Episode 5: Self Care

Featured Guest

 

Dolly Klock

Founder of ADOLESSONS

 

 

 

 

 

Jasmine N. Tucker

M.Ed, LCDC-I, 6th grade school counselor,
Crowley Middle School

 

 

 

 

Resources Mentioned 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
  • The Trevor Project Hotline 1-866-488-7386
  • Teenlineonline.org Childhelp
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: Call or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
  • In an emergency, call 911.

 

Transcript

 

Nicole Hurd: Welcome back everybody, to the Knowledge for College podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Nicole Hurd. I am so excited to have you back. Just a quick reminder, College Advising Corps helps first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students enter college.

So, we are in the middle of the admission season, and feeling the need to make sure every student hears those words we all need to hear, which is, “I believe in you.” We also do this podcast to do three things: one is to bring some light and love into the world, two is to make sure that we really give some good practical advice, and three is to amplify voices and I’ve got two amazing women who I can’t wait to amplify on this podcast.

So, with that, I’m going to introduce them. The first one is my dear friend, Dr. Dolly Klock, and we’re going to talk to Dolly in a second. The other is a former CAC adviser, a TCU alumna, I can do my frogs for you there, Jasmine Tucker. Jasmine is now a middle school counselor. So, we’re going to talk about our topic of the day, which is self-care, and when I thought about talking about self-care, the first person I thought about was Dolly. Dolly and I go back a long time. So not to freak you out, but Dolly and I go back to the eighties.

We were best friends from high school, and—if you want a good laugh—I was thinking about, what did I want to say about Dolly today? Dolly’s such a good friend that—this is obviously before computers, before Instagram, before the internet—in 1988, I won’t tell you what year we were in high school, but I had a bit of a crush on Johnny Depp, and Dolly’s such a good friend, that she drove me to the FOX lot on Pico, and we took a picture of me in front of the 21 Jump Street billboard with Johnny Depp. I have that picture to this day. So, Dolly and I have been on all sorts of adventures together, including going after Mr. Depp when I was a teenager.

So that created rejection Dolly. I’m sure you’ve never gotten that as an intro before,

Dolly: I love it.

Nicole Hurd: But Dolly’s a medical doctor. She has an incredible practice called ADOLESSONS out in Los Angeles, our native LA, where she helps teenagers, and young adults get through this crazy time. So, Dolly, welcome to the Knowledge for College podcast.

Dolly: Thank you. And I still do think of you whenever I see Johnny Depp to this day. How can I not? Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here with you.

Nicole Hurd: We’re thrilled to have you. So, Dolly, you work, you have teenagers yourself, and then you work with all these teenagers. I’ve got teenagers. What do you tell teenagers during a pandemic to kind of make them calm the nerves?

Dolly: This is such a crazy time, so I really appreciate that you’re taking time to talk about this topic because you know, the mental health of young people is at the forefront of my mind right now during this pandemic, because these are challenging times, you know, and everyone says we’re all in the same boat together, but kind of are in some ways and not so much in other ways. So, I first, I did want to say to any of your listeners, you know, who’ve possibly lost a family member to COVID or have had friends or family who have, you know, been ill. Like my heart goes out to, this is really, this is hard, and a lot of people are struggling.

Some people are doing just fine and that’s okay too. There’s not a right or wrong way to go through this. I think a lot depends on, you know, in terms of the kids who are still in school, the high schoolers that your advisers are helping out, you know, some are actually physically in school, some are remote learning.

And so, everyone’s experience is so different. I’m hearing so much from young people and how hard it is, and there are some really concerning statistics about mental health right now. The CDC, their recent, survey of young adults showed that, 40% of adults are struggling right now with mental health or substance use.

One in four 18 to 24-year-olds have seriously considered suicide. So, I really want to make sure that we can link to some resources after this if people need help. But self-care is your topic for today, and that is so something we all need to prioritize right now, whether you’re a teenager just trying to get through high school or middle school, or get through this college application process, or if one of your advisors who are helping these young people. We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others, and there’s lots of different ways to do that.

Nicole Hurd: Yeah, let’s talk about it. Dolly, I’m so glad you brought it up because I think, there’s so many things that we’re going to have to process both individually and as a group because of this pandemic. Right. and also, let’s just call out the racial injustice that we’re all starting to really address, in a way that affects all of us.

Right. and so there’s some really profound things happening in the world right now. And we also have to take time and I think about. These aren’t just words, right? Things like healing. Healing’s going to take time. when I think about reconciliation, right? Reconciliation is going to take time when I think about morning, right?

Morning, takes time, the sense of loss and the grief that takes time. And so, I don’t want anybody listening to this podcast, if they were kind of. Breezing through this, right? We’re not, this is a very heavy time. and while I say we’re radiating light and love, I don’t mean it like a hallmark card.

I actually mean kind of real love is, is actually hard. Right? Really love is leaning into things like reconciliation and grief and mourning and loss. and so, do you want to acknowledge and thank you for bringing up just how many CEC family, friends and members, but fellow Americans, fellow citizens, fellow.

Population of the globe, right. Has gone through a devastating amount of loss and tragedy. and we need to collectively hold on to each other through that. Right. and feel that, so thank you for, for just acknowledging to that. Cause I think the love part is hard and we need to love each other through this.

in terms of steps of self-care, you know, like I said, and I know I kind of laughed when I said it, but I was being serious. I think I seen similar statistics right this morning. I got an email that 44% of high school and college students. Are either expressing anxiety, depression, loneliness, right? I think even the zoom call, I don’t feel as the same thing as being with you and Jasmine in person.

Right. I’m not going to hug both of you when this is over. I’m not seeing you right now, the way I would see you if we weren’t in a pandemic. So, you know, given how hard this really is, and I want to acknowledge it, it’s hard, right? Can you give us some suggestions on self-care? because I think you, I was kind of joking that my self-care is you, but frankly talking to you, and you know, whether we’ve been doing on FaceTime or doing on the phone, is a form of self-care because you were like a big hug in my life and I need it right now.

So, can you talk to us about how do you do self-care?

Dolly: Yeah. Well, I think what you just mentioned that, you know, finding that support, that is the number one. Thing, because I think so many of us are feeling more isolated right now where, you know, learning from home, working from home. And so, we’re not having all those just sorts of fly by interactions.

And so, to actually like make true effort, it doesn’t have to be, you don’t have to stay connected to every single person that you used to see every day. Right. But yeah. But to really find, you know, one or two people that you can be honest and raw with and connect with. And that could be a peer that could be a family member that could be a counselor like Jasmine, you know, but finding that connection.

But you know, to your point, like this whole self-care idea, you know, when I’m on social media and I see all the self-care posts, like, I mean, self-care can be a facial mask or whatever a spa day, but that isn’t real self-care. Right. So, so let’s talk about what real. Self-care is that’s actually going to help you in terms of your mental health.

So that’s things like sleep, right? Making sure you’re getting enough sleep. So, so for teens that’s, they need at least eight to 10 hours a day. And this is what’s put out by the American Academy of sleep medicine and American Academy of pediatrics. Adults. We need seven to nine hours of sleep. So, we need to again, take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

It’s easier said than done, right exercise. Like we have to move our bodies. We should get outdoors. If we can, right. Get, do get moving. We are not meant to sit in front of

screens,

24 seven. This is highly an unnatural state for us. Unplugging. I think, you know, there, we do have to be on screens for school maybe, or for work, but we don’t have to be on them all the time.

So just make that effort to get off of those screens. And I think right now, you know, you mentioned the racial injustice that’s going on. The, you know, we’re in this pandemic, there’s all the concerns about climate change. Like there’s so many stressors out there and it’s really important that we were aware of this and informed, and social media is like an important piece of that.

But at the same time, it can become very overwhelming. And so, if you feel like the news is becoming overwhelming, like take a break, right. I have turned off my news notifications on my phone. I still am totally up on the news, but I’m choosing when I want to read those headlines rather than it being defined for me.

and then I think, you know, just really paying attention to our mental health and if you’re struggling, if you’re really having a hard time right now, it’s time to ask for help. And there’s no shame in that. There should be no stigma. I mean, that’s one of the, one of the silver linings I’m seeing right now in this pandemic is that there’s so much more conversation about mental health.

And that is obviously a reflection of what’s going on. You know, that’s the bad part of it, but the good part is people are talking so much more openly and that’s just critically important. And I think that’s going to create some really positive change for us moving forward.

Nicole Hurd: I love those tips, Dolly, and, you know, look, I’m trying myself to regulate some behaviors that probably were healthy before the pandemic, to be honest.

Right. So, when I think about, you know, how much I was moving around, how much that I was traveling, how much I was getting on airplanes, how much I was doing these things and just stopping and pausing and saying, you know what. Meditating is important, right? Having space is important. giving yourself time to recover from, the day is important, whether it’s screen time or it’s an airplane, just knowing that you are not a robot that you actually need those downtime.

And, you know, I’m, I’m with you on the social media piece and the news piece, right. Just protecting yourself. you know, I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s important to create before you consume. Right. So, do something creative. Whether it’s right in your journal or meditate or whatever’s before you start consuming things that now might be stressors on you.

Right. and so, I think, your advice is so great. I want to pivot to Jasmine for a second. Jasmine, you’re living through a difficult time and like all of us. and you also have a very interesting lens because you’re a middle school counselor. and you’re also a CAC 11. So, you know what it’s like to be an advisor and throw thousands of balls up in the air.

you know what it’s like to be around high school students that are stressed right now and now you’re dealing with an even younger group that I’m sure is. Feeling all sorts of stressors. So, what are your tips for both your students and for your fellow advisors that might be listening to this about how to do self-care during this time?

Jasmine: thank you so much for this. I, I think Dr. Dolly hit on a lot of great points. I was definitely thinking about how we cannot pour from an empty cup. And right now, we’re trying to adjust to a new norm in a lot of our students, as well as young adults as myself, my fellow advisors, we are trying to adapt to this new norm in poor, poor, poor, and adapt, and try to shift.

But it’s hard for us to let go of our old norm. And I think that a lot of our students and myself included we’re grieving our old norm in a lot of us are going through the grieving stages in the grieving process. Some people are still in denial right now. They’re angry that we are even in COVID to begin with.

So, number one for self-care for my middle school babies, and I work with sixth graders,

I just like to say, Hey, like, how are you feeling like what’s going on? Cause some kids really. Feels so much, they don’t know where to start. So, I always tell them, Hey, just draw it out, draw. How do you feel? I give them a blank sheet of paper, some colors, sometimes some paint, and I just let them have it.

And that is just a great way to. Relieve stress. And to help us come down, coloring, drawing, those are always great things to do as coping mechanisms to help us relieve a lot of anxiety. It really lowers those stresses in our brain and get our body to relax and not be as tense. But at the same time, it’s a great self-care practice because it allows, the young kids to really.

Release and figure out what’s going on. But then that gives us the opportunity as the adults to say, all right, this is how you feel. Now let’s process that let’s see what works for you. How can we help you during this time? You’re getting overwhelmed. Okay. Let’s step out of class for a second. Tell your mom and dad, you need a break.

So, I think figuring out number one, how are you feeling what’s going on in your mind and then going from there? I love to implement. Self-affirmations like I tell my students, get you a sticky note, place it all over your house. Like where you brush your teeth, put a sticky note up there and say, I am a King.

I am a queen. I am intelligent. I am smart. I believe in myself. Say those things and being a part of the CAC, those beautiful forwards. I believe in you. I remember our first conference when I heard Dr. Nicole giving her speech. I was in tears like, Oh

Dolly: my gosh, I believe in myself. Yes.

Jasmine: That’s what we need to hear.

You know? And that’s really good. Self-care when you affirm yourself and you shift your perspective, like Dr. Dolly was saying, you can do facials, you can go for a walk, get some good vitamin C vitamin D. You can do a lot of these things, but if your internal man is sinking in its depleted, then what good does it do for all of that?

You know? and my biggest thing is journaling. God has blessed me to create my own journal. So, I use my journal with my students that I created, and I tell them to go in there and just process, you know, focus on gratitude today. And if you don’t know what to say, I have a section in my journal where you can pick a topic to just read on and answer some questions about.

So, it gives them the opportunity to not feel forced to write every time they can draw. Or it’d be given a prompt to kind of help them, process whatever they have going on. But I definitely think we need to acknowledge that a lot of our kids are battling so much. There are sixth graders who are telling teachers they don’t want to live.

They don’t want to be here anymore. They don’t feel seen, they don’t feel valued. So, it’s our job to make sure our kids feel valued, make sure that they. Feel like we see them that they are important that we do believe in them and that they do have purpose. And when we instill in that, then we’re able to help them practice those great self-care rituals that we hear about all the time.

Nicole Hurd: Jasmine, it’s so helpful and so beautiful. And I’m glad you talked about gratitude. That’s another care one that I think, you know, it’s very hard to feel anything other than love and light when you’re in that state of gratitude, it’s very hard to be angry and in gratitude to those, those things, don’t kind of live in the same space.

Right. And so, trying to find a way to journal or a way to, to exercise that gratitude every day. I think it’s so helpful. And, and again, thank you for just reminding us. How hard this is and how hard it is for so many of our students and so many people that we care about, and Dolly, to your point, we’re going to make sure we get those resources linked.

Dolly going to go back to your, to your medical, expertise here. you talked about sleep. You talked about exercise. I know this is not a big one in my house because, even though I’m vegan, the rest of the household is eating chicken nuggets and pizza every night. So, can you talk to us a little bit about maybe self-care and diet, and whether, maybe we should be thinking about that while we’re in a pandemic or that while we’re thinking about anxiety, what’s the relationship between.

Diet and kind of stress levels or,

Dolly: Yeah, we can think about it, although I’m very cautious around this topic, especially with young people. I think that sometimes there’s a little too much emphasis put on diet and we know there are, you know, helpful. Benefits. We know, especially while we’re growing, there’s a lot of growing during, you know, adolescents and we do need to fuel our bodies with the nutrients that they need.

You know, we need protein to build our muscles and calcium to build our bones and we need the fresh fruits and vegetables with all the vitamins and minerals. They have. I personally shy away from sort of like creating this moral discussion around which foods are good and bad, because I think in young people, especially people who may be predisposed to an eating disorder or something, it can actually, trigger them in the wrong way.

So, so I think the message for our young people is, you know, if you’re really truly hungry and you’re growing, your body’s telling you something and you should listen to it and eat. And it does matter what we put into our bodies, you know, but we don’t, it doesn’t mean we have to only eat a certain way.

And I think there’s a lot of confusing information out there right now, all the different diets and the paleo and the gluten-free and the juice cleanses and all that. And I just personally don’t feel that any of that has, has a purpose or place for, for growing, growing bodies. So, so that was probably not the answer you,

Nicole Hurd: well, the answer I wanted, because a, I want you to be honest and truthful, but also, I want to take the pressure off ourselves.

Right? I do think there’s a piece of anxiety that comes from diet, right? It’s in this sense of you need to eat a certain thing or you need to look a certain way at all. It all goes back to the anxiety, right? So, there’s a way to say, okay, to each other let’s feed healthy without shaming. Right? I I’m so aware of right now.

There’s no place for shame right now. There’s no place for blame right now. Like, let’s do, let’s give each other grace. Right. And frankly, as much as I was choosing about my family, eating pizza and chicken nuggets, like if that’s what somebody needs one day, then that’s what they need that day. Right. and then we’ll, we’ll have this, we’ll have the salad, the next meal or the carrot, and we’ll get snuck in someplace.

But like, you know, sometimes in life there’s nothing to repeat. Place the chicken nuggets and the pizza. It is. So, you know, I, I, I actually, we think there’s a balanced way to do this and I’m glad you brought it up because like I said, I think especially we both are raising daughters. this body image piece is really, really real.

and I think we have a way, especially with social media of shaming ourselves, instead of just being honest about what a growing body needs and that bodies look different. and we’re not a one size fits all human. No development. We actually, we actually all do have all sorts of differences. and we should celebrate those in a healthy way.

So, absolutely.

Dolly: Yes. And because our teens are spending more time online right now, and more time on social media, there, there are a lot of, confusing messages. You know, there are a lot of platforms that are under the guise of wellness that are actually really not well, actually it’s sending very unhealthy.

So, I think it’s also a good time to talk to young people about, you know, being critical thinkers as they see all those images and they absorb those messages. And that’s, that’s

Nicole Hurd: a great point. Jasmine, when you think about kind of how, how you’re processing all this, and I know you’ve got, you know, advisers as Dolly point out, some of them are learning in person.

Some of them are learning remotely. Any tips you want to give quickly about just how to deal with. Advising students remotely or, or making a connection through technology, anything you’ve learned in the last few months that you want to share with everybody about this kind of counseling or loving by zoom.

Jasmine: Yeah. So, it’s definitely been a challenge to connect virtually because you don’t have that in person in your face. I’m going to your class interaction, but something that has been working for me and I think will benefit. most of our, most of our advisors is doing a simple call out.

Nicole Hurd: Cold

Jasmine: calls are so important, more than ever because the kids are getting overwhelmed with so many zoom links.

So many Google classroom invites. Remind me texts. It’s kind of flushing into one. So, having the opportunity to call home and talk to mom or dad, and then say, Hey, can I speak to the kid and just really chopping it up and having a quick dialogue with them. That is the best way to build a relationship with them.

Then when you send in your links, whether that is zoom, or you created a BDR video, that’s giving some type of Infor information for them, they’re more receptive. And they’re going to put you at the priority of their lists because, Hey, that’s the teacher or that’s the advisor or the counselor that called me personally Wednesday night, just to ask me what I was doing.

It’s really meeting them where they are understanding their needs. And then we were able to bring in the college and the academic piece after that,

Nicole Hurd: Jasmine, that’s such a beautiful reminder that we all need personal contact, right. And that you might have a zoom link with 50 people on it, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call all 50 of them and tell them that you believe in them until you care about them before you send that link with the 50 people on it.

Right. that, something about that personal touch is an incredibly powerful. Yes. Ma’am no, thank you for sharing that. Tip Dolly we’re coming down to the wire of this podcast. Anything else you want to say in terms of self-care and what you want the world to hear right now from, from your perspective?

Dolly: I think I just want the world to hear that, you know, it, it is hard and if you’re struggling, you’re not alone, I promise you. Yeah, you’re not alone. There are so many people feeling the same way. So just don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for the help that you need, whether it’s from, you know, a parent, an advisor, a friend, a physician, a counselor, a therapist.

talk about it. We all need to talk about and be honest right now.

Nicole Hurd: Great. No. And Jasmine, anything you wanted to say as we get ready to wrap?

Jasmine: Yeah. Just quickly understand that. Show yourself grace. We did not get a blueprint to navigate COVID and our personal life. So, we’re all figuring this out, just like Dr. Dali said. So, show yourself grace, ask for help and take it one day at a time. Give yourself breaks, mental and physical, any emotional breaks as you need over time. And just take it one step at a time and we will get through this for sure.

Nicole Hurd: Well, this is why I wanted to amplify these two amazing women and their voices, because there’s just so much goodness, in so much great advice there and look at, I mean, I am so glad that you both are saying what I think we need to hear right now, which is we’re all in unchartered space and we all are feeling lost and there has been profound loss.

and there’s also. Love and resilience. And we have to think about ways to support each other. And like I said, Dolly, we will make sure that we get those links out there to make sure we have resources for everybody because you’re right. I think we all need to know where to go, when those moments happen and where we can refer people to when those moments happen, because those moments happen to all of us, we’re all human beings.

Right. And that’s, that’s the. The beauty of, of this podcast is trying to reach all sorts of people and all sorts of places and let them know that we believe in them. So, and we believe in their potential. Like, I keep telling everybody, especially in the college advising Corps, but even in my own house, like love has not been canceled.

Right. Opportunity has not been canceled. We have not been canceled. And, if that means Dolly and I talking at nine o’clock at night about Johnny Depp and they have to endure it that, okay.

Dolly: Okay.

Nicole Hurd: Yeah. Or if that means Jasmine’s calling and talking to your mom and dad, and you’re a student and you wonder why Jasmine’s calling mom and dad, it’s because she cares about you.

So, whatever we need to do right now, to let each other know that we’re not canceled, we’re here and we love each other, and we cared about each other and we will get through this. and we will also find the time to mourn and grieve. and reconcile and move forward together. and I hope bill braver, I really do, we need each other, and we need to make sure that we know we need each other.

So, thank you both. I, like I said, I’m like radiating all this gratitude your way. two amazing women. I’m so glad you were both part of my life. So, we will have resources and that closes this episode. I hope everybody takes care. and I hope this has been useful to everybody. And please know, we do believe in you, see you next time on Knowledge for College.