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Episode 103 Transcript: Tending to Sustainable and Intentional Productivity with Dr. Kate Henry

Kate: Spoons are like spoon theory. This theory, I believe it’s from Christine Miserandino. And the idea that we have folks who live with chronic illnesses, more chronic pain, chronic fatigue, long covid, we have a limited amount of energy, quote unquote spoons. I have five spoons and I can exchange those. So maybe one day taking a shower takes one spoon. It’s easy to do. Maybe the other day it takes three. And does that mean that you’re gonna use your remaining two, to cook dinner or to drive to work, or to go to an appointment? Things like that. 

So Spoon theory is a really helpful way that some folks like to use to communicate what their resources are to other people. 

Nancy: Welcome to Your Permission Prescription. I’m Nancy Levin, founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, bestselling author, master life coach, and your host. I train life coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone who wants to add coaching skills to their current career to elevate their life and their business. I’ve coached thousands of people to live life on their own terms, and now I coach, train, and certify other coaches to do the same. 

If you are ready to give yourself permission to finally make yourself a priority and mobilize your vision, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in. 

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of Your Permission Prescription. And today I am joined by Dr. Kate Henry. And Kate is a productivity coach who specializes in sustainable and wellbeing oriented productivity. 

Dr. Henry holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a Master’s and PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a coach, she guides academics to develop actionable and achievable productivity and time management practices so they can achieve short-term and long-term goals without feeling overwhelmed. In addition to her coaching work, she is an independent scholar and author of Tend To It: A Holistic Guide to Intentional Productivity. I am so looking forward to our conversation. Kate, welcome. 

Kate: Thank you, thank you. Just hearing you read my bio there felt really great. So I’m looking forward to chatting today. 

Nancy; Yay. And you know, I love that we have our creative writing MFA in common. Mine is specifically in poetry. 

Kate: Mine is too. 

Nancy: Yours is too? 

Kate: Yeah. 

Nancy: Oh my goodness. It’s very rare. 

Kate: Yeah, it is totally. There are only like 10 people in my cohort at the time. Yeah. So that’s so cool. 

Nancy: Yes, yes, yes, yes. So I love that we have that piece in common. And obviously as I mentioned, you went on to get a Master’s and a PhD in much more sort of perhaps intellectual capacities. And it’s funny because when I went and did my MFA in poetry, I was choosing between that and an MBA.

Kate: Oh, wow. I mean, you would’ve done great with either, really. 

Nancy: Yeah. And I love that still poetry informs my life daily. Would you say the same? 

Kate: I would. I would say the same. I recently have been writing on, and I’m just like so pleased when I’m writing and something comes out so beautiful and poetic and I’m like, hey, good job, MFA. Good job. Does the same thing happen to you when you’re writing? 

Nancy: Yeah, I think it influences the way that I hear things, the way that I look at things, the way that life impacts me, all of it. Sure. 

Kate: Nice. 

Nancy: Yeah. So I wanna dive in, and I’m really especially intrigued by this whole concept of sort of mindful productivity, intentional productivity, sustainable productivity from the perspective of, and I of course have done a little digging on you, so I know we have other things in common like workaholism.So I wanna unpack all of that. But first I’d love to sort of hear your take on where you are now and how you got here. Yeah. 

Kate: Absolutely. I’m really excited to talk about all these things, but I’ll start with my story. 

So I am a lifelong academic. I decided when I was a teenager that I would become a poetry professor. And from that point on, everything I did was just attached to this larger goal and striving to always get the highest grades, win all the awards, do the best, do that while working multiple jobs, and just totally glamorized hustling and thought that that was all I had to do. 

And that worked really great for me, quote unquote, great. Until I developed chronic illness in 2017, which screeched everything to a halt. And at that point I had to come to terms with my workaholism and acknowledged that it was no longer sustainable and it was truly not an option. And at that point, I had to completely relearn how to be productive and take care of myself within the realm of academia, and how to complete my degrees, complete my PhD without totally burning myself out. Because as a chronically ill person, I just had less energy. I had less spoons. We might talk about spoons or spoon theory today, but I had less that I could put into my work so I had to get very creative about how to be successful and relearn what being successful even meant. 

Nancy: This resonates so deeply with me from the perspective of being that go-getter, get it all done, be the one and the only one who can do all the things. And the perfectionism, the productivity, the achievement, and the ways in which I determined my worth and value were intertwined. Which I know it’s really sounds like it’s the same for you and you’re nodding your head profusely. So Yeah, I, 

Kate: Yes I am. I totally attached my worth to my productivity. And since I was a child, just really thrived on external validation from teachers or from, I don’t know, awards or whether or not I would get into a certain poetry summer camp as a teenager, and then applying to grad school and then getting fellowships. Like it was really unending. Once I achieved something, I would be like, sure, great. Whatever. And then I would be onto the next thing. So it was exhausting to think like that. 

Nancy: Yeah. So how would you describe your recovery process and discovery process? 

Kate: I love that. So for me, my process was to, well, the first, I found a lot of support in the chronic illness community. So there’s a lot of wonderful supports, online groups, things like that for people who are chronically ill. And that really helped me to tend to my depression, that I felt, the loss that I felt, the grieving that I felt, or how learning how to live in a body that functioned differently than it had before.So that was part of my early experience, relearning how to be productive without being a workaholic. 

And I also, being a scholar, dove into learning about how to be more efficient, learning how to take care of myself, control my time. And those tools were helpful for me in learning how to complete my dissertation in shorter amounts of time. But also I was really leaning into personal development, taking care of myself, learning about boundaries, things like that. So it, I really sort of dove deep into relearning how to be productive in a new way, but also taking care of myself emotionally and mentally while I was doing that.

 And that led me to spending two years researching and writing blog posts about it, which when I was prepping for our call today, thinking about that, I was like, that was kind of a little workaholic too, to be blogging every week for two years about this stuff. But it really did help me learn so many new tools. So my recovery and my discovery were that there’s different ways I can be productive. Lots of folks who are chronically ill are navigating this too. 

Nancy: And I know there’s a blog that you have about sort of the five productivity tips that you used to move through your, was it your dissertation, your thesis? 

Kate: Yeah. 

Nancy: Yeah. I’m curious about that. What did you find really supported you in being able to be productive and be efficient without it tipping the scale into the workaholism? 

Kate: Yeah, thank you for asking about this. So I was very fortunate while I was writing my dissertation that I had a supportive advisor, a supportive supervisor, and she knew about my chronic health stuff. She knew about the chronic pain that I had in my back at the time, and she was very great about listening to me tell her what I needed. So that was something that helped me finish my dissertation, was just communicating and finding support from my advisor. 

Of course, I know that that is not the norm, unfortunately, like many, I coach a lot of PhD students who don’t have excellent relationships with their advisor. So that was something that helped me to find support there. Also, learning how to, I mean this sounds like, “duh of course Kate”, but like learning how to section my work into small work sessions and then to take a lot of breaks. So getting clear, I’m sort of combining these five tools into like one, one messier, but it’s like getting very clear about how I could have effective work sessions, doing a good enough job to just complete what I needed to do without making it perfect. Because in, you know, I’m sure you’ve heard this, but like everyone says, a good dissertation is a done dissertation. It doesn’t need to be perfect, you just need to finish it. 

So I really took that to heart in orchestrating, having very intentional small work sessions and then cutting myself off at a certain time and taking the rest of the day off. So those were the ways that I finished my dissertation while taking care of myself. People are surprised when I say this, but I wasn’t working more than 10 hours a week on my dissertation. There’s lots of reasons why that could be true, but that’s what I needed to do. I couldn’t work more than that at the time. 

Nancy: Yeah. And what I’m also hearing, so you were boundaried around your time, your working time, and that with that kind of intentional time, you were able to give yourself permission to be productive, specifically in that timeframe. And really, let’s look at this. 

You said you worked 10 hours a week on your dissertation. Chances are, even if someone else was sitting at their laptop for 12 hours a day, the actual work that got done probably wasn’t much more than what you did. 

And I see this across the board, there still is this idea. And it’s interesting, I just had this conversation yesterday, even post-pandemic not, or you know, post the big part of the pandemic, even with working from home, all of that, there still is this sort of knee jerk, I need to make sure people know I’m working a lot and working hard. So I have, I have to always be on Zoom, or always be on Slack, or always be on somewhere so that people know I’m working instead of this real sort of self-assured notion that I’m confidently working the way I need to work, regardless of what it looks like to the outside. 

Nancy: Yeah. Oh, that’s excellent. And I, with that, like I’m, I’m thinking about how, again, my experience, the realm of academia, workaholism, overworking is totally normalized. We get emails from our advisors at like three in the morning. It’s expected that we will be working all the time. And I think, I mean this is true in the MFA, but also in the PhD, like we love the work we’re doing. It’s fun to do it. You’re never working a day in the light? You’re Doing the things you love to do, right? 

And so it can be difficult to set boundaries around your availability to others, like they might think that you are lazy or that you are, think you’re better than them, etc, etc. And my, in thinking about productivity, intentional, slow, mindful, like I am specifically interested in making this more accessible for folks who live a chronic illness or chronic pain or long covid or chronic fatigue, like for whom we’re sending an email at 3:00 AM is like going to push you into a flare that you’re maybe recovering from for months. 

Nancy: Yeah. 

Kate: So the idea of pushing back against the norm of being on all the time is challenging and difficult to do and potentially looked down upon, but also like truly necessary. 

Nancy: Yes. It’s revolutionary really. Yeah. I’m curious also about, you’ve been naming having a chronic illness, which I am perceiving as an invisible illness. And this seems to be something that has come into the awareness sort of flooding lately, whether it is, as you mentioned, long covid or chronic fatigue or any of these kinds of chronic illnesses that can’t be seen by the naked eye. And often therefore what I’m recognizing has the person sort of have to prove or defend themselves. I’m interested to hear about your sort of take on that. 

Kate: Yeah, that’s so well put. And so I do live with two different chronic illnesses that mainly affect my energy levels, my focus, I get brain fog, I get like inflammation, all of the great things. And I am, yeah, like my life now, I work for myself. I work from home. I was doing that before covid anyways. And I am able to set up my schedule so that I have the spaciousness and the break so that I can, I can tend to myself.

 I think that a lot of folks who live with similar chronic illnesses that affect their energy, the amount of time they can work, when they are best able to work during the day, their ability to focus, their ability to communicate their needs, etc, etc. Those folks, I’m thinking of the folks I work with, the folks I am friends with, like within the realm of academia, that’s not something that I think our professors are bosses are,unless they have shared similar experience, it’s something that they’re not trained in offering support for. 

So I know personally, my experience when I developed all my health stuff was supreme loneliness, hopelessness, thought I needed to drop out of the program, was depressed, really felt lost. And when I found support from a community that was not the community within my program. So that’s something to note here, is that when you are living with a chronic illness or a disability, how you can find the best support without needing to necessarily self-disclose to your professor if you don’t want to. It’s a tricky situation. And I am grateful for, again, there’s like phenomenal online communities and support now, but that can be really challenging if it’s not normalized or you have to do that secretly, for example. 

Nancy: Yeah. I wanna talk to you about the title of your book and this word that keeps showing up in your work, “Tend”. So yeah, Tend To It is the name of your book, but let’s talk about tending. How does that live in you, tending? 

Kate: Yeah. Oh, thank you for asking this. 

So when I first,in 2017, the end of the year, I was telling myself, I don’t think I wanna go on the tenure track, I think I wanna leave academia, I wanna pursue doing productivity coaching, I’m gonna spend a year doing this blog, If I like the, if I do it, I still like it, then I can pursue it. And so I chose to name my blog the Tending Year because I was interested in tending to myself, taking care of myself. 

So tend has a dual meaning for me. It’s both tending to, like, we would tend to a garden, we would take care of something and nurture something, but also tend as in like, what do we tend to do? What are our habits? What are the things that we do? You know, like we’re not conscious of what we’re doing, like for example, my workaholism.

 And so that dual interest in building new habits and taking care of ourselves, that really motivated me. And it’s, that word has followed me through. So it was first the blog, now it’s the book. And it’s also, I named my substack tending. I got a little tattoo of the word tender on my hand, which I’m holding up to the screen, see? 

Nancy: Yes, you are. 

Kate: So I’ll always, it’s like my writing hand, so I’ll always see it as a reminder. So this idea of being tender is, for me, it’s also like intimacy, it’s vulnerability, it’s connection. It’s really sweet. I just really love everything about it. 

But as a practice, it really did help me to continually think of how am I nurturing myself and what are the habits, what are the things that I’m doing without noticing? 

Nancy: Yeah. Because I have certainly seen a shift away from that sort of hustle culture, if you will, into this softening and into this more sustainable way of being and more choice involved. And like you said, I also have had an online business pre-covid. I’m very grateful for it. In what you named as well, I’m grateful I get to set my own schedule. I create a lot of open space for myself when I know I need it most. And there’s still a way that, listen, other countries do it differently, but the United States, North America at large, is not in support of the slowing down.

Yeah. What do you have to say about that? 

Kate: I feel you on this. Well, I mean, I was curious too, because I think about like, there’s a lot of slow living podcasts that come out of Australia, you know? So I’m thinking about that too, about like, you know, like, it’s like this idea of slowing down and tending to yourself and intentionally setting boundaries around how much you’re working. 

Like I also, I wanna admit, like it’s something I still struggle with. Like, I am always thinking about this stuff, but I know you are too. So it’s like I still, even though I try to bring slow living into my values and my daily practices, I also struggle sometimes to be like, don’t work on the weekend. No one’s gonna know, but like, don’t work on the weekend. I recently shared a post about like doing sneaky productivity.

Nancy:  Yes. 

Kate: Which I still struggle with. You know, like hide, like I’m like, it’s a big cue to me that if I’m trying to hide, then I’m being productive. That it means I’m like, workaholism is kicking back up. So I think you’re right. There are wonderful spaces on podcasts, on Instagram, online where folks are claiming and cherishing and cheering folks on for slowing down and doing less and prioritizing rest and self-care. 

I also think that it’s a continual struggle, even for folks like you and I who are actively working on, and part of our the work that we do with others, is trying to tend to ourselves. Right? So it’s, I do wanna acknowledge that, that I’m not perfect at this. I still write backslide into workaholism. 

Nancy: Yeah, I mean, really the tricky thing about workaholism is of course it’s become not only acceptable, but it’s expected, as you sort of hit on that a little bit earlier. And for those of us who are the type A overachieving people, perfectionists, all of it is, it’s one way we learn to get our needs met. That, and it’s no longer a healthy way. 

And making that shift is challenging because of course we need or want to work, and yet we don’t want our work to be the defining element. And I know that for me, I had to really look at how work was, for me, an escape. Work was my numbing, work was my avoidance strategy. It wasn’t so much drinking or drugs or shopping or plenty of the other things. But for me, it’s work.

And I had to really take a look at, okay, what am I avoiding by diving into work when I may not really need to? And what else do I need to fill my experience with so that it isn’t just my default to go to work? 

Kate: Yeah. Wow. What kinds of things do you fill your experience with so that you’re not going to work? 

Nancy: Yeah. You know, for me it’s taken time because I live alone. I am not in a relationship and I don’t have children. And all of this is by choice. And I spend a lot of time with myself. And while I certainly have friends and family and all of that, I’m the constant in my daily life. And I do fortunately, and because I set it up this way, have the space to tend to myself. 

Kate: Mm. Nice. 

Nancy: So I do fill my days with my non-negotiables, whether it is meditating or journaling or hiking or reading or whatever it is. But I notice that I don’t tend to think of myself as someone who has hobbies, but I have things that I do that are really important to me to do. 

And of course there are always the outlying situations of getting together with friends or family or traveling or other kinds of festive and fun things. But for the most part, I’m just very aware daily, of, and I love this word, tend, I’m going to add it in, but what are really, what are my non-negotiables? Or what are the ways I need to care or tend to myself today? Where do I need to say no? That’s always a big one. Where can I say no even to something I’ve already said yes to? Where can I even create more space and time for myself? 

I haven’t really talked much about this, but as we’re recording, about a week ago, I came back from spending six weeks with my parents at their home in Buffalo, New York. My mother had a breast cancer diagnosis and everything happened very fast. And she had her left breasts removed. And I was the one, because of my mobile lifestyle, I stayed for the duration of the six weeks. My sister came and went a couple of times, but because I was able to stay, I was the one who stayed. And it was this profound healing experience for me and my mom. Beautiful experience of being able to mother, my mother. And also very illuminating for me in many ways, because I’m not a mother, I often, I don’t tend to think of myself as a nurturer, but the people who feel nurtured by me tell me that I am. 

But there was this incredible opportunity that I was able to take advantage of because I was willing to slow down, because I was willing to say, I’m taking everything off my schedule that isn’t 100% essential, and I’m willing to go spend this kind of time and tend to her needs while also tending to mine. 

Kate: Hmm. I’m so glad that you were able to do that and take that space and time. That’s so special. 

This makes me think about the personal resources that we have and how we can choose to spend those. And like currently, my spouse and I, our sweet 16 year old Chihuahua is experiencing her end of life journey. And so it’s, I mean, it’s incredibly sad, but also we’re prepared. But it means that either myself or my spouse, one of us always has to be home with the dog. 

And next week my partner is going on a business trip for five days. And I’m like, well, I have to clear my schedule so that I can be present. I have to block off my calendar so that I can be here with the dog and carry her up and down the stairs and the things that we do when we’re tending to a pet as they’re aging, and the resources that that takes from me, like my patience and my energy and my time. 

And I’m thinking about a lot of the folks that I am working with and in community with are folks who might be chronically ill, they might be caretakers for their own children or for other people in their life, they may be navigating other kinds of responsibilities. And the experience of having very, very little time for tending to things. So like, I’m often thinking and talking to people about, okay, what is like the kernel of what you need to take care of yourself? Like what kind of rest do you need? Let’s schedule that in. What are small ways we can shift? 

So in my life, and it sounds like you have a similar experience, I can shift things around, like I can have a day that’s just a writing day, right? But I’m often thinking and talking to people for whom they’re like, lol, I could never have a whole writing day. I have to take my kid to gymnastics. I have to go to like three doctors. What are you talking about? 

So often I’m thinking about just like the personal resources that we have are limited, and how do we spend those? How do we expend those? 

Nancy: Exactly. And there’s a quote I love, and I do not know who to attribute it to, but you know, if we spend our lives pleasing others, we spend our lives. I think, yeah, I think about that all the time because it is about, okay, I only have so much resource and how am I going to spend it? And if energy is a currency, you know, and time is a currency. 

And I too, in my Levin Life Coach Academy Training Program, or the people I’m coaching, I also am guiding them to locate, it doesn’t have to be this big elaborate, mourn ritual, but really, where is five minutes for you to self connect? How can you come back to yourself in the morning or in the evening, or at a point during the day to just actually give yourself your own attention? 

And the more people I work with who are willing to see, oh, it can just be a little bite-sized kernel of time and space and silence and stillness, instead of it needing to be this something elaborate. I think that makes a big difference. 

Kate: Yeah. I’ve been trying to take that to heart for myself. I am a yoga practitioner and I’ve been working with an instructor for five years, and we meet one-on-one regularly she’s encouraging me like, great, so like, do this every day, Supta Virasana every day. And I’m like, cool, you got it. And then I never do it, right? So like, I’ve been thinking about like, wow, these things really, like truly this is five minutes, or like, even if I spent like 15 minutes doing like one small pose, it’s okay. Instead of shifting my thinking to be like, you have to do these five things and it has to be a new task. 

So I, I’ve been in my own mind reflecting and thinking about how could I approach these things so that I just do them playfully instead of it necessarily being like, okay, you did one hour of yoga every day. You know? And I’m also, I’m currently reading Oliver Berkman’s 4,000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. And like, which is great. And the first time I tried to read it, I was like, this is depressing. I don’t wanna read a book about how our lives are finite, you know? But now that I’m trying, yeah, I’m doing it again, it is making me think about how I’m spending my time on things that I might just truly enjoy or be playful. And it doesn’t have to be connected to an outcome, right. 

So my current practice is like, perhaps I do put all of my tech away, my computer’s away, my phones away, I can’t even access it. And I set a timer and I’m like, play around with yoga for an hour, see what happens. Or I could just be like, do a downward dog after you brush your teeth, you know? So, but I, that’s something I’ve been like chewing on in my mind. And it feels nice that it’s not like a, I don’t know, a project that I’m, like, a blog that I have to blog about every week or something. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on stuff like that? 

Nancy: I remember when I used to run a lot, now I really only hike, but when I used to run a lot, I remember thinking, you know, if I can’t run my whole run, why bother? 

Kate: Yeah.

Nancy: You know? And then the shift into, oh, if I actually have 15 minutes right now and that’s what I can go and run for 15 minutes, when I shifted into being able to recognize that, that was fine and it sort of swings back around to what you were saying before, about sort of the good enough is good enough around the dissertation even. so not every run needs to be X amount of miles or X amount of time, or not everything I do has to be the best version of it, or the highest version, or the hardest version of it. That it’s okay to just sometimes go for a walk. 

Kate: Yeah. 

Nancy: Or to really be able to listen. What is the most self-loving action I can take right now? Is it something to push and pumble myself? Probably not. And really coming into a place where I can feed myself, literally and figuratively, but feed myself well, take care of myself well, feel healthy, feel alive, get enough sleep. You know, all of those things have really taken a major shift for me in the last few years.

The sleep piece, especially since I hit menopause right as the pandemic hit. 

Kate: Oh wow. Yo’reu like, I just had a lot of time home to think about this. 

Nancy: But even really giving myself permission to sleep in the morning until I was finished sleeping instead of judging myself about it was huge. 

Kate: Yeah, that’s excellent. I’ve been having an experience with our dog for a while before we found her an anti-anxiety med. We were waking up every night like  4:00 AM, 2:00 AM, 6:00 AM It was horrible. I, it was, thankfully we’ve figured it out. Our marriage survived it. It was like pretty hell for a few months, but now I’m like, once 9:00 PM hits, if I’m tired, I’m like, goodnight going to bed. I’m 36, gonna go to bed at 9:00, totally cool. And giving myself permission to just go get cozy in bed and like, yes, play a game on my iPad and then go to sleep. It’s really lovely.

I like what you’re talking about here around using a guidance around am I caring for myself? How is my sleep? Instead of okay, I hiked 15 miles and, and I see this a lot with academics, with people who are like, I’ll never finish my chapter, I’ll never do this or folks who set word counts for themselves and then feel like total crap if they don’t hit like a 5,000 words, even though they wrote 2000, which is awesome. You know? So shift shifting our perspective around what is good enough and why we’re even doing it, I think is really important. 

Nancy: Yeah. So what currently are the productivity tips that you can offer that you’re working with in terms of sustainable and intentional productivity? So it’s coming from a place where we remain tended to. 

Kate: Aw, that’s lovely. It’s particularly lovely when we are the ones tending to ourselves in that way. 

So I’ll just share a couple of things. One thing is, and I’m thinking about this for academics, but other knowledge workers as well – people who are doing this critical creative thinking is valuing the invisible or behind the scenes labor that we’re doing as labor. 

So for example, to write a dissertation chapter or an article or oh my gosh, a book proposal. You know, something like that, is we often think of just the final draft and realistically like feel even sometimes resentful or annoyed by the brainstorming, the mind mapping, the reading other models, the revising, etc, etc. And when we can shift our perspective to say, okay, today is just a day for brainstorming. I did brainstorming, checking it off the list. Good job, me. I did such an excellent job. I worked on my journal article today. Right?Instead of feeling like we’re not doing good enough, we don’t have that final draft yet. 

So shifting our perspective so we can value our own invisible labor or the labor we must do behind the scenes. And if you work with other folks valuing their labor that they’re doing and they’re spending their time productively, they’re exchanging their personal resources to do those tasks. That’s one thing that is in the front of my mind for practicing like a mindful tending productivity.

And then a second thing is, again, these personal resources. So when I say that I need time, energy, focus, those are the key three things that productivity researchers talk about. I’m also interested in our mental health, our physical comfort, our physical health. Those things shift from day to day. 

I mentioned spoons before. Spoons are like spoon theory. This theory, I believe it’s from Christine Miserandino. And the idea that we have folks who live with chronic illnesses, more chronic pain, chronic fatigue, long covid, we have a limited amount of energy, quote unquote spoons. I have five spoons and I can exchange those. So maybe one day taking a shower takes one spoon, it’s easy to do. Maybe the other day it takes three. And does that mean that you’re gonna use your remaining two, to cook dinner or to drive to work, or to go to an appointment? Things like that. So Spoon theory is a really helpful way that some folks like to use to communicate what their resources are to other people. 

And that can be helpful. Like my spouse does not have chronic illness, and I do, so we can communicate. I’ve taught them this is what spoon theory is, so I can be like, Hey, I can’t make dinner tonight. I don’t have any spoons. And they’re like, cool. You got it. I’m on it. You know? 

So again, also, if you work with or advise or support or are friends with people who have chronic illness, knowing about spoon theory might be a helpful way for you to support them too.

Nancy: Hmm. I love this knowing this internal measure of resources. Yeah. I love it. 

Kate: Thank you. 

Nancy; Yes. So the name of this podcast is Your Permission Prescription, and I would love to hear what you would like to offer in terms of giving our listeners something specific to give themselves permission for.

Kate: Hmm. Well, that’s so lovely. I think giving yourself permission to do a good enough job on certain things so that you can preserve your precious personal resources for yourself. So getting clear about how “good” something needs to be done, and then stopping there and trying not to be overwrought and over perfect things and giving yourself permission to take that extra time and energy you might have to do playful and rest in self-care practices.

Nancy: You are such a delight. I so enjoy being with you. And before we come to a close here today, I invite you to let listeners know how they can find you, follow you, all the things. 

Kate: Yeah, thank you. So it’s pretty easy to remember. Just katehenry.com. And my email is kate@katehenry.com, and I’m also on Instagram @thetendingyear. Oh. And substack. So I’m super excited about substack. My substack is just called “Tending”, which is not surprising but you can find all of that at katehenry.com. 

Nancy: Yay. Kate, thank you so, so much, so many beautiful nuggets here to sink into, and I appreciate our time together.

Kate: Thank you. Oh my gosh, my pleasure. This was such a treat. 

Nancy: Great. And for all of you listening, I’ll be back with you again next time. 

Thanks so much for joining me today on Your Permission Prescription. For even more, I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com and sign up for my newsletter, The Practice, and follow me on social media. 

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