Published:
March 8, 2021
Last Updated:
March 11, 2021

IIN Staff Picks: Honoring International Women’s Day 2021

The year 2020 was difficult but provided unique opportunities for us to grow out of the hardships we experienced. For many women, the pressure to stay strong for their loved ones was amplified, and carving out time to take care of themselves may have been put on the back burner. For this International Women’s Day, we asked the women of IIN to share their experiences turning struggles into strengths and how they prioritized their well-being.

 

Did you feel like you were expected to stay strong even while you were struggling? How did you manage those expectations?

“In general, I think those of us who are caregivers in one way or another are expected to keep on keeping on. Sometimes we need to get off the treadmill of life and let others know when we are taking a break. For me, it is not about asking permission, but just giving my loved ones a heads-up that ‘I'm taking a break.’”

– Janet Verney, Education

“As a wife and mom, I always have to keep it together despite wanting to zone out and stay in bed all day. When things get exceptionally difficult to deal with, I start sharing and talking. If my loved ones don't truly know how hard I am finding it to cope, then how can I expect them to understand? Communication is key.”

– Courtney Sansone, Admissions

“Yes; I really had to take a step back and take time to focus on myself. I needed to take time to sit with my emotions and acknowledge that they are okay!”

– Katie Frankovich, Admissions

“Thankfully, with all that was going on in the world, I wasn't expected to stay strong this year. Encouraged is more like it. I was encouraged to stay strong, and I was continually reminded of hardships I'd faced and overcome in the past. Sometimes, managing to remain strong feels like clinging to the side of a mountain by your fingernails, clinging to a hope that the struggle will end, even if you don't fully believe it yet.”

– Heather Freudenthal, Education

“Absolutely. I was laid off right before COVID-19 hit. It was the first time since I was a teenager that I was let go from a job. My ego was devastated, but I knew deep down that when one door closes another one opens. Because it was before COVID-19, I had no idea how long it would actually take before that other door would open! That's when I took it upon myself to do more inner work, mainly doing a deep dive into learning about the subconscious mind and the law of attraction. I knew that relying on my own strength was not the way out of the situation, so I turned to alternate methods of managing my stress and ultimately understood that we have support beyond our wildest dreams.”

– Erica Lamb, Admissions

What strength(s) ultimately came out of your struggle?

“The greatest strength that showed up for me is resilience. I live with a chronic disease, which put me at high risk for this latest virus. My initial response was fear, but I learned long ago that fear erodes health. I began focusing on creative outlets that gave me that sense of Zen in my life. I then chose to ‘up my health,’ and turned from my nightly glass of wine to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle that gave me an abundance of energy, amped-up immune system, and overall improved health!”

– Janet Verney, Education

“I don't think I ever realized the power of talking about your problems. When I felt the weight was unbearable, I used to go for a run or cry. But I found over the past year that by talking about my struggles, I was able to find solutions versus just running to find temporary fixes.”

– Courtney Sansone, Admissions

“Happiness, encouragement, and strength came out overall. All struggles make you stronger and push you to succeed and get through life's obstacles.”

– Katie Frankovich, Admissions

“Out of my struggle came a good reminder that I can handle tough situations and endure difficult times. This year I had to check myself when I found myself saying things like, ‘I can't handle this.’ A good Health Coach helped me distinguish between can't and don't want to. It's okay not to want to, as long as you do it anyway. On the other side, I feel stronger for having that reminder: I can handle this.”

– Heather Freudenthal, Education

“Since I was unemployed, I increased the amount of time spent at my volunteer job. When I focused on other people, it made me feel better. Through my studies of the law of attraction, I learned that when I felt better and took inspired action from that better place, I could create a reality that I truly desired. Ultimately, I manifested my role here at IIN!”

– Erica Lamb, Admissions

woman sitting outside with mug in front of plant

How did you find time to prioritize your well-being, whether physical, mental, or emotional?

“It's all about setting an intention. I made it my business to focus on my well-being. I set up a little yoga/meditation corner in a spare bedroom in my house that I looked forward to using on a regular basis. I found an old bench I wasn’t using and put my diffuser on it with essential oils, crystals, and all my other woo-woo things that make me happy. Just hanging out there for a few minutes a day made a difference. On the flip side, I had a lot of dance parties in my living room with my fur babies. Our favorite music raises our vibrations and is guaranteed to make us feel better no matter what is going on in our lives!”

– Erica Lamb, Admissions

“Living in this world of quarantine, there is simply no better time to prioritize well-being! If you have an active family at home, this may be more of a challenge, but scheduling time is key. Do so while the little ones are busy with their activities. You can also include them in your new regimen of cooking healthy food or have a dance party to get everyone moving!”

– Janet Verney, Education

“I had to make time. When I found myself getting overwhelmed or anxious, I allowed myself to literally drop what I was doing and take a pause for myself. I would take a couple of deep breaths, a brief nap, or whatever I needed. Sometimes I would turn my video off on meetings so I could lay down while I still listened.”

– Heather Freudenthal, Education

“When I start to struggle, I prioritize physical exercise because it allows me to release and forget temporarily. Because it is so helpful, I do everything in my power to carve out the time. Whether it’s waking up early, arranging a playdate so I can have alone time, or just telling the family to fend for themselves, these things allow me to carve out time.”

– Courtney Sansone, Admissions

“I had to make sure I structured time for my own needs into my daily schedule. If I didn't, I noticed myself becoming irritable and frustrated easily. When I take time to move my body physically and relax my mind mentally, I notice a huge shift.”

– Katie Frankovich, Admissions

If you could tell the world one thing you wanted them to know about you, or to keep in mind this International Women's Day, what would it be?

“I'm similar to all of you. I work hard, love hard, and self-love even harder to make sure I can get through all obstacles life throws at me!”

– Katie Frankovich, Admissions

“Take time to stay quiet. ‘Monkey mind’ is a real thing, and when we intentionally set time aside to simply focus on our breath, it changes mood and perspective for the better. Also, dance like nobody's business!”

– Erica Lamb, Admissions

“The world is not always an easy place to live. Many things feel like a struggle. Working through family tension, navigating uncertainty, and making hard decisions with little information all must happen. I'd like the world to stop and appreciate themselves for doing it, every day. Getting up, showing up, stepping up. Sometimes all you can do is rise, send a few emails, then go back to sleep, and that's okay. Don't put any undue pressure on yourself. There's enough of that already.”

– Heather Freudenthal, Education

“I am extremely passionate about living a happy and healthy life and helping others do the same!”

– Janet Verney, Education

Women are stronger than you will ever know!”

– Courtney Sansone, Admissions

 

As the leading holistic nutrition and health coaching school, we’ve seen thousands of women empower themselves and countless other individuals in becoming the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves. IIN believes we’re stronger together, each member supporting one another makes the entire community stronger. Get started on finding your community by taking a sample class, like our Hormone Health course, which focuses on promoting hormonal balance through diet and lifestyle.

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