastfeed. Before having a kid, I would have ignored that tired/depleted feeling and would have stayed longer at the social event.

Now that my son is 10 years old and more independent, I am still trying to be mindful of my energetic limits. Building in free time into my schedule and trying not to over-commit myself is still something I strive for a regular basis.

[originally published September 2018]

Holiday Survival Guide

November and December are generally challenging months for me: the diminishing sunlight and pre-holiday events can easily drain my energy.  I also notice increasing stress and anxiety mounting in my patients at the clinic which can transfer onto me if I’m not careful.  

Here are my top pre-holiday life hacking tips:

  1. I often find my energy at its lowest the middle of December so I try to keep the middle weekend free of plans. It does require me to decline a holiday party invitation or two but it’s better for my mental health in the long run.
  2. If I have said “no” to an event and I do really want to spend time with that person, I will follow-up with a suggestion for future date when I have more energy.
  3. I will try to avoid daily consumption of sugar and alcohol in November and December, saving those treats for special occasions.
  4. I have found doing a jigsaw puzzle at home, with great music in the background, is a calming and mindful activity. 
  5. If possible, taking a day by day approach to committing to events and gatherings. This can be challenging for events planned far in advance but making game time decisions on whether to say yes/no forces me to check in with how my mind + body are feeling that day.
  6. If an event requires more energy than I am capable of expending, I am diligent about only committing to what I can handle.  For example, every Christmas my husband and son travel for an extended break to Ottawa.  I usually take the train for a 2-3 night visit which allows me to time to celebrate with my extended family but also allows for some quiet solo time the week after.
  7. Sleep, sleep and more sleep – I cannot sleep enough in November + December!

[originally published December 2019]

Harnessing Spring Energy


Working with patients in my chiropractic practice I have noticed several seasonal trends with injuries, and patient behaviours. Notably in spring people come out of hibernation and are energized to be more active in their lives. In my practice that results in new ailments related to spring activities including strain from gardening, golf, gardening, and baseball etc. 

If we can harness this fresh wave of spring energy, it can be a real boost to our creativity and productivity from a coaching perspective. 

If you are feeling more inspired this time of year I encourage you to channel that energy towards your goals – we have to use it when we can!

In the last few days I’ve been inspired to begin creating a program specifically designed to address Work/Life Balance. Sharing it here with you will keep me accountable (!) and I’ve definitely felt more oomph in my step compared to the darker days of winter.

[originally published March 2021]

Schedule Management

Many of my coaching clients seek help with schedule management and improving work flow/productivity. For this month’s newsletter I’ve decided to include my upcoming week’s schedule. 

Like many others, my life is a tricky balance between work responsibilities (clinic, coaching business, admin for family acting school business), family and maintaining my own physical/mental health. 

My biggest challenges are meal planning (an ever-changing balance between home-cooked meals/quick processed food/take-out) and carving out white space (time to THINK….something I realized during the pandemic that I need a lot of). 

Here’s the upcoming week:

Sunday October 17 

  • drive 2 hours from the cottage straight to son’s flag football game
  • order sushi 
  • Netflix with family

Monday October 18

  • walk 3km (each way) to and from clinic to get in one hour of exercise
  • treat chiro patients during a 5 hour shift
  • begin an online chiropractic technique course for continuing education purposes
  • practice system tools with coaching colleagues 
  • drive son to basketball practice

Tuesday October 19

  • drive son to school
  • 30 minutes on Stationary Bike
  • bike/walk to clinic
  • treat chiro patients during a 4 hour shift 
  • evening: conduct a Zoom interview for a potential new clinic team member

Wednesday October 20

  • walk to/from clinic
  • treat chiro patients during a 5 hour shift
  • get osteopathic treatment to prevent jaw pain and headaches
  • coaching client for a one-hour session

Thursday October 21

  • bike to clinic
  • treat chiro patients during a 5 hour shift
  • renew son’s passport
  • evening: attend the theatre to watch a play

Friday October 22

  • morning: work on coaching business’s social media 
  • free afternoon 
  • meet son after school for a fun treat (weekly tradition) 

Saturday October 23

  • all day volunteer shift with Shelter Movers – leading a move to help a person suffering from gender-based violence transition to a shelter or resettlement home

Sunday October 24

  • 75 minute yoga practice
  • drive son to basketball practice/flag football games

[originally published October 2021]