“Keep a strict balance between work/home life.” With Dr. Colette

Keep a strict balance between work/home life — Too often, we get wrapped up in our careers and achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible. While it’s good to possess a healthy drive, we still need to create a separation between working and living. With so many working from a home or shared work/living space […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Keep a strict balance between work/home life — Too often, we get wrapped up in our careers and achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible. While it’s good to possess a healthy drive, we still need to create a separation between working and living. With so many working from a home or shared work/living space (myself included), it can be a struggle to create this balance. However, you’ll be more productive and able to focus during your “working” hours, if you’ve relaxed during your “living” hours.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Colette Widrin.

Dr. Colette Widrin, DAOM, L.Ac., MTOM, is a holistic dermatologist and skin health coach. She received her clinical doctorate degree from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. In addition to eastern medicine, she incorporates Ayurveda and functional medicine into her treatment approach. She has completed post-graduate dermatology programs with the renowned Dr. Juling Yu in San Francisco and Mazin Al-Khafaji in London, as well as at the Arthur Ashe Medical Center at UCLA. Always interested in the latest techniques and health advancements, Colette is constantly researching new and exciting developments in the world of holistic health and optimal wellness. She is also the founder of Balance Blends, natural solutions that are custom-blended to help restore balance within the body.

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?

I grew up in California. I was a very curious child, and also entrepreneurial — even at a young age. I painted rocks and sold them, set up more than one lemonade stand and sold holiday greeting cards door-to-door when I was just six years old. (It was a different time… kids could wander around alone then.) Ioved making things — creating crafts. I had a sense of wonder in the way that “things worked,” and I was constantly learning.

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

It was truly an evolution. In California, I had a lot of exposure to various kinds of natural practices. It was always in the back of my mind as something I might like to do myself, but I never seriously contemplated it early on in my life. I moved to NYC in the 1990s where I owned a clothing store. It was an excellent learning experience that I highly value, but it was not satisfying in the way that I had envisioned.

However, it’s often funny how things work out in life. At the time, I was receiving regular craniosacral treatments. About a year into it, I decided that I wanted to learn more about energy medicine and became a practitioner myself. It grew from there as other techniques, diagnostic systems, etc. were incorporated, so I could be of service to more people. And eventually, it led to Balance Blends.

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?

Honestly, I don’t have a person like that in my life. Instead, I have had lucky events or gifts from the universe. I closed my store in NYC and left 3 weeks before 9/11. Even with the pandemic, just before it hit, I moved and merged my living/work space, which turned out to be a huge timely blessing. The place where I’m living and working now feels like a sanctuary.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that? I literally have no idea. I’m sure there are stories, but I’m so focused on now and the future that it’s so hard to remember things like that. My lessons to take away are to always focus on the present, so that I’m not repeating the past. I love to be innovative and creative, so exciting strategies and new solutions are constantly on my mind.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success? Follow your passions! Most people work very hard, so it’s crucial that you are 100% committed to your path. It’s less of a challenge to get through the rocky parts with ease and grace, making the entire process so much more rewarding. Imagine the life you want and anchor your imagination into the future, while remaining open to change, setbacks and unexpected turns — all opportunities for growth.

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?

In the early 1990s, I read a book about the Troubles in Ireland. It included stories about people’s lives on both sides of the conflict. You could feel how deeply the struggle shaped their sense of identity and how nearly impossible it would be for them to give it up. It helped me appreciate how difficult it can be to change. We lose a piece of ourselves in the process. However, it’s also exciting because there is room for fresh perspectives that better serve us.

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

“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” — Alice Walker

I think we are always planting seeds for our future — co-creating.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people? I am very excited for the launch of the new Skin Health Coaching Program and the expansion of the Balance Blends nutritional supplement line in early 2021. Dermatology is my passion. I love empowering others by shedding light on their unique constitution and triggers so that they are able to achieve long-lasting clear and healthy skin. While a healthy glow is definitely the end result, the added bonus is better overall health.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give so me examples?

Good habits are the foundation of all of the elements in a person’s life — mindset, physical health, productivity, personal relationships and relationship with oneself. As mentioned above, we are always planting seeds for our future. Good habits are those seeds.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Some habits that have led to success include a combination of creating space for downtime to process and imagine, and finding apps or systems that help me stay organized. The life of a solopreneur often requires both left- and right-brain thinking. Good organization empties the clutter so one is able to think more clearly. I wake up very early and give myself at least two hours before I schedule anything for the day. My best ideas arrive soon after I wake up in the morning, so I always want to have plenty of time to devote to them.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

The best way to develop good habits is to envision your life as organized, productive and creative. However, you have to start off small — baby steps, if you will. To remove bad habits, work on one at a time, so that you can make concise, steady progress.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

When it comes to wellness, there are numerous good habits to start. However, let’s take a look at my three favorite:

  • Leave time for yourself every day — Whether it be to read a book, go for a walk or talk to an old friend on Zoom. Have you ever been working and just felt overwhelmed? We all have. Taking a break for yourself, or looking forward to your downtime later that night, can be a wonderful motivator.
  • Look for ways to promote your own health — We can all perform at our best when we “feel” at our best. This means staying up to date with physical exams, as well as pursuing other more natural solutions.
  • Keep a strict balance between work/home life — Too often, we get wrapped up in our careers and achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible. While it’s good to possess a healthy drive, we still need to create a separation between working and living. With so many working from a home or shared work/living space (myself included), it can be a struggle to create this balance. However, you’ll be more productive and able to focus during your “working” hours, if you’ve relaxed during your “living” hours.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

If you are creating a weekly schedule, also write in your breaks, so that you can read, relax or eat a healthy snack. It’s easier to set this time aside for yourself if it’s on your schedule or to-do list.

Speaking of staying healthy, do just that — stay healthy. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, and be sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sleep.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Decide that you will be determined — Being determined means that you have to actually set your mind to it. If you’ve ever felt on the verge of giving up, or taking an easier path, that is when determination should set in. Personally, I know that if I’ve taken shortcuts, I don’t appreciate the “victory” nearly as much as when I’ve put in the time and effort.
  • Change the way you look at your “competition” — Whether you are in professional competition or you’re trying to raise the most money for charity in your book club, we all need to stop looking at our competition as the enemy. I learned long ago that those efforts could be put to far better use.
  • Work when you are at your best — If you are able to choose your working hours, then select those when you are your most creative. For me, that is early in the morning, when I am filled with ideas. For some, they enjoy the peace and quiet of the evening hours. Try to arrange your schedule so that meetings are set at optimal times, when you can be innovative and productive.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Begin to look at your competitors as future collaborators. You never know when you may work together on a project, or may need assistance from a department with which you’re not as familiar.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to delegate. If you are not 110% the person to accomplish a task, don’t be afraid to allow someone else to take over that particular task, so that you can focus on things well within your realm of expertise.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Meditation — Some people meditate daily, but I typically go through periods of meditation when I’m juggling a lot of things or ideas. It helps to slow down my thoughts so I can focus on one thing at a time.
  • Did I mention good organization practices, haha? — If I am not organized, then I am never at my best. Think of it this way — if you’re not completely organized, then you’ve already fallen behind, which means that you’ve already placed yourself in a position of playing “catchup.” No one works well under those circumstances.
  • Stay on top of the latest tech — Rather than sticking to ways that actually slow down your productivity, utilize the tech at hand. We are so lucky to live in an age where technology can literally save us hours every week. If we embrace these opportunities, then we can fit in more work in far less time.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Setting aside time for meditation is the first step, and it can also be the initial step for creating time for wellness. Rightly enough, meditation and organization can also go hand in hand. When you organize your thoughts, then this will easily spill over into your day-to-day activities.

And if you hope to create more time for wellness, take a good luck at organization and productivity apps. Keep track of your tasks and projects, and be sure to leverage every minute for something productive, so that you will have more time at your leisure.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

I believe that flow is something that you have to work towards. It can’t be achieved when you’re unorganized, in an unhealthy state (both mentally or physically) and when you aren’t doing something that inspires you. And flow can’t be forced. One day, you won’t even expect it. You’ll be “in the zone,” working away at a challenging project, and finally reach a moment when you know that this is some of the best work you’ve ever done. That’s flow.

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 would inspire a movement toward healthy lifestyles, and I don’t mean a perfect lifestyle, but one that really will transform every single aspect of your life. Not only will you be able to bounce back easier from health setbacks, but your daily life will significantly improve — mental health, sleep, energy, vitality, concentration, cognitive performance, endurance and confidence.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Dr. Mark Hyman is a huge hero! He introduced the world to functional medicine, a systems-based, holistic view of health. He has a way of explaining concepts that are easy to understand and implement. His books are interesting and contain practical information and lifestyle change suggestions.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.balanceblends.com Instagram: @balanceblends

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

Keep a strict balance between work/home life — Too often, we get wrapped up in our careers and achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible. While it’s good to possess a healthy drive, we still need to create a separation between working and living. With so many working from a home or shared work/living space (myself included), it can be a struggle to create this balance. However, you’ll be more productive and able to focus during your “working” hours, if you’ve relaxed during your “living” hours.

Asa part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Colette Widrin.

Dr. Colette Widrin, DAOM, L.Ac., MTOM, is a holistic dermatologist and skin health coach. She received her clinical doctorate degree from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. In addition to eastern medicine, she incorporates Ayurveda and functional medicine into her treatment approach. She has completed post-graduate dermatology programs with the renowned Dr. Juling Yu in San Francisco and Mazin Al-Khafaji in London, as well as at the Arthur Ashe Medical Center at UCLA. Always interested in the latest techniques and health advancements, Colette is constantly researching new and exciting developments in the world of holistic health and optimal wellness. She is also the founder of Balance Blends, natural solutions that are custom-blended to help restore balance within the body.

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?

Igrew up in California. I was a very curious child, and also entrepreneurial — even at a young age. I painted rocks and sold them, set up more than one lemonade stand and sold holiday greeting cards door-to-door when I was just six years old. (It was a different time… kids could wander around alone then.) Ioved making things — creating crafts. I had a sense of wonder in the way that “things worked,” and I was constantly learning.

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

It was truly an evolution. In California, I had a lot of exposure to various kinds of natural practices. It was always in the back of my mind as something I might like to do myself, but I never seriously contemplated it early on in my life. I moved to NYC in the 1990s where I owned a clothing store. It was an excellent learning experience that I highly value, but it was not satisfying in the way that I had envisioned.

However, it’s often funny how things work out in life. At the time, I was receiving regular craniosacral treatments. About a year into it, I decided that I wanted to learn more about energy medicine and became a practitioner myself. It grew from there as other techniques, diagnostic systems, etc. were incorporated, so I could be of service to more people. And eventually, it led to Balance Blends.

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?

Honestly, I don’t have a person like that in my life. Instead, I have had lucky events or gifts from the universe. I closed my store in NYC and left 3 weeks before 9/11. Even with the pandemic, just before it hit, I moved and merged my living/work space, which turned out to be a huge timely blessing. The place where I’m living and working now feels like a sanctuary.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that? I literally have no idea. I’m sure there are stories, but I’m so focused on now and the future that it’s so hard to remember things like that. My lessons to take away are to always focus on the present, so that I’m not repeating the past. I love to be innovative and creative, so exciting strategies and new solutions are constantly on my mind.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success? Follow your passions! Most people work very hard, so it’s crucial that you are 100% committed to your path. It’s less of a challenge to get through the rocky parts with ease and grace, making the entire process so much more rewarding. Imagine the life you want and anchor your imagination into the future, while remaining open to change, setbacks and unexpected turns — all opportunities for growth.

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?

In the early 1990s, I read a book about the Troubles in Ireland. It included stories about people’s lives on both sides of the conflict. You could feel how deeply the struggle shaped their sense of identity and how nearly impossible it would be for them to give it up. It helped me appreciate how difficult it can be to change. We lose a piece of ourselves in the process. However, it’s also exciting because there is room for fresh perspectives that better serve us.

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

“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” — Alice Walker

I think we are always planting seeds for our future — co-creating.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people? I am very excited for the launch of the new Skin Health Coaching Program and the expansion of the Balance Blends nutritional supplement line in early 2021. Dermatology is my passion. I love empowering others by shedding light on their unique constitution and triggers so that they are able to achieve long-lasting clear and healthy skin. While a healthy glow is definitely the end result, the added bonus is better overall health.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give so me examples?

Good habits are the foundation of all of the elements in a person’s life — mindset, physical health, productivity, personal relationships and relationship with oneself. As mentioned above, we are always planting seeds for our future. Good habits are those seeds.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Some habits that have led to success include a combination of creating space for downtime to process and imagine, and finding apps or systems that help me stay organized. The life of a solopreneur often requires both left- and right-brain thinking. Good organization empties the clutter so one is able to think more clearly. I wake up very early and give myself at least two hours before I schedule anything for the day. My best ideas arrive soon after I wake up in the morning, so I always want to have plenty of time to devote to them.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

The best way to develop good habits is to envision your life as organized, productive and creative. However, you have to start off small — baby steps, if you will. To remove bad habits, work on one at a time, so that you can make concise, steady progress.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

When it comes to wellness, there are numerous good habits to start. However, let’s take a look at my three favorite:

  • Leave time for yourself every day — Whether it be to read a book, go for a walk or talk to an old friend on Zoom. Have you ever been working and just felt overwhelmed? We all have. Taking a break for yourself, or looking forward to your downtime later that night, can be a wonderful motivator.
  • Look for ways to promote your own health — We can all perform at our best when we “feel” at our best. This means staying up to date with physical exams, as well as pursuing other more natural solutions.
  • Keep a strict balance between work/home life — Too often, we get wrapped up in our careers and achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible. While it’s good to possess a healthy drive, we still need to create a separation between working and living. With so many working from a home or shared work/living space (myself included), it can be a struggle to create this balance. However, you’ll be more productive and able to focus during your “working” hours, if you’ve relaxed during your “living” hours.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

If you are creating a weekly schedule, also write in your breaks, so that you can read, relax or eat a healthy snack. It’s easier to set this time aside for yourself if it’s on your schedule or to-do list.

Speaking of staying healthy, do just that — stay healthy. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, and be sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sleep.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Decide that you will be determined — Being determined means that you have to actually set your mind to it. If you’ve ever felt on the verge of giving up, or taking an easier path, that is when determination should set in. Personally, I know that if I’ve taken shortcuts, I don’t appreciate the “victory” nearly as much as when I’ve put in the time and effort.
  • Change the way you look at your “competition” — Whether you are in professional competition or you’re trying to raise the most money for charity in your book club, we all need to stop looking at our competition as the enemy. I learned long ago that those efforts could be put to far better use.
  • Work when you are at your best — If you are able to choose your working hours, then select those when you are your most creative. For me, that is early in the morning, when I am filled with ideas. For some, they enjoy the peace and quiet of the evening hours. Try to arrange your schedule so that meetings are set at optimal times, when you can be innovative and productive.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Begin to look at your competitors as future collaborators. You never know when you may work together on a project, or may need assistance from a department with which you’re not as familiar.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to delegate. If you are not 110% the person to accomplish a task, don’t be afraid to allow someone else to take over that particular task, so that you can focus on things well within your realm of expertise.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Meditation — Some people meditate daily, but I typically go through periods of meditation when I’m juggling a lot of things or ideas. It helps to slow down my thoughts so I can focus on one thing at a time.
  • Did I mention good organization practices, haha? — If I am not organized, then I am never at my best. Think of it this way — if you’re not completely organized, then you’ve already fallen behind, which means that you’ve already placed yourself in a position of playing “catchup.” No one works well under those circumstances.
  • Stay on top of the latest tech — Rather than sticking to ways that actually slow down your productivity, utilize the tech at hand. We are so lucky to live in an age where technology can literally save us hours every week. If we embrace these opportunities, then we can fit in more work in far less time.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Setting aside time for meditation is the first step, and it can also be the initial step for creating time for wellness. Rightly enough, meditation and organization can also go hand in hand. When you organize your thoughts, then this will easily spill over into your day-to-day activities.

And if you hope to create more time for wellness, take a good luck at organization and productivity apps. Keep track of your tasks and projects, and be sure to leverage every minute for something productive, so that you will have more time at your leisure.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

I believe that flow is something that you have to work towards. It can’t be achieved when you’re unorganized, in an unhealthy state (both mentally or physically) and when you aren’t doing something that inspires you. And flow can’t be forced. One day, you won’t even expect it. You’ll be “in the zone,” working away at a challenging project, and finally reach a moment when you know that this is some of the best work you’ve ever done. That’s flow.

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 would inspire a movement toward healthy lifestyles, and I don’t mean a perfect lifestyle, but one that really will transform every single aspect of your life. Not only will you be able to bounce back easier from health setbacks, but your daily life will significantly improve — mental health, sleep, energy, vitality, concentration, cognitive performance, endurance and confidence.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Dr. Mark Hyman is a huge hero! He introduced the world to functional medicine, a systems-based, holistic view of health. He has a way of explaining concepts that are easy to understand and implement. His books are interesting and contain practical information and lifestyle change suggestions.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.balanceblends.com Instagram: @balanceblends

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

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Dr. Gayle P. Myers: “Quarantine lifestyle or emerging post pandemic”

by Dave Philistin
Community//

A Conversation with Dr. Kavita Jain About Performing Her Dual Roles as a Practicing Specialist Physician and an Educator for Medical Students With Select Med Tutors

by Joey Claudio
Community//

“Integrity ”, Dr. Rahi and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

by Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.