my wellbeing journey
The start of my wellbeing journey might look a little like yours. I struggled with body image and self-confidence, anything but perfect was never acceptable, and I always found ways to avoid stressors around me, rather than deal with them. I had unhealthy habits paired with rants of negative self-talk, and anything that seemed “healthy,” I was doing for all the wrong reasons. Although I often gave off the impression everything was well and good, and I may have appeared to have it all held together from the outside, I felt like I was in a constant battle, frantically treading my feet, but barely keeping my head above water.
After years of doubt, self-criticism, and cycles of unsustainable lifestyles, I finally reached my breaking point. From that moment on, I knew my priorities, mindset, and lifestyle had to change in order to nourish my mind, body, and soul. Through attention and mindfulness, small but persistent steps towards new habits and simple self care, and a desire to cultivate a meaningful and fulfilling life, I started creating my lifestyle of wellbeing.
Of course, I still experience the everyday ups and downs -- that is simply part of being human. But I have learned to better cope with life's challenges through intention and practice, and am always discovering more about myself as I continue to travel my own wellbeing path.
Through both my own trials and tributes, I have also learned there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to wellbeing + success. While each of us have a different path, I truly believe that with the right support, consistent focus, and the true will for a meaningful lifestyle, anyone can find their way to their most fulfilling life. I’d be honored to be a part of your journey there!
My first internship turned full-time job out of college was in marketing/PR at an LA-based cosmetics company. It felt glamorous, I got all the free beauty products I could have dreamed of, and it offered me the creative aspect that I craved. But I quickly started to feel out of touch with who I was and what I my purpose was. I wanted a career that felt more personally meaningful and one in which I could be of service to others.
and then I was introduced to occupational therapy.
Like many of you reading this, I had no idea what occupational therapy (OT) was. I had heard the name thrown around here and there, and the first time someone had suggested I look into it as a profession my first thought was, "I don't want to help people find jobs..." I hadn't done my research, but after realizing marketing alone wasn't for me, I took the time to really look into what OT was and I knew I had found my match. It was a perfect combination that optimized my personal interests and skills: integrating health and wellness through its evidence-based focus on human behavior and function, while exercising creativity and using analytical, problem-solving skills.
I completed my Master's of Occupational Therapy at USC, where I focused on Lifestyle Redesign®, a lifestyle-based OT approach that was founded at USC. I also completed a clinical rotation at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, home of Lifestyle Redesign®, where I was trained on lifestyle interventions ranging from eating and exercise routines, to sleep hygiene, to stress management and time management. I practiced educating and empowering college students and individuals with various chronic conditions, helping them discover and successfully integrate new health-promoting and sustainable habits and routines.
Working with individuals with chronic conditions inspired me to think a little further...While many of the clients I worked with were already living with chronic conditions, and while changes they implemented made a huge impact on their quality of life and function, I always wondered, "What if..." What if someone had taught them how to prevent chronic conditions before they had one? What if they had known about ways to modify their habits and routines earlier on? What if society as a whole promoted the importance of self-care to teens and young adults as they begin making their own lifestyle choices? Would so many people be suffering from chronic disease, stress, and burnout? My educated guess:absolutely not.
I went on to do my Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Boston University, where my focus is on college student wellbeing and designing an innovative stress management mobile application for this population. I started be well + balance to create a platform for sharing knowledge and resources with all of you and to meet you where you're at in your health + wellness journey, wherever that may be. Through a lifestyle-based occupational lens, I aim to empower you to create your meaningful + fulfilling life through your personalized lifestyle of wellbeing.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Candidate
Expected Graduation September 2020
Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist
The Back School
MA, Occupational Therapy
BA, Human Performance
University of Southern California
Trained in Lifestyle Redesign® + Motivational Interviewing
University of Southern California
National Board Certified Occupational Therapist
Registered by the NBCOT
Licensed by CBOT
Prevent T2 Lifestyle Coach Certified
National Diabetes Prevention Program