Donna: This episode of the podcast is for moms in business who are feeling the stress of juggling, all the things. I really wanted to open up a conversation to help you to understand how the brain and the nervous system works when it comes to stress and the effect that it has on our body and our mind. And I also wanted to open up the conversation about mum guilt and the person who instantly came into my head to share her wisdom in this area was Dr. Ali Young .
Dr. Ali Young is a chiropractor on a mission to help moms race it and reclaim their health and rediscover their joy and sense of self. Combining her love of all things, neurology, research, stress, and chiropractic with her personal motherhood journey, Ali has created an online community, a resource hub and courses for working mothers, the world over and for some historical context, Allie and I have known each other for a while now, connecting in a number of different ways, over the years. We first connected when her daughter joined a dance class with me about five years ago. And I invited her to present to my team at a training retreat way back in 2018, because a few of my team members were experiencing difficulty managing their overwhelm and stress. And I then went on to become a client of Ali's as she is now, my chiropractor. And now we're actually in the same mastermind business group too, which is really fun. And we both really passionate about helping others and in particular mums. So it's easy to see why Ali was the natural choice for my podcast guests today.
As a mom and business owner, myself, making time to create fresh new creative social media content is so time consuming.
So my gift to you this year is 25 Christmas Canva templates that you can download for free and personalized to your social media content in December. To get my gift to you, go to www.donnahann.com/sillyseason.
Hi, lovely Ali, great to have you in the She's In Business Podcast
So I usually start the podcast by asking my guests to share their business journey, because I'm super curious, you know that, and I love learning about how successful women in business became so successful. So can you tell us how your business journey started and where you are now?
Ali: Okay. Sure. So I went to uni and studied chiropractic which is a five-year degree.
And when I was halfway through my final year, I got sorta head hunted, I guess, to move to Perth, to take over an existing patient base from someone that's called an associate position. And so that guy gave me, as a boss, some really solid concepts around building the business to keep it financial, but not a huge amount of other information.
And then after three years working for him, I became a business partner with my best friend in a practice that she'd been running for three years and built my business from the ground up in a new location. So it was a 30 minute drive away and it was immediately profitable, I think, or luckily then there weren't as many chiros there as there are now.
And I was playing lots of sports. I had the community connections that really helped with that. And, um, it went really well and I was there for eight years. And within that time, there were definitely times where I overextended myself because I had probably a bad body dysmorphia that I currently have where I think I'm slimmer than I am.
But in a financial perspective,
Donna: Or like, I always think I'm younger than I am. You go "hey I'm only 20" but I don't feel like I'm 40
Ali: I was talking about this with a beautiful woman this morning. She's in her mid forties and I'm in my early forties. And she's like, I think I'm categorized as late forties now. I'm like, not , we can't go there ..We're going to hold onto it.
But I was very lucky. I think that I had this business that was growing really well. And my mom came to visit me when I was 25. So I think I was still working for someone else at this point in time. And she was like, You got to stop drinking so much champagne and buying so many shoes and you need to buy a house.
And I was like, oh, and the thought hadn't even crossed my mind, like the thought of owning a house. I was just having a fat old time renting in a great place. Anyway, I didn't like not enough savings for a home deposit. This was yeah, back 2004, because on my 25th birthday inspected the house, the unit that I bought.
And because I hadn't had a savings history, like I was fortunate. I could save the deposit within two months. It wasn't long enough for them to believe that I could get a loan. So I had to go to a broker. And then you know, it was crazy mortgage insurance, all that jazz. And that was fun. And I moved in there and then started my own business.
And that went really well. And I was like, okay, well, I'm going to buy a bigger house, but I want to keep this one.
But no one ever sat down and explained to me about all of, quite all the costs. So there were definitely some moments in time where I was like, oh, it's a bit tight this month than I expected it to be.
And I did all this without significant others in my life. Like I just really wanted to do that. And then I did eventually get married. And I sold my business when I got married to my business partner, because we were moving overseas and made at the time in the chiropractic circles, it was like 30% of growth, gross profits sort of stuff. Average over the last three years was how you figured out.
So I got some money, which was great. So one of my houses kept one of the other ones and moved away and completely stopped working in a business model for a couple of years and hated it. Absolutely hated it. I really didn't realize how much I thrive.
So we moved back to Australia and I opened just a tiny little practice working out of the back room where I was living and did that, I was pregnant, had a baby and then dove into a shop front and was there for eight months. And then we moved overseas again. So literally shut it up. And the owner of the building was like, you pay me not very much money and you can keep this and I'll just hold it for you till you get back. If you can guarantee that you're going to come back, I was like, yep. We're coming back. Yeah. So two years later it reopened again and now it's been there for four and a half. Nearly five years.
Donna: Yeah. Wow. And it's such a great little space because I've been, I come to you as my chiropractor and it's a great space and you've just expanded your team, which is exciting.
Ali: Yeah. So it took me a while. It took me 12 months to get an associate on. So my practice in Perth just to expand on that. It was not just the two of us. We always had another associate chiropractor as well, and a team of three to five admin support staff.
And so we were open. It was an old house. Lots of adjusting or treatment spaces and a huge car park. Like it was beautifully set up and then to go into from a 250 square meter space to, I think my shopfront. 70 square meters, 60 starting something like that was a lot of mental navigation around how that could work, but it's been really good because regional less overheads. And that's definitely been a consideration as well.
Donna: Yeah, that's awesome. And one of the reasons that I wanted to start the She's In Business podcast is not just to help women in business with the tools and strategies, which I share all the time and get different guests on, and we talk about that, but also to avoid burnout and get feeling of being, supported in not feeling like they're alone, because it can, have you ever had those moments where you feel quite lonely in business, especially when you're faced with challenges that you can't necessarily maybe talk to your team about or talk to friends about because they don't quite get it.
And that can be really tough. So are you happy to share with us what has been one of the biggest challenges or experiences that has kind of rocked your world or put you on the back foot, but then has become, the rich generous learning experience that now, you know what I'm talking about, those experiences that you type the lessons, and then you're like, wow, I'm so grateful.
Even though it was a shit time when it was happening, I'm really grateful for it. Now, do you have any of those?
Ali: I've been pretty lucky in my business journey that I have always been surrounded by strong business women. Who've forged a path in the same field as me, like two of my best friends have stay at home dads and they are the sole breadwinners, which is really unusual, I think.
And they don't work lot either, like they do 20 hours a week. But for me, I think the hardest thing was trying to figure out how I could make the business model that I liked. Work in a completely different demographic setting to where I'd seen it work before. So I had to design a practice myself. I had no one around me that could help me with that because, and I had a new, literally I was designing it with a 6 week old.
So my brain wasn't in the space that it ideally would have been. So, yeah, I had to design a space, get it, set up, get all of the equipment that I needed and do all of that whilst FaceTiming these girls in Perth. And my husband is super understanding, but he doesn't work in the environment. Like he works on oil rigs, right? So he doesn't get that concept of space and flow and energy and that kind of thing, which is really important with what I do. And yeah. So. I did that, and that was really hard. And then it went gangbusters and then I had no support staff. So then trying to train someone beautiful, and they're still with me now. Literally she came on the first day and it was all go, this is the phone, this is the computer system, here's 10 minutes on how it works. Good luck. I'll see you at the end. And I'm the complete opposite of any training I've ever done in my whole career. And we sank and swam together, but it was definitely challenging because I had an expectation mentally of what that would look like. And she had her mental expectation of what that would look like and they generally fit, but you know, sometimes they are different as well.
Donna: So it is amazing when you find your work wife, I reckon when you find someone that works alongside you and you can almost have conversations without having conversations and you're on the same wave length.
And when one of you is sinking, the other one picks you up and holds you up so you can get a breath of air. And it's just such a valuable partnership to have. And if you've got someone like that working with you and your business. It's really,
Ali: And the fact that in the last 18 months, I've launched my online business in helping working moms. And then I'm taking a month off in December out of my practice because now I've got an associate Chiro working with me, which is brilliant. But if I didn't have Anna keeping all of that happening, there's no way I'd be able to do all of that. Yeah.
Donna: Worth their weight in gold. Absolutely. So the other thing, I want to talk about stress and the mother load of stuff that we carry around with us. Yes, so many! As working moms, running a business, juggling a family, there's so much, I know that we could dig into about this, cause we're both passionate around this area. So also the other thing that I want to talk about with you is, our brain and our nervous system, which is totally your bag as a chiropractor, but you're not just a chiro, you know, you have this beautiful holistic way of treating people and your knowledge of the nervous system. And I'm really fascinated by it. I'd love for you to talk to us about the brain and the nervous system, how they work and where stress comes from and how it affects our body and our mindset.
Ali: Yeah, for sure.
So the body is a really amazing thing, and we're never going to understand exactly how it works all the time.
But what we do know is that we are designed to have stress. Our body is designed to have elements of stress that happened, at any given period of time. And it's designed to have elements of calm at any given time, and it can kind of look a bit like your speedometer in your car, or maybe even your temperature thing.
What's better, I guess, is where it goes from cold to warm, to cold, to warm, so calm to stress, calm stress. And when we skew ourselves more in one direction, and generally it's the stress mode for working moms. We overheat our bodies. We overheat our brains. We actually overheat full stop, but it changes the way that our neurology responds.
So can you imagine if you're walking down on the beach and in a herd of lions, what are they called?
What's a ahead of lions called? Pride, a pride of lions, a pride!
A pride of lions was running towards us. And we had a school of sharks in the ocean and we had flesh-eating monkeys in the trees. Right. So crazy anyway.
And what about those Crow things? And anyway, you get the picture. There's lots of things coming towards us! Vultures! and we would go into a stress response. So what that feels like is our heart rate increases, our oxygen becomes really shallow. So we chest breath because they're trying to oxidate everything.
Our palms and feet will sweat. Our muscles, our big running away muscles enagage. So this is really interesting for working moms, our shoulders, lockout traps beside our neck. Our butt muscles, our lower back muscles, our legs, and our carves will all turn on - ready to run away really fast. And that's okay if you've got all those things coming at you, but what's not okay is if your brain is perceiving what's going on in your environment as stressful all the time.
And I'd like to say that the last 18 months have completely skewed the majority, of stress receptors in a lot of us because we're living in this state of uncertainty, which is a non-stressor for our system, because we don't know, are we going to get locked down? Do we have to do more testing? Am I ever going to see my family again? So many elements that fall into it, that our stressor meter is skewed sharply towards constantly being stressed. So as a working mum, I like to look at it as a bit like a bucket. So we have a bucket and we've got the normal stress that goes in. And then we have a plug down the bottom. We do the things that calm us down and pull the plug - gets out of our system. We put the plug back in. And then a little bit more stress comes up.
What's been happening is that the stress load has increased so much that we can pull our plug out for a little while, but we're not giving ourselves enough of a chance to completely drain the bucket out.
So it's getting fuller and fuller and fuller until one tiny thing flips us out over the thing. So it might be that your kids spills a glass of water on the floor, which would normally be, oh, no worries. Just get some paper towel, clean it up. Could come up. Why did you do that. You're so stupid, you know, and you flip into this really angry mum mode, which is like, we've all done it.
Um, it's not great and we feel bulk guilt afterwards, but that's a sign that our stress bucket is overflowing, but physically we get signs as well. My stress is back. I didn't even realize my stress bucket was overflowing last year. And I thought I had the brain tumor or sclerosis. I had all these health challenges and in the end I was like, you need to sort yourself out.
That's I think really, really important is that it can be super insidious and it takes us a big aha moment to realize even when you've got all of my knowledge about how that works to get out of that. So if you're recognizing that in yourself, so the tight shoulders, the racing heart rate, the can't fall asleep easily, or the waking between two and fro in the morning.
The overriding to keep yourself awake through driving off caffeine all the time, all those sorts of things. Then we know that you're probably functioning in a highest stress mode and going towards what's commonly referred to as burnout. So there are really simple things. One of the best things you can do is hack your Vegas and your Vegas is this beautiful nerve. It's got a bit of airplay in the last 12 months. And it is our gut brain connection and it really responds of deep, slow, full breath, mindful eating, cold water, immersion, chanting, singing. And just be still again, and that's a simple way for us as working moms to get that.
And it doesn't have to take half an hour a day or an hour, a day can be five minutes a day. It's the repetitiveness of giving your brain in neurology or rest from that. That's really, really important.
Donna: I think what you were talking about before is that sometimes you don't recognize that when you're in it, and that can be the hardest thing.
And it's, if I were like that to like when we're in our menstrual cycle and we're, you know, a little snappier than normal and we don't realize that we're being crabby until we’ve moved through that stage and come to the other side of that a day or two later? You're like, oh, it was a bit of a witch.
Or if you've got a really brave partner who brings it to your attention and then like runs and hides because it is about bringing more awareness. I think I've been practicing that over the last probably 12 months or so about being more aware of myself and my behaviors and that stress bucket and the different stress triggers for me and how that then shows through my body. I'm like, ah, listen, you got to listen to yourself. You got to listen to what your body is telling you. And then pull the plug. Let that go drain out. Yeah. Yeah. But it's not always easy to recognize that.
Ali: And it's coming from like, I'm in a really privileged position where my, both my kids are at school and I've got a husband.
When I say I need to go walk on the beach. He goes, yeah, sure. I'm not single parenting. And I can afford to pay for a babysitter if I really needed to. And I definitely 100% recognize that. But there's little things that you can do at home, even with little kids. I have done over the years that anybody can do, which is really good. And the easiest is breath. The easiest without a shadow of a doubt is a box breathing breast cycle.
Donna: Yeah. I find that really helpful as well. That's my go-to is the box breathing. Yeah.
Ali: I had one of my patients tell me yesterday. That's how she got through her labor. I was like, gosh, I'm so proud of. And she's a busy working mum, like she's an accountant and yeah, her labor went for like three days and she was drug-free except for this.
I'm like, you are a superwoman and she breathed her way through that whole thing. Yeah.
But yes. And for those of you that don't know what that is, it's literally visualizing a box in front of your face and as you go up, the lift it, you breathe in for a count of four, hold that breath in across the top for a count of four, breathe out through your mouth on the right-hand edge.
As you imagine, visualizing going down for count of four and then hold your breath out or pause with it out for count of four. And two rounds of that is life-changing. I've done it at the sink, sitting at traffic lights, lying on my yoga bolster all sorts of times. And it just brings me back to center and allows me to connect back in and sort of go, okay, listen to my body.
Donna: I do it to help me fall asleep too.
Ali: Sometimes Shakti mat for that.
Donna: Yes. Well, I've been hinting to my husband that that's what I want for Christmas. Sometimes I don't realize I’m stressed until I actually stop and lie down. And then I often will listen to a meditation to fall asleep. And, you know, often the meditations will be like, check in with your body. Where are you feeling stress in your body? Where are you holding? And I'm like, oh my God, I'm holding everywhere. And then it's the breathing that relaxes those muscles and allows your body to settle and then drift off to sleep.
Ali: Yeah. And when am I busy working moms will often be getting up in the morning and hopefully moving our bodies or checking our emails quick or something and getting the kids ready for school or daycare or whatever.
And then we go to work and we work. If we work school hours, or if we work longer and then we do the afterschool activities and we get home, we do the dinner and we do the washing and the organizing and get everyone in bed. And then sometimes we get to sit on the couch and Netflix and chill, but sometimes there's stuff that we have to finish.
So our brain is in that constant go mode. On that day, where is the time to flux out of fright flight and back into our calm?
Donna: Yeah. It's interesting that you say that because this weekend just go on as you know, cause you were there, you, we had our dance concert for my dance studio and it went really well. It was a great day.
And that night I was awake for most of the night. Like in and out of sleep, but I was dreaming about the day replaying everything in my head and questioning whether we did this right or that, and my brain was almost like re-imagining the day with different outcomes and different scenarios that hadn't actually happened.
Because I'd come home from the theater after packing it all up and debriefing with the team, walk straight into the house. And my kids were excited to see me and I was helping clean up the kitchen and I just hadn't had that moment for myself to yet to just so my brain just kept playing that whole night.
And it was the next morning that I actually. I stilled myself. Yeah.
Let's talk about mum guilt for a second. Can we do that?
Ali: Oh yeah, sure.
Donna: Yeah. So specifically when it comes to being a mum in business, or as a working mom, that guilt of that feeling and that emotion that really serves nobody when you really break it down and think about it, but we do go through it, right.
That feeling of working sometimes takes you out of the opportunity to be present with the moment with your kids and vice versa. And so it can be a really tricky juggle to be present with your kids or be present with working or running your business without feeling completely drained of energy, because you're putting out so much energy to everybody.
And then at the end of the day we struggle with guilt with all the ‘shoulding’ that we do to ourselves. So I feel like now I've got a pretty healthy mindset around managing mum guilt, and that inner self-talk that real negative, self-talk that horrible inner critic that I have that I talked to her and I work at.
Donna: So I just, it comes up sometimes and I'm just like, I'll stop it. I think it's because my kids are now older that I can see in them where my work ethic has influenced them positively.
Whereas when they were babies, you don't see that yet. You know, it's like, What you invest in your kids as babies, you have to wait for 10 years to actually see it come out. But now a lot, my eldest son is really interested in business, which whatever he ends up doing, he ends up doing. But it's just that life skill that you don't get taught at school that he asks me questions about it.
And he's started a business that sells chicken eggs, that he collects his eggs and sells to people. And, you know, we go through all of that. So, yeah. How, when you work with other women who are working full-time or running a business, in your own experience, let's talk about mum guilt and how we can help people who are listening to manage that.
Ali: Yeah. So it's definitely one of the biggest things that I think is driving the working mum's existence at the moment. And it actually can significantly impact on health because if we are having those guilt messages going internally, all of the time, it does drive us into stress. And so then the stress causes the health implications of stress from that.
And we get this cycle then of all. I have no energy. I can't do all things and the negative self-talk and it just goes around in a big circle. So when I'm looking at it in our program, we strip it back, first of all, by examining value systems. So we want. What's important to you. And we look at it from a before kids framework and a now with kids framework.
So what was important to you before? What were your highest values then? What are your highest values now what's supporting those values to happen and what is really grading against the values. So I always felt bad that my values had joy and fun and success and entrepreneurship and health, right? That's like, and family out what's important to me, but sometimes my value system will shift.
So I'll know that I'm in a really big success. Orientation. So that's really important and family is still important, but sometimes I'm going to let my kids watch a movie whilst I go and finish that newsletter or record a podcast interview or do something like that because it fits that. And that's going to feed back loop into my happy hormones and my happy brain function, which allows me to have more expansion of joy, which allows me to connect better with my kids.
So if we can recognize. What's actually inherently intuitively important to us, then we can sort of figure out what matters. And then like you teach, we do the do dumped delegates. So we go, okay. So within my week, these are the things I'm doing that really fit my values. I'm spending time with my kids. I'm connecting with them there.
This is amazing. And I'm doing this work stuff and that's really amazing. What in here am I doing that's not serving any of my values? Well, let's get rid of that as much as we can. I mean, I hate cleaning. Cleaning is like my worst. Apparently when I was 12 at a fight with my mom and I was like, well, the first thing I'm going to do is hire a cleaner.
And I told him, and I didn't remember that thought, but I literally moved to Perth. And within two months I'd hired a cleaner and I rang, my mum was like, oh my gosh, I've got a cleaner, it's the best thing ever. And she just laughed and laughed and laughed at me. I'm like, why are you laughing? She's like, when you were 12, you told me you were going to do that.
And I've nearly, always, there's been times where I haven't, but I've tried to keep that up because I know that that's not my ballgame. I'm really bad at it. And, and it's a waste of my time. I'd rather be kicking the soccer ball or walking on the beach with the kids or helping out at school or doing something like that or working in and on my business.
And there's other things as well. Like when we have busy periods in our life, I will often use hello, fresh to keep me so that I fit my health model, which is really important. Like I need my family to be healthy. It's really important for them and for me, but sometimes the concept of thinking all the time about that is really hard.
So I know. Okay. I'll just go through HelloFresh. She's four weeks worth of things, get them delivered and then that'll do me and I'll be through that little funk of should. And I'll be able to get back into regular programming again, stuff like that.
So that's sort of where we go. And then the next part of that is looking at how society has driven you to shape into mum guilt.
So there's a concept called the perfect mother myths, where we painted a picture intergenerationally. And I was talking to someone this morning and she was saying that it's been intrinsically put into our subconscious for millennia. That's how long it's been happening for him. Like that is phenomenal, but also not surprising that the men are the providers and they go and do the hunting and they do that.
And the women other than nurturing support gathers. And when we shift those roles around or we try to create parity within the house, that's a really hard thing to do and that the perfect mother meant is that, well, you shouldn't need or want to work because they should be looking after you. You should just be very happy being at home with the children all the time.
And I can categorically say, I'm my happiest with my children when I'm really busy in my workplace.
And I really feel both of those buckets up and not everyone is like that, but I'm imagining the women that listen to your podcast fit that mold too.
Donna: Yeah, I would say so. Yeah. I mean, I have definitely over the years at different points gone, I'm just going to be a stay at home mom, like yeah. And I love the concept of it. It sounds amazing. I'm going to do it and be really grateful for the fact that I get to do it. And I'm lucky enough to have children, all of that stuff. And then I'm doing it and it's like, Hey, for the first couple of months. And then after that I'm itchy. And what would, you know, I've started a business, you know, like.
Ali: I get itchy palms of forms, which is this tiny little bone that's in the family arm where I'm like, oh, I just need to adjust. Now, it's I need to write a newsletter. We'll chat on Instagram live. But yes. And so I think it's the joining together of values with an understanding of how society is maybe driving you towards wanting something that doesn't fit with those values that can really help to get rid of mum guilt.
I open an honest conversation, like having a connection with other moms who work as well, so that you can go, oh, I've got a lot on, and I'm finding that really hard is that normal. And they go, yeah, look, I'll go through seasons in my business life and my family life, which are really hard to. And so riding that wave is a normal part of the experience of our life.
Donna: I do that as well. I think the other really important thing that I found really impactful in my life, is explaining that to my husband is saying, because like what you just explained, it's been this social conditioning and this expectation that has been for so so many years, that's just, and to him as well, like he comes from a very traditional family living on the land and it's very much like the provider is the male and the support is, you know, the mum.
He's very supportive of what I do, but there was a period of time there where he's like, but I provide enough for us. Like, you don't have to do this stuff. You don't have to feel stressed in your work or you don't have to be juggling the kids. You can just be, stay at home if you want. Yes. That's beautiful.
And thank you so much. I appreciate that, you provide so well for us. But I actually feel that, that doesn't fill my cup and explaining that to him in a way that he understand, I understand it, that kind of speak English. So if you did understand me like that was lucky, but you get what I'm saying. Like once we really talked that out and he understood that that was something that was a driver, he made that the success that the putting my brain to work in a different way.
Hey, it made more sense to him. And he understood that in supporting me. I don't need him to say, I can provide for you. You don't have to do this stuff anymore. The support is actually saying, I love that you're doing what you love and let me help you do more of that.
Ali: Yeah, absolutely.
Donna: That was a big game changer for our relationship
Ali: And the recognition that you're not doing it in spite of them, but you want to do it with them.
Donna: Yeah. Yeah. And you're not trying to escape the family by doing what you love. It's just part of you as a person. And it always has been, like you were saying, what, what did you value before having kids? And what do you value now having a family, but what you valued before having children can still be there.
You're still that person. We just now wear a different hat sometimes, but it's acknowledging that, that at our core of who we were before we had children, that's still valid and we can still have the things that light us up. Yeah, absolutely. Let's talk about Christmas and the silly season because we're nearly there.
Like it is. Oh my goodness. And family dynamics to be so highly emotionally charged at this time of the year.
Ali: And then now I've found some quotes on this from relationships Australia on statistics of Christmas stress and, it is phenomenally unsurprising to me about the amount of increase in stress. Did you know that Christmas is classed as one of the six, most stressful events of your life? We'd like divorce, separation, moving house and all that kind of stuff.
Donna: I didn't an and we have to do it every year. Wow.
Ali: And we do it every year. And it also that 85% of people have a lot of stress around what to buy. And 65% of people don't enjoy going to the shops. They like actually dreaded and yes, crazy town.
Donna: Do you know? On that point last year, I actually, the first time made myself a Christmas spreadsheet, which I know sounds really nerdy, but, but in the past I had bought stuff. On randomly throughout the year, whatever. And then you get to like Christmas Eve when you're wrapping your presence. Cause that's usually me and I go, oh, I've got all this for one child and not equally over here.
And then what did I get from that? Mason, my nephew and all of that, whereas I did a spreadsheet and then I could keep track of what I bought for everybody. And it took so much stress out of it. In what you were saying before in that going to the shops and shopping. I did a lot of online shopping last year, which was fantastic, but this year it's a little different.
Yeah, but also like Australia post is saying like, get your orders in soon because we can't guarantee like deliveries will happen on time. And so that has actually triggered a little bit more stressing me. Cause I don't think I've started the process early enough this year.
Ali: I have suddenly realized also, so I'm going away.
I've got this week and next week left and work. I think. We'll be released. I will be on holidays in Tasmania and I'm doing a three week camp event, adventure around Tazzy. And then I know so excited and then going to Victoria to see my family for Christmas. So when I go down there for Christmas, I actually purchase everything online and just get it sent to my mum.
And she, organizers at all, like as in she puts it in a cupboard and doesn't open anything. She doesn't know who it's for. And I find that really not stressful at all, because I have a vague idea in my brain of what's in there and they live in a big enough town that I can check it all on the 23rd and go and deal with it on the 24th, if I need an extra pair of socks for someone which is really good.
But I think the things that we forget about it, Christmas time is that, stress still can creep up on us and we can get to Christmas day. And if it's like work being in a health practitioner role, we often find people are breaking down in inverted commas at this time of year because they're putting themselves under so much pressure to do all the Christmas parties to get all the year's work finished, to be everything to their Christmas, to bring the magic of Christmas into the environment for their kids, so that they get those beautiful memories and it, and it's all good stuff.
But we need to remember that we need to prioritize somehow somewhere, some time for ourselves as well. And doing that through a simple movement, doing that through meditation, doing that through some breath, work, doing that through finding the silly, fun, silly in the silly season, because the more that we embrace the crazy joy and do things that make our heart light up the better it is like I've already decided on going through school pickup on the session and Christmas carols blaring.
I'm going to be that parent it's the school concert tonight. All the kids are going to be excited. I think that I'm going to just let rock that out and it's fully silly and I'm here for it. And it's bringing that sort of crazy in, I think, which helps to bring a lot in as to which can be a really lot time.
Donna: I have a Rudolf suit, if you ever want to borrow. I'm not even kidding. It's a full light character suit that I used for the dance studio. And every year we have a sausage sizzle data at one of the parks and I dress up in it, but it is hot. Like, yeah, unfortunately it would be better to probably have Easter bunny or something like that.
Cause it would be easier to wear. I don't want to borrow my Rudolph suit. You can totally, that sounds great.
Ali: Yeah. Awesome. Love it. We do things a little bit differently. Like I grew up in a family which was really traditional. So it was like you cook on the morning and you have a hot Christmas lunch and you do all that kind of stuff.
And the older I'm getting in, the more that it becomes mine and my family's Christmas and less of meeting others, expectations of what they are thinking Christmas should be. It's a cook the day before or two days before, and it's just literally pull it out and I'll do like a three hour Weber, lamb, something like that, which takes no time whatsoever.
And then I've got Christmas to spend in the morning with my kids, playing with the stuff and enjoying it rather than running around. Took with her head cut off trying to make it.
Donna: Yeah, we're the same. My parents immigrated from England when I was six. So we went through that stage of like full Christmas dinners, like, and you'd be sitting there eating and sweating.
It just wasn't enjoyable. And I know that the we've had like different choice families still quite traditional in the way that they do their Christmas with rice and stuff like that. But there was one year there where all the kids in the family were quite little. And so we're all like staying in the house because he's of a family of four kids.
And so in the house, we were basically hot bedding the kids. So for those of you who are listening and don't know what that term means, it's kind of a firefighter term, we're in accommodation. If you work on the opposite shift of another shift worker, one, one person wakes up and goes to work. The other person on the opposite shift, changes the shakes and goes to bed in the same sort of in the same room, basically.
Yeah. So it's this hot bedding term and that's basically it's gross. Right. But that's what we were doing with kids that Christmas he's like, why keep would wake up? And then it would be the. 10 for the next kid to go down for a slate. Cause it was like they were all having men naps and what not. And we were also at the dinner table that you'd start eating and then someone would be like, oh, that's my kid.
And they'd get up and go. And so it was just this like chaotic, it was so chaotic, but that was just a season of life that we were in because our kids were all around that same age. But you've just got to strip back the expectations. I think of Christmas and communicate and let the other people in the family perhaps know that the idea of that perfect Christmas is probably not going to happen this year because of whatever.
Ali: I started the elf tradition in that house, which I really love. And he doesn't move every day. He gets stuck and obviously the kids might be naughty. He doesn't move or whatever, but this year, because we're going away, I've decided that he's going to send the letter and not come. I'm really excited for that because it's just one less thing to try and navigate, but we're going to try and do advent calendars or something to keep that spirit of Christmas while we're away, because I think that's going to be really important and we'll definitely be taking our Christmas t-shirts with us as well.
Donna: Maybe you should put your else inside a jar and put the lid on it and send a photo. I'm made locked up. I haven't been a good elf.
Ali: So my kids are angels that would never work. Oh, the naughty naughty. Love it. Love it. Yeah. I think. Having clear expectations between you and your partner as well as really important at Christmas time, because how they had their Christmas growing up might be really different to how you had your Christmas growing up as well.
And so you go in with your lens and they come in with their lens and that can be really stressful too. So having that conversation early on is all, whenever is really important. And think about what you want your day to look like.
Donna: I think that's a really, really good thing. Well, it's been a lovely chat.
We've talked about the nervous system in our brain. We've talked about where stress comes from and how to manage that and mom guilt and Christmas time. So I think we've covered heaps today. Ali, awesome. Now, oh, before we go, I want people to know about, your online program that you've started and you've got a special book coming out later as well.
So I started an online program under the guise of called unfuck motherhood, which is slightly rebranded to Dr. Alli Young now.
And it is for busy moms who feel that they've lost their health, their selves, their vitality, and about being able to reclaim that so that they can burn bright, butout..
And so we do three times a year. I opened the doors to my six week signature program where they come in and they do that online videos and they get work to do, and we have a weekly live coaching call with me where we can just knuckle down and really work through it together. And at the end, you come out with a motherhood revival plan where you're like, yeah, okay, I've got this and I'm going to do it, which is awesome.
In January, I've got my kickstart 2022 for best year program. And that's a story hour. And January the 12th, where I'll be going through a process of helping people figure out what's important to them and how to make that happen, which is going to be really great.
Donna: That's awesome. Yeah.
Ali: And I got to the book next year..
Donna: you going to tell us about that now? Do we have to wait,
Ali: I'll tell you about that later. It's about it's for working moms specifically, and it's about overcoming burnout and stress. So it's going to give you, it's going to be great. It's going to be very much ahow to..
Donna: Well, when that comes out, I'll definitely be sharing it with my audience because I think that that everyone can learn from, from that.
Absolutely. Awesome. Well, thanks. I will put your handles for your socials and your website in the show notes. If anyone's interested in checking out Allie and getting to know her a little bit more, but thanks for being on the podcast today, it's been awesome.
Ali: Thanks for having me.
Donna: Oh, and don't forget your Christmas gift from me is waiting for you.
25 Christmas Canva templates that you can download for free and personalize for your social media content in December, saving you time and stress to get those go to donnahann.com/sillyseason.