3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:
Tools you can use to reset your energy and nervous system when difficult things are happening in your life.
Specific things to include in your morning and nighttime routine to improve your mental health.
The impact that music, breathwork, and enjoyable movement have on regulating your nervous system.
Galaxy Lights - Caitie loves these for when she wants to shift her lighting
I Love You B*tch by Lizzo
I Am Here by P!nk
No Time for Tears by Little Mix
Faith’s Hymn by Beautiful Chorus
Bam Bam by Camilla Cabello ft Ed Sheeran
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Breathe by James Nester (book)
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[02:30] Taking Care of Herself & Her Nervous System
Life can be hard and unexpected. Situations come up and we have to move through them.
I was reminded of this when I was home for the holidays.
In this episode, I share 10 tools to use when you need to heal your nervous system.
[05:43] Cultivating a Morning & Nighttime Routine
Morning routines can be very simple and do not have to take hours. Pick something you already do and slow it down.
Give your routines a soundtrack with music that matches the energy you want to bring.
Avoid checking your phone first thing when you wake up.
Evening routines can be simple as well, just one or two things to shift into that time.
I share the two non-negotiables of my nighttime routine in the full episode!
Caitie: “Avoid forcing your brain into working right away, forcing your brain into the drama of social media right away, forcing your brain into the news right away, or into whatever situation is going on in your life.”
[12:32] The Power of Music
Music is a magical pattern interrupt.
In the episode, I share some of my favorite songs that help shift my energy.
Dance around your kitchen!
[14:37] Audio Notes
Listen to the full episode to learn why I prefer to use audio notes to communicate with my friends.
It is life-giving for me to vent in this way and/or express that I need support.
[16:12] Breathing Techniques & Scents
Breathwork practice helps you to slow down and go inward.
Tune into the full episode to learn about an easy breathing technique - you can use it anytime and anywhere you feel triggered and want to regulate your nervous system.
Scents are also a helpful way of regulating and nourishing your system.
Whether you prefer essential oils, candles, or room sprays, scent is a good way to reset the energy around you.
Caitie: “Making the exhale extra long is what really helps you regulate your system.”
[22:41] Nourish Yourself With Food & Water
Do not neglect your nourishing your body and ensuring you have adequate hydration.
When your system is dysregulated, it won’t share the usual signs that your body and brain need fuel.
Follow gentle nutritional guidelines that include a combination of carbs, protein, and fat every four to five waking hours.
Let others feed and nourish you.
Caitie: “When your nervous system is dysregulated, your brain and your gut are not connecting or communicating in the same way.”
My advice: do movement practices that feel intrinsically enjoyable for you at the moment.
Movement will help cause a shift in energy and help bring you back to your body.
Caitie: "These are all tools to help us feel shifts in our energy so that we can feel more present and navigate the thing that we're going through with a little bit more ease."
[27:47] Grounding & Self-Compassion
I’ll share two ways to ground and center yourself in this episode - one has to do with using your voice, the other with nature.
Self-compassion is remembering that you are a human being, not a robot. Give yourself permission to be human.
Trauma, change, stress, and big changes all take a toll on your nervous system. Give your body and nervous system time to recover from that.
Caitie: "You're not gonna find safety in being hard on yourself."
Caitie: “We are all gonna have times in life that feel destabilizing and we need to use these tools to heal, to rest, to soothe, to nourish ourselves, to come back to our biological baseline.”
[53:34] This Week’s Processing Prompt & Actionable Experiment
Ask yourself: Which of these tools resonates with me the most? And which one do I wanna use the next time sh*t hits the fan or if sh*t is hitting the fan right now, which one do I wanna use?
Processing and journaling can also help in those moments when sh*t hits the fan. Get it out and on paper.
Actionable Experiment: try using the power of music.
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Caitie Corradino: There isn't one thing that's going to work for everybody, right? For everything I share on this podcast, all the tools I share on this podcast, it's so important to not substitute it for individualized medical or mental health advice.
Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition. But underneath my titles and resume, I'm a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things topped with truffles, world traveling, and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullsh*t stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full, and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it.
Hi, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, & Alive. This will be the third episode, I believe, of the new year. So we're still pretty fresh into 2023 and if you're feeling like I'm feeling right now, 2023 has had a little bit of a bumpy start and if you're not feeling like I'm feeling right now, 2023 has had a smooth start for you. And to that, I say I'm so happy for you. I am coming to you in the midst of just a lot of different things going on right now, which actually is what inspired me to get on the microphone. I'm feeling a little bit like sh*t has hit the fan in my life, so to speak, and a little bit of a difficult time when I went home to the uh, New York, New Jersey area for the holidays and I'm okay. Nothing like incredibly tragic.
Well, I guess I don't wanna judge myself. I had a pretty difficult thing happen to me while I was there. And this podcast is not gonna be about what happened exactly. This podcast is gonna be about how I took care of myself and my nervous system while I was navigating that because the situation reminded me how difficult it can be to come back to yourself to care for yourself, to nourish yourself when you have a really triggering thing happen in your life. So today's episode is gonna be pretty short and sweet, but hopefully pretty value packed for you. I wanna share with you today some concrete tools for when life feels a little bit on fire. When you're kind of smooth sailing and then you've got, let's say a family situation come up or a breakup happens or you're in financial stress suddenly, or all of these very human things that we all experience from time to time.
How do we tap into our wholeness, our fullness, and our aliveness when it feels like we can't feel the ground beneath our feet? There isn't one thing that's going to work for everybody, right? For everything I share on this podcast, all the tools I share on this podcast, it's so important to not substitute it for individualized medical or mental health advice. And also I hope that a few of these 10 tools that I'm gonna share with you today help you next time you feel like you've lost the ground beneath your feet for logistical, emotional, familial, financial reasons. All right, so let's get into it. And before I do, I wanna remind you that I currently have a few spaces open for one-on-one counseling and coaching at my practice, Full Soul Nutrition. I offer an immersive three-month one-on-one coaching program that includes a very unique combination of nutrition, counseling, meal planning, body image healing, somatic breath work, and more.
I take a super holistic approach to my three-month program and it really does help you feed yourself and feel yourself slow down and live your life fully. So I have a few spaces open for that. I also have an online toolkit available at my website, https://www.fullsoulnutrition.com/. You can purchase that at any time for $99. It has a bunch of mini-workshops, journal prompts, actionable experiments in there that you can start implementing in your life today if one-on-one counseling's feeling inaccessible for you. And pretty soon I am gonna open up, um, enrollment for group coaching. So kind of covering a lot of the same principles that I cover in one-on-one counseling but group coaching is a great fit for you if you're someone who benefits from being in a little bit more of a community or if you're feeling like you can't make the investment in one-on-one support at this time.
So let's get into it. Let's get into today's episode 10 Tools for When sh*t Hits the Fan. Tool number one is cultivating a very, very simple morning routine. Now, I hope I didn't lose you when I said that because I think when people, people think morning routines nowadays, they tend to think about like the TikTok influencer who wakes up at 5:00 AM, sees the beautiful sunrise, fills her cup of green juice and has avocado toast and does a yoga flow. And that is not the morning routine I am talking about that's gonna ground you when hits the fan. I'm not even sure that that morning routine is gonna ground you at any point in your life because if we focus on making things too bougie and extravagant, they become unsustainable very quickly and it's just not realistic for everyone to wake up hours before work and have this fully, elaborate tiktokable morning routine.
So what I'm talking about when I say cultivating a sustainable morning routine, I mean slow down a few things that you already do in the morning. So for example, do you brush your teeth and wash your face in the morning? Can you take some deep breaths while you do it? Can you slow down while you do it? Can you play some music, either a calming kind of acoustic vibe in the morning or maybe you need some happier vibes in the morning. Can you slow down what you're already doing and maybe give it a soundtrack? I think that is the simplest and best morning routine. Pick a few things that you already wanna do anyway and slow them down. So when I don't have time for absolutely anything else in the morning, I just try to slow down what I'm already doing. So I try to wash my face slowly put on music while I'm doing it.
I try to make my bed with a little bit of extra care and I try to slowly drink a cup of coffee. I hold the mug with two hands and drink it slowly and that's like bare minimum morning routine that just helps me feel a little bit grounded. Maybe if you feel like you can expand it a little bit, you just add one simple thing just tack on one simple thing to the stuff that you're already doing. So maybe you just do a brain dump in a journal for five to 10 minutes, or maybe you roll out your yoga mat and do a few cats and cows and child's pose. Maybe you add in a little bit more of a fancy breakfast, you take some time to make oatmeal with extra toppings and fruits and proteins and things like that. So slow down what you're already doing and if you have a little bit of extra time, maybe you just tack on one extra thing.
And I would say the only other non-negotiable thing in the morning is trying not to check your phone first thing. So your phone just can completely take your brain to a different place before it needs to be taken to a different place. I don't know the exact science to communicate this, but I do know that our brains are in some certain relaxed state when we wake up and when we look at our phones first thing, it forces our brain immediately out of that relaxed state rather than having it gradually shift into more of like an executive functioning place. And that can actually be really, really bad for your brain. And I imagine it's especially bad for your brain when sh*t is hitting the fan. So slow down what you're already doing, maybe tack on one additional thing, and then do not look at your phone first thing in the morning.
Whatever you can do to avoid opening Instagram immediately. Maybe you open like some sort of like calm meditation app and start having that play. Maybe you open up Spotify, like I said, and play some sort of music first thing in the morning. If you've gotta pick up the phone, try to open up something like that. Whatever you can do to avoid forcing your brain into working right away, forcing your brain into the drama of social media right away, forcing your brain into the news right away or into whatever situation is going on in your life. Can you give yourself some peace in the morning? And all of this doesn't even need to take more than 15 minutes. So that is number one tool for when hits the fan. Number two tool is kind of obvious, cultivating also a nighttime routine. Now this definitely doesn't need to be complicated at all.
Can you just choose one to two things to tack on before you try to force yourself into bed? Two non-negotiable things for me in my nighttime routine are changing the lighting in my room. So turning off the lights and putting on, I have this like galaxy light that like projects stars on the ceiling of my bedroom. It's like maybe a little childish, but that's like exactly what we need in our lives, right, childlike vibes. I also have a salt lamp in my room and I light candles sometimes. Shifting the lighting is really important to me. And then doing some sort of stretch either in my bed or on the floor next to my bed. Super, super important to just feel like I'm releasing my lower back before I go to sleep. I love to read before I go to sleep. It barely ever happens though, honestly for me, especially when sh*t’s hitting the fan and I'm exhausted after whatever ensued that day.
So choosing just one to two things that you non-negotiable do to help yourself feel grounded before you go to sleep. And ideally those things involve like getting into your body in some way. So that's why stretching can be so powerful cause it really connects you kind of to your five senses, to your sense of touch, to your sense of just getting more regulated. So thinking of really simple things that you can do. So morning routines and evening routines. You know that I love them and you know that I don't like the way they've been like over glamorized on social media and overcomplicated on social media. They get to be simple and sustainable. And when you let them be simple and sustainable, they can be so, so nourishing, especially in hard times. You really deserve those morning and evening routines. Okay, so we've got the book ends to our day.
We've got what we can do in the morning and we've got what we can do in the evening, but what the heck are we gonna do with all that space in between on a hard day, how do we navigate the ups and downs of a difficult situation going on in our lives? So number three, which is the first tool for the in between is the power of music. Music is f*cking awesome. I mean, Spotify is a great thing to subscribe to. I don't know, I don't know that I would've survived my last breakup if I didn't have a few particular songs that really, really helped me heal a few of them. No Time for Tears by Little Mix. So good, such a good song. I Am Here by Pink, love that song. Ah, Camilla Cabello song. Oh, what's it called with Ed Sheeran? It's so good.
Bam Bam I, oh my gosh, amazing song. Putting on music is a pattern interrupter. Watch how you shift from feeling so lost and dysregulated to feeling completely new and different when you put on a song that resonates with you or a song that taps into the kind of mood that you are trying to cultivate in that moment that taps into the energy that you are trying to cultivate in that moment. Let yourself come alive through music, let music be a pattern interrupter. And if you're open to it and you're feeling free and you're alone, especially, let yourself dance to the happy kinds of songs. If you, if you're putting on like, oh Lizzo my favorite person ever, like let yourself dance around in your kitchen to Lizzo. Remember that being hard on yourself and beating yourself up for all of the things that you think you should be doing in a certain moment is never going to make you love yourself more.
And listening to the song I Love You B!tch by Lizzo and dancing to it in your kitchen is going to make you love yourself more. It is going to give you the boost of energy that you need to make it through a really difficult day. So let music and even dance and just moving your body freely be a pattern interrupter. That is my third tool for these really hard days. Fourth tool is audio notes. Now you might not know what I mean by that. So, leaving a voice memo, a voice message on iMessage or WhatsApp to a friend is life-saving for me? I really don't like texting very much. I really don't like taking time to type out messages, especially because I spend so much time on a computer. Sometimes I just wanna hold down a button and be able to like look at the room around me while I communicate something to a friend.
And communicating with my best friends via audio message is life-giving to me. And it always has been. And it's especially life-giving in moments when I feel ungrounded, unsafe, uncertain, triggered, I know I've got a few people that I can kind of just leave an audio note for and vent to them in a meaningful way or ask for their support. And I really would recommend using this method of communication with your friends if you don't already. I know some people, especially millennials and Gen Zers don't like talking very much, but I happen to be very comfortable talking, maybe it's cuz I talk into a podcast microphone all the time, but I think that once you get used to it, it's just such a good way to communicate with people and there's no, there's no room for misinterpretation when people can hear the tone of your voice.
So there's that too. Okay, so that's tool number four is audio notes. Tool number five is predictably breathing, really, really breathing and maybe doing a quick breathwork practice if you can. I actually have a bunch of free breathwork practices that I constantly send out to my newsletter subscribers. If you're not subscribed to my weekly Wednesday newsletter called Back to You, I definitely recommend subscribing to that because I send out re somatic breath work practices all the time that are super quick. If you don't feel like doing a formal practice led by me or another facilitator, what I recommend is taking a deep breath in for four counts, holding it at the top for four counts and then exhaling for five to six counts. Deep breath in for four, hold for four and out for six or five to six. Making the exhale extra long is what really helps you regulate your system.
So deep breath in hold and then long exhale out. The power of breathing is just so amazing. I did a whole episode on somatic breath work and I will continue to talk about breathing and breath work cause it's been truly life-changing for me personally. And I love all the science that's coming out about it. And the book Breathe by James Nester, or maybe it's called Breath, either one, James Nester. Look it up. And it's just such a cool thing because it has the power to really help you release unprocessed emotions, really connect with yourself and it's not a substance like mushrooms and like all these other things that are currently being explored to help us release suppressed emotions and things like that. And there I don't have anything against using plant medicine as people are calling it nowadays. I think it can be plant medicine.
And I think that that's beautiful and I hope that we do get more research on that. And what I love about breathwork is that you don't have to let something else take you for a ride. It's like you've got your foot on the gas the whole time. You're taking yourself for a ride, you're going inward, you have agency the entire time and you can uncover what's kind of living in your body and sort of in your unconscious mind sometimes through breathing. And then you can regulate and re-pattern also through breathing. It's such a beautiful and powerful practice. The simplest one is what I just said, breathe in hold and exhale for a few rounds. And there's so many other types of breathing. So there's somatic release breath work, which is what I'm certified in, and then there's like whim, huff, and all these different types of breath work that you can do to go much, much deeper and it really helps you unlock what's stuck, what's stored in your body.
So breathing is tool number five. So so far we've got our morning routine, we've got our evening routine, we've got music, we've got audio notes, and we've got breathing. Tool number six is scent. So I'm not an essential oils salesperson or an affiliate of doTERRA or anything like that. I'm not trying to sell you stuff. I love essential oils and I love candles, I travel with candles and essential oils absolutely wherever I go. And it is amazing how much sense can help you. I actually had a client session one time where my client was really starting to recover from her eating disorder and it was so, so beautiful. So we were talking about, you know, like what, what are you interested in? Like what are your hobbies? Like what lights you up and how can we help you get more involved in those things now that you're recovering and you can live life like a little more fully and deeply?
She goes, I think one of my hobbies is like scents. Like I really, really like scents. Why am I really drawn to this is like a teenager, why am I drawn to scents? And we're talking about how that's so natural to be drawn towards things that smell good and to have an interest in things that smell good because they can just be so regulating and nourishing for your system. So lavender is a great scent for calming down, but you also can use things like lemon and orange and peppermint to kind of wake yourself up a little bit more. Just a candle that smells like anything that feels good and yummy to you. I love candles that are like ocean scents. I don't think they really actually smell like the ocean, but they have like beachy vibes to them. I love a good coconut scent, using scent, your scent of sense of smell to also feel more cozy, more comfortable,