Ignite Your PowHER

Free Yourself from Overwhelming Stress with Dr. Leslie Koenig

April 28, 2021 Dr. Leslie Koenig Season 1 Episode 21
Ignite Your PowHER
Free Yourself from Overwhelming Stress with Dr. Leslie Koenig
Show Notes Transcript

Do you want to be free of overwhelming stress? This year has been incredibly stressful and many women want to know how they can reduce their stress but not their productivity. Join me as I chat with Dr. Leslie Koenig, an ER doctor who is helping women with a step by step program to tackle any obstacle that is thrown at them.

In this episode we discuss:
1. How anxiety can be paralyzing to us all. 
2. How she uses the stress techniques she developed in her everyday life as an ER doctor. She literally teaches people how to deal with their anxiety in the middle of an emergency room, you should definitely tune into what she recommends.
3. She discussed tapping and how effective this technique is for her in dealing with acute, in the moment stress.
4. Stress techniques for parenting and being a mother!!
5. She discusses her stress free survival guide and her program available to help women handle stress in a better way.

She can be found at:
https://www.stressreliefsurvivalguide.com/

(6) Leslie Koenig | Facebook

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#anxiety #mindfulness #stressreliever 

Jennifer roelands  0:03  
Welcome to ignite your power podcast. I'm so glad you're here. My name is Dr. Jenn, have you ever wanted to follow a dream? Or were too scared to do so? Do you have that nagging voice inside, or you're meant for something bigger, better, more exciting. I am here for you. I believe in women helping women is the most powerful force in the universe. I came from an Italian family where women were not supposed to get an education. But yet I listened to that nagging voice inside of me. And now I'm an OB GYN turned health coach. And I'm here to support, educate and empower you. On this podcast, we'll talk about health, relationships, money, mommy fails, you name it. I'll bring badass women experts to inspire you, to empower you to help you find that voice inside and define your power. Welcome, ladies. I'm so excited. 

Today, we are going to talk to Dr. Leslie Koenig. She is an emergency room doctor. She is also a member of the armed services in the Navy. And she is a master of figuring out how to deal with stress. And I think right now everybody needs this particular Facebook Live to just figure out how to deal with overwhelming stress. Even if you're a very calm person right now. It's a lot of stress in the world. And as we go into the holiday season, for sure people's plans are being changed. And life has been a little different than what it used to. And so I really thought she would be a great addition to talk about how do we deal with these next couple months is the stress is increased with holiday time. She'll tell us a little bit about herself. And then we'll just kind of talk about some great strategies and her wonderful resources she has for a survival guide to help us through these stressful times. 

Dr. Leslie Koenig  2:01  
Well, thank you for having me so much. Like I'm just so happy to get this out there and, and talk to anybody who needs to hear it. So thank you for doing all of this and having this platform. So yeah, yeah. So I'm Leslie kainic. I am an emergency medicine physician. I, let's see, I live in the Midwest right now. And, yes, I spent eight years active duty Navy. And I got out about four years ago. So I loved my time. It was amazing. I met my husband while I was active duty. It was it was fantastic. So I did deploy to Afghanistan while I was in the Navy. So you can imagine I went through a couple stressful events, as we all do, really, you know. But it was a wonderful time. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. So I then had kids, which is a stressor of its own. Yeah, that's what yeah, that's what really propelled me on my journey to fix things. Because I now is responsible for another human being and like, Oh, my gosh, what do I do when I get stressed out, I can't exactly go for a run at the drop of a hat like I used to. So I had to find new strategies. Um, and then the emergency room stuff was, I think just the shift work gets to you. And when I had my kids, I found out like, the breeding techniques you do with labor, I, and some of the visualizations that they taught me, sounded crazy to me. And then I was like, Oh, these really work. What's there's more to this, that I really didn't listen to you before, or just really poo pooed. So I really dug into it. And then I learned all kinds of things. And I use them with my patients. As I found out, they worked for me, and I kind of distilled them down with patients. And I found that I could help patients really fast. So in COVID hit, I was like, What can I do for people right now. And I started writing the stress relief Survival Guide, I thought I'd be this small little pamphlet, and then it blew up. It just kind of wrote itself. I couldn't stop. And that I turned it into a video course and a Facebook group. And here we are.

Jennifer roelands  4:06  
I love that you're actually using this in the emergency room because of all the locations that people would, I mean, usually are very high stressful situations, right? It's not most of the time, not under their control. So that's fantastic that you're actually teaching people in these stressful environments, how to then deal with the circumstance

Dr. Leslie Koenig  4:24  
they're in, right? Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I mean, you know, I think some of them came to just as a human being as a physician comes to you naturally with, you know, guiding people through a stressful situation just over time, you know, the 1000s of hours that we have on the job, but then I found that there was kind of a systematic way to do it. And I found that you know, you can have that really highly agitated person will respond to a certain technique, whereas they won't respond to this other technique. And then someone in a low level stress who just wants to talk but is in the emergency room will respond to this kind of technique. But not the high agitation technique. So that's how I structured the workbook, so that you know, depending on your level of stress, you could just quickly kind of triage yourself, and then be like what stress technique is best in this situation?

Jennifer roelands  5:15  
And since you've mentioned the workbook, do you mind telling us about your program? Like what I know, you said, Why you created it, but what what is the program.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  5:22  
So let's say the workbook itself is about 19. different techniques, stress techniques that work really fast, is the book, the book itself is just a one page explanation of the technique, followed by a few pages of follow up, you know, to help you go through it and kind of to guide you, but also to reinforce the technique. So you learn it really quickly, just straight to the point, no fluff just right to the point right there. So you can just flip it open read, do it within minutes, and then it works within minutes. And then just as you're calm down, then you can do a little bit of reflection. And then from that springboarded, the video course, and in the video course, it's just an expansion of the workbook, but it includes the scientific evidence behind it, I go over real life scenarios that I've had, as a person like individ, like myself, or if the and or in the emergency room have applied them with patients. So I'll give examples, you know, of course, HIPAA approved, where I went through a situation where I was able to use it in the ER, so you know, other physicians watching this, they can go to the video course for ideas of how to use it with their patients.

Jennifer roelands  6:37  
So you actually provide a variety of different techniques, someone can find the right one for them, because not a one size fits. All right? Sometimes people are meditators, sometimes people are journalers, it just depends on what their, you know, level of being able to figure out themselves right on what they can do. 

Dr. Leslie Koenig  6:56  
yes, absolutely, because I found that for me, tapping, for example, works amazing, but I've tried it with different, you know, like my husband, and and just kind of goes over so so and some people are journalers. And some people do not like to journal at all, some people are wanting to just get to the point fast, and some people want more in depth. So there's something for everybody in both the workbook and in the video course.

Jennifer roelands  7:22  
Can you tell us about tapping? Because some people may not know what that is?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  7:25  
Oh, sure.

Jennifer roelands  7:26  
It's simply not always talked about. 

Dr. Leslie Koenig  7:31  
I was so skeptical. I was like, this cannot work. You know, you know, as I was a microbiology major, I'm a very scientific person. I yeah, never bought crystals. And I thought it was something like that, like crystals and auras is what I thought, thats what I thought in my mind, but it is not that at all. What it is, I learned from Dr. Jill Waner, she's a certified tapping coach, and she offered me a free session, I never would have done it had it not been for free. So I'm very, very thankful that I that I had an open mind about it. So, it's called also the Emotional Freedom Technique. And it uses different acupressure spots on the body. For example, when it's on the karate chop point of the hand, and then on the top of the head, you tap tap, and then inside, outside, under. So what you do is you tap on these parts of the body, while speaking, typically, about a stressor. And the way I understand it, these acupressure points through MRI and other research that I've heard, of actually goes straight to those fight or flight areas of the brain and minimizes the impact there. So you almost decouple the stress from the memory. So for me, the way it works is that I can discuss something without the stress rising at the same time. Yeah, so for me, for example, going through, you know, maybe many people have had that issue where you get cut off in traffic, and then later on, you're describing it and you get angry all over again, the tapping prevents that. So that way, you're able to discuss something that raised strong emotions, without the strong emotions coming up and interfering with processing the emotion.

Jennifer roelands  9:21  
So in some ways, you're kind of rewiring your brain to that memory, right? You're kind of telling yourself it's not, it's not how I perceived it the first time you're perceiving it a different time. Isthat kind of what you mean?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  9:31  
I think so you kind of perceive it again, more from a step back, and more with using your prefrontal cortex, the higher brain functions that allow you to see it logically, because oftentimes, when you're frightened, scared, nervous, ashamed, you know, or maybe it's a memory from childhood where you didn't have the processing power to deal with it. You go, you don't, you're not able to use those higher brain functions logically as much and What this does is it allows you to see it in that kind of 30,000 foot view. So that you can kind of see it like somebody else could see it.

Jennifer roelands  10:09  
And do you think for people like, Is it useful for people who have no idea what works for them? Would they just sort of try different techniques? And then kind of find the right one? Is that?

Unknown Speaker  10:19  
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  10:20  
You know, I never thought would work for me. And then I'm, like an evangelist now for it. i. So, you know, it's it all comes down to having an open mind, I think,

Jennifer roelands  10:30  
well, and I think different for me, particularly, whenever I have stressful situations, it doesn't always work the same technique. Like sometimes if I have, you know, I deliver baby. So sometimes the delivery is very intense and emotional for other reasons. And so sometimes that, you know, three deep breaths over and over again, works for me, and sometimes up to literally sit down and write it out. And like, let my brain kind of almost live as if I had a friend I could just vent to.

Unknown Speaker  10:55  
Oh, yeah,

Jennifer roelands  10:56  
yeah, do that. So it imagine this would be fantastic. Because then you basically have a resource all the time, that can say, Well, I tried this thing, and now I'm still mad at the guy in traffic. Step two, let's try something else and see if this is gonna be a better technique. Because I think I would guess for me at least, it there's times when it doesn't always work the same way, you know?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  11:19  
Oh, yeah, definitely. And that's why and each kind of, so that, as I mentioned, kind of triage level. So if you're like, you kind of check your body and your heart rates elevated, and you're really clamped up and you can't calm down, you're probably kind of in the red zone. So I have offered techniques there. And if one of them doesn't work, you can move on to the next. And if that doesn't work, you can move on to the next there's a couple of them in each stress category. And you could absolutely swap back and forth and combine them. I do that all the time. So as I'm, you know, in a really high stress mode, I may use a breathing technique. And then as I calm down, I'm still not where I want to be stress wise, like I'm still stressed out, but I'm like, you know what, I'm ready to journal, I'm ready to do the rain technique. So you can definitely combine them. So you can kind of de escalate your own stress.

Jennifer roelands  12:04  
You must use this with parenting.

Because sometimes it's apparent it's the walk in the other room technique or, you know, there's there's many different moments where you're kind of pushed to your max, and you have to figure out what is the way you can deal with it besides a glass of wine or two? Yeah,

Dr. Leslie Koenig  12:25  
yep. It's funny in my facebook group, I do videos now and then around my house, I'll be like, Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe this just happened. I just get a video of myself doing a technique right now.

Jennifer roelands  12:35  
Yeah. Do this with your kids. techniques with your kids?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  12:40  
Yeah, yeah. Some of them are more involved in logic and writing. And my kids are five and three. So there's a little bit of limitation there. But I can kind of baby it down a little bit. It's once you know it, and you teach it to others, you can definitely, I guess, modify it for different ages.

Jennifer roelands  13:01  
Yeah, and it doesn't say anything in there about kind of how to use it with children or just sort of the old figured out what works best for your child kind of

Dr. Leslie Koenig  13:08  
is figure it out. It's designed for a an adult, or teenagers, really, I know that people have contacted me and said that their teenager really liked it. So it's a very self directed kind of a thing, I wanted it to be very straight to the point, just introduced the techniques and get those techniques out into the world. But that's a good idea, I may take you up on that idea to modify it for that.

Jennifer roelands  13:30  
Listen, if you do anything to help parents with figuring out how to deal with stress, because you know, we're all we're at home. I mean, I don't know how it is in where you live, but we've been home with kids since March 17. They haven't had school in person school. So as this time is sort of continued on with COVID. You know, there's so many different anxiety points that come up with kids, they can't see their friends, they don't get, you know, they don't have the same routine anymore. So I would imagine from a parent, at least from my perspective, idea of being able to teach them different techniques as your kids are different and how they can apply those my kids are nine to 13. So they can they can do some of these things, but sometimes hard to know where to start, you know? Oh, yeah,

Dr. Leslie Koenig  14:11  
yeah, I know that there is definitely a few for example, with with kids, I've heard of one. And it's not in the book. But here's just one that I know of with helping kids to breathe deep. Sometimes they don't get it. So you say blow the candles. And then as they breathe out, you kind of drop your fingers. And so most kids have, you know, maybe three and up can understand that. Like they'll take a deep breath. Oh, can I blow the candle? Okay, no, no, you have like this many more. Take another deep breath. So I know that is one technique that young kids that works with young kids.

Jennifer roelands  14:38  
Yeah. And that's, and that's great anyway, for any age, because sometimes even 10 or 11 year olds are, you know, they're speeding about let's just get it done. And it's like, well, we need to actually makes it make this useful for ourselves. Right? Yeah. Doesn't work unless it's actually helping to de escalate the problem. Mm hmm. Yeah. endpoint. What does it do in case you you might have this I'm here to tell us a success story, like a success story of a patient that or a friend or family member who used this that thought it was extremely helpful.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  15:09  
Okay, so yeah, I mean, I have a few in the course. And one of my favorites is, um, there's a technique that I developed called the battery technique. And I'm fully like, I can teach you guys about it. But um, I had a patient who was suicidal. And he and I sat for a bit. And I, we were chatting, and I kind of got a sense of where his stress level was, he had kind of calmed down a bit, he was no longer actively, you know, wanting to jump out a window. And I said, let's try this technique. And so I gave him a pen. And here, I'll just teach you at the same time had him because he was taking you speaking very negatively. And I got the sense that he was just needed a little bit of a mindset shift. And that's often what we just really need to do with our stress, because the stress will always be there. And there's nothing you can do to change your circumstances. So you have to change your reaction to it, or even how you think about it. So I was like, maybe this will help his mindset. So with a pen, I had him draw a negative on his left hand, and a positive on his right hand. So that way, when you kind of hold the pen like this, you're kind of like charging positive, negative. And what this is, is kind of a mindset experience where I said, Okay, so take the pen, and just tell me about what you're thinking about now. And so he starts going off about COVID. And he's so he has the pen in his negative hand. He's like, in this habit, and this happened, and this happened. And I said, Okay, so now when you're between thoughts, and just looking at your mind, that's when you hold it here, and you're charging, and you're just looking at your thoughts now, are your thoughts still negative? And he'd say, Well, yeah, cuz then I forgot about this, and then my friends and etc. And then I said, Okay, now look back at your thoughts. And so he would charge. And this is where the goal is, I was like, so just so you know, this is where the goal is. And I was like, Is there any way to get the pen in your positive hand? And he sat for a minute? And he said, Well, you know, because of COVID, I'm actually home with my family more, which I did not expect. And I actually had an experience with my dad, that really rekindled a break or write a rift in their relationship. And he's like, you know, and then he's like, I hadn't even thought about that. And then it suddenly everything shifted was just that he was, you know, negative thinking you think it No, still negative thinking, thinking? Nope, still negative. But I just asked him, can you get the pen on the right hand? And suddenly, it's just everything shifted? He was like, Wow, thank you, I never realized that my situation had any positivity to it. And honestly, he, he did great. He actually got to leave the ER, you didn't. He fully contracted for safety. His dad came? And yeah, he would, they were all very thankful. 

Yeah, absolutely. And the key thing is, is like, it's great to be positive all the time. You know, however, you know, a dog with a bone is positive, my, my three year old with a cookie is positive, that thing is like to recognize that, you know, and to really be present in that moment of like, oh, wait a minute, you know, what I'm being really positive, I have a lot of good things happening in my life. And this is almost like, can lead to feelings of like, gratitude, gratitude, acceptance. So actually, like, being positive and knowing it, you know, being negative, but also knowing you're being negative, and just seeing the storm and the tornado of thoughts as they go in that. And that way, also, by focusing on your grounding yourself, because you're using this tactile function to go back and forth. And also, you're, you're taking that again, that that bird's eye view of your mind. So you can see the chaos that it is and also uncover a few things that you didn't even realize you were thinking, but by using that tactile method of looking at your thoughts to ground you, and to keep your brain organized. You know, I think that it just is adds another dimension to seeing your true situation.

Jennifer roelands  19:24  
Yeah, I think when people you when they're changing their mindset, but actually physically doing something, it seems to set in a little bit better. It's kind of like therapy when they do therapy with kids, they often have them do things while they're talking about their emotions, you know, like they're, they're almost like doing play therapy, or they're doing things where they're, they're sort of moving their hands and moving so that they can actually almost keep it in their brain longer, you know, like it's like is you're taking one thing and you're physically moving it over and doing something as opposed to you probably asked the same patient who said, well just tell me five things without even making them do anything. I wonder if it would be the same response. Because they would kind of not be actively moving. And and so it kind of almost sets it in your brain. That makes sense. 

Dr. Leslie Koenig  20:07  
yeah. And then also you have the positive and negative on your hands here to kind of remove you have like, man, I am really focusing on this negative aspect. And then once you actually I think, go through it, and you kind of just realize, like, Man, I'm doing nothing but but negative, negative. And I'm here looking at my thoughts, and I have the possibility of going to the, to the positive, it but it's and I think you see also in it the choice that you have in it. And I think some people get lost in that snowball of thoughts, they feel like it, there's no choice in it. And the thoughts are fully real fully true, when in fact, you have the choice to move it over. And so you just have to flip it to the right hand, you know, just have to make it happen. 

Jennifer roelands  20:50  
and do you for that particular patient? Do you tell him to do that every day? Do you sort of say, hey, let's, you know, on a daily routine, this is what makes sense for you? or How did you tell him to sort of move forward with that technique?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  21:03  
Well, as an emergency room doctor, I kind of do give the discharge instructions that I often hopefully don't see them again. So I just about everybody, I recommend us on a lot of things I recommend the top ones I recommend are download something to your phone that is going to keep you accountable. So I mentioned some of the top meditation apps, so calm headspace 10% happier. And I just advise that they look into one of those. And again, I don't have any monetary affiliation with any of those. I just have tried them all. And I recommend them. 

Jennifer roelands  21:49  
I've heard of that one. I actually know a lot about the calm one. Because I've used that with my son who has ADHD. And so sometimes has moments where you can't go to sleep and focusing. And so I've used the calm app before because it has these 10 minute meditations every day. And then they also have like music. So he likes the rain forest and like the noises to go to sleep, what is the 10% happier one.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  22:12  
So that's more. It was written? Well, sorry, it was started by Dan Harris. He is actually a news anchor on Good Morning America. And I liked that I got into that, because I like to skepticism about all of this. And I really related to that. And also he's got a real self deprecating humor. So in it, he has different courses that are like relationships, wandering retreat, performance for like sports performances. So he has different teachers come on there, they do videos, and then they go into a meditation. But it's not like music or, you know, for calm, I love their sleep stories. I love those because it's, it's I just kind of like listen to something about falling asleep on a train. And next thing I know, I'm actually asleep. So I love calm for that. And I love how calm has the video on it too. So I think that would be really good for kids. So but with 10% happier, it's also has its roots in Buddhist Buddhist traditions, where they will mention some of the different types of meditation with their like Vipassana, whatever, metta meditation forms, so

Jennifer roelands  23:19  
yeah, and I probably with real life stories, it probably makes it relatable to some people too, right? Because they're, they would relate to some of the stories, I guess that would be on it from like, teachers or what or whoever else would be sort of giving those particular thing and yeah, the calm doesn't have any particular stories. The Matthew McConaughey read the story on it. So that that sold me. That was a good.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  23:43  
That was a good one, too. I like that one.

Jennifer roelands  23:44  
Yeah, yeah. And do you so so those apps, you tell people I'm sorry, I interrupted you when you were talking about the different things that you tell them about discharge. So apps that help them with meditation, was there other techniques?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  23:56  
Well, I can't self promote at work, it's kind of a conflict of interest, I almost want to tell them, like, just get my book, just get my book, it's all in there. So I try to squeeze in a few. A few techniques when I'm just like, even even when I listened to their lungs, sometimes if they're really not take a deep breath, I'll teach them the paced breathing technique. And I'll even draw it on the whiteboard. And I'll just be like in for hold for out for hold for. So I will definitely, but I can't tell them about my book. So I will point them towards Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which is we have discharge instructions for so I'll point them towards that the app because everyone has their apps on their phone, and then of course, a local mental health person who they can connect with if they need to.

Jennifer roelands  24:42  
Yeah, and I didn't mention that. But obviously, I hope that's obvious to most people listening that this is definitely not a substitution for seeing a mental health provider, either psychologist or psychiatrist. It's really about augmenting or kind of making that what you learn from those particular people work for you on it. daily basis, because a lot of times in those clinic visits just like why I created this company is there's not a lot of time to go over individual techniques for you. So it's a way that you can actually figure out based upon what your psychiatrist or psychologist thinks is the right way to move forward, you can actually use this to help make that more successful, you know, to definitely make it more successful, because, you know, some of those health professionals will suggest certain things, but this is comprehensive, what you're talking about. I mean, this is a way you can actually go through and say, this works. For me, this works for maybe my kiddo, this works for my family member, like it's a nice guy to be able to help everybody, which is not often easy to do in sort of a clinical setting, you know?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  25:44  
Yeah. And and, you know, building that relationship with someone who knows you and can track you week to week and then you know, use medications if necessary, which I fully believe in, you know, medications are absolutely necessary in mental health at times, but having a licensed person to help you with that, but then I honestly feel like if you you also have to do some of the work yourself to get rid of the negative thoughts and and work through some of the some of the things in another way. So kind of lifestyle modifications as well. Mentally?

Jennifer roelands  26:13  
Yes, well, all and definitely all mental illnesses are tied to health as well. Right. So nutrition and lifestyle, that's something I definitely believe in that, you know, if you are struggling with those particular things, you definitely have to look at what are the lifestyle things that are going off? Like, are you sleeping enough? Are you getting enough water? Are you walking, are you doing those other parts in your life, because those release good endorphins that make you happy. So you always have to look at those components in nutrition. For some, some things like ADHD, like my son nutrition, plays a big part, because some of those kids actually have to really be careful with their diets and, you know, careful with their processed sugars, all the other things. So it all works together. It's not one particular thing, I definitely think there's a more holistic approach you can take to all, you know, chronic illnesses, for sure.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  27:04  
Oh, yeah. And I 100% believe in the integrative approach, where it's, you know, the mind body connection, and then how you deal with all of that, I've definitely seen it in my patients and try to, but yeah, you there's only so much I can pack into an emergency visit. You wish you could pack in so much more. But then also you kind of can overwhelm people with you know, all of it at once. And you know, it's kind of good to have those small steps to reach your bigger goals.

Jennifer roelands  27:31  
Yeah, and for for this for you have given these people techniques as well, because a lot of times you can't go in to see somebody right away. So this gives you a chance to sort of have something on an emergency, right? You get off the phone with your aunt who drives you crazy. And you got to figure out how to decompress on a quicker basis. You can't just call the psychologist and say, I got to talk to you tonight. So this is fantastic way to basically have other options for people to then you know, if they need to change something like an immediate response.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  28:01  
Yep. Yeah, yeah, definitely like that, like the tapping one is really good for me. So like, I get off the phone. And it's like, I can't you know, if you'll just feel agitated or something, I can just do some quick tapping, you know, or at work. If something happens, like, you know, a patient yells at me, I had a patient try to punch a nurse the other day, and yelling and screaming at me, you know, of course, highly intoxicated, but it was one of those just, you can only do so much before you see the next patient. There's literally like almost no time to calm down yourself. So just hopping into the, you know, bathroom really quick and just be like, okay, just take those deep breaths. You know, that wasn't anything personal. She's, you know, highly intoxicated. So, yeah, it's a good, just quick relief tactic.

Jennifer roelands  28:49  
Are you finding as well, that there's more people having high levels of stress because of COVID? And the way things are going? Yeah, I think I would imagine the emergency room that you I mean, I talk about a daily, nearly every patient, especially because I take care of pregnant women. So the stressors of how is this gonna look different when I show up at the hospital? And how is you know, how am I gonna have a baby and be isolated? And all these kind of things that happen that I would imagine this? You know, that this is a bigger need, at this point?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  29:19  
Yeah, it's huge. Really, really huge. It's, I mean, I'm sure you've seen the chronicity of it, you know, people are trying to hold it together for so long. And then if something just kind of makes it come to a head and they sometimes it's a semantic thing. I've seen a lot more young chest pains a lot. And of course, COVID itself causes pleurisy a lot. So seeing that, but then people are afraid of the worst happening and you have to Oh, yeah. There's a lot of stress on both sides, I guess. So patients and doctors and nurses. So it's been a lot. Yeah, a lot of it is just listening to each other and being understanding and support

Jennifer roelands  30:01  
Yeah, I think that's actually the biggest part of it is I try to tell people, it's okay to be stressed out right now. Like, it's okay. It's totally normal. Like, even me, who tends to be a pretty chill personality, like, there's definitely days when I'm like, I am so tired of wearing this mask. I'm so over this, like, I, you know, I mean, and and I think it's okay to say it's okay. You know, it's okay that we're feeling that way. Because this is this is not a normal circumstance. And it's not a normal environment that most people are finding themselves in, especially people who are very used to being around family during this time of year and being on big gatherings and having their very set schedules, I've noticed it's been very difficult for them to pivot away from their normal routine, you know?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  30:44  
Yeah, yeah. And that's the thing is, is it's your as you know, as you said, it's perfectly normal to feel stressed, because there's a reason to be stressed. And it's something that we know in medicine, you know, the situational reaction, and it taxes you no matter how prepared you are for it. And that's kind of what I wrote with the stress relief Survival Guide, was with those acute stressors, I actually felt pretty good, really quickly. And I was one of the first to get quarantined. And when I got back to work, everyone was really stressed out. And I thought, Oh, you're still stressed about that. And I realized there was quite a difference. Because I'd been doing all these techniques, I really ramped him up and really got committed to all of them. And people, some people just don't have those kind of in their toolkit. So you kind of go back to what you know, and you think you don't have time to learn anything new. So people are like, well, I don't want to start meditating, it didn't work for me, but a bottle of wine does the job. But then, you know, multiply that by many months, and then the problem is still there, and the bottle of wine turns into two, you know, and then they come into the ER. So yeah, that's why I thought this would be like a good quick, learn it really quick so that you maybe don't have to go to those maladaptive techniques.

Jennifer roelands  32:01  
So so some people recognize those things as stress and no, that's what that means, like, No, you know, this is, this is my normal, this is my right now, what do you for people who may not recognize us, what do you think would be the common symptoms that they sort of would be having that maybe they should recognize? Is that's actually, you're overwhelmed?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  32:24  
That's a really good question. And there's a lot of different answers to it. And I one of my favorite techniques is or my heart ways to know, is to, and it sounds. I don't know, when I first heard it, I was like, that sounds so cheesy, but to pay attention to your body. So to check in with your heart rate, check in with your muscles, and just see if you're holding a lot of tension in your jaw. Are you getting more frequent headaches? Are you getting more back pain? Is it spasming when you and your spouse have an argument? Um, and then are your kids you know, not acting right? Because they got off a routine, and therefore you're off your routine? And then what kind of things have you given up? And what have you done to replace them? So for example, a lot of people couldn't go to the gym anymore. And that was their outlet. So you may notice you're getting more short tempered at home. And people will often tell you, when you're not acting like yourself. So I would say is to keep an open mind to what people are telling you. Because if people love you, they'll tell you. So and if you're at home alone, and you're feeling like you, oh, you gained 1020 pounds. That's because you're probably stressed out and maybe look at what you're, you know, doing as a technique to adapt, because we're all using our kind of survival skill mode. But then it gets to a point where survival skills need to turn into chronic ways to figure it out.

Jennifer roelands  33:47  
Yeah, and for me, I recognized that I had a stress issue when I was trying to lose weight I had over 40. And it's harder to lose weight when you hit over 40. And so I was trying all the usual techniques and clean eating and all these things. And my friend actually said to me, she's like, you're, you know, have you ever looked at your stress level? And so it kind of clicked to me. I was like, maybe that's I mean, I didn't have consistent sleep. You know, I was this an OB you don't have very great sleep anyway. I noticed, you know, sometimes I'd stay up till midnight sometimes would be 10. And then sometimes I'm tired. And I have an extra cup of coffee. I had all these kind of little bit crazy thoughts. And I was like, You know what, I never really actually did look at dress like, it's to me, it seems so silly. I was like, there's no way stress was me. way like I'm going to the gym, I'm doing my hot yoga.

I'm passing on the ice cream when my kids eat it. You know, I'm doing all the things I'm supposed to. And then when I started actually doing I have I use a five minute app. It's called it's an app that makes you in the morning. Say what the day is going to be so you set the intention for the day. So any questions about what I'm going to do today? What is going to be like my you know, I am what like affirmation. So I started doing that at the end of the day, it reminds you to say, what was your day like? So I have to actually sit down and think about like, did I meet those goals? Like, did I actually do what I wanted to do from a healthy standpoint, and it actually really drastically decreased my stress, I would fall asleep. Much better. Yeah. Cuz I wasn't thinking about all the bad stuff that happened, though, that I wasn't thinking about the fact that, you know, someone got mad at me because they waited 15 minutes for a visit, or I was later dropped coffee on me or whatever, I was actually having to remember what I was supposed to start the day off and then finish that way. And so it actually ended up me, helping me lose weight. And I was able to lose five pounds, I was sort of gaining from just stress.

Unknown Speaker  35:44  
Awesome. Oh, I, you know,

Jennifer roelands  35:46  
I like you said, you kind of were like, no way. And I felt that way stress, these people are fluffy, that's not my jam, I'm not fluffy. And I have appreciated how much that you know, trying to go to bed at night with stress is not good for your diet. Not good for your brain. And just overall, its long term very bad for you to continue to have those high levels, those that cortisol levels that are through the roof all the time. So I love that fact that you have so many different options for people because it's not always I didn't know I was going to be someone who could do well, with a five minute app. There wasn't, I didn't know it was gonna be something that would work. Meditation didn't work for me, because I can't sit still for a few minutes to do it. So this was actually a great technique. So I like that you offer so many different things for people to figure out themselves. Right? Oh, yeah. their own bodies?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  36:41  
Yeah. And it's surprising how well they work for something so simple. You know, you know, I mean, I just thought like, journaling, you know, a notebook, you know, a $2 notebook from Walmart, you know, what power does that have, when people pay 1000s of dollars to therapists, you know, they're the ones who are going to get the response. And I've had a lot of people, especially with COVID, now get very frustrated that they don't have access to mental health, because everything's via zoom, and all their appointments got cancelled, and they can't get in for like two months, and what can we do right now? And the answer is, sometimes it's just as simple as that, you just have to try out different things and figure out what works for you. And it can decrease your stress just as much as an appointment with a psychiatrist or a psychologist, you know, until you can just kinda like as a bridging technique, until you can get into see them. So,

Jennifer roelands  37:30  
and since you are not at work, you can tell us where we can find you.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  37:33  
Oh, sure. I will thank you for asking, um, stress release survival. guide.com is the website where you can access my video course, which is leave it's four different modules, a bunch of bonuses, a bunch of extras about how to boost your happiness level, and all evidence base proven by research, with worksheets and stuff to go along to keep you accountable. So stress relief, Survival Guide calm, I am on Facebook stress as a stress relief survival group. And that is one way and then on Amazon, just Google, either My name Dr. Leslie kindig, or stress relief Survival Guide. And I have the workbook right there that you can buy for yourself, you can give it as a gift. And I don't have a copy in front of me, but it's really well designed. I love it. It's like this. It's like this. The cover as much of mountains and stuff on it.

Jennifer roelands  38:27  
Yeah, that's beautiful. The front cover? And and definitely, you can get it in two days. So it can be there for Christmas.

Dr. Leslie Koenig  38:32  
Mm hmm. Yeah. I think they're printed to order. So get it now if you're thinking about it.

Unknown Speaker  38:38  
So yeah, for sure. And

Jennifer roelands  38:40  
the Facebook group is set up so that you can have other people kind of support you. And in this kind of, you know, if you're struggling with something in between and need some extra help, the idea is sort of other people helping teach you right?

Dr. Leslie Koenig  38:52  
Yeah, absolutely. There's all kinds of other people in there willing to support you ask you for the questions. And, and just help you through things. You know, some people kind of use it to vent a little bit. But what I like to see is people who come in and you know, just try something out. But if you need a little extra help, that's what the group is there for, to help you with your stress. And like I said, there's different videos on there. There's a tapping tutorial, in case you're interested in that it's me and Dr. Joel Waner, and we go through actually a tapping for anxiety and stress. And then I go through different techniques, even as a parent. And a lot of times my kids will totally bomb my videos. So you'll probably see my kids just jumping on me as I'm like, mid explanation of a technique. So if you're a parent, you can maybe get a kick out of that.

Jennifer roelands  39:41  
Well, if they're on this, they've seen my kids in my videos, too. That's, that's part of making you are who you are. So it's important to always, you know, be present with your kids and be present with the people that they know who you are. And that's part of you. So definitely. I thank you very much for letting us talk to you today.