'In Conversation with' Shannah Kennedy

The Importance of Caring for Self In An Industry All About Caring for Others

The core of the death care sector is about caring for the needs of others. You are there as secure rocks for our community to lean on in our most challenging times in life. OpusXenta are proud to host Shannah in our “In Conversation With…” webinar series, where she will give you some practical and insightful tips and reasons to prioritise and practice self-care in your own life.

Shannah Kennedy is one of Australia’s leading Personal Coaches. Her work with elite athletes, business executives, and organisations has been discussed on television, news outlets, and social media. Shannah is a highly regarded keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, personal coach, and best-selling author of self-help books (Simplify Structure Succeed, The Life Plan, Chaos to Calm, Restore, Shine, Ignite – you may well have purchased one of her books from kikkiK or K-Mart) and a passionate advocate for self-care following her own personal experience of burn-out as an executive. To find out more about Shannah, visit www.shannahkennedy.com

Transcript

John Haley

All right, well, we might kick things off and start with thanks, everybody, for joining me for today's event: "In Conversation With" Shannah Kennedy. And I'll properly introduce you in just a moment. Shannah, before I do, just a couple of quick points. Um, today's event is going to run for approximately 30 minutes, and then there'll be a chunk of time at the end for some questions.

John Haley

And to that end, do please submit any of the questions or anything that you'd like to hear more about. There's a Q&A button on the screen for questions, but also, by all means, interact with us in the chat, we'll be having a look at that through it. Um, the more you interact, the more you send us questions and give us chats, the more we can make sure that we're hitting the right mark for you. And frankly, it makes our lives easier.

John Haley

We've got some other members of the OpusXenta team online with me as well. So if you have any technical issues or anything, same thing: fire that into the chat or the Q&A and they can assist. And if there is a question or anything that we don't get time to at the end, today's event is being recorded and those copies will be provided to everyone who registered along with some supporting materials. So if there's anything that we say today that you'd like more of or that you're interested in or that you have colleagues or friends that you would be interested in, please pass it on. Share it as widely and as freely as you can.

John Haley

So that out of the way. My name is John Haley. I'm part of the ANZ team here at OpusXenta. And I'm going to be the host of today's event. And now it's my very great pleasure to introduce our guests and our featured speaker, Shannah Kennedy. Thanks for joining us. Shannah.

Shannah Kennedy

Thanks. It's great to be here today.

John Haley

And we can see online here a little bit about you. And I can tell everyone here from my personal experience that just a few minutes with Shannah, you won't need to know the background to see the enormous strength and value that her experience and her advice can bring. And, of course, as it says here, if you want to find out more, reach out to us. But more directly reach out directly to Shannah via the website there. Or, of course, you can hang around with us for about the next half an hour and find out a bit more, too.

John Haley

So to that end, there's a bunch of places that we're going to go today. But let's, I guess, start with the obvious one. Shannah in a sector such as Death care, on one hand, I think it's quite obvious. But why is self care so important in a sector like this?

Shannah Kennedy

I think that, you know, when you're in a sector, especially this one, where we're caring for other people all the time, we're really at the brunt of people's rawest emotions all the time that we need to see that we're the asset at the end of the day. And what are we doing to care for ourselves? It's a little bit like that analogy of the oxygen tank in the plane where you put on the mask and then you go and help everybody else. So I think it's really important to think about who's filling your tank, who is looking after you, because nobody else really does. So we need to make sure that we're very conscious of making sure that we don't burn out and then we're not exhausted so that we can handle looking after everybody else and their grief and and everything that comes along with what's happening in your sector.

John Haley

Yeah, and I guess, to that point, you know, there are so many things, so many stresses and things being pulled in so many different directions. How do we start, I guess, making sense of all of those sorts of things and creating our priorities and that sort of thing?

Shannah Kennedy

Well, you know, put your hand up or put in the chat if you really feel burnt out at the moment. And I think last year was an incredible year where, you know, we all had to change and to adapt, especially in your industry, where, you know, people couldn't grieve in their normal way. And you probably felt the brunt of a lot of that. So I think it's about starting from the basics to think about, you know, what can I do to control the controllables, and take a little bit of control back of myself so that I don't feel so burnt out.

Shannah Kennedy

So I need to to think about how do I care and refuel myself so that I can show up in my job with some lightness and what I need to bring, to execute the job really well.

John Haley

Yeah. And, you know, as you say, who's who's filling the bucket, who's filling your tank. Well, you know, we need to fill it ourselves as well. Obviously, the word "self care" is right in there. Do you have any do you have any steps?

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah, it's control the controllable. So I know from my own example of burnout, I married my job in my 20s. I was seven days a week. I absolutely loved my job. I didn't really have much regard for fueling my own tank or caring for myself. And I actually thought that self care was selfish instead of thinking of it as caring for the asset, which is myself, so I can have longevity in my career and show up for my family and my friends.

Shannah Kennedy

So I burnt the candle. I really didn't have a self care strategy and it cost me my health. So for 20 years I've had chronic fatigue and with that comes depression. So every single day that's what I live with. I have it. It doesn't go away. And you have to completely change your lifestyle because you forgot to care for yourself. So we just don't want people to get into that state where they've forgotten to care about themself and they've burnt the tank. The oxygen's gone too low. And it comes at a really, really big cost.

Shannah Kennedy

So I know what burn out feels like. And I think if any of you are starting to feel the effects of burnout, it's time to think of what is the strategy that you might have to start to fill your tank just gently and slowly. Where it's self care, it's not selfish. So protecting the asset which is yourself, comes from knowing your pathway through. And it always starts with you controlling the controllables and coming back to self.

Shannah Kennedy

So what are your values? And I think what happens when we're on the treadmill here, on the treadmill of life, and we just keep, you know, same old, same old every single day, is that we need to go back and find a foundation that really works for us. And it's always going back to your values. That's the concrete that we build the house on. So understanding what's most important to you personally rather than what's important to everybody else.

Shannah Kennedy

So, you know, I'm always helping other people. That's my job. I listen to everybody's stories. I listen to all of their problems, and I help them find a pathway through.

Shannah Kennedy

And we want to protect ourselves from taking all of that on because it's just too much when you you know, you might have ten people a day. It's just too much. So I always go back to working for the boss, which are my values, which is my own health. And health doesn't mean "do I feel amazing today".

Shannah Kennedy

Health is what am I doing to support my mental health? What am I doing to support my physical health? Eating, moving, sleeping. What am I doing for my emotional health, my ability to give, but also where am I receiving, where am I being open to receiving help, or putting my hand up and asking for help, or receiving love. And our spiritual health, which is belonging to something greater than ourself.

Shannah Kennedy

So when that's the boss for me, and the second one for me is family happiness. That doesn't mean is my family happy because I've got a 15 year old and a 16 year old with my husband and, you know, those teenage years are quite difficult to navigate sometimes. So the job is, can I show up being the best version of myself? Am I a warm and nurturing mom? That's fair, but firm, you know, am I fun and inspiring wife? And if my job is robbing me of being able to do that, I need to create some more boundaries around my job so that I can be this wonderful person that I want to be.

Shannah Kennedy

And the third one for me is achievement. So I love setting goals. I love smashing them. I love helping everybody. But at the end of the day, the achievement for me, and the hardest achievement is: have I actually looked after myself today? Have I taken some grounding breaths today? Have I moved my body today? Did I prepare some good food for myself today?

Shannah Kennedy

You know, we're just rushing from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. We need to ground ourself, we need to take the drink stops. So when we know that that's who we work for, our values, it keeps things nice and simple in the brain. Really, really simple.

 

So I ask these listeners to think about, you know, what are your own values and just to write them on a little yellow sticky note, you know, I've got mine here. They're on a little sticky note. I can't forget who's the boss, no matter how busy I am, no matter how many people are pulling at me, I always go back to: what am I doing for my mental health, my physical health, my emotional health.

John Haley

And I guess you sort of alluded to it there. But when someone sits down and says, okay, well, I'm going to put down my top three, whatever the right number is, values. You know, I've done it before. A little while ago, my nephew had a similar task for school and he had to do the same thing and ask some of his family members, what are your values or non-negotiables? And it was very challenging for me. Maybe that just shows something about me. I don't know. But it was...

Shannah Kennedy

I think it's challenging for every human because we we are disconnected from ourself. We're so busy with doing that. We forgot to be a human being, which is going back to self. And so, we're so externally driven. The habit of going back to self, back to home, back to what's important to us, actually, is a skill that we want to start to master. So mine are up on the mirror, they're in texta. I see them every day. I can't forget that without self. You know, I can't be the best busy person. So there's human doings, and there's human beings. And we need to remember to come back to being a bit of a human being for ourselves sometimes.

John Haley

And I guess, you know, on that same sort of note, when we were having this, you know, the discussion in preparation for this, you used a phrase that I hadn't heard, well I'd heard in a different context: Mini Me, Mini Me Moments, in fact, was what you what you used, which I thought was a really interesting phrase.

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah, I love it. It's like it's like the day is a marathon and we're the little Gatorade stops. So don't just run the marathon and flop onto the couch at the end of the day. It's a bit like where are the mini pauses that help you to refuel? So for me and I think for every human being here, when we drink a lot of water, we're going to go to the bathroom. And everyone goes to the bathroom and then we rush back to our job.

Shannah Kennedy

But we could actually just slow it down a little bit and maybe take a couple of breaths, really think about grounding ourself, maybe looking in the mirror. "You've got this." You know, that was a really tough couple of hours. We've got a couple of tough ones to go. Have that conversation with your best friend, which is yourself, and just taking those mini pauses. It's just the breath. The breath is life. The breath is medicine. The breath is grounding us. The breath is taking away the the cortisol out of the body. So we want to breathe it out.

Shannah Kennedy

And what we find is, and when you you'll see everybody grieving, you know, all of these wonderful people out there in this sector, is no one's breathing that are grieving because we're so full of cortisol and stress that no one can take a deep breath and calm down. And when we can really learn to breathe and help our nervous system, then we're not going to feel so burnt out and so exhausted. And it's that little bit of secret care. It's a little drink station during the day, it's taking the deep breaths.

John Haley

And I guess that's a nice segue to there must be some parallels between what you do and, you know, what the death care sector does in that you mentioned there. People in the death care sector, sometimes we're dealing with people on literally the worst day of their life. And I imagine that you're frequently dealing with people in really challenging circumstances, professionally or personally.

John Haley

Double barreled question from that. How do we, first of all, not take their burden to make them our own? And then secondly, how do we know the moment to hold up our hands and say, seek out someone else or somewhere else or whatever it might be? Do you have some advice there?

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah, I think over 20 years of coaching people in in some incredibly difficult situations where they actually have lost a loved one. I'm not at the cold face right at the funeral day, but I'm all around it or they've lost their job or someone's had a car accident or they've had a cancer diagnosis ect and the whole world just stops. Is we want to be there for them, but we have to ensure that we don't take it all on. And that's very difficult. And I sort of have a plastic imaginary glass shield around me where I have to let it bounce off and I'm not allowed to take it out again. I'm not allowed to walk that muddy stuff into the home because we are not our job. That's the job that we do. But we have to remember that we're a human being and a whole business apart from that.

Shannah Kennedy

So over the years, I've learnt a mental strategy where I sort of close the filing cabinet as I arrive home. I usually sit in my car and take, you know, five or ten deep breaths and just close that filing cabinet and say, "I come home now. I need to be made now."

Shannah Kennedy

So I think it's about having that disconnect and that little strategy going. I think that's really, really important. And the second one that you said was, when do you create the boundary where we can refer them to somebody else?

Shannah Kennedy

You know? So sometimes for me, it's I think they're befriending me or they want to be my friend now. And it crosses a little bit of that line or it's gone a little bit too far. So it's knowing where that boundary is to say, you know, it's really wonderful to be able to help you. But I think now it's a really great time to reach out to X, Y and Z.

John Haley

Yep.

Shannah Kennedy

Just to deflect a little bit.

John Haley

And something you alluded to there that's really changed. You know, we now, you know, sort of post-covid era covid normal as we as we call it, down here in Melbourne at least.

John Haley

There was a time when most of us could pause, as you said, in the car before we came home, take those five deep breaths and say "Work is over. Home has now begun." Even in Death care, particularly for people, in, sort of more management administrative roles. That's a really gray area now. Do you have some advice about how to separate home and work and to get that sort of concept in a covid normal world, where where so many of us are working from home?

Shannah Kennedy

From home. Yes. And I coached this all last year where people were really blurring the lines and they just felt even more burnt out and more exhausted because they didn't have a commute time in between. So that commute time was a really interesting time that we sometimes thought was too much. It's like: I'd love to work from home and not have to commute. However, it's actually a mental break where we we shut the computer and we have that downtime to then be a person at home.

Shannah Kennedy

So last year, what I was coaching a lot of people on was: you have to have a "tools down time". There has to be a time where it's a little bit of tools down and you go for a walk, you go for a walk around the block, even it doesn't have to be far. It doesn't have to be one hour. But you have a ritual that signifies, OK, it's time for me to close it down, take my breath, go for a walk outside or do whatever I need to do.

Shannah Kennedy

And then I need to change my mindset to actually come and be a mom or a wife or a father or whatever you need to be. Is you have to switch. You have to flip that switch in your brain.

John Haley

Excuse me. Sorry. And, in a related note, maybe circling around some of the same questions, you know, that's the question of work life balance, I suppose. And we've we've touched on that a little bit. But again, another double barreled question for some of us. I think there's even a question of: is there such a thing as a work life balance? But how do we find that, some of this we've spoken about?

Shannah Kennedy

But, yeah, I think it's called work life blend. You know, I don't think that we can call a balance. I think it's a blend, that it's a mindset to feel balanced no matter where you are on that marathon journey during the day, is to allow yourself to feel balanced and not overwhelmed or anxious about anything. And if you know what your values are and you're taking those grounding breaths during the day, it's the feeling of feeling balance because it's not like: you work six hours, now I can play golf. It's not a, it's not a time thing, is it? It's actually a mental state.

Shannah Kennedy

So I think we can really accept that it's all a blend. Let's just flow with life. Let's flow with what's happening at the moment. Be mindful whether you're working with you're watching Netflix, whether you're watching the tennis, whether you're going for a walk, just be there. And it's it's fine. It's when we try to make it all mean something, or we tell ourself all of these stories about, oh, it's too much or just just be in the moment with it.

Shannah Kennedy

And last year, trying to coach people all day with my husband working from home and two kids home schooling, you know, it was really difficult. And I just had to control the controllables, to be mindful of just where I was and enjoy just being where I was in the moment and not thinking about the 5000 other things that were happening in the house and just flow. And it's a beautiful word just to flow, not to hold on so tightly and just to allow yourself to enjoy each day for what it is. I think that's really important.

Shannah Kennedy

And when you have your values and then you have a vision. So I always ask people, where do you want to be in three years time, your three year older self? What is it telling you? And my question I always ask is, what do you need to change right now for your three year older self?

Shannah Kennedy

So, so it's a wonderful question for all these listeners to write down on a little sticky note is what do I need to change right now for myself?

John Haley

I just noticed here, we've got a question that's come in from the audience that is probably a nice segue here on a similar topic is, you know, you talked about sitting in the flow, which I guess is related to, but different to switching on and off.

John Haley

The question here is, if you if you are switching on and off, do you run the risk of bottling it up inside when you're, presumably, when you're on the "on" phase and exploding. Any words of wisdom around that?

Shannah Kennedy

Well, I think when you've got a self care strategy for yourself, so the way that you start and finish your day, you can, you should never explode in the mornings. You know, I move my body for an hour first before I wake up the family and the kids. I might do some journaling, some breathing work, really grounded, getting things out, maybe writing things out, making sure the list for the day is ready.

Shannah Kennedy

Then the day can be crazy. And then in the evening, the way that you finish your day is, for people who feel overwhelmed by anxiety, it's about writing it out. It's about getting everything out of the mind as a strategy onto paper and flowing and letting things go out. We don't want to be bottling anything up. We want to be flowing. But we also want to feel like we're in control of our own journey and our own life. So if we know that we're supporting our own values, we're making decisions around our values. We have a great vision for ourself for three years time. So we keep things nice and simple. Then it's about your habits. And do your habits make you feel balanced?

John Haley

Drawing from the same sort of topic, then how do we know when we're in danger of that explosion, or when we're not taking care of ourselves? How do I tell when I am not caring for the carer?

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah, well, you would feel that. So usually people have a physical reaction, so they're not sleeping very well. They have moments of panic or overwhelm. And we know that it passes through us. And when we hang onto it for too long, it's not good. So whether you need some supplementation for sleeping, some natural herbs or look at your nighttime routine. If you're not sleeping well, if you don't have energy when you wake up, if you're getting brain fog, if you're feeling overloaded, it means you've just gone too far. And that oxygen tank is starting to bleed out a little bit. It's not working. It's not giving you what you need.

Shannah Kennedy

So then you look at: how do you structure your day? You look at what your habits are. Are they actually supporting you? You know, some of my clients would say I don't have... Exactly. I love that, Teddy. "You cannot pour from an empty cup."

Shannah Kennedy

Some of my clients would wake up and say, oh, you know. For the morning, I just have my vitamins and a black coffee. I'm like, well, how is that starting your day off with nutrients and and good fuel and real food? And, you know, they just would, then dinner would be red wine. You know, they were in finance and they just didn't know how to care for themselves. They didn't have any good habits. They weren't moving their body. They'd sleep with the laptop next to them in the bed, the phones next to them in the bed.

John Haley

I know that guy.

Shannah Kennedy

It's just yeah, it's not good. That's not good, right? So my phone's always in the bathroom. Never, ever sleep with the phone because the phone there, you know, the last thing that you're doing before you go to sleep is scrolling and looking at social media and breaking news. Your whole brain has to go and process all of that while you're trying to sleep. So it will often wake you up at two o'clock in the morning to process.

Shannah Kennedy

If you haven't had those Mini Me Moments during the day, those Gatorade stops of some deep breathing and some grounding yourself and some letting go of stuff, what's it going to do at two o'clock in the morning? It's going to come and haunt you. It's going to say "You haven't dealt with me yet. You haven't breathed me out. You haven't you haven't come up with a solution. You've just been running all day."

Shannah Kennedy

So it's about being excited to want to look after yourself so that you can look after other people. And when we fill the tank with great habits and great routines and rhythms and rituals, we put the mask on. We have a big ripple effect, don't we? We can help a lot more people. And that's actually what gives us fulfillment in life, not just achievement.

Shannah Kennedy

I think we get a bit obsessed with achieving and we forget about what actually fulfills us and makes us feel really good.

John Haley

And on that front, I guess I'm going to hit you with a question here, then maybe circle back to another one. How do we, as leaders within our teams or within our communities, how do we both look out for that amongst our colleagues, co-workers, peers, friends? And how might we offer them some support or advice?

Shannah Kennedy

I think it's always important to be looking out for other people, you know, and seeing the warning signs, like, if they're, if they're being a bit short, if they're looking really tired, if they're developing some anxiety.

Shannah Kennedy

And it's about actually asking them, are you OK? And you don't ask it once, you ask it twice. Because when you say, "Are you OK?" People say, "Yes, I'm fine." And then if you say "No, really, are you really OK?" And you say it in a different tone and you take it down a notch again, they'll go, "Actually, no, I'm, I'm not coping too well." Or "I'm feeling really burnt out."

Shannah Kennedy

Then we can build strategies around that. You can get some support. We can help them put their hand up and ask for help. So I think it's really important to not only be able to notice it in yourself, but definitely to notice it in others and to help help them get the support that they need. We might not be able to help them, but we might know somebody that can.

John Haley

Related question, I guess. If I'm in a professional environment and I might have be they, you know, in a hierarchical sense, someone above me, equal to me, or below me, they might not be willing to share some of these things or admit, you know, certainly in certain professional environments. Being able to admit that you are feeling the pressure is very much perceived as a weakness. Any, any advice around those sort of concepts?

Shannah Kennedy

Well, I always put myself first, so I think we're better than any job. And I think that we need to either go and seek some counsel outside of work, where we've got some support, or a coach, or a counselor. I work with a naturopath very, very closely on my health.

Shannah Kennedy

And I've got a coach myself that every couple of years I engage a coach for myself, because if I have a big business where I'm speaking all day, coaching people all day, helping people, traveling around the country, speaking on stages until last year, it was, everything was output. There was, there's no input. So for me, the input was my habits, my rituals, the pit stops, the taking three breaths in the bathroom and slowing myself down. It was writing things out. It was finding gratitude. It was finding some joy in the day. It was my mindset training that really, really helped me. And I got to do all of that by working with a coach as well and just, and discovering what, how I could build a structure that would support me.

Shannah Kennedy

So if you're out there and you're working and you don't have the structure to support yourself, it's sort of like you're a plant. But no one's coming past watering you all day, and you just you're just dry and burnt out. It's not good. So nothing happens until we create a structure to support ourself, to give ourself whatever it needs, to fill your cup.

Shannah Kennedy

And it's different for all of us. We all have different recipes.

John Haley

Coming closer towards the end of the time. I'm going to touch on something you touched on there before, talking about devices and things like that. And again, when we caught up and had a little bit of a preparatory chat, you mentioned off the top of your head, I hope you still got them, some questions around multitasking and device awareness and that type of stuff, which may have touched a little tightly to home for someone like me.

John Haley

You mentioned about some of the sleep challenges and things, you know. In a both, in a post or a covid-normal world where we're working from home so much. And also in a multi-device, in my world, a technology driven world. Do you have any suggestions around, you know, attention and dividing attention and those sorts of challenges?

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah, we need to take free time. You know, so, for my family, dinner is at the dinner table. It's non-negotiable. We talk about our Rose of the Day and our Thorn of the Day. Like, what went well today, what didn't go well, you know, at eight thirty, I take everybody's phones, they're all gone. And we we just have to stop. We have to watch TV or do some stretching or whatever you want to do.

Shannah Kennedy

But we need some time off. We need some time out. Whether you go walking with the dog, whether you go meet a friend and just go walk the blocks, whatever it might be. The human brain needs some time off because, often, the first thing that people touch in the morning before they even get up is their phone. They turn the alarm off. So they've created a stress response in the body before we've even taken the covers off.

Shannah Kennedy

That's why my phone is away, so I don't want to touch my phone. I have a proper alarm clock. So I'm not going to pick up my phone and start scrolling in bed before I've even got up. So it's it's the structure of, you know, getting up, moving my body, having breakfast and then touching my phone, just giving it some space.

Shannah Kennedy

One of the questions here is how do you manage excessive workload demands outside of your control? We all have that. I think we all, my husband's a CEO. We all have that. And I think what we need to do is just set some boundaries. We need to be able to work without distraction. And I think a lot of people working from home are distracted. They, you know, the dogs here and you know the washings on and we're sort of doing a little bit of multitasking.

Shannah Kennedy

It's a lot. Sometimes things are out of our control and we have to do things. But we also need to have a little bit of a recovery time. So that means I'm not going to see anyone on the weekend because I really just need to care for myself this weekend and I need some peace. So I'm not going to go out for lunch and dinner and lunch and dinner with people. I actually need to say no and create some boundary to really look after myself.

Shannah Kennedy

So remember, you're the asset and doing some things for ourself is really important. I work with a lot of directors. I work with a lot of CEOs who are, a lot of them have to be available 24/7, but they still have this ability to create a boundary, because it's a little bit like, you're the athlete that forgets to leave the track. We need to leave the track. We need to go and refuel to come back to the track, to go to training. The ones that lurk around the track the whole time. They're not refueling. They're not training well. They're not showing up well to life. So, yeah, I hope that helps.

John Haley

So we hit time. I'm going to just wrap up with a couple of statements and then we'll get to a handful more questions. Keep throwing them in, either into the Q&A or into the chat. If you've got any as well, there's a couple here. I'm going to foreshadow one. And by foreshadow, ask you one before I wrap up for you to give you time to think about it a little bit more from your personal experience.

John Haley

A question here about, a little touchy, hence the warning. What what are some of the things that really frustrate you about your clients or about your your role? But let me leave you to ponder that one while I just say a couple of words.

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah.

John Haley

Um, and as you can see on screen here, there are the two websites, the OpusXenta website, particularly from our perspective, the blog and the events tab. You can see our events tab here on the screen advertising this one at our upcoming "Right Business to Revolutionize your Sales Process". Equally on Shannah's website, apart from the Contact US, there's a ton of great resources, the slides that you've been resting your eyes on. I drew straight off some of the wallpapers from your website, Shannah ,and there's vision boards and all kinds of fantastic tools on there as well.

John Haley

So have a look and reach out there as well. And as I said at the start, I'll reiterate it here as well. Today's event has been recorded. We will be distributing that recording. Please feel free to share it as widely as brings you joy. In a related note, as I always say here, if there's something that you would like us to speak about in a future event or someone that you would like us to approach to speak, we run these sessions for the death care sector and the Death care community. So please throw it in the chat, throw it in the Q&A, throw it out via direct contact.

John Haley

On that particular note, direct contact items will be up on the screen in a sec, but please reach out and and let us know. So having said that, I've given you a notice on a question without notice.

Shannah Kennedy

What frustrates me about my clients? For me personally as a coach, when people come to a coach, it's like coming to a personal trainer. So they say they want to get fit, but they don't really. So we give them all of our energy and ideas and strategies and structure and resources and care. And we listen and we we really give ourself and then they don't do anything with it. That's, that's what I find really frustrating. It's like you've written a program for them to get fit and you've trained them. But in between they've just gone and eaten McDonald's. And it's like, really as a coach, it's actually quite difficult because you front up for them, ready to keep helping them, knowing that they're not going to help themselves. I think that is the hardest thing for a coach or a trainer to have to deal with.

John Haley

I can, I can see that. In a very minor way as a process technology professional, sometimes. We face the same challenges. We've, kind of, given you all these tools would be really great to see you using them.

Shannah Kennedy

Yeah.

John Haley

All right. Very good. Let's spin out to some of the other questions we've got here. One, uh. I guess in some ways it might be related to something we touched on. How are you seeing workplace stress, or how do you see workplace stress manifesting itself in either your colleagues or your own day to day life? A little bit similar, but different to, you know, how do I know when I need to take some care?

Shannah Kennedy

I think last year I saw an enormous amount of stress that people didn't realize that they were carrying. It was dealing with the change. You know, when when we deal with change, we actually go through a grief cycle. You know, we change last year where we couldn't come to the funeral or we couldn't go to a coffee shop and sit down and actually have a conversation. We could get a takeaway. Or we couldn't go to a restaurant, or all of the things that we felt gave us care or made us happy. Going to the coffee shop, talking to a barista, was taken away.

Shannah Kennedy

So I think we go through a grief cycle whenever there's change. And because every week last year, even daily, there was breaking news, change with Dan Andrews, especially in Victoria here, that people were carrying a lot of grief just for their lifestyle, just for "I miss the office". If you're an introvert and you were home, it was fantastic. But if you are an extrovert and you were home, it was it was horrific, or if you didn't know anyone within the five kilometers.

Shannah Kennedy

So I think when people understand that when change happens to us, we either choose it, we can choose it as well, or it might happen to us. We do need to grieve and we do need to heal. But then we need to create a new plan for ourself. And I think that it's allowing yourself to be a bit sad sometimes about things. Know what it takes to fill your tank and heal yourself, and then want to show up and feel great. So I always ask people, how do you want to feel this year?

Shannah Kennedy

Not what do you want to do, but how do you want to feel? I want to feel light. I want to feel vibrant. I want to feel energetic. So I don't want to I don't want to go back to last year, but I want to deal with change, with lightness and just flow with it rather than holding on too tightly or getting angry and resentful.

John Haley

I love that. I think that's an important nuance. And I guess from listening to what you said, they almost answer with an adjective rather than rather than a goal. I like that.

John Haley

One here, which I'm going to ever so slightly paraphrase to, to give you a nice free hit as well. How can I advocate for a program like yours within my organization?

Shannah Kennedy

Oh, we'd love that. So, last year I was doing it was like four weeks. So every week I would turn up for 30 minutes and we would talk about different self care strategies and then we would have a Q&A. So if anyone's interested, please contact me through the website. That would be great. I do have they called Self Mastery four week lunch and learn sessions for companies, where the entire staff can log in. There's worksheets, there's workbooks, there's free resources that come with it.

Shannah Kennedy

And it's about upskilling people on mental health and wellbeing, coping strategies. So absolutely, please contact me and we put something together for you.

John Haley

Now, looking at the time, we're running pretty, pretty well, OK. But I've learned and I hope everyone has learned a lot. And here's something that I learned of a colleague of mine a while ago. It's a question that I'm going to, at least unless we get anything else, finish with: what's the question that I haven't asked you that I should have asked you?

Shannah Kennedy

Oh, that's a, that's, you've just pulled that one on me, haven't you?

John Haley

I have. Through that one. No warning.

Shannah Kennedy

I think, I think it's. The question you should ask is: what's the most important person in the world? And I would always say: you. And nobody ever puts themself at the top of the list. They say it's their family or their friends, but it's actually you. And I always say to people, what's the most important person to you? And they always reel off a lot of people. But it's really you, because you are your own best friend. You're with yourself from your first breath to your last breath.

Shannah Kennedy

So it's about caring for this person, being connected to this person, making great decisions for this person and honoring this person.

John Haley

I love it. All right. Well, thank you very much. We've gone a tiny bit over time, but that's always the intention with the questions. There's a couple more here that we didn't quite get to, but we'll reach out to those offline. As I said before, you can se my and Shannah's contact details here on the screen. There's the websites for both of us as well. Reach out. We'd we'd love to have a chat to you on either or any topic.

John Haley

Thank you, everybody, for joining us. And we will see you again soon. Thank you very much, Shannah. I really appreciate it.

Shannah Kennedy

Amazing. Thank you. Hope everyone took something away.

John Haley

Undoubtably.