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Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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Protecting Your Own Mental Health as a Sleep Consultant with Elizabeth Baron

Protecting Your Own Mental Health as a Sleep Consultant with Elizabeth Baron

Elizabeth Baron is a NY State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and psychotherapist with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her primary clinical focus is maternal mental health – from preconception and pregnancy, through postpartum and parenting. Previously, she worked as a therapist at The Motherhood Center (TMC) of New York, where she developed her expertise in treating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. While at The Motherhood Center, she also served as the Community Partnerships lead and worked to educate new and expecting mothers and clinical providers on the importance of maternal mental health.Protecting own mental health

Today she provides individual therapy in her private practice, moderates several support groups, and offers webinars and educational talks to several different brands across the parenting space. Deeply committed to destigmatizing maternal mental health issues, she is passionate about helping women through all stages of motherhood.Protecting own mental health

On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, Elizabeth and I discussed: Protecting own mental health

  • How we as sleep consultants can work to release some of the emotional load that we carry on behalf of our clients
  • That humanizing the experience of sleep and mothering in a more realistic frame for life leads to a more positive and successful experience for both parents and sleep consultants Protecting own mental health
  • The need for boundaries in our businesses. And that it’s ok to give ourselves grace if it feels difficult to set those boundaries in the very beginning. It takes time! Protecting own mental health

Links:Protecting own mental health

Website: Elizabeth Baron, LMHC
Instagram: @withelizabethb

If you would like to learn more about the Becoming a Sleep Consultant, please join our free Facebook Group or check out our CPSM Website.


Transcript:Protecting own mental health

Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management.

On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.

Elizabeth Baron is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Psychotherapist with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Her primary clinical focus is maternal mental health – from preconception and pregnancy, through postpartum and parenting.

Previously, she worked as a therapist at The Motherhood Center (TMC) of New York, where she developed her expertise in treating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. While at The Motherhood Center, she also served as the Community Partnerships lead and worked to educate new and expecting mothers and clinical providers on the importance of maternal mental health.

Today she provides individual therapy in her private practice, moderates several support groups, and offers webinars and educational talks to several different brands across the parenting space. Deeply committed to destigmatizing maternal mental health issues, she is passionate about helping women through all stages of motherhood.

If you missed Elizabeth’s first appearance on the podcast, scroll back to Episode 15. We discussed the mental and emotional challenges of entrepreneurship. And it was a great conversation.

Jayne Havens: Elizabeth, welcome back to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. As always, I’m thrilled to be chatting with you today.

Elizabeth Baron: Thanks for having me back. You know I love being here.

Jayne Havens: I wanted to have you back on the show today to discuss ways that we, as sleep consultants, can protect our own mental health while supporting our clients through stressful circumstances. I think that this is something that’s really hard to do, especially in the early stages of our careers.

I remember one of the very first clients that ever hired me. She was a mom that was struggling with some pretty severe postpartum anxiety. And it’s actually a case that I will never forget. She was sleeping on an air mattress with her five-month-old. He was latched on to her breast the entire night. I was brand new, and I simply suggested that she lie next to him and comfort him with touch and her calming voice. She was so incredibly triggered by the response that her baby had.

Obviously, he was really, really upset by this change. And I had never seen such an intense response from a mom during a really sort of what I thought was a gradual approach to sleep training. I felt like I didn’t have the tools to support her emotionally, and I felt like my own blood pressure was skyrocketing. She was asking for a refund and accused me of bait and switch, saying that I was essentially telling her to let her baby cry it out, which of course I wasn’t. I was a total mess worrying about her mental health. I was feeling like I totally failed her. And frankly, my own mental health was suffering as well.

Now with more experience, I feel confident that none of this would play out the same way with a family that I’d work with today. But I think that this story will probably resonate with a lot of sleep consultants who are listening to this podcast, as most of us have faced a difficult situation, maybe similar to this one at some point in our careers. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how we, sleep consultants, can position ourselves to navigate these circumstances while still protecting our own mental health.

Elizabeth Baron: Oh, my God, Jayne.

Jayne Havens: It’s heavy, right?

Elizabeth Baron: Heavy. And yet for me, of course, so familiar based on my expertise in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders all day long in my private practice. But what I first want to say is, if I could just hug you and that mom in that moment. It just feels like both of you, if I can visually see you in the nursery, she needed a hug. And so did you, which was like let’s figure this out together.

So I guess let’s start by going a little deeper here, surprise, sitting with me today around how you could have used yourself and your body and the signal that so fast came to you. Your blood pressure spiked, and you were like, “Something’s wrong here. What’s happening here?” Of course, I want to ask what would you have done today so that all your sleep consultants out there know? And yet, I wonder what it would have been like in these moments and for everyone listening to just narrate the experience of what you were seeing, and to really use your body. Go ahead.

Jayne Havens: I think the reason for why it wouldn’t impact me the same way is so much about just me having more experience and me being a little bit desensitized to that stressful response. Just having years of experience, I’ve just become more comfortable with my clients having moments of discomfort. I think, to some degree, that just took some time. I also think that I’ve become way better about managing expectations.

This was one of my very first clients. This was like I was brand new in my business. If I if I had to guess — I mean, I don’t have a super clear memory of the lead up to all of this. But if I had to guess, I probably didn’t coach her on what it was going to sound like and what it was going to feel like. Now those are conversations that we absolutely have before getting started.

So to some degree, I think I was just really green. I sent her a bunch of sleep training techniques. She chose the most gentle or parent present strategy, which I thought she would be comfortable with. And I wrongly assumed that just because she was there comforting her baby and just because she was fully present in supporting her baby. That noise that was coming from her baby was too intense for her, and she emotionally couldn’t handle it. This was a virtual consultation. I wasn’t there with her to give her that hug. And so I was trying to talk her through it via text message, which I guess just didn’t feel so supportive. You have your baby crying, and you have your sleep consultant texting you. And I probably—

Elizabeth Baron: And there could have been more to the story. We didn’t know then. When you think about text message and virtual — you and I talked about this all the time — who is the mother behind the baby that you’re coming on board to work with? What was her history?

Whether you’re a psychologist, a therapist, or just a lovely sleep consultant, really what we’re saying is, is it can feel really overwhelming for a mom to have these kinds of physical reactions and emotional sensations that are connected to her baby’s experience. So I love — and I know we’ll talk about that later — your statement here for everyone listening, which is like what are the expectations up front, and how can we actually predict and anticipate a lot of what might come up for you while sleep training, sleep learning? You need to talk about how you’re framing it right now for your population.

But I think to go back to my earlier point about narration — someone might be like, “What does that mean?” — I feel like in that moment, what would have been so wonderful is for the two of you to look at each other and both talk about what you were experiencing. You to say, it seems like you’re both worried about the baby being separate from your body right now because of the fear of the baby’s cry is so great. And you hired me to come help you. Let’s figure this out together. That little pillar, that program you picked from the worksheet clearly isn’t what you need. Let’s talk about how hard mothering can be in this moment. I’ve been there too. I’m a mother of two. Using yourself.

Just narrating what you see sometimes can also help, I think, for sleep consultants and all human beings unveil this perfectionism, this will, this need — which I know, again, we’ll talk about — for the person in the room or the person on the other side of the phone receiving the text message to feel like you have all the answers. You didn’t. We didn’t know that baby well enough. We clearly didn’t know that mom well enough in that moment, right?

Jayne Havens: Yeah, and I love that you always use the word ‘and’ so beautifully. It’s like, you are really stressed, and your baby is really upset right now. And we’re going to work together with these tools to help you both get over this hump, or whatever the two things are. But the ‘and,’ you always use that so beautifully. I think it’s so important. It’s such a valuable tool. It’s okay for her to have those feelings and to be really struggling. And there are tools and solutions, and we can work on it.

Elizabeth Baron: And. And nothing lasts forever. I think that’ll be our theme today, because it just so belongs when we think about how sleep consultants can care for themselves. My answer already is, well, sometimes we can, and sometimes we can’t. And some days we’re better than others. So I think let’s talk more about how ‘and’ plays a role across the board, whether you’re working or for ourselves.

Jayne Havens: When I meet with prospective CPSM students, a lot of them express fear around the idea of not being able to always solve their client’s problems. Like, what if we do everything we know how to do, and two weeks later, the situation isn’t resolved? How do we mitigate some of that pressure that we, as professionals, are putting onto ourselves? I imagine that you come up against this as a therapist, right? People come into your office with something they’re struggling with, and I think we carry their weight on our shoulders sometimes. I know that as the owner and founder of Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, I carry the weight. I want all of my students to be successful. So how do we handle that emotional load that we’re carrying on behalf of our clients?

Elizabeth Baron: It’s funny, Jayne. That question to me feels heavier in a way, in my own body, when you ask them that earlier question about that one mom. Because this idea that how do we manage our expectations for ourselves and the people we care about, like your students, to sort of do well in the world, what a normal, appropriate, beautiful question.

And it’s so challenging when you are so caring, and you have such high goals for people, and also you want to do your best and really support people. I think when you’re someone who comes to this work like me, and even as a recovering people pleaser, we all sort of feel this need to help, help, help, help, help and that it has to be perfect. And yet, what’s life look like? It’s filled with uncertainty and ambivalence. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

To go back to your question. I think my first reaction is sort of like how do women start by managing expectations, as you said earlier, or men, by the way, who are working with new and expecting moms and families? My reaction is always — and I wonder how much you talked about this in the Facebook group and then your community — like what is the aggressive need to figure it out those first couple of weeks? Is it because of the 12×12 book? Is it because of Instagram? Is it because of some sort of media stigma, now social media pressure?

Because I wonder what it would be like to reframe the beginning weeks when you’re working with someone, to be thinking about sleep learning and foundational skills that are essential to be setting up in people’s houses, so that as you’re raising children — not just caring for babies that can feel robotic and monotonous — that somehow we can help families understand that by working with you, we’re going to be set up for things like daylight savings, or when the two-year sleep regression comes, or when the molars come, or when they’re scared of the dark, or when they need that touch light. My daughter right now changed all that.

How can we really help people, I think, feels so much less intensely connected to whatever success means in those first couple of weeks. Whereas, really, if we could focus on foundational sleep, and skills, and learning, and tools for forever, maybe we’d feel less pressure as sleep consultants. Not like I am one, but I pretend to be one through you. Am I making sense? I just become so frustrated when I get this question around the need to figure out sleep during those two weeks that they’re working with you.

Jayne Havens: So I think that you hit the nail on the head. This is something that I have figured out in my business but I think a lot of sleep consultants have not yet figured out. That is that I—

Elizabeth Baron: Are you sure you want to share?

Jayne Havens: Yes, 100% I want to share. Because I think that this is so important that we are not necessarily promising a very specific, certain result. I don’t think we should be. People hire me. I have moms that hire me. You know these moms. They are wildly successful in their careers. They’ve gotten to the top universities and law school. They’re type A, and they get everything right all the time. Then they have a baby, and they can’t figure it out.

Like, why is my four-month-old not taking the three or four beautiful naps that it says she should be taking in the Moms on Call book or the Babywise book. And they literally feel like failures because they can’t nail it. They get on a call with me, and they are expecting me to say to them that I will help them to make that happen.

“Yes, if you hire me, you will get an A plus in naps.” That is not what I tell them. I tell them that the reason that they hire me is to help them navigate these situations, both to help their baby have a better day but maybe, most importantly, to help mom have a better day. I help them to realize that they’re not failures because their babies are taking 35-minute naps. I want to help them, yes, improve some of those naps, but also understand how to navigate the day when your baby does take a 35-minute nap so that you don’t feel like an epic failure in life.

That is my position as a sleep consultant. And you know what? Sometimes I lose the business because I think some of these moms will go find someone that will tell them that they can get their baby to take three 90-minute naps. They’ll fall for that, and they’ll hire the other sleep consultant. Then they’ll come back to me later. It happens.

Elizabeth Baron: I love it so much. Because you speak exactly to the fact that you are humanizing, as we always talk about, the experience of sleep and mothering, by the way, as more of a realistic frame for life versus this color-coded map.

That somehow, we’ll also be able to help you when you need to skip a nap for your grandma’s 95th birthday, or there’s no blackout shades at the beach house that you rented this summer, or whatever it is. And so you know how much I love your frame there and the way in which you’re interpreting also to our really type A, over achieving high, high, high-performing, perfectionistic moms that we both love and treat and help all day long sort of stop, pause, and think about their babies for a second and themselves as humans, and not as robots who need to figure out how to sleep in that moment. I love your comment about the 30-minute nap. I remember texting you too, probably after the birth of my second, right?

Jayne Havens: You did.

Elizabeth Baron: But how long will it take to elongate? And yet, I remember what it felt like to some days want to rescue a nap and other days not. But giving myself permission to figure it out based on what I needed in that moment really comes from you asking me — which we’ll talk about also in the next question or so — what do I need in this moment? I think going into homes, virtually speaking, and really helping women say, “I’m here to help. I’m your guide not only for these two weeks, but to hopefully help set you up for bigger success on going. Let’s try and think about that macro. Let’s figure out who your family is. Who’s your baby? Who are you?”

Jayne Havens: Then I also think that reframing what success looks like allows you to have a higher success rate. If you’re setting yourself up to only be successful if the baby takes three 90-minute naps and sleeps through the night every single night, you’re setting yourself up for a tough job, right? Because that’s not the way babies work all the time — sometimes but not always. And so I like to position myself.

For me, success is after the two weeks, mom is feeling more confident, and the baby is sleeping better definitely. I’m a sleep consultant; I want the baby to sleep better. But also, mom is more confident when something goes against the grain. When something happens that she didn’t plan for, she knows how to navigate it. That makes me successful. Because even if the baby took a 35-minute nap, mom didn’t freak out. And that’s a win. That is the win.

Elizabeth Baron: This is why you’ll have to work until you’re 400 years old. Because I need you as such an extension of my work that I do with my moms all day long in my practice, where on an emotional level, we’re talking about the experience of what it feels like to both feel like you can figure it out.

Do you want to skip that nap for music class? How important is that music class for you to attend? How much are you craving social environment? Oh, wait. Your baby has to nap. Well, let’s think about it together. And let’s also really prioritize our mental health. First, knowing that a well mom who can also sleep will feel like she can actually enjoy this baby, rather than treating it like a robot. So you’re so my ally in improving mom’s mental health overall, I think, sometimes without even realizing.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, it sort of happened by accident. I don’t know. I don’t know where I spiraled into this attitude and philosophy. I think it just helped me to be more successful in my business. I noticed that when I moved the needle and changed what success looked like, I became more successful, and my clients felt more successful. So it was sort of like a win for everybody.

Elizabeth Baron: I have to add there. Maybe this is for a different discussion. But sort of I also think what you’re saying and what you do so beautifully with your clients is, you help them find trust in themselves and trust for their babies. That they can figure it out together also when they’re no longer working with you. I think that’s just such a powerful universal wish that I have for so many, both sleep consultants and moms that are listening also. That Jayne, or myself, and also in yourselves, you’ve all got this. But also, that brings on attachment, and what’s going on with mental health and all these other things. So trust.

Jayne Havens: I think a lot of the times, sleep consultants, they doubt themselves. So then, that puts them in a position to not show up in their best way if you don’t have confidence. And so that’s why I lead with just trying to make mom or dad feel the best they possibly can in their journey through parenthood. Because you’re never going to lose with that. You’re never going to lose if you make the parents feel better or more confident about how they are raising their children. That’s a win every single time.

Elizabeth Baron: I love that.

Jayne Havens: I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for how to handle the stress of our jobs, both in the moment when you’re getting that frantic text message that raises your blood pressure, and then also after a consultation wraps up if you feel like it’s just not a slam dunk. I have cases that are not slam dunks. I have cases where I try so hard to help these parents just understand that their babies are babies and help them to realize that they can thrive with a baby that’s not a robot.

Sometimes moms don’t love that because they just really so badly want the robot. How do we handle these moments? Do you have techniques or strategies that you can offer to help us, as sleep consultants, maintain our own mental health and blood pressure, insanity?

Elizabeth Baron: By the way, when you go back to sometimes someone wants the robot, well, yeah, this is why there’s 300 flavors of ice cream. This is no different. And so we’re not everyone’s flavor. We understand that and actually can celebrate that. I think that’s important for your sleep consultants to hear too. If that orientation is sort of empathic mom-first orientation, doesn’t feel appropriate for you, that’s okay. Go find your own sleep community where they celebrate the 12×12 rigidity thing that might work in the moment, and yet will not set up people for success long term. Sorry for my soapbox, Jayne.

Jayne Havens: Anytime.

Elizabeth Baron: Strategies — what I first think about is how to use modalities from CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, which is this idea that we have to be present in the moment. So if I’m getting a text message that feels flooding and so overwhelming and I feel my blood pressure rising, like you described before, I need to think about that signal as halt, stop. I see a big red stop sign as I even say that, which means, what do I need in this moment?

Some people tend to feel like putting two feet on the floor, hand on your chest or hand on your belly, closing your eyes, silencing your cell phone, taking deep breaths. I’m happy to talk about how to breathe. And really, really then asking yourself, what do I need in this moment? Some people might feel only alleviated with their anxiety by responding to the text message. Someone else might have to say, “I’ll get back to you in an hour.” Someone else might have to get in the shower and wash off the toxicity.

So I think let’s find for the people on the call what feels right for you, and also knowing — no surprise with ‘and’ — that it might feel different based on the client, based on where you are in your own life. I think that’s what you’re really asking me. Like, when was the last time you refueled? Are you in therapy? Are you processing maybe what this mother that’s texting you might be triggering for something that you’ve gone through in your life, or that your sister-in-law is going through?

Just really thinking in these moments what do I need for myself to feel more grounded, I think, can be so powerful. And if you’re someone who also can ask yourself that question — because I think sometimes, we lose senses and our understandings of like but there’s a job to do. Some people also really benefit from having reminders on their phone all through the day. This is something I’m doing new in my practice right now, where I’m trying to help people be infiltrated throughout the day with their own experience versus being so focused in their job, in their husband, in their partner, in their baby, in their mental load list.

I hope this feels helpful in just stopping the process and really getting more comfortable with your own needs. I think we’re so used to looking externally all the time into what our clients need, and what our kids need, and what am I going to cook tonight, and then the friends and all the other pieces of our identity. And yet, what you’re asking is sort of like what do we do when we’re feeling not enough in the moment? And until we can figure out what we need, we first have to just stop.

Jayne Havens: I think that that’s really good advice. Because when someone is coming at you with something that feels really extra, like a lot, I think that sometimes our response is to so quickly respond without even really, fully, as you said, taking a deep breath and thinking about how to best handle the situation in a way that supports your own mental well-being and the person on the other end.

It’s so hard, especially in this age of digital technology where we just are all expected to respond immediately. I mean, I see this in my business. People just message me at all hours and just expect me to respond immediately. And that weighs on me a lot, because I want to be the person that’s incredibly supportive. I want to answer everybody’s questions, and I want to be there for all of them. But also, what do I need? And I also need to survive. And you find yourself or, at least, I do. I find myself becoming a little bit salty when people expect me to be on every single second. That doesn’t feel fair.

Elizabeth Baron: Well, that is such. There’s your signal again. So instead of blood pressure rising, it was some resentment or some agitation in the text message. That’s information. So let’s use it always. That then means to me, which I can absolutely relate to in my practice as well, I need better boundaries. I can’t respond after 9 PM, or I cannot squeeze in that extra session or, for you, that Zoom call when you promised your kid that you were going to do ice cream after school. I think this is actually something that’s so important for sleep consultants that are listening that I know come to this work as we’ve talked about.

Looking for sometimes maybe a side hustle or flexibility, or to make their own income for the first time in their life, and to have fluidity with mothering if you’re a mother on the call, or a parent. I think really, again, thinking about it sounds so selfish because of our society. That when I’m saying to everyone on the call, “Let’s ask ourselves what we need first before we can take care of the client,” and yet, that’s actually the only way that I think we can continue to show up. I fully own and admit that, again, as a caretaker, this is like a lifelong journey. Sometimes it feels better than others.

So even just saying that for yourself, maybe that’s something that can also help as you’re breathing. Like, today I know I need to show up for this client. It feels really important for her. And tomorrow I’m going to set an hour off of my schedule where I’m no phone. Is that good enough? Does that feel like good enough?

Jayne Havens: Yeah, you’re jogging my memory about something that happened last week on my birthday. I was sitting outside with my family at the Cubs’ game. We were in Chicago. We were having a beautiful day.

A former client texted me with a long rant about what was going on with her child. I always make it very clear on my wrap-up calls that I’m happy to answer a quick question from former clients always. I just asked that they email me. Because if I’m getting text messages from current clients and past clients — I’ve been doing this for years — it would be mayhem. So I just asked that they email me. It’s all I ask. And if it’s a quick question that I can answer, I always will. And if it’s something that’s more involved, I’ll redirect them to an Ask Me Anything call or to work with me again.

And so she emailed me this whole long thing, and she was expecting. She said, “I just have a quick question.” But it wasn’t a quick question. And so I was triggered by that. I was salty about it. So I took a moment, and I took a breath. But I also felt the need to respond because it was a text message.

It was a text message, and all of my clients know that I always respond. So I responded. I said, “Hey, happy to answer a quick question. In the future, if you could just email me, I’ll respond. In this particular situation, I actually don’t think this is a quick question. I think this is worthy of a conversation. So if you’d like, here’s a link to book an Ask Me Anything call. And I’d love to chat with you about it.” I felt really proud of myself for setting that boundary.

Her response was, again, so upsetting. It was like, “Oh, well, I thought you would be willing to just answer a quick question. I’ve sent you so many clients in the past, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” So then I really felt the need to double down for my own mental well-being. I felt the need to say like, “Thank you for your continued support. I’m so grateful that you do send business my way. I also am a small business owner, and I need to set some boundaries for myself. And this is what it looks like.” She was not happy. She didn’t respond, but I felt good. I don’t know if that’s okay or not. But I needed to do that for myself, because it was—

Elizabeth Baron: And it’s good enough.

Jayne Havens: It was good enough.

Elizabeth Baron: I want to say I’ve seen you grow so much in your business too over the last few years, and I think maybe a couple years ago. For someone listening, someone might be like, “Oh, but Jayne, you lost a client. You lost the business.” For someone who’s new and starting and green and can’t make that boundary yet, and yet maybe is yearning for it but wants the business and can’t turn it down or sort of play that game, I think both can be true here, right?

Jayne Havens: Totally.

Elizabeth Baron: That person can practice what it feels like to answer on their birthday and then maybe harbor resentment. That might be a learning opportunity for that person and for you, all these years into this flourishing, beautiful business that you’ve built. That felt like what was necessary for you. And let’s celebrate that. I’m really pumped to hear. I think one of the things that we can also do — it makes me think about our five senses and how powerful — is in this moment, I’m picturing you at the Cubs game.

There’s popcorn. Your kids, maybe one is on your lap. Just hold something close to you like a child, like your heart, like your legs and just feel where you are. Because I also think it can ground you and connect you to what’s important in that moment, rather than all that noise that was coming through that did not feel necessary for you to answer in that moment. Does that make sense?

Jayne Havens: Yeah, for what it’s worth, I did feel better. I did feel better that I drew that boundary. It felt necessary in the moment. She didn’t know that it was my birthday. She didn’t know that I was at the Cubs game. The point is, that’s why I asked you to email me, so that I can maintain some quality of life while still supporting my current clients.

Elizabeth Baron: It isn’t asking too much. But you chose your mental health first. And no surprise, you felt better. So if that’s not our message for today for your sleep consultants, I don’t know what is. Choose yourself and your own mind and well-being and health first. And the business will continue to come. Can we trust that? I have to hear that too right now as someone who, like you, tends to feel called and needed in all different directions all the time. And yet have really started to shift throughout child-rearing and all these other things that do complicate our time, our energy, and our businesses.

Jayne Havens: The other thing that really helps me — I know. Again, I think this is really hard for new sleep consultants that are just getting their businesses off the ground — is I take really purposeful breaks. I do that for myself, and I didn’t in the beginning.

For those who are listening to this and they’re just getting started, I worked through my Rehoboth Beach vacation the first summer that I was ever a sleep consultant. I worked through going to visit friends in New York. I was on my phone texting. I did that, but I don’t do that anymore. I really do try. I’ll take a pause. And I’ll tell families. If they’re on a call with me wanting to start sleep training, but I’m leaving for a five-night trip to Mexico with my husband, I’ll say to them, like, “I’m happy to help you. But I’m going to be away for the next five nights. I can start with you on the following Tuesday, or whatever that looks like.”

They can take me or leave me. But for me, long-term in my business, that’s what I’ve had to do for myself. Otherwise, this isn’t what I signed up for. The whole point of me doing this was so that I could go on vacation and actually relax so that I could control. Sometimes I work a lot. Sometimes I work a little. And if I’m not doing that in my business, then why am I even in business? That was the whole point of me starting my own business. It was to have that freedom and flexibility. And I have to, I think, work to maintain that.

Elizabeth Baron: We all do, I think, as well in certain personalities and certain jobs that are client-specific and also do come with extra stress. But I think, to your point, most of us have to work at protecting ourselves and our boundaries and our values when we’re working, and also all these other people, people who also deserve to recharge and rejuvenate. Just like our cars go to the gas station — I always say this — we need gas, too. And I think you sound — I’m really impressed by your shift in your business and really prioritizing yourself, while also knowing the business will continue to come. There’s the trust again on how important to tell people out there to trust that it will keep coming even when you prioritize yourself.

It makes me think about what we’re up against and why it’s so hard to take breaks too, Jayne. It’s not just when you’re like that entrepreneur, and you just want to work, work, work or make money. I think that for the parents on the call too and also just human beings, we are up against so many ‘shoulds.’ We shouldn’t have to take breaks. We should answer the call or the text. What’s another one? You help me. We should just have the answers.

Society does make us feel that taking breaks sometimes is selfish. It’s very martyr-like of how we are programmed, I think, and so many mothers and clients and professionals that you and I work with feel. But I think modeling for our clients that we also have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of them might be a really, really important thing to share with the community today, too.

Jayne Havens: I love that. I just want to say that I’m still a work in progress, right? You’re saying that you’re proud of me for how I’m doing. I can think of a million examples of when I don’t set the boundary in a way that I’m proud of. I will be on the phone with an AirPod in my ear, getting dinner on the table for my kids. That sometimes makes me feel like garbage, because I want to talk to my kids when I’m getting dinner ready for them. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I’m not.

We all have room to improve and grow. It’s a steady work in progress. But I think that at least talking about it and being mindful about it is the first step in making better choices to protect our own mental health and physical well-being too. Because it literally can wreak havoc on your body, not just your mind.

Elizabeth Baron: It’s true. By the way, as I think about that narration point from our first question before, narrate that with your kids too. I really am almost done, and I really have to answer this call. It’s timely. I won’t be on my phone for the rest of the night, and I have to finish this one in this moment. Just let’s keep talking about it with whomever — whether it’s your kids, your partner, your clients — about the fact that you are trying to figure it out. And yet, we cannot continue to wear 400 hats all at the same time. Because it’s, to what end? To what end?

Jayne Havens: Let’s leave it at that. Thank you, as always, for sharing your wisdom. For those listening, I was texting with Elizabeth before we got started. And I was like, I feel like this is going to be a therapy session. I’m super excited. And it was. It was great. So thank you for always being willing to have these conversations with me and share your wisdom with others. And we’ll do it again soon, for sure.

Elizabeth Baron: Well, thank you again for having me. Mwah.

Jayne Havens: Mwah.

Elizabeth Baron: Bye.

Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode. Protecting own mental health

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