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Podcast

Episode 126: How To Intentionally Chase Joy In Difficult Times with Dr. Tai

Mar 04, 2021

In today’s episode, we meet Dr. Tai, a licensed psychologist and founder of The Black Girl Doctor, a virtual therapy practice that specializes in supporting the mental health and wellness of professional Black Women. Not only does Dr. Tai help individuals find and experience joy in their life, but she and her team also work with corporate companies to create healthier workspaces for black people.

If you’re wondering how to maintain a healthy mindset as you navigate living and working within this new paradigm, listen up because Dr. Tai is breaking it all down for us. During our conversation, we talk about setting those hard boundaries with your boss, managing mom guilt, protecting your mind through self-care, and finding moments of joy even during hardship.

Listen on Apple Podcast

You’ll learn:

  • Common mental health struggles frequenting work from home environments
  • How to bring up boundaries as a vendor or service provider
  • Tools to use to bring your workday to a natural end
  • How to maintain a healthy relationship as you build your business or career
  • Coping mechanisms to help us reset

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Tai

If you look at what you plan to do for the day, you want to ask yourself if I do all of these things today? Well, I am the day feeling accomplished and whole, and usually, it's all work. And so what we do is we do the most important things, and then we're like, I should've done more? I'll do more tomorrow and you set yourself up to never feel good about yourself. And so the way that you shift that is to say that each day we want to chase joy every single day.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Hi, Off-Scripters. It's your host, Serwaa Adjei-Pellé and welcome to Episode 1 26 of the She's Off Script podcast. This is a show where we hear and learn from women who have created unique blueprints for their business success. My hope is that you'll hear their stories and translate their gem into a unique path for yourself.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

In today's episode, we meet Dr Tai Caldwell-Harvey, a licensed psychologist who focuses on the mental health of entrepreneurs and professional black women. Through her platform, the black Girl doctor, she shares tools and strategies that have helped thousands of women thrive in the workplace. During our conversation, Dr tie gives us some powerful tips we can use to address many of the difficult experiences we're facing today, such as learning how to communicate with our teams after major social events, how to create boundaries. So we feel comfortable turning off at the end of each workday rather than constantly working how to protect and reinforce our romantic relationships, how to do a mental health, self-check and so much more

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Before we hear the rest of our session with Dr Tai. I would love it if you could subscribe, rate and review our show on iTunes or anywhere you listen to podcasts. This will help to spread the word about our show so amazing Stories like Dr Tai's can continue to inspire women looking to launch their own Off-Scripters journeys.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

If this episode has inspired you to launch a business, the She's Off Script podcast also has a membership community to help you launch and grow your business with resources and coaching.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Join our boss Off-Script Community today by going to www.serwaaadjeipelle.com/community With that, let's go off script with licensed psychologist Dr Tai Caldwell-Harvey,

Dr Tai. Welcome to She's Off Script. Thank you for being here.

Dr. Tai

Thank you for inviting me. I'm excited.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So for anyone who hasn't come across yet, could you share who you are and what you do?

Dr. Tai

Absolutely! So I am a licensed psychologist and the founder of the Black Girl Doctor. We are a virtual therapy practice, and we specialize in working with supporting the mental health and wellness of professional black women.

Specifically, I think about professional black women as those who are working in corporate America or creatives or entrepreneurs that are securing the bag while also trying to live their best life, which I like to think of as really being excited about the life that you get to wake up and live and experience joy along the way. I think that that is a universal struggle, but the way that it shows up in the lives of Black women, it's very different.

And so we have a team of black women doctors who are incredibly amazing, that I feel very fortunate to work with who specialize in working with this population, and we do therapy one on one therapy.

We do couples therapy and then on the other side, because it's really important that we're not just out here teaching black folks how to deal with injustice. We do corporate programming. So we work with companies and try to help them make the workspace healthier for black people.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

As you mentioned for many black women, the pursuit of that perfect life for them shows up in different ways. And I would say the struggle to get there also takes a different toll. And for many of us, right now we are living and working in a new paradigm.

Co-working spaces have shut down. Some office spaces are going virtual now. And we're working from home while homeschooling. We're doing a lot. So as a mental health expert who is working a lot with black women within the professional space, what are some of the common themes you've been seeing come out over the past year?

Dr. Tai

Yeah. So this past year has been really, really hard, and so are so. Our practice has been virtual since before the pandemic. This is the way we wanted to reach our population. Busy women, right? And so it was great that we were set up to capture it. But what it what? We were what we saw was just the a huge spike in terms of increase in distress and just sadness. I think overwhelming sadness when you think about violence against black bodies and just the attention paid to all of the protest and the way that black folks are being traumatized. I think the biggest impact back when after the murder of George Floyd was how the media constantly played that video over and over again.

And so, as a psychologist, we are not supposed to see that you are not supposed to see murder right and have someone that looks like you. And so what's happening? What it is called is vicarious trauma, and it's when you might as well have been there, and that's been happening to you. So you think about the impact of someone that's witness to a crime or like a murder scene like that is a special situation. That person usually gets support, but what happened when the media kind of saturated the market like that?

Like we just saw our people being vicariously traumatized and having reactions to that right? And people like having, you know, like nightmares and just, you know, just pain and sadness. Depression and anxiety. And you know, it's interesting when you think about the people that were already in therapy, just like trying to keep it together. It's hard out here, and then we see people like typically you see people get better. And then this happened. We saw a lot of people like, kind of and then we did a lot of work with, just like this is really talking about the difference between being unwell and having a healthy reaction to something that istraumatizing.

Dr. Tai

Those are a little bit different, and so when bad things happen, a healthy mind will respond by experiencing pain. And so we did a lot of work with helping folks cope with the pain that they were experiencing that was actually really helping for us all the next day.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

I feel like that's something key to hone in on that it's okay to feel the pain, and it's okay to be impacted when something so massive, like, you know, social injustice or a pandemic happens for a lot of our audience members there either running a business on the side while working in corporate America or they are really new to entrepreneurship. So on both sides of the coin.

How would you encourage people within the corporate space who are managers to talk to their people when something so impactful is happening in the social landscape? Because I think we see a lot of joking about. I went back to work and it was as though nothing had happened. People No one was really addressing it.

Dr. Tai

Yes, this invisibility, right? It's kind of like..."Am I living in the Twilight Zone?" I had a lot of conversation, just like, you know, this is actually happening. You're not making this up. Black people are being murdered. We're in a pandemic, and then you're at work and everyone's pretending like everything's normal. It's not you all right, so I think one of the acknowledgement is really important. But when you think about managers, I think a lot of what I see happening is that when people don't know what to say, they don't say anything, and I think that that is not a good approach, right? I think when you don't know what to say. One. Get some support, get some consultation to figure out how to say something, but in the interim, what you can always do is comment on your process.

And so to be able to say, all of this has happened, I don't really know how to. I'm struggling with finding a way to support the team. I want you to just know that I acknowledge this and I'm figuring and figuring something out. Even doing something like that is vastly different from just ignoring it and saying, Was that report going to be to me on Monday?

Black women, You know, the community. Listen to this podcast. We're used to making miracles happen. And so despite all of this stuff happening, you're still we're still producing, right? But we're not okay. And I think that what a manager can do is is relief.

Provide some relief to the pressure to constantly perform at the same level. And so it's not enough just to say I I see that everyone must be hurting. I want to acknowledge everyone must be hurting. But then you need to be able to give something right, so it's not just Oh yes, let's take a moment in process like So what are we not doing so that I can process

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

because now you're putting an extra burden on me on top of producing like I usually produced. And I have to say I would say the same sentiment probably still applies to business owners who are managing vendors, business owners who are managing teams. I was recently talking to a client who was talking about how she was, I think, in labor, and vendors were still expecting things from her calls from her.

So I just I think it's important that we we are human beings before we are business owners and before we are managers. So I would say within that same vein, when you're having the conversations with your people as a manager and things are not coming across, sometimes I, as the person being managed, can probably help to facilitate.

So what are some ways that I, as a team member, can manage up to my boss to the owner of the company, to kind of clue them into the fact that hey, you probably need to change something around here?

Dr. Tai

Yeah, so I want to acknowledge, maybe and talk about them a little bit separately, like saying you're managing up to someone that your boss that has this kind of there's a there's a power dynamic there, right? Versus when you're a vendor or like you're an entrepreneur, you're providing a service like it's still someone that you're reporting to because you're providing a service. But it's different if you work for yourself.

You make these decisions right? And so I think, on on that side, when you're, you know, providing a service to someone as as the vendor, I think it's really important that you take responsibility to assert your boundaries,right and then, you know, and then expect them to follow in line. Right?

And that may not happen, but that is the boundary that needs to be part of. And so companies can people email me and my corporate cleanse, email me all times of the night. But that doesn't mean I'm answering. It is it has to be intentional because I see it, and I felt like I don't check writing alternative tonight. It is that I'm being intentional and saying this is my boundary, like I'm taking time off and I'm taking you know, I responded this time where I need space to process or whatever. I'm having a baby right, and so that I think, can be directly communicated to say I received like, you know, when it's appropriate time again, right? Like

Dr. Tai

I see your message. Just want to let you know I'm you know, I'll be unavailable between this time and that time, and they don't necessarily going into detail, but just setting hard boundaries. And I think what it does, is it. It sets the tone of the relationship for you and that partner ongoing. And so don't in the beginning, don't be, like, so responsive right away and you constantly take control of it. And I think a lot of the times we

we respond to things and we have made a lot of assumptions of what we have to do. And it's like if I don't respond, they're going to fire me if I don't respond, the goods were operating as if that's what's going to happen.

You don't actually know, like, are they? Are they really? And so if you set the tone from the beginning, I think a lot of a lot of us are surprised at what actually happened and in terms of just like in kind of an organization, I think that I want to just acknowledge the power dynamic and health. It could be very. It's a vulnerable position to be in. To be able to say,

Hey, I need something or I need support or this is not a reasonable request And so acknowledging that. But I do think that you can kind of map it out, and I like to think about it as to just kind of say, Hey, I have this, this this on my plate and I'm having a hard time with this Like this is something that I can remove this out just making a suggestion like so I have time to process and so you're being you're making a and asked while stating that what they're asking for is ridiculous.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

I know I love the threads that go around like what does corporate-speak for 12 and three, for example, like, How do I say you sound crazy right now? But make it corporate and I would say the same applies when you're running a business as well, because you want to appear and be professional in the deal in your dealings with your clients and your vendors at the same time.

But I like what you said about making it a suggestion and letting people know what you need. So right now, as I mentioned, it is a different time, and I've talked to people who feel like they're having a hard time just shutting down.

So when it comes to work hours, for example, what are some tools that we can put in place so that we can bring work to a natural end even though we're working from home?

Dr. Tai

Yes. So the pull well, yeah, the poll to just work constantly is has grown. I feel like most professional working women were doing this already. They were just there was a break, and then they were going home and then pulling out their laptops and working some more. But now it's even worse, because then you can work through the commute and you can keep working all night long, and it's just it's all encompassing.

And so I really think some strategies that I've seen that have been effective. What I will say. Nothing works for everybody. The same thing doesn't work for everybody. And so the goal is to identify strategies, and even if you think it's ridiculous, just try it. And if it works, keep doing it. If it doesn't work, try something else.

And I think the goal is that you don't give up. I think a lot of times what happens is someone's like, Oh, I tried to do that. I tried to meditate and that didn't do anything. So then they just go back to being a workaholic and doing nothing. And it's like, No, you have to keep trying something and sometimes trying things a couple of times to see if it's six, but I'll throw a couple of things out.

So one is to plan for the natural breaks, so I will say and plan something that you look forward to. So even if it's something like you, take a walk at 6 p.m. With your partner, right? And so y'all do your 30 minute walk, and so it is a forced movement to, like, get up and go do something. I think also, sometimes when you have something to look forward to, it makes you focus a little bit more in the day, so it isn't that you don't you don't actually have till midnight

because I got till six and then I got to do that thing right? And so you kind of will push it out a little faster. Kind of keep you more focused. So planning things I will also say so this sounds really strange, but I know people that are doing a fake commute. And so they're like, I will put my laptop in my back.

Yeah, get up. Go walk around the block and then come back in. Take my jacket back off, and then, Okay. Now I'm home. Right? And so it is literally like a mine reset, right? And so it is funny. It sounds silly, but those kind of things actually trigger your brain like you're in a different part of your day.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Got it. But does that also require that you have a designated workspace at home?

Dr. Tai

Not really. I mean, if you can have a designated workspace. That's great, right? And I know that's not possible for everybody, but if you do great. I've seen some amazing people who have transformed their closets into offices. You can

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

I've recorded the show in a closet before so I can see that.

Dr. Tai

I heard when I heard it was a closet office. And then I saw some pictures, and I was like, Oh, that's actually not bad It requires a little bit of space in the closet, But otherwise I think if you create a work environment, wherever that is, so if the kitchen table is your workspace, like maybe it is set up a certain way for the workday and then put the runner back out right and put some candles on the table and it is no longer the workspace. After that, I will say I will. And I

Dr. Tai

always think about folks of color. We are the most creative people ever, and it is how we have survived like trauma after trauma and all of these things. And so I really encourage people to tap into your

Dr. Tai

ability to be creative, to create something out of nothing. I mean, I think that is something that we are all capable of doing.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Other than that, I would say a lot of our audience members are moms as well, and even myself as a mom, I would say there's even more increased mom guilt because

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

your kids are there. They see you working and then when the school day, for some reason and at 2 30 you're like, you still have a few more hours of work left. And so how do you manage the guilt and perhaps manage the expectation of your kids to have all of you during the workday?

Dr. Tai

Yeah, yeah. So these are hard and near impossible questions, right? But I will say one to acknowledge that this is hard, right? So there is No, If I were doing it right, I wouldn't feel this way. That is not true. And I think that that is kind of maybe the hugest mind,

Dr. Tai

the mindset shift that needs to happen, because what happens if you're operating under the assumption that there's a right way to do it, that every time you feel

Dr. Tai

you don't feel good about it, you're telling yourself you're doing it wrong,

Dr. Tai

right? And you've literally set yourself up to never feel okay with what's happening. And it's just it's all based on a faulty assumption, faulty logic that you're operating off of. So I really encourage you to shift that, too. There's probably no way I'm going to not feel guilty about

Dr. Tai

working well. My kids want me in the other room. That is not That's just not happening yet

Dr. Tai

and separating feeling from fact and being able to do that right. So it's about a decision that you're making, Not if it's not just what's going to make me feel better. It's like, What is the truth? The truth is I need to work. This is a crappy situation that we're in this pandemic and I have to do it like this. My best case scenario is to distract the kids with this

Dr. Tai

while I do this, and I have to deal with the discomfort right and so not telling yourself that you can't handle discomfort. But I think a lot of us are uncomfortable right now, and that is

Dr. Tai

a reality of the situation that we're in.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Yeah,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

another dynamic. I think that's interesting to talk about is

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

romantic relationships with partners, and we've heard the divorce statistics coming out of this past year and already I would say black women who are a little bit more educated who are a little bit more powerful, I would say tend to have issues when it comes to relationships with that dynamic, so

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

that probably has been shifted to a different level. So what advice do you have, if any, for women, black women as there

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

really hyper focused on building businesses and building careers to maintain healthy romantic relationships as well.

Dr. Tai

Yeah, I will say one. So I will say, in addition to the divorce statistics that we're seeing, I will also say that we are seeing couples get stronger together in this environment. And so I don't want to

Dr. Tai

negate that and to I think a lot. And I also just want to highlight. I think it's really interesting how most of the black women, probably that are listening to this right now have beat the statistics in terms of what is expected of somebody that we're talking about. You know, like I know, like, this community like that is always like you were the best at this. You were in the top x percent of this. You deal with these things, and then when it comes to relationships, sometimes I think we tend to say like,

Dr. Tai

Oh, if

Dr. Tai

50% of relationships fail, mine's not going to work. And I'm like,

Dr. Tai

you've never been in the bottom 50% before, ever in any thing. Why is that the assumption here, right? And so I think to say that we are seeing, you know, I don't know what the statistics are, and I don't know if there's any data yet how many relationships are stronger because of this, right? But anecdotally, we're seeing this. If we're looking at that and we're saying, Hey, 20% of relationships actually

Dr. Tai

survived

Dr. Tai

in this environment like the thought for our folks should be like, Oh, I'm gonna be in that 20%. Like, how am I going to get myself in that 20%? And that's the way we think about everything else, right? So one to stay consistent with our expectations of ourselves. But then, just in terms of relationships, I would say making sure that it remains a priority and that might look a little bit different. But I think that

Dr. Tai

to look at your schedule and say, like, where have I blocked out time for my partner? And so one of the things you know I started doing in my marriage is, you know, a certain day of the week, like at a certain time, like in the evening. Like Okay, Tuesdays from seven to at seven o'clock. Nobody gets to work anymore. And we're like doing something together,

Dr. Tai

right? And so it's just setting whatever that looks like. And for some people, maybe that's every other week. Maybe it's like once a month we block off a day. It can look different to fit your life. But

Dr. Tai

even if it's like, you know, on one day a week, we like hide in our room and watch a movie together from the kids, right? Give them their

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

tablet will watch that movie

Dr. Tai

and whatever that looks like, but actually being intentional. And so I always say, like planning and like, your to do list is usually big, you know, for professional women. And I always say that that list really needs to include, like your self care and your time for your family and your loved ones and everything. So if you look at what you plan to do for the day

Dr. Tai

and like you want to ask yourself like if I do all of these things today, well, I am the day feeling accomplished and whole right way, and usually when I look at anybody's task list before we start this work, it's all work right and it's impossible, and it's not enough time to do any of it or not, Most of it. And so what we do is we do the most important things. And then we're like, Oh, I should have been more.

Dr. Tai

I'll do more tomorrow and like you move everything over to the next day, right? And it's kind of like you set yourself up to never feel good about yourself,

Dr. Tai

babe.

Dr. Tai

And so I think the way that you shift that is to say that each day we want to chase joy every single day. So you need a moment, Whatever that looks like every single day where you have this rush of endorphins where you smile really big or laugh really hard at something. And if you're not having that every day, like we're not doing this right

Dr. Tai

and so we need to adjust what our plan is for the day. So it includes that. But I think when you do that

Dr. Tai

and you look at your week, you know, like your relationship should be a part of this. Like, have I planned that a week where I'm going to feel like I prioritize my relationship, and usually the answer is no. And then you go back re plan. So you're like, Okay, this will work for me, and I'll acknowledge that that always usually means you will have to do less of something else.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Yeah, there are only so many hours in the day,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

but I love that. You said you have to chase joy every single day. You have to a lot of time for that. And if it's not on your to do list, you have to re prioritize. Aside from that, now,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

we are dealing with a lot. And I wonder if there are good and bad coping mechanisms or any that you would recommend in order to help us. We said, I know earlier you mentioned meditation, and for some people, therapy is a foreign concept, much less meditation. So

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

what are some examples you can throw out there so people can try until they find something that works for them?

Dr. Tai

Yeah, So I will say definitely 100%. We need to be doing things intentionally to chase joy. And I will say right now, so what? What we are all experiencing right now is a traumatic experience. This is living through a trauma, and it's a prolonged trauma,

Dr. Tai

right? So any definition, any clinical definition of trauma waiting it right.

Dr. Tai

And it doesn't matter if you don't want to be in, it doesn't matter if you think you're fine, you're living through a traumatic experience. And so some people come out of that fine. And some people, statistically will not be okay. In long term, they will develop a decline in their mental health, which means, like they might end up with depression like a severe depression. End up with severe anxiety might end up with post traumatic stress disorder. Right? And these are things that we may be genetically more predisposed to or not for lots of different reasons, right, whether we have resources, etcetera. So that's kind of something that we actually can't control. But what we do know about trauma experiences from just looking at past traumatic experiences,

Dr. Tai

even like from Hurricane Katrina and other things, we know that what buffers the impact. So what gives you a fighting? Chance is self care, and it's so interesting, but literally scientifically, that is the thing like your ability to take care of yourself and infuse joy into your life on a daily basis is the thing that will

Dr. Tai

stack the deck in your favor to prevent you from having some of those longer term effects,

Dr. Tai

right? So I think about in this time right now. What I'm telling everybody is that it is not about wanting to feel good. It's not about indulging in yourself. It's not about self care is trendy. This is about survival and protecting yourself. And so if you want to protect your mind, which we all want to protect our mind, we need to do this out of necessity. So it's like it's not

Dr. Tai

because you and I think a lot of the times we don't want to, and the times that we're in like it is,

Dr. Tai

it's hard right now. It's kind of depressing to be experiencing all of this and the monotony of the days, and this is hard. And so the last thing usually you want to do when you're bored and annoyed and sad and upset is to go take a boat. But I mean, you might think it, but you're like, I mean, I don't have time for that, Although

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you do because you're bored.

Dr. Tai

I just want to

Dr. Tai

in my bed and hide from it all, or it's not. I think a lot of folks are like I don't feel like doing those things. And really, my challenges like that doesn't actually matter. You need to do them because this is like think about it as medicine as a prescription to protect yourself for what is ahead. So when I say it and then I'll say that and then some things that you can do you want to laugh? So what makes you laugh? So, like checking out like I have my favorite comedians. I frequent their social media pages way more often watching comedy specials that are coming out watching black shows that

Dr. Tai

our joyful It's probably not the time to be watching all of the stories about black trauma like movies. Next, a lot of great shows that just depict,

Dr. Tai

like black culture and life and things that make you feel like see yourself reflected in a healthy way, like on media, I think, obviously engaging your senses. So taking baths, doing listening to music is actually really great, so you can have your go to. So I have my days where, like my gospel is my thing and then I have days where I like to do my trap music, whatever it is, whatever. Whatever the mood called for,

Dr. Tai

yes, music is healing. There's actually a lot of research around rhythm and beats being healing, particularly more impactful, actually, for black folks based on our history. So also, I will say, connecting with friends and family. So I know that's also a doozy right now because of the pandemic. But what I see is a lot of folks like

Dr. Tai

like, kind of pulling away from community and a lot of these times. But what's actually can be really helpful is to intentionally call someone you haven't talked to in a long time. It's like an old friend and just have a good catch up call, even if in the moment you don't feel like doing it like do it anyways. Because, you know, these are the things that are good for your soul,

Dr. Tai

right? And you want to check in with yourself like Did I feel better after I did that? And it's like, Yeah, actually I did. Or sometimes it's not like,

Dr. Tai

Oh, I took a bath and now I'm 100% better. But you actually want to know if, like the thing that you did made you feel one level a little bit better.

Dr. Tai

And if it did, that's a good thing. And then we want to keep doing those things. So what we know is that being happy isn't about the sustained period of I'm happy all of the time. It's about having moments of joy. So if it brought you joy for a few moments,

Dr. Tai

that is a positive and you want to keep doing those. And that actually compounds over time and leads to you like having a more happier life. Sustained joy all day is a little unrealistic in the time that we're in right now.

Dr. Tai

Doesn't mean you shouldn't be chasing the records like you absolutely should be.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Wow.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So another thing I know about us as black women is that were driven. A lot of us are driven to succeed and to see success. And maybe that's we traditionally gotten joy from seeing the fruits of our labor and hustling, really, And sometimes the hustle becomes a mask

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

or what is truly going on underneath that we don't want to deal with, and I think this is a prime time for that to start happening again. So how do you know if you are working? Because there is, in fact, a goal that you're trying to accomplish versus if you are working because you don't want to deal with whatever else is going on in your

Dr. Tai

life?

Dr. Tai

Yeah,

Dr. Tai

you know, that's that's so interesting. I think that it's like there's a competition between success and happiness, right? It's almost like it seems like it gets in the way like I'm working, I'm working and that makes me happy. And this whole, like other part of life joy stuff is just like a new sense. I think it really is.

Dr. Tai

You know about checking in with yourself to and getting in touch with knowing

Dr. Tai

what it is that you're feeling, and that is easier said than done. But I do think if we can get in the habit of saying, Where am I today in terms of my well being? But I'm going to explain that in a second, Um, then I think that we can, Then it's about kind of pointing like okay, what is causing me to, like, be good or not good? And so when I think about

Dr. Tai

what does that mean? I think probably the most complicated question of 2020 was like, How are you?

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

How do you think I am? I

Dr. Tai

didn't answer the question, but not good,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

right? Oh, man.

Dr. Tai

But to be able to put words to it

Dr. Tai

or something, a rating to it is

Dr. Tai

actually really important, and it actually helps us communicate better. Right? And so one of the things that I've been doing is actually provided helping people with language in both, like their personal life and even in a corporate space. So how do you talk to your manager about not doing well? And I like to use a simple 1 to 10 rating scale and I'll just say briefly. So like a 10.

Dr. Tai

Do you think about wellness as your overall well being, as in how

Dr. Tai

protected do you feel against the stressors in your life?

Dr. Tai

So as a black person, we need a certain level of protection like, of course, surrounding us to be able to deal with the daily things that come at you every day, right? Like your kid's gonna act up. Partners don't act up person at work that you can't stand going to act up like all of these things are gonna happen. It might be raining like, but you need a certain level of to be able to

Dr. Tai

interact with the day, right? And so when I think about think about it as this ball of energy that you carry inside of you. And so when that ball is out of 10 and it is glowing bright and shining, you are your best self, so you can conquer the world. Your business is on fire. You thinking of new ideas, You're supporting the movement. You know, you're doing everything and you're using your gifts. You have full access to your gifts and talents, right? That's great. When you're at a seven, that's like,

Dr. Tai

I mean, I'm okay, but I probably you know, I'm not gonna cook dinner tonight, but like, I will order from doordash.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Yep.

Dr. Tai

I'm gonna have a glass of warm mine, and then I'll be ready for the next day. You know, like you can you can do something and recover you all right. Out of five. I like to call five. Everybody got one more. Oh, yes. Sometimes

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

I just got one more. I just go into my room and close the door.

Dr. Tai

because

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

no, you're not even gonna get a chance to do the one

Dr. Tai

more like, you know what? I'm here. But seriously, like one more or somebody says something, it's over. And then at a three, that is, that is actually when you're experiencing pain. So this is when you literally are having a hard time interacting. You might be feeling you might be crying very angry, whatever emotion that comes up. But you're feeling very intensely. You're probably having a hard time getting out of bed. You might have called out of work. Might not have because you know how folks to be going anyway. But that is like a level of pain and distress, and then all the way down to a one is like questioning the will to live, right, Like, none of this is one of that. This matter is like, I can't get up in the morning. I have nothing. If I take one step outside, I will be scorched and burned by the sun,

Dr. Tai

right? And so when I asked, folks like where are like, How do you feel? And I think one good things to check in with yourself and say, Where are you on a 1 to 10,

Dr. Tai

right? And if you're like that, answer helps you figure out how to interact with your day.

Dr. Tai

Right? And so if you're out of five, like, what does that mean, Right, Like knowing being intentionally saying I'm out of five? Is that the day you should go into the contentious meeting at work and and, you know, and get into a debate with somebody about something

Dr. Tai

right? It's not about them. It's about You have to protect yourself. So out of like

Dr. Tai

100% top priority should be protecting your mental health and your well being. And when you know where you are, you that you can't control what the environment will do to you, right? But you can be intentional about how you

Dr. Tai

intentionally use your energy and what situations you put yourself in so that you can preserve yourself. And then I say, anytime you're below a seven, your goal is to do things that bring you moments of joy to help you boost

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

yourself back up.

Dr. Tai

Right? And so that's kind of how I think about it like it is. It's like today's a five like I got to be doing some stuff today, right? I need to be doing my happy things, and I Really I think you make a long list. Like, what are the things that make me happy, right? And just start doing them, and still until you start feeling better, right? And I say that if

Dr. Tai

you spend a two week span of time

Dr. Tai

and actually doing things so like, some people don't actually do anything, and they just didn't in paying for that time, right? But if you are actually trying and you have no improvement in two weeks, that's when you need to connect with the therapist. And that is a sign that, like, Okay, like something else like this is when you need some support.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Okay. Okay. I love that you've given us a tool and a mechanism that we can use to check in with ourselves to see.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Why am I doing X? I Am I driving myself to work so hard? Because I really don't have any other tools to cope. And I think you've given us a whole framework to use their because these are times where we actually need them. So, Dr Tai, you've given us so much to think about today. And I know this is an episode people are gonna listen to over and over again.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

But if anyone out there feels like I could really use some prolonged nearness to Dr Tai because I need to see her every week, how can they make that happen? Where can we find you?

Dr. Tai

Yeah, absolutely. So online. The black girl, dr dot com. So the website we have because we have a team of black women psychologist I work in the practice as well. As you know, I'm running the business to offer therapy. We're actually getting ready to launch a group wellness coaching program.

Dr. Tai

That might be something folks are interested in that want to actually have accountability for finding joy every day and having strategies and some support around. That was also on Facebook and Instagram at the black Girl Doctor. So very simple, you folks, And also feel free to dm me or shooting

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Perfect. Thank you so much, Doctor. Tai. I really appreciate all the knowledge you shared with us

Dr. Tai

today.

Dr. Tai

Thank you so much for having me. And

Dr. Tai

I'm wishing you wellness every single day. Thank

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

you.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Hi, Off-Scripters. I'm so glad you made it to the end of this episode. If you enjoy listening to our show, please pay forward by sharing us with your network. Between episodes you can find me on Instagram are handle is at She's Off Script, or you can catch up on past episodes at She's Off Script dot com. See you on the next one.

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I'm Serwaa, your new business strategist.

I’m a digital business strategy expert, headstrong high achiever, mom of two girls and wife to a strapping African man.

Embracing these facets of my life has been the key to breaking through my plateaus!

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