New appreciation for what really matters most: loving family and friends and good health. It’s quality over quantity. The shift is powerful.
As a part of my series about the the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Romy Taormina.
Puking was what inspired Romy, Founder/CEO of Psi Bands, to take the leap of faith into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. Romy is a mom to two teenagers and wife of almost 25 years. Psi Bands are acupressure wrist bands, a clinically-proven and patented medical device for nausea relief. Psi Bands sell at Target, REI, Sprouts, Pharmaca, Amazon, etc.; hospitals; and internationally. Psi Bands are an Oprah Magazine “O Pick” and Entrepreneur Magazine calls Psi Bands a “strokes of genius.” 1m sets sold.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I suffered from debilitating morning sickness during both of my pregnancies. I found nausea relief through acupressure wrist bands but was dissatisfied with existing products on the market so I set out to create a superior product to help those who suffer from nausea due to motion sickness, morning sickness, anesthesia, and chemotherapy.
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?
“Quiet” by Susan Cain. Google it to learn about her “revolution”. We each have a strong voice. Sometimes it’s quiet. And yet so powerful. Understanding that there are different voices and how people communicate provides necessary perspective in hiring decisions as well as in our own personal lives.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Often it’s about perspective. So here goes it…
Psi Bands has been in business for 14 years. More than 1M sets sold. And, just like that, almost overnight my business is compromised. Supply chain issues (our manufacturer is located in China), store closures, Shelter in Place directives, no one traveling.
Here’s the silver lining. My 20-year old son attends college in NY and our home is in CA. It was a herculean effort to get him home. He texted me: “The plane is so empty.” To which I replied, “good”. Good because I don’t want people breathing on him. His belongings remain in his on-campus townhouse, to collect dust until we can go move them out at some future safe date. And that is no time soon as we are on at least a 3-week Shelter in Place Order. I just wanted — needed — him to be home safely. Those things can be replaced. He can not.
So while I am fighting to keep my business alive — which is incredibly stressful, I am grateful to have my son home. And it helps me dig deep on what really matters most. Family, friends, and good health. Now I’m off to shelter in place. I am calling it my “staycation”.
5 reasons to be hopeful:
- New appreciation for what really matters most: loving family and friends and good health. It’s quality over quantity. The shift is powerful.
- New habits that focus on compassion, conservation, flexibility, self-care (diet/rest/exercise), and adaptability. We are all navigating and adjusting on a daily basis. We are taking online exercise classes. Trying to be mindful of our supplies. Doing more than random acts of kindness — it’s intentional acts of kindness. We are strengthening what have possibly been weakened muscles.
- New ways of learning. With the transition to online learning happening for students of all ages, we will come away with new ideas, tools, and tricks for enhanced education.
- Happier employees. Virtual working will likely result in greater efficiency and wellness. Going to a workplace necessitates commuting and social interaction. Many companies have too many or too long in-person meetings. Social interaction happens throughout the day at the coffee station, lunch room, and in the halls. When one works from home, there is no commute and there is far less socialization. You can still socialize via social media and have lunch with friends — but this is scheduled time so it’s more efficient because you’re intentional about your time and commitments. There will likely be a change where employees start splitting their work days between the office and the home — because both the company and the employee have now had a taste of what that balance can achieve — happier employees who now have more control and flexibility over their work schedule and spend less time wading through stressful traffic.
- Enhanced Community. They say it takes a village. We are forming new platforms and outreach for our community members. It creates comfort and wellness regardless if you are the giver or the receiver. It’s a win for all.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- Give to others. This can be in small ways. A quick text to let someone know that we are thinking of them. Offer to bring someone groceries or other necessities. When we give to others, we feel good in doing so, and we pay it forward. Small things do matter.
- Invite others to connect virtually. Hold facetime activities. Play board or card games, hold dance marathons, exercise, and congregate — all virtually.
- Listen. Are you really listening to those around you? Sometimes people are not asking for advice. They just want to be heard. Less talking and more listening. And, if they ask for advice, game on. Share away.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt. All of us make so many assumptions. And those assumptions may be wrong. We never know all the variables so try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Your feelings may be hurt, but let’s give others (and ourselves) the peace of mind that we are all doing the best we can.
- Encourage activity. Too much time on one’s hands will likely result in unwanted habits, depression, and/or other unfavorable outcomes. Encourage healthy activity and consider some new hobbies or things on that bucket list that they didn’t have the time to do before — photography, continuing education (online classes), exercise, reading, mediation, journaling, music, dance, art, cooking, gardening…The list is endless.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
Surround yourself with loved ones. They’ve got your back.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda
I believe that you should DO your hardest. DO your best. It may not be perfect but it may be amazing. And you will have created movement. It’s so much easier to have momentum when you are already acting. It’s when you stop that things become static. So, DO. My example: I created a product, Psi Bands, and took it to market and it now sells internationally.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I believe that you should be grateful and show your appreciation. It makes people feel good when they are recognized, seen, and heard. Kindness begets kindness. Acts of appreciation can take shape in many different forms. Say thank you. Write a thank you card. Send someone an email letting them know they made a positive difference. Thank you’s do not need to cost anything — other than your time.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!