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Dr. Renee is a double board-certified doctor who has been working with women for over 20 years and due to her own personal health challenges, she stepped outside the box of conventional medicine to take a radically different approach to heal herself from the deep depths of burnout.
Throughout her journey, she has had her fair share of obstacles and has mastered the art of leaping into transitions with each pivot! Now Dr. Renee empowers women to take control of their health, jumpstart their energy, improve their confidence and reignite their libido!
Dr. Renee’s story starts with breaking her back after moving out to the country. This injury caused her from going 150 miles an hour to a dead stop. This pause opened her eyes to new things and the symptoms she was having.
These symptoms included profound fatigue leading her to not being able to get out of bed and living on caffine. As the brain fog, weight gain, and lack of energy. She went to her doctor and was diagnosed with depression. She came to the point where she didn’t know why her life was worth living. Through this journey of healing of what was thought to be depression she found functional medicine and finally had answers.
It wasn’t depression! It was adrenal.
Now she is helping others through this BURNOUT!
Connect with Dr. Renee: https://www.drreneewellenstein.com/
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welcome to the podcast, Dr. Rene, thank you for having me. I am really excited to talk to you. And I know that this is something my community needs. But we have to start with your story. Because it hasn’t always been this story of like, you know, let’s get through the burnout. Let’s do these things you got to that burnout state. Can you tell us a little bit about that backstory?
Yeah, I’d love to because, you know, interestingly enough, it wasn’t really identified as burnout. So that’s really was one of my aha moments. So I am a an OB GYN. So I was conventionally trained as an OB GYN. And what that means is I went to medical school, did a regular residency, was practicing for over 15 years, and I moved from a suburb of new york city to the country. I had twins, and they were one and life was just really busy in the city. And my husband and I, who’s also a physician really just wanted more time with our kids, not in the car commuting all the things that we were doing. So we moved to the country, about three and a half hours from the city. And, of course, what do you do when you move to this to the country, and you’re a former Farm Girl, which is me, I got a horse and I had always wanted a horse since I was a little girl, I’m seven years old, I asked my dad, the farmer for a horse. He said, No. And I said to him, when I was seven, I’m gonna get my horse someday. So here I am, you know, pushing 40 get my horse, and I fell off that horse and broke my back. And I always say, that’s where my story begins, because I thought I was living the best life and in, you know, doing all the things and and I was, but when I was going 150 miles an hour as an OB GYN up every third night, delivering babies up with infant twins. And now, you know, at this stage, they’re, they’re toddlers. And I went from 150 miles per hour to zero to stop because of this broken back. And I don’t do very well with the halting, especially abruptly. But I was on pause for six months, because of pain issues, and this nanoco all into that. But essentially, I always say I was Humpty Dumpty that fall off the wall, but could not be put back together again, because my injuries in my back, were not operable, they would just basically, I still to this day, have broken bones on my back. And so there’s the back issue, but what was most prominent over the next couple years, and all these other symptoms that I had, and they included it, and actually, I recognize them more because I was not going so fast. And the biggest one was this profound fatigue, like I could not get out of bed in the morning. And you know, I pretty much lived all day on caffeine in the form of coffee, I love coffee. And I really, you know, didn’t have the energy. When I open the cat, the fridge, I looked in and I see healthy options. But I’m like, I’m so tired, I just close the refrigerator, go to the cabinet and grab some chips.
And you know, brain fog, I just couldn’t think clearly I couldn’t focus. I was gaining weight, especially around my midsection. And you know, the the leg and energy persisted throughout the day. And at night, I would get this weird second wind around 10 o’clock if I stayed up that late. And so I went to my doctor Finally, and I said I, I don’t know what’s going on. But these are my symptoms. And of course, in the conventional world, again, where I was trained, it sounds like depression, right? Like, you can’t get out of bed in the morning, you really aren’t interested in doing things. You know, you just want to lay around you’re unmotivated on productive, kind of sounds like depression. So when she told me depression, I was like, yeah, you know, I thought about that. But it doesn’t feel like what depression should feel like. However, I didn’t know there was anything else it could be. So I said, that sounds fine. Like you just whatever we got to do. Just do it. So of course antidepressant. So she prescribed an antidepressant and I have all of the side effects of the antidepressant and I still had my symptoms, I still can get out of bed in the morning. As a matter of fact, I feel like it got a little worse, I got a little more fatigued. And so I sit on the antidepressant for a few months. And then I went back for follow up. And of course, in that world which I was in, what do we do with a medication doesn’t work. It’s not that we have the wrong diagnosis. We had the wrong medication. So I tried another. And lo and behold, same thing happened. You know, at this point, within the that six months time, I remember laying in bed with my husband and I said I can’t go on living like this. This is awful. Because you know, I’m running out of options. Now an antidepressant doesn’t work, what am I going to do? And that’s the only time in my life that I actually thought of no longer living because I felt hopeless and helpless. Like here I am surrounded by my medical colleagues. And all of them are like, we don’t know what else to do for you. And I’m like if I’m in the medical world, and I have these symptoms and they’re not helping me What is everybody else out there doing? So I actually got put in contact with a functional medicine doctor, which I didn’t even know what that was. But at this point, I was so desperate and I said, I got on the phone with her. And ironically, the reason I got in touch with her as someone gave me her name, because at this point, I was selling anti aging skincare because I needed something fun to do in my life. Because I was not practicing my full scope of ob gyn. I wasn’t really feeling purposeful at work. Now, the reason I couldn’t go to bed in the morning, I’m like, I went into medicine to change lives, and I’ve doing pap smears all day is not quite doing that. So I got contact with her because, of course, she was called an anti aging doctor. And so I got on the phone with her. And of course, I talked about my skincare. She’s like, I have my own brand of skincare. However, let’s talk about what’s going on with you. And this, you know, I describe my sense of she’s like, I don’t think it’s depression, I think you have something called adrenal. Back then we call it adrenal fatigue, and essentially adrenal dysfunction, modern day terms, burnout, burnout, and I was like, but when she used the word, adrenal was like, what what, like, I learned about adrenal issues in medical school, but like, extremes of the condition, nothing in between.
So she, when she said that, and she described the symptoms, of course, I’m sitting in my bed, of course, I spent a lot of time on the couch or in bed, and I’m like, typing it in, as we’re talking. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, that is such. That’s me. That’s exactly how I feel. So she said, Well, you know, before I get to see you in the office and confirm it, why don’t you start this, this and this, and I’ll see you and I have to just say, even without, like starting anything, as far as a treatment, just that validation that it wasn’t all in my head number one, and number two that I didn’t, I finally had hope back because she was willing to help me, those were the two biggest takeaways from that night. And ironically, you know, I, my husband had gone in to take a shower as I got on the phone with her. And he came out of the shower. Because in this conversation, she also asked if I would like to join her in practice. And of course, I’m still googling as she’s talking like functional medicine. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this is like root cause medicine like that, you get to the root cause of why someone feels the way they feel. And so he comes out of the shower, and I said, Okay, I have adrenal dysfunction, I’m going to do this, this and this. And I am leaving the hospitals and OB GYN and joining this woman in practice, and going back and doing a functional medicine, fellowship. And he goes, how long was I in the shower for like, and so and this was also the beginning of me listening to my intuition, my gut like, and taking the leap when something felt right. And at this point in this conversation, one half hour conversation, she made the diagnosis, I was exposed to this, this world of alternative medicine, that entire different healthcare model where I could just change lives. Again, in the you know, I have my purpose back and give women that help and hope that I had lost myself. So I did exactly that. I went back, I finished out my time at the hospital, I, in the meantime, work in the hospital, I started this fellowship, and started my treatment for adrenal dysfunction, which is not medication, you know, it’s a ton of lifestyle changes. And I always say it, they’re simple, but not easy, because when you’re that exhausted, doing lifestyle changes, like such as, especially diet changes are hard, you know, getting out of that cabinet with a big budget, the bags of chips, that was hard, you know, when I was really tired, so and that’s where, you know, some supplementation came in, just give me that oomph to get going. And, you know, and I always had to put it in perspective, like, every month, I felt better. But I always continued to this day to say, I didn’t get to that stage overnight. You know, it was using years of like, medical school training and residency, and then ob gyn and then having twins, like, one insult after another as far as stress on my body. And then I that the straw that broke the camel’s back, literally, my back was falling off that horse. And that’s really when my symptoms manifested, you know, and I really, I probably had them all along, I was just going so fast that I couldn’t even tell. So, you know, fast forward to today, you know, I’ve seven years later, I’m here to talk about it. And here to tell women, you know, and so many things, including burnout, because now I’m still that mom of twins, they’re about almost 14, I’m an entrepreneur, I have my own health consulting business. And I see a lot in both moms after this year long pandemic and my fellow entrepreneurs. And so, I come on strong lately to talk about the reality of burnout and that it’s not in your head and there’s something we can do about it. I
think that’s amazing. And that’s something that so many of us need to hear because I mean, that’s Your story sounds I didn’t fall off a horse. It sounds a lot like mine, like I was stuck in a spat. And then I found, I’m not a doctor myself, but I found functional medicine. And it was like, Whoa, someone finally validated that hope came back. And I think that’s so cool that you’re bringing hope back to those people. So as you’re going through this transition, what were some of those like moments when you’re in that fellowship going from Western conventional medicine into this functional world that you were like, Okay, this makes more sense.
Yeah, I was, I was like a kid in the candy shop, quite frankly, because here’s the reality, like, this is all science I learned in medical school, and not to bash our healthcare system, because I practice in it very happily for 15 plus years. And I think we can have the best of both worlds. But I was like, Oh, my gosh, I learned all the science in medical school, it was just glossed over by the fact that I actually had to take someone’s group of symptoms, that into one box, and in my case was that depression box, and then slap a medication on it. Because in reality, I mean, that’s how we’re trained as Doc’s. And that is, that’s what most people want, you know, most people are going 150 miles an hour, they don’t want to stop long enough to do the changes that are really often necessary for completely recovering from things like burnout. So I just loved it. And, you know, I have to say, I live in a small community, where the biggest employer is the hospital. It’s got 250 employees and live as Matter of fact, a block from it. And it’s really interesting when I went into this, how people looked at me sideways, like, what are you doing, like, Voodoo, or whatever. And it’s, it’s interesting now, how is really come full circle, because now a lot of people see me around town and say, Hey, can I, you know, talk to you about x, y, and z? Or what would you recommend that they’ll chase me down into our organic food store about supplements or whatever? Would you recommend this, I just heard you on a TV, you know, news station or whatever. But you know, and so now, it’s much more mainstream than it was when I started. And even when I started, I feel like it was a little more mainstream, even back seven years ago. It’s not like it’s 30 years ago, but it’s nowadays everyone’s looking for a different approach to their health, because they’re not necessarily getting answers from their doctor or with a pill.
Yeah, and I think he said something that was really important is that box, the box that were put in, in the conventional world? So speaking of that box, what if someone has already put into one of those boxes? And like you were put into that depression box? Like, where do you suggest? Like, is it an inward seeking? Is it just knowing, like, trusting your intuition? How does somebody get out of that box? If it’s not quite feeling? Right? Yeah. I
mean, you know, we’ve, it might be the right box, you know, I’m not seeing every box. However, I do think a lot of us can be helped prior to getting to that stage where you need the medication, you know, and I do think it’s a lot of of being an advocate for your own health asking questions, which I have to be honest, a lot of Doc’s you know, in, in defense of my regular my conventional Doc’s, again, I my husband’s still there, and I was there. They are, they are busy, you know, they don’t have time to really look outside the box, read all that’s going on, out there. They don’t have time to keep up with their board certification and see the patients that they have to see in the office. And back in the day, you know, I just heard actually a couple days ago that our ob gyn at the hospital, you know, he’s making the doctor see everyone in 15 minutes, like, that’s all you have don’t go over 15 minutes. No. And what that translates to generally as you come in, you ask one question, and that’s, that’s all you have one symptom, one complaint, and that’s it, you got to come back if you have another one. And, you know, a lot of people don’t have time for that. So I do think, you know, it’s just a matter of being your own advocate doing what you can do. Away from the doctor’s office, you know, and again, a lot of that is looking up your symptoms. I hate to say it, Dr. Google, I mean, I went to medical school and all I get so many certifications. But there’s a lot of things that can be thought provoking on the internet. Now just to start to think like question like, wow, can I have this? Can I have that. And quite honestly, if it’s something as simple as changing up, and again, I say I say simple. And again, it’s not easy, but changing up your nutrition, getting a little more sleep and prioritizing a little self care on a daily basis. That is something you can implement. Again, it doesn’t have to be a sprint. This is more of a marathon we’re talking about this are more like little changes that you implement. But I’m telling you, as soon as you start these little changes, and you start feeling better, you’re going to want to keep going and keep changing whatever you need to change.
Yeah, and that burnout stage is one of those. I know for me, that’s probably where I’m at right now because I’m in that seeking the answers. So can you tell us a little bit more about like what burnout manifests in the body?
Yeah, a lot of the symptoms that I have. So you know, so let’s go back a little bit. So we talked about the adrenal glands are these little walnut shapes, you know, they’re no bigger than a walnut. They weigh less than a grape. They’re on top of our kidneys. So these are these tiny little powerhouse glands that produce lots of different hormones, things that keep our blood pressure maintained, and our electrolytes and balance. But the thing that we always talk about when it comes to this burnout is cortisol. And so cortisol, and again, stress is not a bad thing, acute stress, we are what’s good for us, actually, you know, to get up and have to do a speech in front of a large crowd, or, I don’t know taking a test. That’s all really good acute stress. But what we’re experiencing now is this unrelenting, chronic 24 hour a day, seven days a week stress, our bodies were not made for that. What happens is, these little glands, his adrenal glands actually produce this cortisol, one of many hormones, but we’ll focus on cortisol. And cortisol is peaks in the morning. And that’s I don’t know, if you’ve ever realized, you know, ever felt it that your eyes open and you can’t go back to sleep, that’s your internal alarm, that’s your cortisol peaking. And then throughout the day, it actually declines, ideally, slowly and is low at night, when the sun goes down. So when the sun comes up, cortisol spikes comes down slowly throughout the day, in the evening, it goes down, sun goes down in melatonin, our sleep hormone comes up. So it’s kind of on a teeter totter with melatonin. And what happens is, from years of that chronic stress, and everyone’s different, you’re not gonna expose two women to the same stressors, and one’s going to be able to be more resilient than the other, it comes down to our genetics, quite honestly, and a lot of other factors in our lifestyle, but really resiliency, our bodies are so different on so many levels. And a lot of times it comes down to genetics, and same, you know, genetics put into a different environment, we result in something different, so. So again, years of, of getting beat up by whatever the stressor may be. And then one day, all of a sudden, and it may not even be one day, it’s usually a slow progressive fatigue, that people don’t even notice until one day someone comments, you know, a kid, they’re one of the kids like, Mom, you never can get out of bed, or you’re always laying on couch in the afternoon, or are you noticing you’re gaining weight around the midsection and that you can’t control your cravings, because you just want the salt and the sugar, mostly the sugar, or the energy. You’re surviving on a pot of coffee a day. And a lot of these things just creep into our lifestyle and we don’t even know it. Because we’re so busy doing we’re so busy going right? Got to do the next day. Where’s our to do list another day? And so get that coffee, get that coffee again, before you know it, you’re at a pot of coffee, oh my gosh, I don’t have and I can say this because this has happened to me. I don’t have time to stop for lunch. As we’re recording this right around lunchtime here in New York. You know, like, let me go grab some chips and just keep going. And before you know it, that becomes our lifestyle. But the problem is those factors actually makes it a vicious cycle of the adrenal issues, you know, it doesn’t feed our body. Well, you know, we’re not getting the nutrients, it’s really just further taxing our adrenal glands to the point where that cortisol secretion, that nice little curve that is supposed to look like during the day actually becomes abnormal, to the point where sometimes the cortisol is not as high as it should be when you get up in the morning. That’s you can’t even with an alarm, you can’t get out of it. Like, oh, you had a good night’s sleep, but you still can’t get up. A lot of people start asking questions like what is going on I slept well but I still can’t get up thinking thinking there might be something else going on. Or you know, you you can’t get up but you finally forced yourself to get up and then you’re okay for a couple hours and then you plummet again. And now you need that afternoon coffee or a cup of cups or energy drink, which is not very good for you, but and you know, again, you’re surviving on those those quick sugars and things just to get you through through the day. That’s kind of like a big wake up call that something else could be going on. And a lot of like, things are going on with you emotionally, mentally, you’re much more irritable, get a little angry, easier, you’re starting I don’t want to say to withdraw, but like you like you just want to just kind of withdraw because you’re so tired, you don’t have the energy to go out with your friends. You just end up staying at home you starting to put family on the back burner that’s outside your home. So you know sort of infiltrates not only our physical health or emotional health but our relationships as well.
I think that and that’s one of the other things that I wanted to ask you about because I know that you also talk about libido and adrenal fatigue, or this burnout and libido. How did these relate because I know that that’s one of the big topics that you’d like to cover too, probably coming from ob gyn, but can you Tell us a little bit about that. Yeah, I
mean, I speak I’m a Beto because it’s one of those taboo topics that nobody no women aren’t talking about. So there’s a ton of women out there running around with a libido that sub optimal for them, but they think that they’re abnormal because they look to their left and look to the right and oh, everyone else must be fine, because no one’s talking about it. So in 2020, I started talking about it and bringing it to light because just like other women’s health topics, like infertility, even menopause is a taboo topic that no one wants to talk about, or miscarriage. Like, these are all really taboo topics that women just don’t talk about. But many women when I start talking about it, women sort of coming out of the woodwork like oh, my gosh, you’re telling me it’s not nor like, I know, it seems normal. But if you feel it’s low, there’s probably some things going on. So when I talk about libido is generally just another symptom. And the reason I talk a lot about burnout is because pretty much the through line through 100% of clients I work with, there’s three key things number one mindset, how do they think about themselves? How are they comfortable in their body? You know, how do they talk to themselves throughout the day? Do you wake up beating yourself up? Like, I can’t get out of bed? I What’s wrong with me? I’m so lazy. No, you know, if you have burnout, you have burnout. But how are you talking to yourself? Because that’s further propagating this, these burnout symptoms. Number two relationship, we don’t have to get into that too much. But ladies, you need to ask for what you want communication. You know, I know we all think we’re Superwoman. And we can do it all. But at the end of the day, you don’t get a trophy except for your own in your own head. And you fall in a bed at night. So honestly, you can I always say there’s three days, what do you have to do? What can you delegate, meaning ask the kids to do ask your hubby, your significant other or friends? And what can you completely take off your list? Okay, so relationship communication are significant. Others cannot read our minds, I have to you have to say what you what you want. And a lot of our partners are really happy to give it to us, they just can’t read what we need. And then number three is stress. And you know, it’s really interesting because, generally speaking, it’s more of an emotional stress. Although physical stressors like a chronic health condition can definitely do the same thing. But all three of those were the top three that I see an every single woman I work with with a low libido. So you know, and another reason I talk about it is because as an OB GYN, I was kind of taught, there’s not a lot of studies on women in libido, by the way, it’s all in men. We are very hard to study, because we’re complex. We have two hormones, and they vary throughout the month when you’re still cycling, right? You can’t control us. So we’re not ideal for studies. And you know what the promise to we go back to that conventional must be testosterone because that’s the problem generally in men. I used to take care of men, I took care of him for four years in my practice, they are so different than we ladies like, they are so easy. They have one hormone, if it’s low, they have a lot of symptoms, you fix it, they’re fixed. We’re not that we’re not like that at all, you know, and for 15 years and OB GYN another you know what, seven years now in functional medicine, I have tried to sastra and women doesn’t mean oftentimes doesn’t work. It has other benefits as well. But when we’re talking about libido, and number two, I’ve had women in their 20s with a low libido, when it shouldn’t be that way and women in their 70s with an amazing libido. Right? So if we’re just talking about testosterone, so what I have studied and that’s why I call myself a libido ologists I studied libido is that it’s multifactorial for women, it’s generally more than one thing, which is why I also love functional medicine because I don’t just take care of one thing like we have libido, right? But what is what is causing that. And it’s not generally just one thing. So again, those three things, including stress, slash burnout is really if you’re exhausted and you’re, you know, getting up in the morning, you’re running your own business, you’re trying to take care of the kids. They just got done with their virtual schooling rollout for the summer. But now they’re all home, right? Like not in school. So now they’re like, Mom, Mom, what are we doing? It’s like, you’re taking in the camps, you’re still cooking, the meals going the grocery shopping, you’re tired, you know, last thing you want to do at night generally, is get busy. Like I always say you got to get out of your head want to get into bed. But the problem is, number one, there’s that fatigue issue. And number two, a lot of women are having a hard time shutting their brains off. So it’s there’s it’s a very integral part of low libido. And, you know, many times I have women approached me and say, Tell me how to fix him like, Oh, well, this
is a big loaded question because everyone’s different. And that’s the other beauty about the type of medicine that I that I now practice is I respected individuality. I respect the fact that you are different than I and what is going to help me may not help you. And as a matter of fact, we both could have low libido, but your treatments gonna look different than mine, depending on what’s going on with you so so it’s definitely I’m not saying that hormones don’t come into play, definitely, you know, especially our female hormones when they’re out of balance or thyroid or, or like I said cortisol with with stress definitely can come into play. But we got to look at the big picture there.
That’s so interesting, like the big picture, you don’t hear that often from again, in the medical world until you get into that functional. Like, let’s see the patient. I was surprised when I moved into the functional world. I think my first appointment was 90 minutes. I was like a doctor who’s gonna spend 90 minutes with me. Wow, it’s so cool.
Yeah, I mean, you know, we take a complete history, we want to know everything. And that was the interesting thing, too, is in ob gyn. Speaking of libido, I would like a woman to come in. And again, this was kind of go back I had 20 minutes at most with are usually 10. Doc, I don’t have a libido and I’m like, oh, like, that’s not the question I want in 10 minutes. Because, number one, I didn’t really know what caused a low libido, I still to this day, we’re studying it. And it’s different for every woman. But number two, I didn’t really have a good quote unquote, fix for her, I didn’t have that magic pill. versus when I was in my functional medicine office. And even to this day, I asked every single woman about it. And she’s always like, what I write, you’re asking me about my sexual desire, I’m like, Yeah, it’s a part of it’s another symptom of it’s low, it’s going to help me sort of get, you know, and again, it could be low desire, and it could be fatigue, it could be a lot of different things that point to one underlying cause. So you don’t need 50 pills for 50 symptoms, you just need that to help repair the underlying cause. I don’t know, I don’t love the word sex, I always find myself using it. But we’re not broken. Ladies. We don’t need to be fixed. We just have something out of balance. And these symptoms are just our body’s way of saying, hey, hey, listen to me. There’s something going on here.
That’s amazing. And I noticed, like you had said before, is that self care piece is like a big part of like, where to start. It’s just taking that time taking that pause, slowing your brain down, because I know that again, it’s like you’re speaking to me, which I’m sure speaking to my entire audience where at night you lay down and you’re like, I thought like 500 things. I’m wide awake now. Okay, I’ll go work on my computer for another four hours.
That good? He’s that good? Yeah. Um, yeah, you know, we got to work on that. Because that’s, you know, definitely disrupting your sleep, which is, you know, disrupts other things as well. But I do find over the past prior to March of 2020, I did see a lot of women neglecting their self care, but come 2020 it was just down the drain because women just, they already didn’t feel worthy enough, or they felt selfish to be prioritizing even 30 minutes for themselves. So back then it looked like maybe manicures, pedicures. It looks a lot different nowadays. But I’m really on this mission of when we’re talking about burnout. Because I do think a lot of women are suffering from this to some degree, that we actually have to go back to a couple things number one, awareness, awareness in our body. How do you feel? Because again, we’re Go Go, go, go go. Like if you stopped throughout the day, like how do you feel right now? Like, how was your energy this morning? Did you wake up energized? You know, I know you love what you do. So you probably do. But you know, are you in? You know, look throughout your day? How’s your body feeling? How’s your belly feeling? How’s your brain? Are you feeling clear? Are you focused? You know? Do you feel like you just want to take a nap all afternoon. And so there’s that awareness of how our body feels. And number two, if we think it is related to stressors, what are we stressed about? You know, like I see a lot of women running around is just so stressed. There’s not enough time in the day. Okay, so go back to those days. What do you have to do? What can you delegate? And what can you delete, at least for today? Because there is a part of that list that you can put off for down the road? Couple weeks, right? But if you just run around the singer stress, like you got to kind of pull back and say what exactly is it my finances? Is it my work? Or is it the kids? Is it my relationship? What is it? Is it my health is it you know, I know a lot of women, you know, beat themselves over weight because they come to me and say I want to lose weight, like the year has been tough on us all, but I get it. But the more you know, you stress and beat yourself up over all of them. Let’s just step back what can we do about it, you know, a little baby steps to help resolve the issue. And then number three, start implementing that self care back into your life you are worthy, you know, without you filling your cup to some degree and again, it doesn’t necessarily look like manicures and pedicures and facials anymore. It can look like sitting quietly in the morning with a cup of coffee reading a book, exercising going out. If you don’t like exercising, just go out with nature. First thing in the morning, reset that cortisol take a walk, listen to the birds. You know, take a nap take a bubble bath take you know just whatever but really committed To giving yourself at least 30 minutes a day, to do something you love to do, is really key to to filling up your own cup and healing from burnout.
I love that it’s 30 minutes a day, like instead of saying, Okay, you’ve got to take this whole day to yourself or block out this huge part of your calendar and do all these things like 30 minutes a day, we can all stop scrolling for 30 minutes.
Yeah, good for us. Yeah, it’s funny, I was talking about this, the other woman, a female entrepreneur, doctor, who says, like, you look around on the social media, you see all these men doing like these three hour morning rituals, and this and that. Two things I want to say about that. Number one, you don’t need three hours. Like if you want to have that luxury in your schedule, absolutely do it. But you don’t need the three hours to take care of yourself. And number two, what I find with men versus women is men are very regimented. They do the same thing every day, ladies, we cycle. Maybe one day you feel like doing reading a book, maybe the next day, you feel like taking a walk, change it, especially entrepreneurs. I know a lot of entrepreneurs love to like, they love the change, right? That’s why we do what we do. But it doesn’t have to look the same every day, don’t put that pressure on yourselves. I think we, we put these we should ourselves too much, then you should all over yourself. You know, like, I don’t like that word. Sometimes I say like, should know, I get to you know, like, it’s how we talk. But you know, for instance, this morning, I got a chance did work out for 45 minutes, it wasn’t a punishment, what I wanted to do. And then it was longer, I took a 30 minute walk with my dog listening to something that I wanted to listen to that I did. still listening. But a lot of times it integrates my body better when I’m listening and walking. So you know, my self care is done. I got it done before my children got up for the day. And I feel great, you know, so. And then again, I’m much better mom. And that happens too, by the way. Like when I can get up and do something for myself before little feet hit the floor. I’m a better wife, I’m a better mom, I’m a better doctor, so much better across the board.
That’s like and it is it does spell out because if you are in that burnout stage, everything in your life feels like it’s crumbling, and it is most of the time.
But you also get into that that mindset of I’m doing for everyone else. What about me? You know, what about me? I see a lot of women, you know, when we talk about libido, going back to the relationship, there’s a lot of resentment there because they feel like what about me, like I don’t feel appreciated, I feel like I’m just doing and I get to do nothing for myself will change that, like, change it now. Because that resentment is not helping you. It’s not helping your relationship. So if you vocalize and verbalize what you need, and it’s still not getting done, well then we have a problem. But again, most of the times your kids want to help you, especially if they’re like you say like I just need some help. And that gets to the point where you’re screaming and crying. You know, kids don’t really love that. That’s kind of little traumatic. But sometimes that happens, I get it. The other thing I found interesting of what I sort of do this year is you know, when I’m feeling that frustration or that emotion, I let it out. You know if I want to cry, except it’s not bad. let people see you cry. Like just cry. Honestly, sometimes a one, one minute, 60 seconds. 92nd cry, I feel so much better. I’m like, Okay, let’s keep going or scream into your pillow. Or, you know, I don’t know, go run a sprint up to up the street, whatever you need to get that emotion out. Just release it because it’s sitting in your body. That frustration that you know, whatever it is that anger that irritability, just get it out, release it, and then you feel so much better to move on and then go to your self care. Then do something you love. But you know, I definitely think holding these emotions and especially ones that are not that are low frequency low vibe. Like, you know, worry and anger and irritability and fear. Get them out,
get them out.
I love that. And that’s one of the things I don’t know, growing up, I kind of felt like I couldn’t let them out because it was always so explosive. Mm hmm.
Yeah, you actually prevent it from being explosive if you let it out more frequently. And that was me as well, which is why I made it. My you know, I don’t I don’t even do resolutions. But 2021 I said, you know, I’m gonna like, I’m not gonna hold my emotions in like, if I feel like crying. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of something needs to come out. I’m gonna release it and it’s, I feel so much better. I don’t necessarily always scream. I’m more of a crier. And it’s not you know, it’s not like so if I do this more regularly, when I feel the emotion, it doesn’t build up into this big like, major melt down that takes me out for the day, you know, or huge energy drain because I’m holding it all in and not letting it out. So I love that. So where can people find you? I am all over I have a website Dr. Renee wallenstein.com can learn a little bit about me there I am all over social media because I do have an online I’m exclusively online, I work I just got a message with something someone I do work across state borders because I do not function as a doctor, even though I am still licensed. And double board certified, actually more of a consultant. So I work short term with clients. And so I’m Dr. Wendy Wallenstein, Instagram, Facebook, tick tock YouTube, I have a podcast where else a podcast is love the Lisa, Dr. Renee, because I like to leap I like to do things just by my gut, which is, it’s mostly a holistic health podcast. So we do a lot of different topics, aside from even libido, but, you know, my mission is really just to get this message out about healing naturally is possible for many people, at least, even as a adjunct to what you’re getting with your regular Doc, you know, I really think that in the future, alternative medicine and conventional medicine can be collaborative and not competitive. And I don’t view it as competitive, but a lot of my counterparts in the conventional world do. And you know, when we kind of at the end of the day, just realize that we’re here for the people, we’re here for the patients, and we’re here, whatever way they want to get better, is how we deliver our care. So, so yeah, come find me all the places.
And love that, and I love how you’re talking about like someday in the future, it’ll be a collaboration, I am so excited. I wish it was tomorrow. But I’m glad that it’s starting, I’m starting to see it kind of come in, like my, my conventional doctor sent me to an acupuncturist that’s actually at our conventional hospital, I’m like, thank you, thank you, I’m like, so excited to see this, this coming in. And I’m hoping it comes in stronger within my lifetime, because it is so needed, and I love what you’re doing in your practice.
Thank you. Yeah, it is needed. And I do think we can get a lot more people healthier, long term. You know, I always say that what I did is an OB, it was it was important, you know, I delivered the babies, I did the surgeries. But it was more reactive healthcare, you know, I waited for someone to come in to my office with a problem. And then I either did the surgery, the baby’s not a problem, I delivered the baby, or I gave a medication. And I like to think now I’m more proactive, you know, I don’t, we try to prevent things, you know, if you have a family history, knowing, yes, you have the genetics, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the disease or you know, or if you have a mutation or you see whatever in your family, it does not it actually that should fuel your fire, to prevent any of the whatever your family has in the future and knowing it’s in your power to be able to do it. Just you know, again, most of it can be done by anyone, it’s, and again, it’s simple, but it’s not easy to try to eat real foods and try to kick those packaged, processed foods that came about because of convenience, it came about to serve a need for our population of people that are always in a rush. So the food industry, I’m often like, putting them down as far as some food, I you know, ingredients that I don’t really love. But they saw huge as an entrepreneur, and these companies like marketing, like a huge niche of convenient food, that’s just how can we make it faster, easier, sit on the shelf longer sit in the freezer longer. That’s where these foods came from. And they’re not good for us. But we’ve all become dependent on them. Because we need that what is fastest? What is easiest, you know, in our really high paced world, and I you know, I had children that are starting to be very busy themselves with sports and such I’m like, you know, but I see it already starting in the younger generation that they’re not as calm as they as I was as a kid, as I played with Barbies, and rode my bike, you know, there was no phone, social media, all the things. So I think our kids are even starting out a lot more hyped up and stressed than we. I was I’m much older than you but I was as a kid. So, you know, it’s just something to keep in mind for the parents out there as well.
That’s really interesting. That’s one of the things that I noticed in my nieces and nephews. I’m like, I couldn’t imagine growing up with social media. And the amount of stress like you’re right, we were out playing. We were doing those things that were good for our bodies. We were soaking up those sunrays and the vitamin D and playing. And now it’s I see this addiction. And it’s like information overload all the time. And that comparison started so much earlier for them. And I’m like, I’m excited that this is part of like your mission and you’re seeing it in your kids. And I’m glad that there are doctors out there that are seeing the effects so that maybe we can make a change before it’s
And you know, it’s so interesting with children. This is something I listen to a lot. I’m always I’m a lifetime learner. I love learning. And you know is it great observation that when we are little, like, we have no stress because all we want to do is play, we’re just playing 24 seven. And nowadays our kids are losing that a lot sooner because of social media. But even as adults, like I encourage my community, my women, play more, have fun laugh, that’s a natural stress reducer, you know, like, do something, again, you know, stopping so fixed in your schedule and go do something fun, you know, schedule it in if you have to go by your schedule, but I’m definitely you know, play more, that’s all I can say. And I’m, again, I walk the walk and talk the talk, I’m definitely trying to play more and laugh more and not be that really rigid doctor that you see so many doctors like I do this and got to wake up and now I play a lot more I have fun because I lead by example. And I know I want to be around people that are laughing and having fun. So energy is contagious. So just go you know, make it a mission every day little self care and have fun doing it.
So I have to ask the question, what are some of your favorite ways to add fun and play into your life?
I spend a lot of time with my kids. Um, you know my daughter plays basketball so I you know, when you’re a mom some things of your fun are like watching your kids have fun. So I take her through all different states and we have girls weekends together where we she plays basketball, but we go out to dinner and we you know, we hang out in a hotel and we laugh and we we sightsee different cities. And this summer I love I have a boat, we have a boat on a beautiful lake. So I’m out in the boat a lot. Because again, you know, I, for me, the water, I love water, and being on the water is just so soothing to my soul. And it’s actually for the entrepreneurs out there, you know, doing some a lot of these being on the water taking walks, that’s where I get my most creative downloads of how I can change lives, you know, like, how best Can I deliver life changing programs or whatever for women, it’s on these these times where I’m not working, I’m playing, I’m taking my nice walk with my dog, you know, again, 30 minute walk through town this morning was gorgeous. Or I go down by the lake and sip or again out in the boat, like, I’m not working I’m playing but during those times, I always grab my phone if I have an idea and I write it down as a note. So don’t forget it and then I move on. And it’s amazing how it’s really great when you’re sitting at your desk and you try to work and you’re trying to force some idea to come in your head sometimes you just got to walk away and go outside, you know, go out to dinner, go meet a girlfriend for coffee, we haven’t again done too much of that lately, but I see it’s happening more and so now you know ladies we need I’m not saying men don’t need connection but women really thrive on connection especially female connection. And I see that’s another component of burnout for women is we haven’t had that for a year. And we’ve been non stop with our partners in the house for a year but we really have not been connected because the kids haven’t left so there’s been no date nights there’s been no alone time with your significant other it’s like the kids are always around you can’t go out you can’t see your girlfriends I love zoom but it’s really not the same with literally sitting down at a restaurant or over a cup of coffee with a girlfriend or a glass of wine and just talking and connecting so you know just I’ve done that too recently again like got gone out with my girl you know my girlfriends and just relaxed you know and laugh and have fun and Don’t think about anything serious. I love that. What about you? What do you what do you do for fun?
I ride horses oh that’s my big my big fun is I am my best friend has horses so I get to go ride all the time. So I get my female connection and my horse collection and I get we go for walks every day with my dog and I’m a fire away so I had that last year of being home by myself most of the year with the dog. I’m like interesting. So I’m sure it was the same with having a physician as during last year because they didn’t come home nope no I feel your pain yeah and then anything by the I’m 20 minutes from the ocean I don’t go enough but it’s Northern California ocean so don’t think the southern Southern California wonderful beaches like they’re cold Rocky, but they are still just amazing. So those are my fun things is just kind of that I need to do more of and I know that this isn’t coming out until August but I’m leaving for Costa Rica on Friday for like my first real retreat like women’s retreat. So I’m like, I’m excited.
I love Costa Rica. I love I love it. I moved into two different areas in the past and it’s just probably one of my favorite destinations I’ve ever been to so truly enjoy. Enjoy the people enjoy the food. The people are wonderful there that live there and the food is amazing. So just enjoy
the first trip and six years that I’m not bringing my laptop On
yay that’s so good. Yeah, truly unplug which is good.
I want to leave you with my favorite Well, they’re all my favorite questions because I get to talk to amazing people but if somebody walked away with just that one like Mic drop moment, what would it be? Would you want them to walk away with
a to the ladies out there you are. Enough You are worthy. You are you. It’s not selfish to feel good. It’s not you are worthy to to invest in yourself, both financially and emotionally and timewise to feel as good as you can possibly feel. And a lot of women don’t know even what good feels like anymore. I don’t want you to feel good. I want you to feel amazing and you are worth it. And you are already enough. You don’t need to do anything. prove anything to be enough. You are enough.