Elizabeth King: “Self-care, Mediation, Practicing Gratitude”

It’s very easy to get lost in the life that you are living and grow obsessed with the things you don’t have, especially with the extreme that social media plays in society. We see these people who flaunt everything that they have and it’s easy to get lost in the comparison game and get upset […]

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It’s very easy to get lost in the life that you are living and grow obsessed with the things you don’t have, especially with the extreme that social media plays in society. We see these people who flaunt everything that they have and it’s easy to get lost in the comparison game and get upset that we don’t have lives like that. This is where gratitude comes in, we as people need to learn how to be grateful for what we have. I know it’s easier said than done, but when you learn to appreciate your life for what it is instead of being upset for what you don’t have, you have the opportunity to truly live. Optimal spiritual wellness is being happy with who you are and what you have so you can have an unlimited amount of opportunities to live the life that is meant for you. Practicing gratitude helps you find that inner peace and be well aware that what is yours will be yours.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Well-being?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth King.

Elizabeth King is a Certified Fertility Health Coach, Master Certified ICF Life Coach, Birth & Bereavement Doula, and New Parent Educator. Her mission is to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry it to term. She supports clients through natural fertility, infertility, IVF, miscarriage loss, early pregnancy PTSD, and new parent support. Her practice is based in Irvine, CA but serves clients worldwide remotely.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Before my journey to achieving optimum wellness, I came from a very intense childhood. I was the youngest of four girls and my mother suffered from mental health issues since I was a child, so there was always an awareness of “depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.” To top it off my father was also not as present as I would have hoped. Growing up I struggled with body issues, self-acceptance, and weight issues, always on a diet mindset. I very much always tried to stop those thoughts in my head that I wasn’t good enough but having that level of trauma in your life, especially being exposed to it at a very young age made it extremely difficult to get my mindset out of that level of thinking.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I went through a divorce and had been seeing a “marriage” therapist, actually, we saw 3 different ones. My husband at the time said, “This is divorce therapy, not marriage therapy”. He was right, they were not giving us any concrete tools on how to save our marriage or come together. I wanted tools to fix it. That is what led me to become an ICF Certified Life Coach in 2009. I began my quest to help people with actual tools to help them through the challenges in life. Fast forward to 2018 after my first miscarriage and trying to conceive baby number 2 I knew that my passion was to focus on couples creating their dream family. There was such a void of support as I would be sitting in the fertility clinic 3 days a week for blood draws and ultrasounds doing all I could do to build our family. For the 1 in 8 of couples struggling with fertility or the 1 in 4 suffering from a pregnancy loss the mental health aspect tailored to that specific experience was not to be found and not in a way that was open so that you knew the person on the other side of the couch had been in your shoes.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My husband. No one prepares you for what you will endure and experience when you suffer from miscarriage and loss. No one also prepares you for how your spouse will handle it as well.

My husband has been there through all of the appointments, unsettling news, and the birth of this new business. Being able to support women in one of the darkest moments is not an easy task and it takes a selfless and compassionate person. It consumes you physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

There are so many mistakes that I have made in life that I find so funny today. One that comes to mind was when I first started my coaching business. It took forever to hire support.

I think every entrepreneur has this inner drive to want to do it all. It’s hard for us to let go of the reins slowly and ask for extra support. It wasn’t until I was staying up late and prioritizing work over my family that I realized I need help. The biggest lesson I learned from this mistake was that it is easy to say that you have it all handled only to realize that you’re not letting your mind or body relax and it starts to spill over into your work.

Hiring support and delegating the tasks that don’t serve you and your energy is what actually moves the needle. It allows you to stay in your zone of genius — and in my case, it’s serving other women.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Count Down by Shanna H. Swan is a book that shook me to my core. It really opened my eyes to the increased rate of infertility within men and women due to external factors. Climate change is an obvious one and is a very large reason that people don’t want to have kids. However, Swan dives into more specific factors such as “endocrine-disrupting chemicals” that are found in everything from plastics, flame retardants, electronics, food packaging, and pesticides to personal care products and cosmetics. It really helped me understand why there are women in their early 30s and prime reproductive years struggling with infertility. It motivated me to help women understand what they put on and in their bodies is important when wanting to start a family. There is more going on than just it being their body’s fault for not being able to get easily pregnant.

I was happy to finally see some movement to see that there is now some light being shed on the role that sperm plays in the fertility journey.

There is so much corruption in the world that isn’t highlighted in everyday life and this book stood out to me and motivated me to be an anchor and advocate for women struggling with infertility. I wanted to help them as much as I possibly can through my own experiences and share that they are not alone in the world.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

Don’t resist life. I love this quote because life is filled with ups and downs and new experiences and trying to figure out who you are. Resisting everything and any new challenge that comes into your way won’t allow you to grow into the person who you are supposed to be.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Working on group sessions Keep Calm and Fertility On to gather women together on their fertility journey to help them to process what they are going through, coach them through the health, lifestyle, and mental side of trying to conceive. Women TTC naturally or by ART are welcome. Continuing support through the Mamas After Miscarriage course to help women navigate mending their broken hearts after a pregnancy loss. Finishing up my book Mamas After Miscarriage which is an account of how to move on after loss and deal with the PTSD that comes in early pregnancy after you have experienced a loss. Founder of The Fertility Coach School, training and certifying men and women to become Fertility Coaches who have a desire to use their journey of fertility to help coach others to reach their positive pregnancy test.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series, we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Sleep, Stimulation & Boundaries are the habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is the only time that our bodies can reset and re-energize for the next day and not getting enough really is detrimental to your mental health. It’s the only time our minds can shut off and relax and slip into that dream world. If you are running on 5 hours of sleep there is a high likelihood that you will crash and burn out by the afternoon. Hindering the rest of your day to be productive and active.

What I mean by stimulation is having a hobby where you can truly let yourself get lost in the moment. Whether that is exercising, painting, reading a book, anything that can help you stimulate your brain where you feel it’s like a moment of relaxation because it’s something that brings you joy. Having a hobby is so healthy to express yourself and have an outlet to alleviate your brain from stressors.

Boundaries can look like a lot of things, but the main thing that is important to maintaining healthy mental wellness is to know where your boundaries lie. For example, if you are at work and already feeling overwhelmed with what needs to be done and you need a moment to just focus on what is in front of you and your boss comes in and gives you more work that you know you don’t have the bandwidth to do learn how to say no. I know it’s easier said than done, but do you know how many people burn out or quit their jobs because there are no boundaries at work. Now apply this to people too, don’t let people take advantage of you and your character because you will feel your energy getting taken from you and find yourself stressed out and having an effect on your mental health.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I love to meditate in the early morning before my children wake up. With motherhood and having 3 sons under 3, the morning time can be very hectic. Having a moment for myself to regroup and set intentions for the day allows me to be ready and present for my family. Juggling motherhood, a family, a full-time job, and working on my passion projects while being a support system for women starting their fertility journey, it’s very easy to lose yourself. My morning time ritual of meditation lets me block out the noise for just a second and I can have that moment for myself so that I am able to be present for everything else.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Food, movement, and rest are the foundations to living in optimum physical wellness.

What you decide to eat in a day can have an effect on the longevity of your energy. I know it’s a tired saying, but it’s true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. At the early start of my career, all my time and energy went into my job and having that goal to climb my way to the top. I would run out the door, stop by the nearest coffee shop and order a coffee the size of my head with a random pastry to keep me going. I’ll tell you this right now, I would crash and burn from the caffeine high at 2 pm and had to keep pushing myself to stay productive. That lifestyle that is so normalized in our society isn’t always going to be the best for our actual bodies that require and need nutritious food to help it work to the best of their ability.

Having a work-heavy lifestyle when I was younger, you tend to find yourself sitting at a desk for 8 hours with little to no movement. When you’re young you don’t think about the harmful effects of not exercising or moving your body but as you get older it really starts to set in. Moving your body whether that’s on a brisk walk around your neighborhood or going to a gym is crucial and vital to your health.

Your body needs rest. Now I don’t mean it needs to rest every day 24/7, but you do need a moment to yourself where you don’t have to think. Self-care is a crucial part of wellness and giving your body what it wants and needs is so important. Don’t push your body to do what is not designed to do. We aren’t meant to go to the gym every day and lift weights with no rest day in-between or push out bodies to the point of exhaustion and burning out. Rest is vital in giving your body the space to recuperate. I know it’s so hard to hit the pause button especially after what crazy year we had last year and it’s easy to get lost in the noise of it all, but taking the time do allow our bodies to breathe and listening to those cues telling us that we need to relax is imperative in optimizing our health.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Time. We currently live in a time where people have very short attention spans and a need for instant gratification, and sometimes that spills over into cooking. We need to learn how to not just want to throw a tv dinner in the microwave and have a “meal” prepared in seconds and instead take the time to cook a delicious meal that is both tasty but also filled with different types of fruits and vegetables. If we took the time that we spend hours aimlessly scrolling through our phones to cook a meal from scratch it would be easier to incorporate those that need veggies into our diet. If we take the time to learn about what our bodies need and invest in them it will help you ten folds in aiding the longevity of your life.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Awareness, Openness, and Understanding.

If a person isn’t self-aware they will never change their habits or grow to be a better person. Awareness is crucial to living an optimal life mentally, so that we can learn how to improve ourselves and our behaviors. We need to learn how to sit with ourselves and do mental autopsies to figure out why we may act a certain way and what it is that is making us react to certain situations. How are you supposed to grow as a person if you don’t take the time to figure out who you are? The first step to finding yourself is being aware of your faults, your strength, your likes, and your dislikes. We need to know about these things so that we can live and strive to be the best version of ourselves.

We need to be open people to achieve peak emotional wellness and by open, I mean open to feedback, open to new experiences, and open to change. We are not the same people that we were 10 years ago and yet there are people out there who live the same life every day. They get stuck in a rut, physically, mentally, and emotionally they get stunted and stop growing because they closed themselves off to the rest of the world. This can lead to burnout, and mental exhaustion because we aren’t giving our mind and our bodies the stimulation they crave. There is a whole world out there and one life you get to live and being open allows you to create new stories, meet new people, and learn about things you might end up liking. It lets you grow physically and mentally and helps give you an understanding of what you’re capable of.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I love the power of smiling, I do believe that making sure to smile earlier in the morning and practicing gratitude can help you set the right intentions for the rest of your day. It helps stimulate your mind and can drastically change your mood by just sitting with yourself or a loved one and letting yourself smile and laugh.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Self-care, Mediation, Practicing Gratitude

The worst thing that you can do for your spiritual wellness is not taking care of yourself. Self-care is imperative in learning how to tune into your body and awaken the soul. You need to learn how to take time out of your day to rest and talk to yourself to figure out who you are and what your core values are. Spiritual wellness is within, it’s not your physical breathing body but your soul, and if you live this autopilot life just moving forward with no regard for who you are you can’t learn to grow and heal within.

Mediation is a form of self-care but it also is a time to take all the noise from your surroundings to practice how to turn it off. When your life is filled with all this chaotic energy, it’s so important to learn how to reset yourself within and let go of the energy that is leaving you drained. Mediation is key in truly finding yourself within and not having all of these external factors define you. With mediation, you can learn how to get closer to the person that you really are and that will lead to optimal spiritual wellness.

It’s very easy to get lost in the life that you are living and grow obsessed with the things you don’t have, especially with the extreme that social media plays in society. We see these people who flaunt everything that they have and it’s easy to get lost in the comparison game and get upset that we don’t have lives like that. This is where gratitude comes in, we as people need to learn how to be grateful for what we have. I know it’s easier said than done, but when you learn to appreciate your life for what it is instead of being upset for what you don’t have, you have the opportunity to truly live. Optimal spiritual wellness is being happy with who you are and what you have so you can have an unlimited amount of opportunities to live the life that is meant for you. Practicing gratitude helps you find that inner peace and be well aware that what is yours will be yours.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Being in nature and having a moment to ground ourselves and listen to the sounds around us allows us to be more in sync with ourselves and with our spirit. Having that moment to relax our bodies and release the tension that has been built up is so crucial for our spiritual wellness. It’s hard to tune in to your inner self when you’re surrounded by noises like cars or sirens or a busy street. You get lost in it all and forget to tune in with your higher self, and time spent in nature allows you to be one and not feel tense waiting for the next siren to go by your window. It gives you space and energy to relax your mind and your body without being interrupted.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I want to bring awareness to the infertility movement. I love my job and I love being supportive to women, couples, and families who are embarking on this journey to have a baby. I have struggled with my own journey and experiences with infertility and miscarriages and it’s a heartbreaking and insufferable time because you feel that you are the problem. I want to tell women that they are not alone in this experience that feels very isolating to those you don’t get it. I want to tell everyone that this is normal and you are not alone in this journey and that I can be there every step of the way.

Infertility and having this feeling that your body is denying you this one job that your body is created for is the absolute worst feeling in the world. I want to tell women that there is a community and resources available to them that can help and aid them through this process and to never give up.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Please feel free to visit my website and Instagram for more information. 
Website: https://www.elizabethking.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/elizabethking_coaching/

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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