December 24, 2020

The Importance of Making Time for Self-Reflection

Show Notes

On this episode, Chuck Gaidica is joined by Marissa Jarrett, onsite well-being coordinator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Together, they discuss the importance of making time to self-reflect.

In this episode of A Healthier Michigan Podcast, we explore:

    • How change is a constant, and what we can do to adapt to change.
    • The power of perception and self-awareness.
    • The impact our environment has on our process of self-reflection.
    • Maintaining self-care through self-reflection.

Transcript

Chuck Gaidica:
This is a Healthier Michigan podcast, episode 70. Coming up we discuss the importance of self-reflection.

Chuck Gaidica:
Welcome to a Healthier Michigan podcast. This is a podcast dedicated to navigating how we can improve our health and well-being through small, healthy habits we can start implementing right now. I’m your host, Chuck Gaidica. Every other week we’ll sit down with a certified health expert from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and we’ll do a deep dive into topics that go from nutrition to fitness, and a whole lot more. On this episode, we’re discussing the importance of taking time for self-reflection and personal growth. With us today is a well-being coordinator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Marissa Jarrett. She’s got an extensive background in group fitness, personal training, bodybuilding, CrossFit, wellness coaching, all of that means I’m going to be nice to her, because she can take me. Oh my gosh, don’t flex. You’re going to intimidate me. Marissa, this is one of the coolest things about you and your background, you and your husband live on a nine acre farm, right?

Marissa Jarrett:
Yes, we do.

Chuck Gaidica:
You’ve got animals from turkeys, Tibetan yaks, chickens, ducks, sheep, and honeybees. Come on.

Marissa Jarrett:
Yes. There’s a lot of activity buzzing around here, if you will.

Chuck Gaidica:
Are you also growing your own products, like a produce and other things, or do you have a farm then as well?

Marissa Jarrett:
We do, Chuck, we do. We are pretty much self-sustainable over here. We grow all of our vegetables and fruits, all of our herbs, and we raise animals, so we, yeah, we have it all. We do honey from the bees and we make maple syrup from all of the trees that we have on our property, so there’s little that we want for.

Chuck Gaidica:
Well, that’s really cool, and I so appreciate all that I’m reading about anyway, that I see that makes you so well-rounded as this expert we have today, because you’ve also earned the title of Flint/Mid-Michigan Overall Women’s Bodybuilding Champion. This is quite the resume, and that’s why I’m being nice to you.

Marissa Jarrett:
Thank you.

Chuck Gaidica:
We’re coming through this time in our lives where we’ve had maybe extra time on our hands. I know we’re trying to juggle a whole lot, but talk to us about this idea, knowing thyself. I mean, Aristotle said it, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” What does it mean to really sit down and be self-reflective? What does that mean to you, and what should it mean to us?

Marissa Jarrett:
To me, Chuck, it’s a way to check in with ourselves. We’ve had a lot of time on our hands this year, especially that we can reflect on what we’ve done, who we want to be, and just assess if we are where we want to be today, and if not, what do we need to do? What do we need to change in order to grow to get there?

Chuck Gaidica:
And change is something that is always constant, and we’ve seen that in this year of 2020, that’s sort getting in the rear view mirror now, but also, change has been hard, because we just can’t do the same things we’re accustomed to. Those traditions and rituals that we become accustomed to, so how do we manage changing ourselves in this time where it seems like we can’t even leave the house some days.

Marissa Jarrett:
We have to be creative. There’s a lot of things that we look forward to doing, especially this time of year, that becomes very difficult because of everything that’s going on. We may not be finding time to spend with our loved ones. We may not be traveling to the places we normally travel to on an annual basis, so this provides us a really good opportunity to just sit and reflect. Maybe go through old photo albums and revisit the places that you visited last year, the year before, and be thankful that you had those opportunities. Sit down with your family and friends, if it’s through Facebook Live, or Zoom, or FaceTime, and just re-envision those moments with your family and friends. Really self-reflect and be thankful for all of those times that you had.

Marissa Jarrett:
Yeah, it is going to be so different. There was so much that I was looking forward to doing with my family and friends this year, and it’s just going to be a very different. If you are usually with your family and friends around the holidays, maybe taking time to create a special letter that you write or a card, just bringing everybody up to speed on everything that you’ve been through this year, all of your accomplishments. My husband’s family has a couple of relatives that will send out every year, and it’s just so nice to get because we don’t see them very often. They just recount everything that they’ve done as a family and individuals. Things that they’ve read. What their high was for the year, what their low was for the year, and it’s just really a nice way to connect with people. Maybe we all need to do a little bit more of that this year, since we can’t be sitting together face-to-face with one another.

Chuck Gaidica:
Well, and you’ve said something in a couple of different ways here, in just the past couple of minutes, a little thread of gratitude and thankfulness that there is a way. I guess it’s not false optimism, right? That everything is going to be better tomorrow, because we know it’s taking a minute, but there is this notion that we do have a lot to be thankful for, even as we come through a season where typically it’s filled with hustle, and bustle, and stress, and maybe relatives you want to see and some you don’t. All of a sudden the year changes, but you can look for things to be thankful about, even now.

Marissa Jarrett:
Absolutely, and I think it starts with slowing down. If we already haven’t been doing that, in light of everything that’s happened this year, maybe take the time now to just sit back and think about everything that’s happened, and why it has happened, and what you can do to make it better.

Marissa Jarrett:
My husband always says, “There’s never anything bad that happens. It’s just how you look at it, and if you just take a minute, you can always see the upside and the bright side of everything.” I think that’s really true, and I think a lot of us can relate to that, because I think we’ve probably spent more time, than we have in the past, with our families, with those that are in our household. We’ve been together, these last nine, 10 months with one another, probably sharing family meals together, because we’re not doing things that we normally were doing. We’re not going out to eat. We’re not going to concerts. We’re not going on vacations, so there really is, like you said, we’ve got that gratitude. All those things to be thankful for.

Chuck Gaidica:
When you’re trying to build self-awareness and self-reflection, for some of us, and I mean, I have learned over time a good way to manage this for myself in various different ways, and I don’t know that I’m an expert, but calming yourself, right? Becoming still without everything of the day kind of circulating through. For some people that means they get up early and they meditate, or they pray, or they sit still and think deeply. For some, it happens all day long, for some it’s later at night, kids are to bed. “I finally… I got time,” but how do we still ourselves, so we can really decompress enough where we take the time to slow down, as you say, and then try to self-reflect?

Marissa Jarrett:
I think you need to, what I believe is you need to make the time, like you said, we have to schedule it, just like anything else. We have to have good time management skills with self-reflection, with self-care, with self-improvement, that just doesn’t happen. We have to make sure that we’re taking the time, that we’re scheduling that time, so like you said, yes, there’s some of us who like to get up in the morning and work out. It’s making sure that that’s the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning, we’re setting that time to do that, or we’re setting that time to pray, and it doesn’t have to be an hour. It could be 10 minutes. It could be five minutes.

Marissa Jarrett:
With everything that’s been going on this year I didn’t have my commute time anymore, so it allowed me to do more things. I was able to put myself first and get back into my working out, and giving myself that extra time. As opposed to having 10 minutes, I could give myself an hour, and then I always look forward to pouring myself a cup of coffee or tea, and then sitting out on my front porch and watching the sunrise, because I was up so early with my workouts. Then just kind of reflect on what’s happened over the course of the week, or the day, or just kind of set my intention on the things that I want to get done that day.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. With your varied interest and background, is there, maybe you just said it with being up early and watching the sunrise, but is there one place where you can just sail away and find that time? Is it walking in nature? Is it working out? Is it being with animals or on the farm? I mean, what is it for you personally where you’re able to, really, just time kind of goes by without you thinking about it.

Marissa Jarrett:
It’s really all of those things and it might not happen every day, but it might be all of those things on a different day. I’ve got beautiful trails in our yard, and I love to walk through them and enjoy nature and everything that we have, and if you don’t have that in your backyard, go find a local park. Michigan’s got beautiful parks throughout the state that you can go and visit. And visit them all seasons of the year, because that path that you took in the spring is going to look very different now in the fall or in the winter when it’s snow covered. The sounds are going to be different as well. In the spring, you’re going to hear birds chirping and in the dead of winter, after the snow’s fallen, there could be more of a hush. There’s that silence, and it’s inviting and invigorating.

Marissa Jarrett:
Sitting with my coffee in the morning, watching my puppies play on the front lawn or curling up with a book at the end of the day, or even sitting with my thoughts and my journal. I tell people, find time to journal and write down everything that happened during your day. Then that often leads to a self-reflection process later on. I encourage people to go back and read their journals. I mean, it ends up becoming a blueprint, almost, of your life, if you do it on a regular basis. Journal everything, your thoughts, your feelings, and you’d be really surprised what you might learn after you reflect on that a week later, a month later, a year later. You can really learn a lot.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. I’ll bet you do, and does journaling for you give you a way to off shore some of the things that could keep spinning in your mind through the day, or maybe even keep you up at night? Do you find a benefit that way too?

Marissa Jarrett:
Absolutely. There’s a lot of people who aren’t comfortable talking to people about their feelings, so journaling is one way that you can just write everything down, and then put it away. Then not worry about it anymore, but on the other side, maybe at the end of the month or the end of the year, as you’re reading through your journal and you’re reflecting upon everything, depending on how much detail you put into that, you might be able to see some patterns and realize what you can do to change something to make it better, if it was something that you weren’t feeling good about at the time that you wrote it. You know?

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah.

Marissa Jarrett:
There’s really a lot that you can learn from keeping a daily journal.

Chuck Gaidica:
I don’t have this exact perspective based on journaling. Although I have journaled, I have it more along the lines of being coached. I had kind of a life coach experience. I enrolled in this program. Anyway, it was a year long, once a month, and about three, four months in, I said something out loud to the coach. Coach is kind of like being your parent. They practice reflective listening, right? Same thing with wellness coaching, “Chuck, I heard that you want candy, but this is not the time,” right?

Chuck Gaidica:
I said something to this coach and she said to me on the phone, she was up in Canada. I had never met her, and she said, “You’ve told me three times in as many months, you never want to do what you just said, you think you’re going to do.” I said, “I did?” I didn’t realize that that pattern had set up, that I was actually verbalizing, “This is something I don’t want to do, and somewhere down the road, I guess I just changed my mind.” She said, “Wait a minute, that doesn’t quite match with the way you’ve been saying this in the past.” I thought, “Wow, was that powerful.”

Marissa Jarrett:
That’s a great way to look at things. When you verbalize to people, you have to be open to what they have to say as well, so when you can get that out there, that’s another way to be self-reflective.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. We should point out that your experience, my experience, while they seem to have some help for us, they are anecdotal and they’re still maybe not exactly the one size fits all solution to everybody else. Right? Everybody’s context is different.

Marissa Jarrett:
Correct. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa for somebody else. I think it’s finding a process that works for you as an individual. I think they all share one thing in common though. I think it’s having time management, prioritizing yourself in order to self-reflect.

Chuck Gaidica:
But do you know how tough that is for some of us to say, now you’re saying time management, like I’m supposed to sit down and put in my smartphone right now, time for Chuck. It just seems counter-intuitive for some of us that you would literally put in downtime or self-reflective time in your calendar, but let’s be fair, if we don’t, some of us will never do it.

Marissa Jarrett:
Exactly. You have to treat it just like anything else. Like I said earlier too, it doesn’t have to be a lot and it’s going to be something different for everybody else. It could be journaling, it could be meditating, and meditating doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. It could just be taking a breath for one minute, and just focusing on that and being still. Talking out loud, taking a walk in nature. Turning off your electronic devices, could just be that. At seven o’clock turn them off and enjoy whatever else you can enjoy. Read a book, spend time with your family. Wherever you can fit it in morning, afternoon, night on your drive to work, on your drive home from work. It’s going to look different for everybody.

Chuck Gaidica:
Are there certain questions we should be asking ourselves as we’re moving into this period of self-reflection? What should we be doing? Is there a process? I know you just said that it’s different for everybody, but are there certain ways that we can kind of jumpstart it if we’ve never done this before?

Marissa Jarrett:
Absolutely. If you’ve never done it before, there are books out there that kind of give you prompting questions, if you don’t know where to start, but you can just start with something simple. Like after a meeting, when you leave that meeting or a class that you may have taken, what did I learn? Or what could I have done better? What’s made this a good year or a bad year? I know I’m going to do the same thing, because I did it the last time you and I did a podcast together. After we’re done, I’m going to be saying, “Oh, I could’ve answered that question a little bit better,” or “Why didn’t I bring that up?”

Chuck Gaidica:
No.

Marissa Jarrett:
But yeah, so if you take the time to, every day, and I know I beat the journaling thing to death, but I think it is really important in so many different areas, but when you do that and you detail everything, you can find out what was I successful at? What can I improve on? Write down where you see yourself in six months, in a year, in five years.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. But now, you just said something here that I think for many of us, it can go down the wrong path. You were driving home, you said last time, and I thought you did a great job. You’re doing a great job today, but how do you get to the point where being self-reflective and looking for improvement in whatever it is you’re looking for improvement in, doesn’t turn into negative thoughts. That the negative thoughts start to outweigh the positive thoughts, and that turns into this broken record of self-defeat. I can’t do it. How do you balance that? Or how do you combat that from turning into just negativity?

Marissa Jarrett:
I think we have to have compassion for ourselves and stop ruminating over things that happened. Then just realize that some things are going to be out of your control, but they’re opportunities to grow later on. I think that we just be open-minded and just accept that things may not always go the way we want them to. Like a poker player will tell you that every hand is a winner and every hand is a loser, it just depends on how you play the hand.

Chuck Gaidica:
Ah, yeah.

Marissa Jarrett:
I think it’s a learning experience that we can all grow and become more confident by just allowing ourselves to be a little bit more compassionate, and not be so critical and nitpicking at everything.

Chuck Gaidica:
So self-reflection is also wrapped up in self-care. I mean, when you think about this time, it’s been rough on a lot of us, some much rougher than others. Some people have lost a loved one in this year for any varied number of reasons, but self-care and loving oneself, it kind of reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live bit, or who was it? Al Franken used to look in the mirror. He said, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I like you.” You do, every once in a while, have to stop as you’re walking past maybe the proverbial mirror of life and just say, “You know, I’m doing okay. I mean, I’m getting through it,” right?

Marissa Jarrett:
Yes. Have a personal mantra, say it every morning, put it up on your mirror like you said. Every time you walk by, see it and say it. I kind of think self-reflection leads to self-improvement, and in order to have all of that, you need to have self-care. I think they’re all encompassed together, and I think you can buy as many self-improvement books as you want to, but if you don’t schedule time to take care of yourself, to read them, they’re not going to do you any good. Self care, just like self reflection is going to be different for everybody else. Somebody might get that from spending time out in nature or spending time listening to a motivational podcast, but it’s important to schedule that self-care time for yourself too.

Chuck Gaidica:
This idea of writing something, and for some it’s a motivational message for some it’s scripture, for some it’s whatever the message may be, that they literally write down or they tape it to the mirror.

Marissa Jarrett:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chuck Gaidica:
Do you practice any version of visualization where you literally are, I don’t know, if like the coach of the football team you see through the wall and if you can visualize it, it can be yours, but you’ve done a lot of things and you’ve accomplished a lot, professionally and personally. Does that work for you, visualizing the end game and maybe the win?

Marissa Jarrett:
It does, and it has. Years ago when I was going through my bodybuilding, my trainer at the time would always tell me, “See yourself. From the time I was doing my workout, see yourself doing it before you have to do it, execute every rep perfectly,” and then as I was getting close to competition time, he was already ingraining it, “See yourself, you’re going to win. See yourself, the winner. See yourself on stage. See yourself accepting that trophy.” That was my mindset, and it happened. I think a lot of it had to do with just seeing my vision, believing in my vision, and living my vision.

Chuck Gaidica:
For some people, they could hear this and they would say, “That doesn’t work for me. I visualize myself 60 pounds lighter, and it just ain’t going to happen.” The idea of visualizing, I guess, wrapping this up around self, I think I’ve got to be careful that I don’t wrap too much around what I think I control versus there being some grander plan that I’m willing to kind of be in the flow of, but how do you manage that part? How do you manage the fact that what if your visualization didn’t work out?

Marissa Jarrett:
I think there’s your vision, and then there’s visualization. Vision, I think is the extremely detailed version of your goal, and seeing where you want to be, no matter what happens, and visualization is the act of seeing yourself in that vision, so that’s the doing part. The vision is the seeing part, right? The visualization is going to be the act of doing that. I love to do vision boards. I think they have a great purpose, but you can’t just make a vision board and leave it there. You have to actively be going after those things that you want. They’re not just going to happen.

Marissa Jarrett:
Yeah, if you want to lose 60 pounds, don’t look at it as losing 60 pounds, set goals, small goals and long-term goals, and set an action plan to meet each of those goals. Maybe start with, “I’m going to try and lose five pounds.” Then once you get that five pounds, then go for the next, but you can’t just say, “I want to lose 60 pounds,” and think about it without putting it to action. I think that’s where a lot of people, they have all these lofty goals, but then they drop the ball, and they don’t do anything. They don’t chase after what they want.

Chuck Gaidica:
Well, and to some extent, it’s not all of our fault. We’ve got to realize that. I just read something, it’s a bit unrelated to what you and I are talking about today in a way, but I just read the other day that one out of seven people that have a bad habit, that are told they need to stop the bad habit or they will die. It was literally that dramatic. Only one out of seven actually stopped. In other words, if you don’t quit drinking, you’re going to die. Your liver is going to go. Then I guess six of the seven, just keep on going. It’s an astounding statistic when you hear it, but the point of that research was breaking bad habits is very difficult for all of us, whether it’s just because of the length of time.

Chuck Gaidica:
This idea of getting out of negative thinking, of not visualizing, the stuff you’re talking about, for some people it’s just tough, because we keep thinking we’re losing 60 pounds or I’m going to get a Bentley someday. Well, probably not. It’s not an achievable goal, right? Somehow you’ve got to manage that part.

Marissa Jarrett:
That’s where I like to throw back in the journaling. I was in a class once. I can’t remember if I read this, or if somebody told me this in my class, but Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s really a wonderful visionary and he journaled a lot. He said that, “Your journal can show you your past, your present your future,” so if you’re journaling, whether it’s journaling a food journal, journaling your feelings, if you are journaling and you’re including all of your details, Chuck, and you go back and you revisit that journal, eventually you’re going to start seeing those behaviors, those habits. If those are behaviors and habits that you don’t like about yourself, and that you want to change, then you can start making those changes.

Marissa Jarrett:
For instance, going back to the 60 pounds that you want to lose. If you are doing really, really well, Monday through Thursday, and then Friday comes and you’re going out with your friends, and your friends like to drink, and they like to eat greasy foods, and you’re doing this. If you’re keeping your journal, then you might go, “Wow, I guess I didn’t realize when I go out with so-and-so, I’m doing this, and when I go out with so-and-so, I’m doing this.” You might not see it at the time, but if you take that time for self-reflection, and really look at what you’ve done in the past and where you are today, you’ll get a good sense of where you’re headed tomorrow.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. So much of what you’re saying is going from being self-reflective to moving towards self-improvement, and then that does require some action. Doesn’t it? I mean, to be fair with ourselves, that’s going to require at least a little bit of work. You’ve got to do something

Marissa Jarrett:
Exactly. You’re going to have to make better eating habit choices. You’re going to have to include some physical activity, or different physical activity if what you’ve been doing, hasn’t been working, or maybe enlist the help of a coach or a mentor to help you get where you want to go.

Chuck Gaidica:
You have, or you still are a wellness coach. Do you fashion yourself as that at this moment as well?

Marissa Jarrett:
Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chuck Gaidica:
What is it about a coach that is… When you say that maybe somebody should get a coach, why would you find that to be an important feature? I know why it helped me. It wasn’t a wellness coach, but what is it that you can do for someone that they can’t do for themselves when you’re serving them as a coach?

Marissa Jarrett:
It’s offering motivation, an unbiased opinion perhaps, and direction. If somebody is keeping a journal… I’ve had in the past, for instance, I’ve had people give me a journal and say, I eat really well. I don’t know why you want me to do this, but I’ll look at their journal and they’ve had no vegetables for the day. They’ve had yogurt, granola, and a whole bunch of fruit and a couple cups of coffee. I can help point out to them some things that are missing or lacking, and guide them to making some healthier choices. A coach will help keep somebody accountable. If somebody is trying to work out three or four days a week, enlist my help. I’ll be there to help you, whether we’re doing it face-to-face, we’re doing it virtually. Or I’m checking in with you every day at the end of the day, or giving you a phone call or a text in the morning, reminding you, “Do this. Don’t forget your water. Don’t forget to meal prep tomorrow for your big meeting tomorrow, you said. Make sure you’ve got your meal prep already.” It’s just offering some help and accountability.

Chuck Gaidica:
I think that encouragement part is a big one, because I forgot what movie my wife and I were just watching the other night, we were streaming something, and these two guys got into an argument and one said, “You just really need someone to go attaboy.” Then a few minutes later in the movie, he gets a basket of stuff from the same guy he just kind of had an argument with and he opens the card and it says, “Attaboy.” I thought, we all sort of need that pat on the back, even if we give it to ourselves every once in a while. We need, whether it’s through formal coaching or just the self-reflection, which can lead to self-improvement, we do need to know it’s okay to give us a little pat on the back every once in a while. Not just for ego sake, but just to know it’s okay, you did well.

Marissa Jarrett:
Right. Celebrate all of your successes, no matter how small they are, and be that cheerleader for yourself or for someone else.

Chuck Gaidica:
Oh, that’s a great point. Yeah. I mean, because for some people that may be the way that they get lost by giving something away, right? That you’re actually encouraging other people.

Marissa Jarrett:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah.

Marissa Jarrett:
Everbody’s going to be motivated by something different. What motivates one person isn’t going to be the same thing that motivates another person. Some people are motivated by words, other people are motivated by action.

Chuck Gaidica:
You ran past this and I don’t want it to get lost on everybody and not on me, either. This idea of surrounding yourself with… As my dad used to tell me when we were growing up as kids, he had never gone to college, and I was the first kid in my family to go to college. He used to always tell me, “Just surround yourself with smarter people than you are,” and I thought, “Well, okay.” You look back and you think, “That’s one of those dad things,” and then as you start to grow up, you think, “Yeah, this is not a bad idea,” but that notion of surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up is real.

Marissa Jarrett:
Absolutely. Yes.

Chuck Gaidica:
My own personal anecdote about that was, and I just mentioned this, I think, in our last podcast, and I have no stock in this app, what’s it called again? Lose It!, where I put in my food, I journal my food through the day and I track everything. I remember, when I first started doing that, my wife, we’d go to a restaurant and I’m putting in fish or do whatever. Finally, we’re driving home one night. She said, “You know, that’s driving me bananas. That you’re putting in all your food.” I said, “Well, I talked to my doctor and he said, ‘this is a good thing do,'” and I did, and I wound up losing some weight because of it.” Well, sure enough, in about a month, my wife, Susan, downloaded the Lose It! app, and she doesn’t even need to lose weight. I mean, this woman could eat Cinnabons every day and then she’d lose five pounds. It drives me nuts.

Chuck Gaidica:
She’s got the app and she looked at me after she got it. She said, “Thank you. I’m eating healthier,” and I thought, “Wow.” I didn’t even realize that I could somehow influence her or encourage her just by virtue of the fact that I was becoming more healthy.

Marissa Jarrett:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Isn’t that wonderful?

Chuck Gaidica:
It was, yeah. It’s really nice.

Marissa Jarrett:
You never know who’s watching, you never know who’s paying attention. You can uplift others and not even know it. In your case, it was your wife and she acknowledged that, that’s wonderful.

Chuck Gaidica:
She still can eat a Cinnabon by the way, and she loses weight. Still drives me crazy.

Marissa Jarrett:
I might have to ask her how she does that.

Chuck Gaidica:
It’s just the metabolism thing, Marissa, I’m telling you, and she does eat healthy, but all I know is she could eat the corner end piece of birthday cake. I just walk past a cake and I gain five pounds. It’s just the way everybody’s wired differently.

Chuck Gaidica:
We know we’re going to come out of this, living in the same household and kids are doing, and we’re going on Zoom calls, and you’re doing a podcast from home. I mean, the world is going to shift back to what we came to know, we think. Hopefully sooner than later, but even when that’s not happening yet, the world is still moving at the speed of light. Right? We seem to be in this very fast-paced world. What are the ways that we can stay in the game of being self-reflective while the news of the day is goofy and while life is moving so quickly? How do we make sure we’re staying in the zone?

Marissa Jarrett:
First of all, knowing that it’s okay to say no, that we can slow down. There’s what? 1,440 minutes in a day, 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. We don’t have to be on the go all of that time. We can choose to opt out of that rush lifestyle and reflect on the things that are important to us. Turn off the electronics, go for a walk, and when you go for a walk or when you’re eating your next meal, take time and really engage your senses, and think about things that you see, and hear, and taste, and feel, and smell, and slow down enough to enjoy all of that. When you’re self-reflecting it’s a really great time to ask yourself, are you doing what you love? Are you in a healthy relationship? Is this where you thought you would be five years ago?

Marissa Jarrett:
Well, maybe 2020 isn’t where anybody thought they would be five years ago when they were looking ahead, but in any other year, what can we do to get where we want to go, to be who we want to be? As we’re self-reflecting, again, I mentioned earlier, take time to celebrate all of your successes, and I hate to use the word losses when I say, “evaluate our losses,” but things that maybe didn’t go as well as we had hoped, maybe there was a good reason for that, but can you sit back objectively and look at that, and find out what could you have done to change it? If there wasn’t anything, don’t worry about it, but if there’s something that you could have done to change the outcome of it, then take the steps to work towards improving that, and improving yourself and making yourself better. It’s a little like a course correction in our thoughts and behaviors to promote our health and our well-being over the years.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah, no, I love that, and I love what you said too, about getting comfortable with saying no. It took me a large part of my career, because I always felt, because I was in the public eye in television news and radio, “Well, can you come MC my thing?” It’s of course, for some great charity. It took me years to finally get to the point where I would say, “Sadly, I’m not available.” I mean, I had to figure out a way where I felt okay doing it, and in this case, that’s not really necessarily something everybody deals with, but we have to be able to say no, or turn off the device, which is kind of like saying, “No, I can’t answer your text right away.”

Marissa Jarrett:
Right.

Chuck Gaidica:
That does open up some elbow room, some capacity in your day to maybe allow for you to put in that time for self-reflection, huh?

Marissa Jarrett:
Absolutely, Chuck.

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah. All right. As we wrap things up, you’ve given us so much great stuff. Anything else we should take away? I mean, are there any top five things you want to talk about? What do you want to leave us with as a charge as we now click toward 2021?

Marissa Jarrett:
Oh my gosh. I know it can’t get here fast enough. Right?

Chuck Gaidica:
Yeah, right. Yeah.

Marissa Jarrett:
If there was ever a time, we were looking forward to that new year. It’s now, more than ever.

Chuck Gaidica:
Let’s start it today, a week early. Come on.

Marissa Jarrett:
That’s right. That’s right. I would have to say, “Set time aside every day for yourself, to self-reflect, to find something that you can improve on and to take care of yourself.” Choose something that you enjoy. Walking, journaling, listening to a podcast, meditating, playing with a dog or your child, and ask yourself, where do you see yourself next month? Or in the years ahead, and learn to see yourself as the person you want to be. If I had to sum it up in three words, “Live it, love it, be it.”

Chuck Gaidica:
All right. I think that’s a great way to leave it. Well, Marissa Jarrett, it sure is good to talk to you again. Stay well.

Marissa Jarrett:
You too, Chuck. Thank you so much. You do the same. Thank you for having me.

Chuck Gaidica:
Oh, you’re very welcome. A happy and healthy start to your new year and everybody who’s listening as well. Take good care.

Marissa Jarrett:
Thank you Chuck.

Chuck Gaidica:
Thank you, and thanks for listening, everybody, to a Healthier Michigan Podcast. It’s brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. If you like the show, you want to know more, you can check us out online, ahealthiermichigan.org/podcast. You can leave us ratings, reviews on Apple Podcast or Stitcher, and you can get episodes. We’re episode 70 today, so we’ve got some great content for you. Hours and hours of all kinds of cool stuff that you can download and take with you wherever you go. To get these episodes on your smartphone or tablet, be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcast or Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. I’m Chuck Gaidica. I hope you are well, and 2021, here we come. Take good care.