Emily Thompson 0:00
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Emily Thompson 0:39
Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host Emily Thompson and in this episode, I'm joined by my friend Amy Kuretsky to talk about prioritizing and taking care of your health care as an entrepreneur. You can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
Emily Thompson 1:10
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Emily Thompson 1:57
Amy Kuretksy is a breathwork facilitator and business coach working on Dakota and Anishinaabe ancestral land. Her work is focused on helping successful businesses tap into their intuition, trust themselves more and do business differently so they can fall back in love with their work. She uses the breath as a tool for healing and business building and has led online and in person breathwork groups all over the world. In 2020, she organized with a group of other breathwork facilitators for more anti oppression and trauma informed training as part of the breathwork for the people collective. Along with her coaching business, she also has a background in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and co-owns constellation acupuncture and healing arts and healing space in Northeast Minneapolis. Amy has previously been on the show in episodes number 77 and 271. Hi, Amy, welcome back to Being Boss.
Amy Kuretsky 2:58
Hi, Emily. It's good to be here.
Emily Thompson 3:00
It's good to see your smiling face.
Amy Kuretsky 3:03
I know I love it. It's been a while and so it feels really nice to see you.
Emily Thompson 3:07
Yeah. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. I usually what I'm bringing so I always do this. Anytime I'm bringing someone back on I go back and see when the last time I talked to you was and I cannot believe it was October of 2021.
Amy Kuretsky 3:23
Yeah, that's wild,
Emily Thompson 3:24
Amy Kuretsky 3:25
I feel like we've seen each other since then. Because I did that group for the Clubhouse. But yeah, we haven't in this capacity since then. So it's been like a year and a half almost.
Emily Thompson 3:35
Wild to me. I'm like I every what is time, time has gotten so weird. I was blown away by that. So it has been a year, almost a year and a half since you were on the show, which is just crazy. Actually, by the time this goes live, it probably will be right about a year and a half. Let's start with an update. What have you been up to? How are you doing? Yeah, let us know what's been happening.
Amy Kuretsky 4:00
So the last time I was on the show, I think we had just moved the clinic. So for those of you who don't know, I've run two businesses. One of them is that I co-own an acupuncture and massage and healing space here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And we had moved from our smaller location that we had been in for four to seven years if you want to think about it being just my own business or when I merged it with another person to our new space, which was like three times the size and we like tripled the size of our team and we think we had just done that when I talked to you last and so this last year and a half has been like the growing pains that happens when you triple the size of your business and it has been really high highs, a couple of really low lows, some things in between. But it has been really good and feels like we're in a much more stable place right now. And then in my own personal business, which is you know, breath work and mentorship for business owners. It's been just like real nice and smooth, I'll say that just in the last couple of months I started doing in person groups, again, which I really missed. You know, like, that's a big part of why I love doing breath work is like breathing in circle with other people and holding that space for them, like in person, not just over a computer screen. And so, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, that was just not an available option anymore. And so, this summer and and now into the winter, we started doing that, again, I got flown out to Arizona to lead it for a women's retreat out there. And that was really beautiful. And I've been doing some groups at the new clinic space, because a couple of our treatment rooms are gigantic, and you can like sardine in like 12 yoga mats into one of the rooms and just like squish people in there and have a group and we've just been having a great time doing all of that. And then lastly, I, I relaunched my podcast, which some people listening might have recognize it as health fuels hustle, but now it's called breathe into business. And so I've been spending time doing that. So those are all the businessy things that I've been doing.
Emily Thompson 6:12
That's amazing. I love that. I love that you mentioned this growing pains thing, because that is such a real, real thing. And whenever you do make really big moves in your business, there's always this idea that like, you know, sort of reached this milestone and like high fives and wins and yes, you definitely get those but like, there's a lot that you have to do in in to your business, whenever you make really big moves like that. So growing pains are real. I'm glad you brought those up. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though. There are definitely some sun shines and rainbows.
Amy Kuretsky 6:45
Yeah, I mean, you figure out what systems are gonna break when you triple the size of your business.
Emily Thompson 6:49
Amy Kuretsky 6:51
You see which systems are good to go and which ones need a little work.
Emily Thompson 6:55
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Okay, and then and then personally, anything, anything you want to share. You're not in Palm Springs right now, which I expected you to be.
Amy Kuretsky 7:07
I will be there very soon. I'm like less than 30 days. It's like the countdown. It's like less than 30 days, I'll be in the sunny California weather. But no, I'm still in Minnesota right now. And it's actually blizzarding outside right now. So it's just like a blanket of snow outside. But it's actually it was funny when I received your email like a couple of weeks ago wanting to bring me back on and talk about health and self care and business ownership and everything. And I was like, you know, I know that Emily's intuitive, but like, wow, her timing is quite apt right now. Because about a month or so ago, I actually had a really big kind of shock to my system because I in the span of one week, I got diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease. Some of you might know that I've long lived with Crohn's disease, which is an autoimmune disease. But I got diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease. And in the same week, I got diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, which was just kind of a huge shock to my system. And I'm incredibly grateful that it was caught very early, everybody go out and get your moles checked every single year because gotta catch it early. But so I've actually over the last week, I've been on a bit of a little health reset, because I just had surgery this week to remove the cancerous tissue. And so I've just been resting at home for the last couple of days before I go back to work next week.
Emily Thompson 8:33
I am in tune.
Emily Thompson 8:34
You really are.
Emily Thompson 8:38
No no, I think that's just that is so unfortunate. I'm so sorry to hear those things. I know that, you know, the Crohn's disease itself was not your favorite part of your life. And so to add another thing on top of that, and now melanoma. Yes, everywhere I need to now call my dermatologist and get an appointment. Um, I very much appreciate you sharing those things. Because as I was writing up the agenda, or like my questions for you, I was thinking like self care, healthcare, like, it's not to like poopoo on the topic, because very important. But, you know, we said it before, I just like to do reminders a whole lot. But I've also had, like, probably the worst year for my personal health as well in a couple of different ways. And it was something that I wanted to talk about whenever you came back and said that said that you were dealing with your own things I thought, you know, this gives us the opportunity to do something really different with this episode. Instead of doing some, you know, sort of surface level and though it's very important not to diminish its importance at all, but instead of sort of surface level self care, health care, what's the difference? What can we be doing as business owners all these things, I think is a really great opportunity to give us a really great opportunity for us to do some deep health care and self care things like what does it look like to really have to put your health at the forefront of all of your decision making and what it is that you're doing on an ongoing basis? Because that is a different conversation from just, you know, getting up from your computer chair every 45 minutes for a quick little walk, like, what does it look like to really have to stop and take care of yourself? So an awful thing, I'm very sad to hear all that. But it does give us an opportunity to dive a little deeper in on this in a way that I don't think we would have otherwise. So thanks for that.
Amy Kuretsky 10:40
Of course, happy to bring those forward. But you know, you're you're so true, if you think about, yeah, okay. Over the last couple years, we've all been through the wringer in different ways. Like we are all bone tired and like burnt out in different ways from the pandemic, maybe not from our work, per se, but just from everything that we've all experienced over the last couple years. And that has taken a true physical toll on many of our healths, whether it's we had, you know, chronic disease, before the pandemic that worsened. Maybe people out there who are listening are dealing with the effects of long COVID, which are like really real, like, I have so many patients in my clinic and my employees also see so many patients in the clinic, who are dealing with some really significant challenges from the effects of long COVID. And, and then all the new things like, like, imagine, imagine that this mole had shown up like two and a half years ago, at the beginning of a pandemic, where like, I couldn't really go in and see the doctor for a variety of reasons, and it had gone, you know, and if I had waited way too long, and it wouldn't have been like, you know, such an early stage where it was a fairly simple surgery to like, remove it. So there's real effects that are happening in all business owners lives right now like that affect their actual health, whether they are dealing with, like significant health challenges or not. So it's an important conversation.
Emily Thompson 12:11
It is it is and honestly not one that we've had, what does it look like to come into your sort of business space, from a place of needing to take care of yourself in a different way, we've, you know, definitely had an amazing privilege to be able to come into business and sometimes have to fix it around to help us sleep better because, you know, anxiety is getting out of control or whatever it may be. But to actually do it the other way around is, is definitely a conversation worth having. So I'm glad that we get to do it here, I think to get started sort of throwing these words around a couple of times, and I'd like to just sort of give a hardcore definition to the difference between self care and health care, because they are two different things. And I don't want them to be confused.
Amy Kuretsky 12:59
Yeah, and you know, I can only give my own definition for it. But I think you and I have had this conversation before, and we're on similar pages around it. And really, I think about health care as baseline needs of like what I need to survive to be alive to be at a baseline level of health. And then self care can go above and beyond that. And so like thinking about health care, I think about okay, you know, doctor's visits, you know, preventative cancer checks, like what I did, by getting that mole checked, getting an adequate amount of sleep, honestly, that's huge for me as part of my baseline health because if I'm not getting sleep, I'm generally not drinking enough water the next day, I don't have enough energy to move my body in the way that I need to move my body for a baseline level of mental health, which is also included in healthcare, we can't just think about the body in this, we have to think about the brain too. I think about acupuncture and herbs as part of like my own, you know, definition of health care. While I do obviously use Western medicine as a big part of my health care. I don't think that that is a complete medicine in and of itself. And so I also include Chinese medicine and herbs and more alternative or complementary care as well as a baseline need for my own health care. So things like that, and then you can almost think of it as like that. What is that hierarchy of needs that was that Maslov's? I'm saying that's probably wrong, probably but that like,
Emily Thompson 14:31
I think that's it. Yeah, Maslow. something like that, something.
Amy Kuretsky 14:37
But so it's like that bottom part of that pyramid are the health care it's like all the things that we need just for a baseline level of health. And then once those needs are met, then we can start thinking about self care, then we can start thinking about like, what brings us to that next level? Because when you think about it, you know, like, self care is really only actually even available to us when we have a baseline level of like safety and security in our bodies, and only then can we like, take a breath, can we relax. Can we actually find things that bring us care. And so I really think about health care as all those baseline things, and everyone's baseline is going to be different, like maybe some people's baseline is like, I just gotta get up and brush my teeth in the morning. Whereas, like, my baseline is like, I actually need to move my body for at least 30 minutes a day. Otherwise, I'm going to go into a depressive episode. And so it's like, everyone's levels are different.
Emily Thompson 15:39
Yeah, I agree with all that. So there's this baseline sort of human, you as a human being healthy, I think that is, like a mind, body and soul situation.
Amy Kuretsky 15:49
And let's even like remove the word healthy from it, because I don't always even necessarily think of myself as a person who lives in a quote, unquote, like healthy body, like, I've got all sorts of diseases that are running through my body and like challenges that I'm dealing with. But it's like, a baseline level of, yeah, health isn't even necessarily the right word. Because like, I can do all of those things that are part of my healthcare and like, still be dealing with Crohn's disease to like, still be dealing with cancer. And yet, those parts of that healthcare are like necessities. So I don't know if I can actually like put words to it in a quote, like, perfect way, but I just want to like, name that.
Emily Thompson 16:36
Sure. And it's funny, you keep bringing in health, but I think it's like, baseline level of care.
Amy Kuretsky 16:42
Emily Thompson 16:42
Right. Like, there's an every so it's not for it is for you to be at a good place in your health, whatever that may be for you. But really, it's like just caring for yourself in the ways that you need to care for yourself.
Amy Kuretsky 16:59
Emily Thompson 17:00
So that's health care. And then self care being.
Amy Kuretsky 17:03
Like, bring it up a notch. Two or three notches.
Emily Thompson 17:07
Yes, yes. And you can only succeed at those things really, truly, you can only truly benefit from those things really, truly, when that baseline health care has been met.
Amy Kuretsky 17:18
Right? Like how I said that I need, like, a certain amount of movement in my day, it's like, okay, you know, it's snowing outside, I could go downstairs and get on the treadmill and like, walk for 30 minutes, and like, sure, that's gonna hit my level of baseline for health care. But if I wanted to, like actually put on my mukluks, and put on my big puffy down jacket, and like go outside, that would give me those steps that would give me that movement. But being in nature, being outside, even like dealing with the elements, and like the weird ways that we have to living in, in these climates. Like that actually fills my soul in a different way. So that would feel like self care to me. Whereas just like going downstairs and watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy and walking on the treadmill is more just like baseline.
Emily Thompson 18:06
For sure. Okay, perfect. I love all of that, I hope everyone can see for themselves, then what this looks like for you. Because as Amy said, it is incredibly different for every person. And I also think it's seasonal, and not necessarily like, you know, seasons like in on the planet with the leaves and things. But I think you'll have a couple of years where your healthcare, you know, baseline is in one place, and then you may have a couple of months where it's somewhere else, and it may go back, it may not whatever it may be completely shift and change. Okay, perfect. So with that, like, baseline understanding of the difference between those two, I think I want to focus a little bit on and if we're thinking like some deep health care. Let's look at what health care looks like. I think for entrepreneurs in general, I mean, that's an interesting conversation, and maybe how our healthcare needs are a little bit different from folks who are not entrepreneurs and then move into a place where it's like, what does it look like when that significantly shifts? So then, how or what does health care look like for entrepreneurs?
Amy Kuretsky 19:20
Hmm, that's a good question. You know, it's interesting, because at its most basic level, like entrepreneurs are human beings. And so like, we need the same health care, and the amount of care as everyone else. I think where it gets tricky for entrepreneurs is that oftentimes, we, unfortunately, like put our businesses in front of our needs, like put our business's needs in front of our own needs. And so we don't necessarily give ourselves the care whether it be the basic baseline health care, or the extras, as we might need, because, you know, kind of going back to this idea of like, well, we can't even really access self care without that safety and security in our bodies. Okay, well, entrepreneurs are in this unique position where like, our labor is directly connected to our safety and security. You know, we don't have a salary, we don't have health insurance necessarily, like provided by a company that somebody else owns. You know, like all those things that are innately offered as part of being an employee for whether it's like a corporate company, or a government job or something like that. Usually, those all have like pretty good benefits, which allow for a sense of like stability and security, that not saying that no entrepreneur has a sense of stability and security, like a lot of us do. However, you know, in the early stages of becoming an entrepreneur, you really are in hustle mode. And like, I wish it wasn't the case. But I don't know, a single successful business out there, including my own were like the first two years that we weren't working more than we wanted to, like, maybe we enjoyed it, and we're like, yeah, it's the hustle. Like, we really like glorified it in some ways. But looking back, we're all like, you know, do what we say not what we do. But like, it's true, like, you have to kind of hustle your ass off the first couple years to get off the ground. And with that, means like, you're using up the only real finite resource there is, which is time. And so we tend to not give ourselves our bodies, our brains, our, you know, spirits the care that it needs, because it takes time.
Emily Thompson 21:55
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Emily Thompson 23:01
I sort of broke down three, three sort of things. And like literally just really quickly as you're talking about those things, sort of like pull these into little nuggets. One of them is I think we have to make special considerations for our mental health. Because for a couple of reasons, one of them being we're lonely, right, sitting here doing this work all by ourselves, I think there is like a social aspect that can be easily missing from the entrepreneurs journey. And so we have to make special considerations and make special effort in order to like, fulfill that basic human need. And then also like tying ourselves that our sense of self worth with what we're able to produce in the world, whatever that may be. So I think those being two big reasons why we have to pay a little more attention to our mental health. I think than a lot of other people do.
Amy Kuretsky 23:59
Along with that. I think that I'm going to show my bias here that I mostly work with entrepreneurs who are in like service industry professionals that are, you know, service providers, as opposed to like people who are starting some tech company or something like that. But, you know, service providers are providing care as labor. And that takes a specific amount of emotional fortitude and energy and all these things and like emotional labor is real labor. And so I think that goes along tightly with what you're saying with mental health.
Emily Thompson 24:34
Yeah, and I can even I can draw the parallel with creative or like creativity as well. Right. There is a lot of like, there's a lot of us that we put into our creative work in a way that, you know, can certainly happen if you have a very creative job, but it's just a little different. It's just little different for us. So I think mental health is something that we have to think about a little more, a little more purposefully, in order to like really stay at the top of our game then a lot of people do in the same way or for the same reasons. I also think this piece of having a self managed schedule, is is a big one. Like we think of that as being like that is like the that's why we're all here, right to manage your own time and to do what we want. And all of those things with it. Usually, what can often what it can often equate to is that we stop doing the things that are helpful to us. So that we can like write another email, or check another thing off our list or send that next invoice or whatever it may be.
Amy Kuretsky 25:35
Work another billable hour in some way.
Emily Thompson 25:38
Indeed, I mean, you're just making money while you're sitting there, doing the thing. So it's really easy, I think, for us to really fall behind really quickly, because we have the benefit of having a self managed schedule, that we actually have to be more purposeful with maintaining our health and otherwise self care practices in a way that if we had a nine to five job where you could stop, stop at the gym on the way every morning and, you know, grab a smoothie from downstairs every day for lunch or whatever, we we don't all have that as accessible to us.
Amy Kuretsky 26:15
When I think around that also, there's this idea of we're like, okay, if you're a solopreneur, which I feel like I have this interesting viewpoint of both having a solo business at the same time of running a clinical practice with employees, where like, if you're a solo entrepreneur, you don't get the benefit of just like clocking out at 5pm. And not worrying because like no one is, you know, dealing with anything if you aren't there dealing with it. And so that can put pressure on your shoulders to feel like you have to be working a little bit more than your body is able to. And then on the other side of that, like maybe you're no longer a solopreneur you actually have a team, well, then the actual livelihood of your team, like financial livelihood of your team kind of rests on your shoulders in a lot of ways. So then there's that pressure as well of like, Oh, if it's a slow season, like we what do I need to do to like get things rolling in different ways. And so there can, we can often put pressure on ourselves where not saying that pressure isn't necessary, but like, we often will, we will make it more extravagant than it needs to be in reality, or we'll make stories about it, our brain will make stories about what that actually means.
Emily Thompson 27:28
Yeah, for sure. And that even I feel like goes back into that mental health piece for sure of like, we do have a lot of pressure, there's a lot of responsibility, we put some on ourselves, but a lot of it is very real. And we have to take extra care and all of those ways. I think another one that makes it really hard is that health insurance isn't as accessible to us entrepreneurs as.
Amy Kuretsky 27:53
Emily Thompson 27:56
Amy Kuretsky 27:57
I could go on a tirade right now about this.
Emily Thompson 27:59
I know, this is same as same few things that make me more annoying than all of that. And I've been, I won't say lucky, because I've worked for it. But I have built a business that can, that is like big enough to even purchase health insurance for myself and my employees, because that's a thing. And getting out of some of the more open healthcare options out there. Because those are a funny and awful joke. But even mine's still a funny an awful joke.
Amy Kuretsky 28:32
Emily Thompson 28:32
Right in its own way so so we don't have we don't have as easy access to this like safety net that even makes good health care, as attainable to us in a way that if we had a nine to five job, which is why a lot of people keep their nine to five jobs literally, just for the health insurance. We don't have access to those things in the same way.
Amy Kuretsky 28:54
And even like, even the health insurance plans that are out there, like think about about what is or isn't covered all the time. Like the fact that if you have if you have someone who needs glasses that like you have to buy a whole extra plan just for like vision like come on, you have to be able to see like that should be baseline.
Emily Thompson 29:11
Your eyes, your teeth, your like spine, your mental health.
Amy Kuretsky 29:15
All of it.
Emily Thompson 29:16
Really nothing is covered. There is no coverage at all, in any way, shape or form. I am not ensured in any way. With an E not an I by this insurance.
Amy Kuretsky 29:29
Yeah, I feel you. Yeah. And also even think about things like short term disability insurance, which is something that you can absolutely as a business owner buy into. And I actually think it's probably a really good idea especially for business owners, because depending upon the sort of work you do, like if you were to have some sort of medical situation where you were either physically unable to do the work anymore or mentally unable to do the work like where is your income gonna come from. And you know, I'm in a position right now where I take great privilege and gratitude in this but like I have in the past, this is not my first, it's not my first rodeo, I've had surgery before. In the past, I've been able to take time after surgery, I was able to take time right now after surgery, I'm going to be taking on an entire sabbatical. And I'd be taking six months off from patient care at the clinic starting in February. And these were all like, decisions that were, you know, brought on by the health crises that I've been going through. And so there's some very practical considerations that go into this. But there's also kind of just bigger leaps of faith. It's like kind of 50%, 50% like 50% really practical planning that I've gone into doing this and like systems that I had set up going into this would have supported me in making this decision. And then 50% is like a fool's leap, just like going off the cliff.
Emily Thompson 31:01
Yeah, right. I mean, and that's, that's a whole thing right there, the fool's leap, the fools leaps that we do, because it's never just one, it won't ever be just one. And I think you just want to hit something on the head there as well. It's both a pro and a little bit of a con, a con in that. Because we have the it's a pro, because we have the opportunity to create our own solutions, right, in a lot of ways. Like you didn't have to ask anybody to take six months, sabbatical your just like I'm doing it, and you built the systems that allow you to allow you to do it, which is amazing. The con comes in. Sometimes we don't even the con comes in the creativity we have to use to create our own solutions to these kinds of problems. Like we don't even know what our options are. Because we make them up as we go. Right. So and so many of us are, you know, working on a model from our nine to five jobs of like, I would never take six months off. That's the belief that we have on how it is that we need to show up and do the work that we're restricted into, I don't know not falling into the solutions as easily as I wish we could. So both a pro and that these things are available to us, but a con and that we literally have to make it up. And sometimes we don't even know that we can.
Amy Kuretsky 32:20
But I feel like that's so much of being a business owner.
Emily Thompson 32:23
Amy Kuretsky 32:23
In the first place is that like, we like there was a need that wasn't being met. And so here we are, as our little entrepreneur hand being like, hey, I want to fill that need, like I'm gonna create this thing. And so I do feel like as entrepreneurs, we tend to have that as a strength as ingenuity in this like inventiveness and being able to come up with creative solutions to problems that we've never considered before. But yes, absolutely. I mean, it's a failure of the system, like the social system that we live in, in general. And we could go on about that. But and that's a problem, not just like for us as entrepreneurs, but like so many. So many of us that live in the entire world, if you live in a country that doesn't have social safety nets in certain ways, but I digress.
Emily Thompson 33:10
Yeah, let's not go there. Okay, talking about health insurance is bad enough for one day, because yeah, we could definitely just keep on going. I think we'll have to have a chat during your sabbatical, we'll just spend three days going down all the rabbit holes. Okay, so we laid out why, or laid out some unique challenges that entrepreneurs face. And if you haven't thought of any of these, maybe you're experiencing them and you haven't had anyone put them into words for you, right? If like, oh, you know, I am lonely. That is something that I'm struggling with. And, you know, lonely even within the context of your family. And within the context of your team. If you are the boss, you are there making decisions on your own, there are lonely moments for sure. Or the health insurance situation. I mean, I literally worked years for the ability to have enough people on my team so that I could get health insurance for myself and others. And that in itself is a multi year endeavor in order to get to that place. So we have some unique challenges. And maybe this is a really great opportunity for us to talk about how it is that we have faced some of these challenges on our own because I mean I'm not going to say I'm perfect I'm also not in the healthiest state I have ever been in my life by any means. But this is something that I know I'm working on consistently. I know you are and I think this is a great opportunity to share what this looks like for us.
Amy Kuretsky 34:41
Emily Thompson 34:43
Oh boy. I will actually be really open to because I haven't talked about this here on the show. Um, I did talk a couple of episodes ago in a review actually, this is literally months ago. By the time this comes out. I feel like I recorded this with Kathleen yesterday but that was also over a month ago that I did that, but I recorded an episode with Kathleen, it's one of the first of the year where I talk about how the year had been incredibly difficult for me how 2022 was very difficult for me personally, you know, in ways that I just never experienced before I, I entered the year with an injury I left the year with a physical injury. And along the way, had some health things come up, I am officially on blood pressure medicine and watching my cholesterol because some genetic predisposition, some genetic predispositions have popped back up as a result of not going to a doctor for three years because of a pandemic. Right. Like if I had gone to maintain some things, I probably could have caught it really early, and I did not. And, and so I'm working on some of those things, as well as dealing with some insomnia, and anxiety and things just like a culmination of multiple years of really hard stuff, just sort of hitting me all the course of a couple of months. So putting my own healthcare at the forefront has been something that I've been doing for a couple of months and, in the ways that I can, and one of the ways that. Let's see, what is what are my examples of this, I got long winded and forgot what I was gonna say, I think I will lead with scheduling the appointments.
Amy Kuretsky 36:23
Emily Thompson 36:23
Which is a small one, kind of, but like also a big one are really big one.
Amy Kuretsky 36:29
But like necessary for the rest of it'll happen.
Emily Thompson 36:32
Incredibly, and not just like, you know, your like, General doctor, but the specialists, the people, you need to see your dermatologist, your gynecologist like all of the ologists that you need in your life, just to get things checked out, because I definitely used the pandemic as an excuse not to go get all of my checkups for a couple of years, and was shocked whenever I went back and saw the state of things.
Amy Kuretsky 37:02
And it's like, it takes a lot of time. Yeah. Like, I feel like lately, going to the doctor has been a part time job for me, because it's like, all of those pre-op visits, all of the dermatologist visits, all of the surgeon visits, oncology because it's like, it's a part time job. And so when we think about, you know, entrepreneurs and like planning their own schedules like it is, I feel so grateful that I have the ability to take the first appointment that's available, because sometimes you can't get in for like six months, otherwise, if you don't take the first one that's available. And I'm lucky, I don't have to, you know, ask for time off from a boss or anything like that. I mean, granted, I have people who are depending upon me for certain things, and I always make sure that I'm like, not leaving anyone in the lurch for that. But that's part of the benefit of having a team is that like, we each hold each other up, you know, we've had a couple of team members have COVID over the last couple months. And so a bunch of us have been pinch hitters, and like gone in and seeing patients on our days off so that our, you know, COVID coworkers can be home and resting and all those things. And, you know, it's really, really amazing the the benefits that we have as a self employed entrepreneurs to create a schedule that works for us in times of need. But then also when like things are just chill and smooth sailing, and we can actually get ahead of things and like be preventative in different ways.
Amy Kuretsky 38:35
So like, for me with this whole sabbatical, I'd actually been wanting to do this for like, years, like before the pandemic, even I was like, you know, you know that I go to California, usually for a month every winter. And that's like a mini sabbatical, but it's only for a month. And I'm still kind of working a little bit while I'm there. I'm just not seeing patients. But that planted a seed that I was like, oh, I want much more time, especially because in the clinic, we grew so fast in that last year, alongside seeing patients the whole time that the business side of the business didn't get quite as much focus and care as it really needed for that to happen. There would have been less bumps in the road, let's just say if I had like, done this sooner. And so it's something that I've been wanting to do for a while then the pandemic happen, all these different things just kind of put real, real tangible roadblocks in the way. And just this, you know, in the last couple of months, it was coming back into my psyche. It's like, you know, I think this is what I'm supposed to do. And I was like pulling tarot cards around it and everything was like yes, yes. Yes. sabbatical, sabbatical, sabbatical. And then boom, cancer diagnosis and alert.
Amy Kuretsky 39:53
Okay, well, I guess this is definitely happening now because this is the wake up call that I needed that there's no more putting this down the road like this has to happen now. And so there are some pretty, you know, like practical considerations that have to go into it. I'm really lucky that I don't own that business by myself, I have a co-owner. She's incredibly supportive, we're really well aligned, and we complement each other. Our skill sets complement each other in different ways. And so I feel very secure in the business, like while I'm stepping back in different arenas, but that was like a big one for me. It was a big, there was a lot of like fear behind it, because like, oh, well, you know, there's the identity part of it of like, who am I, if I am not the acupuncturist, co owner of this clinic? And that's like a whole thing. But then there's also the practical considerations, like, how am I going to pay myself if I'm not seeing patients and things like that? So, but it is important enough to me right now that I'm like, gonna figure it out like we like we're talking about, I'm going to come up with a solution to a problem I've never had to deal with before, because it's what I have to do for me right now.
Emily Thompson 41:09
Yeah. Hmm, that's a great one. And I love that. I love that you're finally doing something that you have been wanting to do. I hate that it took something like this for you to finally do it. But if that's the silver lining, you're sure of this whole situation. And one of the things that I most that I most respect about this is that it really is a putting you first sort of situation, which is not something that a lot of us are really that great at, you know, of like literally just doing something that maybe someone else would even think is frivolous or unnecessary, or whatever, but you're like, screw it all. I want it. And I'm doing it. And I'm doing it for me. And I think that that is that is perfect. And I feel like we all probably have something like that in the back of our heads. Right? That is like something that we're not doing for ourselves that we need to be doing for ourselves, because we just need it.
Amy Kuretsky 42:07
And it's something that like, we would totally encourage any of our friends, our business besties, our clients, our employees to even do if they needed to. And so it's like, okay, if we would encourage them to do it. Like, why can't I take my own advice, you know, and so part of it is like really stepping into my own integrity around like, Okay, if I want this to be a way other people are caring for themselves, and it's a way that I need to care for myself as well.
Emily Thompson 42:38
Yes, of course.
Emily Thompson 42:43
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Emily Thompson 43:45
I also do want to point out you mentioned the fact that you know it's easier for you because you do have a business partner but I also believe that this is completely possible for anyone even if it's a solo business. I think with the right you know sort of prep work the right planning the right setting up of systems, all the things it doesn't matter what you do, you can put the thing on pause. You may have to sacrifice some things along the way or something but it's possible.
Amy Kuretsky 44:07
People take parental leave all the time.
Amy Kuretsky 44:09
Amy Kuretsky 44:10
You know, like granted, that is a totally different thing because you are like keeping another human being alive and you absolutely do need to be taking time off of your work to do that. But like if you can walk away or not walk away but if you can take time away from your business to birth another human into the world and care for them like you can take time away from your business to like birth a new you into the world.
Emily Thompson 44:33
Or literally any other reason.
Amy Kuretsky 44:35
Emily Thompson 44:35
Literally anything else. Yes. I completely agree with that. I have what I want to add to this, because it's kind of a similar thing where like, is it necessary? No, but isn't it? Yes, right. Like it is for me. And about a year and a half ago. I started going to see my massage therapist every other week.
Amy Kuretsky 44:58
Emily Thompson 44:59
Yeah. Yes, yes. And that was a big one for me. And I'll tell you why it's difficult for me there's like, two reasons kind of religious one. Whenever I was a teenager and own that tanning salon, way back in the day, one of my very best clients came in every single week. And she always came in just after her massage. She was an older lady, retired. I don't know if she was a divorcee or not in my mind, I always imagined she was.
Amy Kuretsky 45:31
With like a Martini drink walking in.
Emily Thompson 45:33
Walking up and with her martini and her fluffy, like fluffy still it not stilettos, fluffy pumps. Anyway, so she would come in, and she would be like, you know, greasy haired from her massage. And she was always such a delight. And it was like, you know, midday Wednesday or something like that every single week. And that just, that was her life. And I remember at that point, thinking that is success to me. Like if you are going to get a massage every week, you have succeeded in life that was you know, 18 year old Emily's idea, and not wrong. And so it's been a really big deal for me to do is not every week, but it is every other week, because there's like a teenage dream fulfillment happening. But I started I've always gone semi regularly at least once a month, but once every other month, I'm like hurting for it if I go more than a quarter without going to get a massage, and I've been like that for probably, you know, 5, 6, 7, 8 years. And I missed it so much during the pandemic, so much because I didn't go for about a year and a half. And so I didn't go to the doctor, but I did start going to my massage therapist again.
Amy Kuretsky 46:47
Well, you're, you're it's like you're using it for preventative medicine, which I agree with so much like if, for instance, like you know, at the clinic, we did shut down completely for about two months in the very beginning of the pandemic, when we were trying to like get masks and PPE and like all the things that we needed, so that we could safely see patients. And, you know, in doing so when we open back up, there were some patients that like really were used to coming every week and their their progress really back slid. And it's this difference of like, okay, if we show up regularly, we can maintain a specific level of once again, I'm gonna use the word health, but you can even say like management of symptoms. In more of this, like health care setting, like we can manage symptoms in a specific way. Different patients are on different treatment plans, and everyone's situation is unique. But like, if you're on a specific treatment plan, and you need to be coming in every other week to manage your care to manage your leg pain level, and then all of a sudden, you go two months without it, you know, like it can be detrimental, and then all of a sudden you backslide, and you need to be coming like once or twice a week just to get back to that level that you were before. So I love what you're saying that you're doing this, and it feels maybe like, you know, like teenage Emily's like feeling successful and like luxurious. But in reality, what you're doing is you're actually like helping preventatively things so that you don't have to go back.
Emily Thompson 48:18
For sure. And I will say like when I started, when I started going back, it wasn't even preventative like I was tense ball of like it was weird, real weird and not that great. And I remember going back specifically, because I had a pain in my neck that was not going like I couldn't get rid of it by myself. And so going back to my massage therapist and getting back into the routine of it. It did become preventative, it became this thing of like, I'm not stopping now I saw what happened when I stopped, I'm never going to stop again, if I can help it. And then once I started when things happened last year, with especially my ankle injury at the end of the year, last year, it became a necessary part of my recovery. And I remember, you know, talking to her at one point, you know, it had just happened to come in and my leg is just in like I could literally feel tension from my right ankle into the base of my neck like all the way up my body. And I remember saying like how do people get over anything without you. I don't understand what healing would look like if I didn't have you like taking care of these things for me.
Amy Kuretsky 49:32
She's part of your baseline now.
Emily Thompson 49:34
She is. She is absolutely a part of my baseline. I cannot cannot go back in quite the same way. I don't always it's not always every other week. Sometimes it's weekly, sometimes a little bit less but it is constant and I have things booked out for like the next six months because I can't imagine and so that one has become that one has become that like seemingly frivolous extra that I have recognize is just a part of what I need in order to sit at this computer all day, and or deal with all of the weight on my shoulders because I do energetically hold it right here in my shoulders, and all the other things that I have to do to keep two companies running. So that's one of mine is, is I, I now invest more intentionally than ever before, in that level of my health care, and I don't ever want to have to go back. Okay.
Amy Kuretsky 50:33
Man, we're here like giving you some applause.
Emily Thompson 50:36
Some air claps Love it, love it. Okay, what else do you have?
Amy Kuretsky 50:40
Um, what are some other things that I'm doing? I mean, similar to you, I definitely have certain appointments that like I do not miss, like, I get my acupuncture every single week or every other week, I definitely go have seasons where I don't go as regularly but like, right now I absolutely am. I was doing it before the surgery. And I'm doing it as part of my surgical recovery. I also was doing weekly breathwork with you know, I'm a breathwork facilitator, I have clients that I work with, but just because I'm a facilitator doesn't mean that I don't need space held for me as well. So like, I have people that I work with, for my own practice. And obviously, this was like a big thing emotionally to work through as well, like, you know, cancer's a big charged word that like feels really big in the body. And there's a lot of there's a lot of stuff that came up with it around like, Okay, who am I like helping other people with our health, when like, this sort of thing happens to me. And like, obviously, that's not a rational thought. But it's like the sort of irrational thoughts that your brain invites you into. And the way that I work through all of that is through breathwork. Because it's like a type of therapy for me. So that's, that's something that I do really, really regularly. And then the other thing for me that it's like a non negotiable is being outside in nature. And so for me, that's one of those really simple things, because I think sometimes people worry that self care is expensive, or hard to access in different ways. And I'm not gonna say that, like, nature isn't hard to access, if you like live in the middle of New York City or something like that, like, yes, nature can be really hard to access. But I think that we all have different self care preferences that can be free, that can be easily accessible, that don't even necessarily have to take a lot of time. Because we can think of access as more than just financial access as well. And so, for me, it's being in nature. And ideally, I would do it every day, you know, in the winter in Minnesota, that doesn't really happen. But at least a couple of times a week, we'll take the dog to the dog park. It is down on the Mississippi River on the bluffs and will like walk around down there and there's like the Mississippi River and the bald eagles overhead and all the dogs running around and playing and that's like totally my happy place. And and then in the summertime, I'm we're like going camping, you know, and walking the dog just in the neighborhood a lot. We're, you know, exploring, you know, state parks, things like that. And then of course, I go to California every year in the wintertime because I need some vitamin D like on my body immediately and can only handle so much of Minnesota winter and so then I go to where the palm trees are. But so nature for me, I think is just like the biggest one and so, you know, when I'm when I'm here working from home on the days that I do that, you know, I really make it a point to have some buffer space in between any like zoom meetings are any things on my calendar so that I can go for a walk after lunch even if it's only like you know, a 15 minute walk around the park that's near my house or something like that. But that's like really important to me, I can't just be at my computer from like nine to five that's like not going to work for my brain or even for my body. So those are things for me.
Emily Thompson 54:15
Yeah, I love that you took it free. And I love that yours is nature because yes, I've done a lot of research on the effects of nature on your health and literally just like being amongst trees, feet on the ground like some of those things it will lower your heart rate. It'll increase the like oxygen to your brain and does really great things for your mental health like that is something that is really important to both for you but also for everyone. And the more you can do that the better and for the most part free. Mine is also a free one. And this is one that I've shared here before is like a favorite tactic for just like just like chilling out. It's something that I started doing a couple of years ago during the like winter holidays, you know, in any boss who takes a vacation can probably attest to how hard it is to just downshift. Right to like, once you're once you take a vacation, once you're taking any time off, I find it usually takes three or four days for me to stop walking around the house going, What can I do next? You know, right, we're just like in this mode of like, I have to keep accomplishing things and like in downshifting is literally a three or four day like timeframe for me to get to a place where like, oh, I can just sit here and be here. So a couple of years ago, during the holidays, I started doing this, and I've shared it here. And then it's actually become a part of my, like, regular healthcare practice on two fronts. And that is just staring out the window.
Amy Kuretsky 55:46
Emily Thompson 55:47
Right, nice and cozy on my couch or literally in my bed. And it's something that like it is a practice that I do I try to do it at least once a week is usually a weekend activity. There is a like aloneness that I like to have whenever I'm doing it. So it's like quiet alone time. Usually laying in the bed, I like to lay in my bed, do it because I have a view of some like far off mountains, out my bedroom window. So one side of this is literally like eye health. Right? There is something like whenever you are just like looking at your phone or looking at your computer, you are training the muscles in your eyes to really only be able to do one thing, right. And that's like, look at things really close to you, it's really important for your eye health for you to focus on things that are really far away. And because we don't do that on the regular, we like lose some of our ability to see, because we train our eyes, to not be able to see in that way. So that when we need to, it's a little more difficult for them. So I'm literally doing it to train my eyes. Because I know that that's an important thing. I'm like, staring far in the distance and trying to like make out all those little houses on the mountains and things like that. And then I'm also doing it for mental health stuff. Just getting quiet, giving myself space to just breathe and not do which as a busy boss, I it's I can't be lazy, I don't watch television, that is not who I am in general. So I have to very intentionally do that. And it doubles as an eye exercise while I'm at it.
Amy Kuretsky 57:23
I have one last thing that I want to share that I think is actually really important. So I'm gonna like get on a soapbox for a minute.
Emily Thompson 57:29
Amy Kuretsky 57:30
And that's this, like, I think it's so important whether you are a solo business owner yourself, or you have a team that you have sick pay for yourself. So what I mean by that is like if you have a team that you actually pay them sick time that they can accrue it in whatever way you want to have it or they can front load it, there's all different ways, a lot of different cities or municipalities have different legal laws around it, depending upon the size of the team. So obviously check into that as well. But also, if you're a solo business owner, like have money set aside that is legitimately only purpose is we're paying you for sick time. Because if you once again, when we go back to this idea that we can only really receive self care when we have this base level of safety and security. Oftentimes in entrepreneurs, the the first thing for that is like money, like financial safety and security. And if we feel like oh, well, I can't take today off. I can't cancel this meeting with somebody, I can't cancel this appointment, because I really I need that income today. Like that's not actually like helpful for you or your own health. And so if you have money set aside for sick pay for yourself, that's a total game changer. You know, I know you're a fan of Profit First and I'm a fan of Profit First as well. And like one of my profit first accounts is basically like for sick pay for myself. Like it's partly how I'm able to like take sabbatical because like I have money set aside to pay myself when I'm taking time off.
Emily Thompson 59:05
Nice, nice. Yes, setting up. It's funny, we all create these businesses to support us and that we don't actually set up the processes that support us. And that is a great example of one that literally is just there to support us. Yeah, yeah, that's great, perfect. Okay, then I hope that you all can see some opportunities, perhaps for you to take better care of your health, whether you are doing just fine. Or if you are if you have personal difficulties that you are working through in order to show up and do the work that you're doing. It's all important and so important for you to be fulfilling. You know, the purpose of doing all this in the first place and that is for you to live a life that you want and when we sacrifice too much of ourselves for that. What's the point?
Amy Kuretsky 59:57
Emily Thompson 59:58
Love it. Okay, if we could give ever One One thing they can do today to make some forward motion for their care, whatever that could look like, what what would it be?
Amy Kuretsky 1:00:09
Ooh, good question. Um, you know, I would say just to start by, like, defining what makes them feel cared for. Because I think so often, you know, like, you scroll Instagram and you look at like the self care hashtags, and there's like, all these different things like, take a bubble bath, or go get acupuncture, like do this, do that, do this, whatever. And it's like, Okay, those are all fine and well, but I think the real once we go back to this definition of self care is like, what makes you feel cared for? Like, ask yourself, what makes me feel cared for and then really explored different ways that you can offer that to yourself as a form of self care.
Emily Thompson 1:00:50
Lovely. Okay, I'm gonna give one so everyone's gonna have to know about that. Sorry, not sorry. Mine is make the appointment. And you know which one everyone is. Everyone's like, Oh, that one. Okay, just make the appointment. Yeah, whatever it may be. Go see what happens. For better or worse. Amy, this has been a treat. Thanks so much for coming to hang out with me. Where can folks find out more about you and what you do?
Amy Kuretsky 1:01:16
You can find me online at AmyKurestky.com. And if you like podcasts, which I'm guessing you do look me up at breathe into business. And we're on all the all the major podcast apps.
Emily Thompson 1:01:30
Nice and final question What's making you feel most boss?
Amy Kuretsky 1:01:34
That I'm about to take a six month sabbatical from?
Emily Thompson 1:01:37
That's the most, that's the most boss. Absolutely. I hope you have the best time.
Amy Kuretsky 1:01:44
Thank you so much.
Emily Thompson 1:01:47
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