We’re passionate about the world of work, and how we can make it better. To help satisfy our curiosity, we’ve launched an interview series where we pick the brains of experienced leaders, business owners, managers, and individual contributors to get their thoughts on how we can collectively build better workplaces.
We’d love to get to know you a bit better, tell us a bit about your backstory.
Growing up in Vancouver, Canada allowed me to experience a diverse culture throughout my youth that allowed me to experience different modalities of medicine which ultimately helped me choose a career path.
I was studyingPharmacy and halfway through my degree I made a shift and decided to complete my studies as Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) instead.
While taking my undergraduate degree at University of British Columbia I met my husband. We have two beautiful boys, three, if you count him, and our household is fun and full of laughter.
I started Unplug Hour Wellness while I was going through my own self healing journey. I wanted to create a space where individuals felt heard and supported. This included both the patients and practitioners, as I believe in order to provide the best care you need to be operating from an optimal state yourself.
If we were to ask a friend to describe your personality to us, what would they say?
They would say that I am kind, caring and driven. I believe it is a good combination that has allowed me to see success in challenges that may arise.
Thinking back to your career journey, what’s an interesting story that stands out?
One story that stands out for me is how the vision of our clinic was created. I was with one of my patients who was an executive lawyer that had been trying to conceive for many years, but, due to her high demanding job and lack of self care, her body was struggling.
I remember talking with her about how the clinic space is a place where she can relax her mind and let go of her everyday stressors. She said to me, “It's so nice to be able to come here and unplug”. The whole concept of unplugging for an hour to allow yourself to connect with what is going on in your body became a vision for our clinic in this fast paced world that we live in.
What’s the most impactful lesson you've learned over your career thus far?
It’s a small world. While the city you live in may be large, once you start sitting down and connecting with people you will start to see the layers of connections which is why you always want to put your best foot forward.
Thanks for giving us some insight into who you are! Let’s jump into things. When you hear the phrase “build a better world of work”, what comes to mind?
Looking at perspectives from the other person's view. It is easy to get caught up in only seeing the story from your side or one perspective, but if you take the time to look at others' stand points, it will not only help you get a better understanding of the challenge at hand, it will also help you close any differences that are dividing you.
For you, what’s the main blocker you see as standing in the way of building a better world of work?
People worry too much about what other other people think of them.
I see it in my practice all the time, a patient is talking about how they are burnt out, stressed out, and have a number of health issues that are taking the back seat.
When I ask them what is causing this, the typical answer is “I am so busy at work”. Am I saying that work is bad, no, not at all. People need to feel like they are accomplishing goals and working on something of importance.
When someone is facing burnout that is impacting their mental and physical health, this is when they need to stake a step back and say "Do I really need to attend this meeting, or am I doing this to show other people how hard I am working?".
What’s one thing within our control that we can practically do to build a better world of work today? And, how do you recommend going about it?
Take time to check in with yourself and make sure you’re feeling good, both physically and mentally, because if you are feeling good then that positive energy will spread.
The easiest and most simple way to do this is to take 5 minutes and check in with yourself at some point during the day.
Have you heard someone say, “Where has the day gone?”. People can be running on autopilot, cruising from one task to the next and they don’t even realize how their body is feeling throughout the day.
You need to take time and check in and, while this is an easy thing to do, it is even easier not to do. I recommend time blocking 5 minutes in your calendar each and every day until you make it a routine. I have done this and it has made a world of a difference.
Here is a 5 minute guided meditation via YouTube that can help you get started.
Can you share one thing you’ve experienced, seen, or read about that is leading us towards a better world of work?
The pandemic has brought a lot more awareness to people's mental health and overall health. I highly recommend reading the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
It’s a deep dive into learning more about mindfulness, hearing about someone else's journey, and some easy ways to start practicing mindfulness in your daily routine.
I’m curious, thinking about building a better world of work, is there a company and/or leader who stands out to you as someone we should follow? If so, what are they up to?
I think there are more companies recognizing the importance of mental health to have a better and more productive work environment with less turn over. However, this is something that can definitely be improved on by employers as there are many people still suffering silently.
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