The Thrive Questionnaire//

Cassie Randolph Explains How Self-Care Saved Her From Massive Burnout

“Life is about moving forward, not doing it perfectly.”

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Practically overnight, Cassie Randolph’s life changed. She went from living in Orange County, California and studying Speech-Language Pathology to having photographers follow her every move. In 2018, she was a contestant on Season 23 of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” starring former professional football player Colton Underwood. Mid-season, she quit the show, realizing she wasn’t ready to be engaged. Underwood fought for her to come back, and the couple is still together today. After the season ended, even going to the grocery store turned into a publicity event for Randolph. “There was a lot of change, and a lot coming at me in such a short period of time,” she tells Thrive. “I didn’t have time to adequately process anything or enjoy it.” 

Now, Randolph is taking time for herself to ensure she doesn’t experience the burnout she first endured following “The Bachelor.” “Everything always seems bigger in the moment; do the best you can and let go of the rest,” she says. In her Thrive Questionnaire, she opens up to Thrive about failure, her top organizing tips, and how she maintains connections. 

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

Cassie Randolph: I usually chug a full glass of water and immediately start the coffee. Then, I do a little stretching and always try to remember and read Jesus Calling or a little devotional.

TG: What gives you energy?

CR: Having a full night’s sleep is a necessity for me to have energy throughout the day — and also staying super hydrated. More than either of those things, having a positive mindset on whatever I have to get finished during the day — even if the day’s agenda sucks — is key, so I make sure I am surrounding myself with positive people with good energy.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?

CR: I would say always keeping a “big picture” outlook on things. No matter what you’re going through, always try and remove yourself from the situation before you react in order to gain an insightful and level-headed perspective on things.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.

CR: Jesus Calling. And Harry Potter. The latest wellness book I am reading that is definitely life changing is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker — it’s astounding to learn how many things are affected by our sleep. Everyone should read it. I am also really excited to read The Sleep Revolution now that I know about it! I think sleep and its link to our health is vastly overlooked.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

CR: I fall asleep reading my kindle every night. It’s backlit and turns off on its own, so even if I fall asleep mid-read — which always happens — it doesn’t matter. I try not to look at my phone when I climb into bed, but otherwise, my phone is around me probably way too much. It’s hard, because it is part of my job to be on it, but I know that doesn’t make it healthy! I’m still learning to balance. While I was filming “The Bachelor,” one of the best things was being away from my phone and from outside distractions. It was so freeing to be able to sit at a restaurant and have nothing to fiddle with except the napkin on my plate. I miss the excuse to be completely phoneless.

TG: How do you deal with email?

CR: I probably check my email way too often — between school and work, I get a lot. 

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

CR: Call my mom! Always. She’s my best friend.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

CR: Earlier this year, I was traveling a ton right in the middle of an insane semester of graduate school — in addition to moving. I was also going through a bunch of life changes brought on by “The Bachelor” — there was so much going on that I had no time for myself. I’d be doing schoolwork on airplanes, between jobs on lunch breaks, and in cars. I was constantly on phone calls or dealing with some new media storm that I had to address. I was missing my family, friends, and my home, and I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions. While they were good, and I tried to never complain — it was still pretty overwhelming. I was so busy, I didn’t have time to adequately process anything or enjoy it. In order to get stuff done, I was on autopilot — make a list, cross things off, add to the list, rinse, repeat! It was like that for several months, and I don’t think I could have done that pace much longer. Having time to decompress, reflect, and include self-care — whether that is alone time to read, exercise, get a facial, or spend time with my friends and family — is what I found that I need to keep myself sane.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?

CR: I always feel like I have failed when I let someone down. Lately, I feel like it’s just become harder and harder to not let someone down. Time always seems to be moving fast and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I always feel guilty for some reason or another — a major downfall of being a people pleaser. I’ve learned — and am still learning — to have a little grace for myself. We all go through life having completely different experiences, and we can’t always make everyone around us happy, as much as we wish we could. Be yourself, be loving to those around you, be kind, be humble, and work hard. Leave the rest out of your hands and trust that it will work out how it is supposed to. I always remember past times I have been super stressed about something, and see that I made it through. I remind myself that everything always seems bigger in the moment. No one is perfect, just do the best you can and let go of the rest. You can’t be too hard on yourself, because you know you did the best you knew to do at the time.

TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do?

CR: I am obsessed with to-do lists, planners, notebooks, and anything organizational. I love writing lists for the mere satisfaction of crossing things off. I usually list things by order of importance or deadlines. Having a lot to do can be paralyzing, and make you feel like you just don’t know where to start. When I feel this way, I force myself to turn off my emotions and  just start doing. Sometimes you just need to put one foot in front of the other and start walking. Before you know it, you are moving forward and crossing things off your list.

TG: What advice would you give your younger self about reducing stress?

CR: I would remind myself that whatever seems monumental in the moment is going to be in the past in a blink of an eye, so enjoy the process. Don’t overthink things or feel guilty if stuff doesn’t turn out how you planned or imagined. Life is about moving forward, not doing it perfectly.

TG:  Do you have any role models for living a thriving life?

CR: My mom! She went to school for diet and nutrition, so she has always been a huge source of knowledge for me. She is constantly researching, and I think it’s because of her that I have a really big interest in health and wellness.

TG: What’s your personal warning sign that you’re depleted?

CR: When I start to cry at really odd things.

TG: When you notice you’re getting too stressed, what do you do to course correct?

CR: I usually take a small break and either get some fresh air, make some tea or coffee, and reprioritize by crossing things off my to-do list without allowing myself to feel guilty about it. I give myself a time limit on being overly emotional or having a pity party, then I force myself to let go of the pressure. Life will go on, regardless of my stress, so why am I stressing? I think of the worst thing that could happen, and that usually puts things in perspective. I allow myself to take time out to refocus and energize by making sleep a priority and eating healthy. I am so much more efficient when I take care of the basics. I also love to journal, and when I’m really stressed or upset, it always helps reset, streamline, and organize my thoughts.

TG: What’s a surprising way you practice mindfulness?

CR: Journaling helps me get to know myself better. Otherwise, my thoughts are just swimming around in my brain, colliding into one another and getting all jumbled. When I journal, it’s all there on paper for me to see and sift through. Reading The Bible also helps me take the focus off of myself and really think big picture. I also love to go on Pinterest and Tumblr and repost the insightful quotes that speak to me — it gets me thinking and inspires perspective.

TG: How do you sustain healthy habits?

CR: I have been doing a lot of research on sleep, and am realizing that the need to make sleep a priority is as important, if not more so, than eating healthy and exercising. It also has a drastic effect on our mental health. One thing that has helped me is staying off of my phone in the evenings and reading instead.

TG: Tell us about a small change you have made in your life to improve the way you connect with others. What did you do, how long did it take until it became effective, and how you sustain this habit?

CR: Many of us overthink how we come across to others more than we should. This stops us from really caring and focusing on others. I definitely still struggle with this, but I think just being aware of the fact that no one really analyzes you as much as you analyze yourself has really helped me. Once I purposefully take the focus off of myself in a conversation or any situation, I find that I really connect with the person so much more. In the entertainment industry especially, it’s unfortunately so easy to get lost in being self-focused — the world of social media can be toxic in that way. I think changing that mindset and intentionally seeking to focus on others helps build relationships 

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.

CR: “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘Plans for prosperity and not calamity. Plans to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11

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