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BoldJourney on Self Care

Bold Journey Magazine September 15, 2023

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Kristin Ardor a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Kristin, we are so happy that our community is going to have a chance to learn more about you, your story and hopefully even take in some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Let’s start with self-care – what do you do for self-care and has it had any impact on your effectiveness? This is a great question! Growing up, self-care was not something that was discussed in my household at all. I don’t think I even HEARD the word self-care until after I was 18. Now that I am older, I know just how important self-care actually is.

Every week I make a column in my written agenda book (yes, I’m old school) with 3 different categories: 1) Self-care 2) For Fun 3) Progress

The reason I put Self-Care and For Fun first is because I know that if I don’t, I will go all week without doing anything for myself or just-for-fun. The “Self-Care” category is specifically things that I do for myself, by myself. This includes anything that I categorize as a form of pampering and it includes nails, massages, facial treatments etc. Under the “For Fun” category, I include any plans that I have with friends such as coffee dates or dinner plans. Finally, under “Progress” I list all the things that I am working on that progresses me towards a long-term goal. This is usually the longest list and it includes how many times I want to go to the gym this week, how many days I want to study/read, any official events that I am hosting/partaking in etc.

Since doing this, I actually have made time in my schedule to be intentional about my self-care time and what it has done for both my mental health and productivity is astounding. I am so much more aware of myself, my time and I am happier overall.

Appreciate the insights and wisdom. Before we dig deeper and ask you about the skills that matter and more, maybe you can tell our readers about yourself? I am the founder of a talent agency called Influencer Union. The company was started in 2020, and it was originally named with the idea of there needing to be a union for freelance creators and talents in the industry. Although the company ultimately did not choose to unionize, we still pride ourselves on being a safe community for creators! Today, IU mostly focuses on the livestreaming industry, however we have done work in the brand-side of things. Our talents range from DJ’s to musicians to gamers, many of which do still perform regularly in their local area.

Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these? The three most impactful skills, qualities, or areas of knowledge in my journey would be: 1) Communication skills. I graduated with a psychology minor, and to this day I am interested in modern psychology articles. It is so important to understand how human psychology works in order to communicate better. If you only study yourself and only deal with those around you that are like you, you will never grow as an individual and your company will stagnate.

2) Presentation skills. Every time I get the opportunity to present, I take it. All of life is presenting something to others. Even if you are behind the computer, what you create is being presented to someone else. When you look at it like that, why wouldn’t you want to master the art of presentation?

3) Discipline through exercise and diet. I cannot stress this one enough- what you do to your body and put into your body, affects your mind and thoughts. There is so much evidence out there that shows how exercise helps balance hormones, reduces stress and connects neurons. If we cannot find at least 30mins to 1 hour to put aside to better ourselves in this way several times per week, we need to re-prioritize.

Before we go, any advice you can share with people who are feeling overwhelmed? When I am overwhelmed, I take a step back and go back to the basics. Becoming overwhelmed is usually a process; it is not usually a thing where one day I wake up and I am suddenly so stressed that I feel that I can’t accomplish anything. Usually being overwhelmed comes when I skip my workouts, I start binge-eating and I set my calendar aside. It is when I stop being intentional with my time and actions, that anxiety and that feeling overcomes me.

The best advice I can give to someone else is to make a list. List out all the things you absolutely need to accomplish, big picture. What do you need to do this week? What events are there? What deadlines are there? Who do you 100% absolutely need to talk to get these things done?

Once you make that list, analyze your day. Where are you actually spending your time? Perhaps you’re watching Netflix for an hour too long instead of working a little bit on your project each day so that you’re not crunched at deadline. Maybe you’re getting one too many coffees before work during the week so you aren’t reaching your budget goals. Perhaps Instagram/Facebook has gotten a hold of you for too long and you’re scrolling too much. Whatever it is, you’ll find it if you analyze.

Once you know what is leading to procrastination and in-action, you can change it. Just remember to leave some time during the week for self-care and fun. COPYRIGHT © 2023 Bold Journey. All rights reserved.

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