Episode 13
Renee Wellenstein:

Addressing Burnout to Reverse Chronic Illness

Dr. Renee Wellenstein is a libidologist. She empowers women to take control of their health, jumpstart their energy, improve their confidence and reignite their libido.
First Aired on: Dec 13, 2021
Episode 13
Renee Wellenstein:

Addressing Burnout to Reverse Chronic Illness

Dr. Renee Wellenstein is a libidologist. She empowers women to take control of their health, jumpstart their energy, improve their confidence and reignite their libido.
First Aired on: Dec 13, 2021
In this episode:
In today’s episode we are joined by Dr. Renee Wellenstein, who is an amazing Libido-ologist. She is a double board-certified physician whose personal experience with burnout has led her to step outside of the conventional medicine box to empower the women she works with to take control of their health, jumpstart their energy, improve their confidence and reignite their libido. You may be surprised to hear how the same factors affect autoimmunity as well as libido. I promise we will connect those dots. Dr. Renee shares with us her ABC’s of burnout and gives us actionable steps we can take to bring self care into our lives to improve our health as well as our quality of life.
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Episode Transcript
Julie Michelson: Welcome back to the inspired living with auto-immunity podcast. I'm your host, Julie Michaelson. And in today's episode, we're joined by Dr. Renee Wellins Stein, who is an amazing libido ologist. That's right. You heard me? She's a double board certified position whose personal experience with burnout has led her to step outside of the conventional medicine box to empower the women she works with [00:01:00] to take control of their health, jumpstart, their energy, improve their confidence and reignite their libido.

[00:01:07] You may be surprised to hear how the same factors affect auto-immunity as well as libido. I promise we'll connect those dots. Dr. Renee shares with us, her ABCs of burnout and gives us actionable steps. We can take to bring self-care into our lives, to improve our health, as well as our quality of life.

[00:01:30] Dr. Renee, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have you with us.

[00:01:34] Renee Wellenstein: It's great to be here. Thank you for having me.

[00:01:37] Julie Michelson: My pleasure. So one of the first questions I usually ask my guests because most of us in this wellness space have our own stories. I know, you know, you have a medical career and, and we're on a different path. So would you be willing to share a little bit about what got you into doing what you're doing [00:02:00] now?

[00:02:00] Share your story with our listeners.

[00:02:02] Renee Wellenstein: Absolutely. Yeah, it's a, it's a long one. It's about a three year in the making actually, probably longer than that, but you know, I'll fast forward to the pivotal point in my life, which actually right before that, which is. My husband and I had moved from a suburb of New York city. So we were living in Connecticut.

[00:02:20] I thought I was living the dream life. At that point. I was a OB GYN again, living the dream life, although I was up every other night and, you know, delivering those babies and at the office early, and I had infant twins at this time, they were born in oh seven.

[00:02:36] Julie Michelson: Wow.

[00:02:37] Renee Wellenstein: And, you know, in oh eight we said, oh gosh, you know, let's move to the country.

[00:02:40] Let's move to where life is not so chaotic because at this point, you know, we weren't enjoying the city life. We were just enjoying working and coming home to our kids. And so we moved to the country in new. And of course what happens when you are the daughter of a dairy farmer who always wanted a horse and he moved to the [00:03:00] country, which is a little, little bit more affordable to have a co a horse where I live.

[00:03:04] You get a horse and number two, what do you do? When you're an animal lover and you rescue animals, you rescue a horse that came off the racetrack. So I rescued a thoroughbred and it, you know, it's all a blur as far as how long I had them, but I fell off that horse and broke my back. And that's always where I say my story again, because.

[00:03:27] Up until then I was just probably know, going 150 miles per hour, always living in the future. Like, go, go, go, go, go. But that's the only life I've ever known. And, you know, thinking of how long it takes you to get your medical degree, you know, like college and medical school and residency and all the things like I would just kept doing, doing right, going to the next school, doing the next. And this was the first time when I fell off the horse and broke the back that I was literally halted you know, bedrest, Walker, shower chair, all of the things. And I also always say, this [00:04:00] is the time where I never wished back issues on anybody, but when it's your own self, you're like, okay, put me back together again.

[00:04:07] But my injury, I could not be put back together again. I was Humpty Dumpty that fell off the wall that could not be put together again. So, you know, and I was okay with that for about six months, but I was six months out of work on narcotics, my pain. Pretty much, you know, I don't do well with a really strong pain medicine.

[00:04:24] So I had chased it with all the other things to word away, the side effects like the constipation and the nausea. So I was a living medicine cabinet on a day-to-day basis and pretty much just on the couch feeling awful, but had a lot of time to think at this point, cause I've completely slowed down, but my thinking was over the next couple of months, even into a year.

[00:04:44] But now in retrospect, but all the grieving, I was angry at my situation. I was resentful. You know, I totally went through all of the stages of grieving and the S of other people still having their life and all the things. And here I was now with a bum back. And when I did return to work, [00:05:00] my scope of practice was limited in that I could not deliver any more.

[00:05:03] And I couldn't operate, which is really, you know, for an OB GYN. That's the life changing. Part of our job. This is where we change lives. You know, bringing the baby into the world and doing a surgery on a woman and to make her feel better like that is where my purpose lied, not doing pap smears in the clinical day, which is really what I had to come to because of this injury.

[00:05:23] And I was like, okay, well, it is what it is. At least I'm back to work. Well, then I started noticing. More symptoms popping up such as an inability to get out of bed in the morning. Just really low energy and fatigued all day, pretty much living on a pot of coffee or some sort of caffeinated beverage to get me through the day.

[00:05:44] Couldn't wait. So I got home and laid back on the couch, maybe took a nap, grabbing the chips as opposed to a salad for lunch, because that's all I had the energy. And, you know, I'd get the second wind at night, which was always bizarre, like 10, 11 o'clock. I could stay up and I was like, what [00:06:00] is going on here?

[00:06:01] So of course it came to my rock bottom. When I, when I in bed with my husband, I said, I just can't go on living like this, like this. Deadbeat mom, a really awful wife because I'm laying on the couch all day and not doing things with my kids. At this point, they were probably 6, 6, 7 years old, and I just don't feel good.

[00:06:22] You know, I don't feel like myself. And of course I had terrible mindset things going on at this point. So I was gaining weight. I just felt my self-confidence self-esteem was at an all time low. And just the thought that I had at night, my husband and I couldn't go on living this way. Like the thought that.

[00:06:39] Take my life, you know, I didn't have a plan, but that, just that thought. And here I had two kids down the hallway from me in bed. I was like, I need help. However, I knew going to my doctor what the diagnosis would be. Cause I was in that world. I was in the conventional medical world where I laid in bed every night, thinking, gosh, what could this be?

[00:06:57] Self-diagnosing and I said, I [00:07:00] know the box I'm going to be shoved into. And sure enough, I went in to see my doctor and I was shoved into the depression box and I remember. Saying to her, like, I just, I knew that's what you going to say? And she's like, well, think about it. Your life completely changed. And I said, you're right.

[00:07:15] It said it must be depression, but I just didn't feel like this is what depression would feel like. Like I thought it'd be much more emotional, like more sad crying all the time. Like sad. Like, I don't feel sad. I, I do sometimes, but not more, most of the day. I said, I'm just beating myself up most of the day because of all the other things.

[00:07:33] So I went onto the antidepressant and. Of course it did not make my symptoms better. And as a matter of fact, I had all of the side-effects and so this is kind of the next, you know, those three months where I was between visits. I was like, ah, I don't know about this. But I continued to take it well, all the side effects and three minutes later went back.

[00:07:52] And of course, when you go back to your doctor and a medication is not working, it's not that you have the wrong diagnosis, you have the wrong. Medication, [00:08:00] so sure enough. And again, I didn't know what else it could be. I'm racking my brain for three months. What else could this be? And of course, all my blood work was quote unquote normal, you know, and at this point I was still under really constant care with my providers and my new, I had already flunked out of physical therapy.

[00:08:16] They didn't really want to see me anymore. Cause I was just one of those chronic pain people and When I was going into my second antidepressant, of course, I walked away with a different one cause I'm like, okay, this one you're right. This one has to work because that was my mentality as well. You know, I didn't know any

[00:08:30] Julie Michelson: training.

[00:08:31] Renee Wellenstein: It's my training. And so I knew, I mean, I walk into the business instead of, okay, this didn't work. What else we have. So I walked away without one and honestly, same exact thing happened all of the side effects without the resolution of symptoms. And then I was like, this has got to be, there's gotta be something else going on.

[00:08:50] And I, at this point never felt so helpless because, you know, essentially she was like, well, if this one doesn't work, I don't know what else to do. So these are symptoms I was actually going to have to live [00:09:00] with and hopeless that this is, these are things I'm going to have to live with. And I'm just going to have to feel.

[00:09:05] Just so not good on so many levels. It mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, like they were all knows diving down as every day. And so I'm not sure that, you know, when I got the name of a functional medicine doctor, but it happened to fall in my lap because over the course of. This year that I'm going through all of this.

[00:09:27] I started selling anti-aging skincare because one of the other things is I had no purpose in my life. Like I, you know, we need purpose in our life to get out of bed in the morning. And when I'm getting out of the bed and going, and just doing a rote pap smear, you know? Yes, I know the female patients are grateful that I'm doing a screening task for them, but I'm not changing their life.

[00:09:45] This is the whole reason. And quite frankly, I was born you know, I, then I was just like, well, let me do some drug sales. Let me have some fun in my life. Let me do something that I'd never done. So ironically, this functional medicine doc was put on my radar, not for my medical needs, but because she was an [00:10:00] anti-aging doctor who might need the skincare I was selling.

[00:10:03] So I contacted her one evening at like nine o'clock at night in bed. And she got on the phone and she said pretty much promptly. I don't need your skincare. I have my own line. However, let's talk about your health. And honestly, within, I would say five, 10 minutes of describing my SIM, like what had happened to me, my symptoms.

[00:10:24] She said, I don't think you have depression. I think you have adrenal fatigue. And that's what we called it back in the day. And here I am in my bed, like at nine o'clock at night, my husband had just gone into the bathroom to take a shower and I'm on my computer Googling. Like, what does it say? Adrenal fatigue.

[00:10:38] And honestly, this aha moment came. I was like, oh my gosh, this is me. So two things. This is me. How do I make this better? But number two is like, oh, number two, this is real. It's not all in my head, which a lot of women out there, I think once you don't get quote unquote, fixed by that medication, you start feeling like it's all in my head.

[00:10:59] I'm crazy. [00:11:00] And number three, I'm a doctor. How come? I didn't know about this. How come this was? Nowhere on my radar. Well, I couldn't, I have fixed myself a year. So she kind of goes through the treatment plan and on the heels of that, she says, well, why don't you join me in practice? And she happens to be about three and a half hours from where I live.

[00:11:19] And she wanted to set up a practice about an hour from where I lived. And so then I'm like, what is it that you do? What do you call yourself? Functional medicine doctor. So I'm Googling that. And I was like, this. My purpose. I'm like the thing that I've been looking for, I had bought all the books, Julia, of like what to do if you you're a doctor.

[00:11:40] And aside from just, you know, in a clinic or hospital, practicing medicine, it was malpractice, you know, you can lawsuits and you could be a expert witness and you could be I don't know, all these things, you know, I don't say pharmaceuticals was on there. I'm like, these are not things that I want to do this.

[00:11:59] This isn't even getting me out of [00:12:00] bed in the morning

[00:12:01] Julie Michelson: Might as well, just keep doing pap smears at

[00:12:03] Renee Wellenstein: exactly. That's what exactly that I'm like, I'm just going to keep doing pap smears until this night. And when I Googled that, I'm like, oh my gosh, this is root CA this is like figuring out why someone feels the way they're feeling, not just slapping a medication on them.

[00:12:17] I'm like, oh my gosh. And so I'm like done, like done. So the funniest part is my husband comes out of the bag. Mind you he's been in there maybe 20, 30 minutes max. And I said, honey, great news. No, this lady doesn't want my skincare, but I have fatigue and I'm not broken. I said, I don't have depression.

[00:12:39] And guess what? I don't need a prescription medication. I just, you know, some supplements, major lifestyle changes, not going to get better overnight, but Hey, at least I know it's not in my head. Oh. And by the way, I'm leaving the hospital and I'm going back and doing a fellowship in functional medicine and joining this woman.

[00:12:55] And I just met on the phone in practice and he literally stands there. His mouth is [00:13:00] like, long was I in the shower for. honestly, this is the first time that I actually listened to my gut. Like as docs, we are so conditioned to listen to our head and like just don't even take the body and how you feel into it.

[00:13:14] Just like all head. And this was literally the first time of all of those years that I had been suppressing that gut feeling of like, ah, like even when I had the depression diagnosis, this doesn't feel right. It wasn't. But I didn't know what else it was. Right. So here is the first time that I was like, this is the next right thing.

[00:13:32] This is my purpose. I have a diagnosis. This is my healing. This is how I'm going to give hope and help to those women out there. That feel exactly how I have. So I did exactly that. I went back, finished out my time as an OB at the hospital while doing this fellowship and completed the fellowship, joined this woman in practice for four years, we had ultimately closed the practice gosh, probably three years ago now for financial purposes.

[00:13:57] Just sometimes those kinds of practices don't [00:14:00] thrive in certain areas of the country. And yeah, I'm still doing what I'm doing now, online a hundred percent. And so. You know, and still never regretting the fact they've still a board certified OB GYN. I will never give that up. I love women's health.

[00:14:13] I just come at it from a different perspective now, which is exactly how I say root cosmetics. And I try to figure out, okay, let's not slap a medication on that. Let's try to figure out why you're feeling the way you're feeling.

[00:14:26] Julie Michelson: Yeah. Wow. Thank you for sharing that journey. There's so many parts and pieces. I'm sure listeners are just like me, like, oh yeah. I, you know, I can relate to that and I can, you know, you were, you commented about how we tend to start to question like, you know, is it in my head? Am I crazy? Especially when labs are clean and the medications aren't working and.

[00:14:52] But I I've encountered as I'm sure you have so many people that it's not even that they wonder if they're crazy, pretty much their doctors are [00:15:00] saying it must be in your head because and I remember at one point in, in my journey with rheumatoid arthritis, Talking to my best friend and saying, you know, I wonder if I have depression and I was already diagnosed.

[00:15:13] I was also on a cabinet full of medications 10 prescriptions, and I was exhausted, you know, all the things because the medications weren't helping my symptoms. And so I was going down the list of, you know, I have all of these things that could be depression. And she said to me, But do you, do you feel like you're depressed?

[00:15:35] You know, like, do you feel like, so I, when you said that, like, you know, even though your head was saying like, yeah, must be, and there's a med for that. Like you just knew because I, I, I run through that checklist of not in my head, but in my heart, myself when I was so sick. And so often that is one of the things, no matter what other.

[00:15:58] Illness people are struggling [00:16:00] with. They're also given that antidepressant because it's like, you know, be quiet, like just, you know and, and again, it's, it's not, I always say this to people, you know, doctors don't go into medicine. To not help people like, you know, it's, you're limited by your training as you are case in point, as you're saying, you know, even for myself, I couldn't figure it out.

[00:16:24] And so, but this is what makes the most passionate functional medicine providers is. You know, the, you, you talk about this is your purpose and. You even knew when you lost your purpose there for awhile, that, that, that was important. You had to find one, you had to make one, you had to search for one. And I think like, oh, what a gift for all those women that work with you now that, you know, they're getting to that root cause they're getting their answers.

[00:16:55] And I know your, your work has taken you in some really [00:17:00] important directions and, and. I always promise listeners. We'll try to keep this to about it.

[00:17:04] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah,

[00:17:05] Julie Michelson: And so you, and I know, like we could, we could talk about a million things

[00:17:09] Renee Wellenstein: already have done.

[00:17:10] Julie Michelson: and we have, you guys are all welcome. We got a lot of it out. I want to talk about, I want to talk about so many things, but I want to talk about.

[00:17:21] Chronic stress and burnout. You know, I think it's ties so beautifully into your story as well. Because even though you may not use the term adrenal fatigue I say, you know, adrenal challenges w you know, burnout, or however you wanna say. I, I think especially in the times we're living in even more so than before

[00:17:41] but women in general have a tendency to push themselves beyond.

[00:17:45] And so I wanted to kind of dig in. I'll let you pick up. I just threw out like five different things within that whole chronic stress mindset burning. Realm because whether it's auto-immunity or I [00:18:00] know you do a lot of work around libido as a, as a symptom, so many women that consider themselves healthy.

[00:18:09] Struggle with, you know, the no or low libido, young women, older women doesn't matter. And so I, I think any, any woman listening will get so much value out of connecting those dots. I always say you and I have sent before things that need to be addressed for a full health serve pretty much whether it's auto-immunity weather, you name it.

[00:18:36] It's that umbrella of whole health. Talk about how important you, I think you called it unsexy. When we were talking before we turned on the mic. But I, I think we need to, we need to make it sexy. You know, we need to really get people to understand how things like mindset and stress and purpose are, are driving health [00:19:00] or illness.

[00:19:01] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. Yeah. You know, and I, and I, I love using the word burnout as well because I, and I say adrenal fatigue, cause that's fallen out of favor in our world. As far as diet, it's never, it was never an official diagnosis, but I think it, it actually. Describe the condition perfectly because when you think of the adrenal glands, they're the little glands on top of our kidneys are little powerhouses that produce our stress hormones, and they, after a while can get fatigue, they can get hired because they're working so hard and in.

[00:19:30] I was, you know, leading up to my story. Like I was looking at dream life, but up every night and when I wasn't up with someone else's baby, I was up with my babies and, you know, 24 7 go, go, go. And just living outside of a city. You know, again, that's a whole nother can of worms that I, I opened up when I moved down there and it's, you know, I didn't realize the level of stress.

[00:19:51] Having every single day cause I was in it and going 150 miles an hour until I literally was knocked off that horse. And you know, it's so funny. I always [00:20:00] say, I don't think I hit my head, but it's something happened to me when I fill up that horse, like mindset wise, like I was total shift and also the fact that I had to physically slow down and you know, so that was my breaking point for women with burnout.

[00:20:12] Again, classically adrenal fatigue. I call it a lot of times, adrenal dysfunction, APA HPA dysfunction, you know, There's a lot of names for it, but let's talk, let's call it burnout because I think a lot of people can, can understand the word burnout. Right. And you know, all my classic symptoms, I have word that burnout, you know,

[00:20:31] Julie Michelson: Right out of the books.

[00:20:33] Renee Wellenstein: right out of the book and including, you know, my second wind at night was a particular stage of burnout, but.

[00:20:39] You know, and I think a lot of the things that contribute to burnout have really been put to the forefront of our care. And we were talking about this, Julie, before you, you started recording of like how we take care of clients now, because you know, in the past, and if you go to your regular doctor, of course, they're going to say, okay, you're stressed.

[00:20:59] Okay. [00:21:00] Stress management, reduce your stress. Okay. How? Right. Like what do I do, doc? Like, I don't know, go meditate. You know, like, you know, yeah. That's why I love meditation. That is not feasible for a lot of people too. You know, that, that was like crazy for me to think of back in the day or like, okay, meditate.

[00:21:17] Okay. Yeah. Right. Where do I have

[00:21:18] Julie Michelson: sure.

[00:21:20] Renee Wellenstein: So we need a, you know, for the burnout and the number of women that have actually are experiencing burnout contributing and a lot of the things, not only the hormonal imbalances that can occur from burnout. But a lot, like in my story, a lot of the lifestyle changes that we take on because of that, the convenient foods, me opening up the bag of chips, you know, not sleeping necessarily, well, obviously not hydrating properly, you know, too much alcohol, all the de stress, you know, like all of these things are leading to not only the low libido I talked a lot about, but also autoimmune conditions because of gut dysfunction.

[00:21:55] Right? So like, It is really, so it's like, [00:22:00] there's this thing that starts with this chronic stress that we're not identifying leading to these lifestyle changes that lead to all these other issues. Right. And that's where we're at right now in our, in our world. And we're sort of at a stage where everyone's running to the doctor with stress.

[00:22:14] Okay. If you don't, actually, your doctor will do two things, actually tell you to do stress and give you a medication probably for. Because as docs, we are, we are in the helping field and we have five minutes to do it. And I can say that because We used to be me, you know, and I used to D I never felt like I was helping someone unless you walked out of the, out of my office with a prescription in her hand, even a five minute visit, I felt better because you had that prescription in her hand.

[00:22:41] That's how we're trained. So unless we can give that medication, you don't always feel like we did anything, but I really love to talk about it from a very practical. You know, approach of like what everyone can do, because I know probably there's a lot of women out there in your audience that are like, yeah, I feel fatigued in the morning.

[00:22:58] Even after I sleep all night, I [00:23:00] still don't feel like I can get out of bed. You know, I want to hit snooze 50 times. I'm turning to the coffee all day. I'm hitting that law in the afternoon for an hour. Another couple of cups of coffee living on the sugar. Really know what healthy choices I should make.

[00:23:13] Don't

[00:23:13] Julie Michelson: They don't have to make them.

[00:23:15] Renee Wellenstein: I don't have the energy to make them. Now. That was me. I was closing the fridge after he saw the salad mixed in there, and I turned to the cabinet and got the bag of chips and went back on the couch and ate because I was so tired. And so a lot of those, again, you know, some of your listeners are like, yeah, that's neat.

[00:23:30] That's totally native. Like maybe you're gaining the weight. You're not feeling very confident. And your self-esteem has taken a nose, dive all these things. Well, you know, then we talked about eating healthy. You're like, yeah, yeah. Whatever, give me the energy and I'll, I'll eat healthy. So I always talk about the ABCs, which are tips that anyone can do, you know?

[00:23:49] And, and it's so interesting. I, after I started talking about the a, which is awareness, I now hear all over because it goes into the mindset work everywhere. You can't take [00:24:00] action on anything in your life, unless you're aware of what you're currently doing. And that goes with stress, like, what is stressing you out?

[00:24:05] Like there's so many people in this used to be me running around, going I'm stressed and stressed about what, you know, like, what is it.

[00:24:12] Julie Michelson: right.

[00:24:12] Renee Wellenstein: you know, of course I did a recent masterclass and I did a survey and, you know, the most common are like work-life balance finances, health kiddos, because of the pandemic.

[00:24:22] Marriage has been huge. It was huge on the list. Parents, aging, parents, their weights career choices. So like, there is like, I've covered just so many that again, your listeners are probably like, yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. But what is it? You know, what practically can you take action on right away to start?

[00:24:40] Because it's not going to get better unless we do something about it or at least the first identify it and then, okay. What can we do about it? You know, I was approached that with a smart goals, you know, in a specific measure, anyhow, don't get into the smart

[00:24:52] Julie Michelson: You can be a health coach.

[00:24:54] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. Like what, like what can you do?

[00:24:56] Like we can't, you know, and I love to get to the end point of like all the [00:25:00] supplements someone can take and then let's come back to like, okay, what is it? Because, and it's not taking all your stress and dealing with it in 24 hours, like one thing at a time. And the things that you can kind of knock out pretty much right away, you know you hate your job.

[00:25:14] Well, can't go find another one necessarily tomorrow. So like, you know, let's and I have to say stress feeling trapped in a job is probably one of the worst or relationship to the bigger the stressors, you know, back. Gosh,

[00:25:26] Julie Michelson: it's the feeling truck part,

[00:25:28] Renee Wellenstein: gap. Yeah. They did this awful study on mice and like they cut off their, some of their appendages.

[00:25:35] Oh, I know. Or they trapped them in the corner and actually the mice were more stressed when they were trapped, as opposed to getting an appendage cutoff. Like that goes to show you, like, even as humans. You can feel, oh yes, I hate my job. But when you say that, like you're, you're feeling trapped in that job because you obviously need it for money and that's a huge stressor.

[00:25:56] You're not even aware of. Yes. You're aware that you don't like your job, but like, it, [00:26:00] it goes much deeper than that. So if that's the case and it's something that you can start taking steps towards getting a different job, or like a second income to try to like maybe combat down something. Everything has figured out a bull, right?

[00:26:14] Like you can do it. It may not be overnight that you can leave your job, but like start working on it. Like, you know, this life is short. We gotta wake up loving what we do. Like my life for three years there. I did love waking up in the morning because I lacked that purpose. And there are so many people out there right now that are feeling the same exact way.

[00:26:31] So awareness number two.

[00:26:34] Julie Michelson: I love what you just said about. Going back to the feeling trapped, because I could feel that like the relief, it may take a year to take whatever steps you need to take to get that new job, but really you start to feel that relief. With that first step, like as soon as you're taking action, no, you haven't changed or eliminated your stressor, but you've changed your stress response because you are now in action [00:27:00] and not feeling trapped.

[00:27:01] So sorry, I just have to.

[00:27:02] Renee Wellenstein: No. Yeah. And there's some other little stressors. Yeah. I mean, you know, even relationships and another big one that I complimented on. And of course, I'm not going to tell you to go get a divorce tomorrow, but maybe it brings light to the fact that. And a happy relationship or I feel trapped. Why do I feel trapped?

[00:27:17] Well, we're just not doing the C, which is coming up, but like, what is it in your relationship that you want to improve and is your partner amicable to improve, you know, communication, which is a C that's coming up, like talking about it. Obviously if it's an abusive relationship and such, that's a different story, but you know, A lot of times I'm seeing out there, you just these relationships that are withering away, they feel trapped, but there's just, we're not saying exactly what we need in our relationship.

[00:27:42] So, you know, there you go, like say, okay, this is not, I feel trapped. I'm not happy. Why? Well, because we're not talking or we're fighting a lot. Well, what can we do about that? And then, you know, again, talking to your partner, so, and those are the big ones, but there's a lot of other little ones that I'm sure, like when you start writing down, like, well, I'm stressed. [00:28:00] Who's doing the dishes tonight, you know, like, okay, you've got a kid, there you go. You know, so, and, and there's one stressor gone or, or grocery shopping, you know? So like, oh, can you send your husband to the grocery store on the way home? Just send them the list, you know? And I'm going to get to that with what's coming up because it kind of, they all kind of go together.

[00:28:19] You know, it might be, is always boundaries. BNC kind of goes together. These boundaries, you see as communication, I think over the past 18 plus months now a lot of things have happened, you know, we've added so much more to our to-do lists. We as women have. And I'm not to say men don't have a big to-do list, but I feel like we have taken on a lot more as our stereotypical roles in the house of like taking care of the kids and the dishes and the grocery shopping and, and all the things, but potentially maybe adding on extra income because the family needed it or having to relocate your business a home, or maybe even losing your job, which has, you know, again, there was purpose.

[00:28:57] Right. But a lot [00:29:00] of other what's that.

[00:29:01] Julie Michelson: homeschooling, you know, that was a big ad for a lot of women the past year and a half.

[00:29:08] Renee Wellenstein: Well, and that's a thing all day when they would be working, there'll be, you know, virtually I was always grateful that my kids were older. You know, they were 13 going through this that I didn't have to sit there and watch them, but the ones that were doing it with these little ones, I was like, oh my goodness.

[00:29:21] So essentially, you know, and then school starts, maybe they would like go over their job between three and five. And then they had dinner and grocery shop and all the things it's like. And so their to do list is never ending. And they're not saying no, you know, I feel like for a period of time there, we all felt like life got a lot less chaotic because we weren't going to all these unnecessary places.

[00:29:43] But I feel like we had it on a lot of other things. So again, saying no you know, really on your to-do list, try to limit it. And this is where my four D four D's come in my do delegate delay and. Deletes. So if you [00:30:00] have a many women have a laundry list of things, you know, you wake up in the morning, you have to do a list of 10 things.

[00:30:06] And that list, because ideally I'd like, you'd have three, right. Because one of the biggest thing for women at the end of the day, you know, huge feeling of failure or what have you a new phone that is that you didn't get those 10 things done.

[00:30:18] Julie Michelson: bye.

[00:30:20] Renee Wellenstein: You couldn't get those 10 things on that. I, that was me too.

[00:30:22] Like I would put on way too much of my list. I can't get it all done. It's not feasible. And there's not enough hours in one day for me to get it done maybe a week. But I overachiever. He already come I'm to get those 10 things. And then I fall into bed going, oh, I got three things done. So ideally, you know, three things at the top of your, to do list.

[00:30:41] I think that you have to get done that, eat that frog kind of thing, you know, get it done first, but when you're going down your list, think, okay, what do I absolutely have to do? Not what do I think I do the best? What do you have to do? What can you delegate? So for instance, when I say with the groceries, can you ask your partner, if you can.

[00:30:59] Can you pick up the [00:31:00] groceries on the way home? Or can you make the dinner so I can get this done? Or the kids, can you unload the dishwasher? Can you do the dishes? Can you bring your lunch boxes in and clean them out? That's that's a real life example right there for me.

[00:31:13] Julie Michelson: And it takes. Intention. I think it's not automatic for most women to consider where can I delegate? It takes training and it's such an important step and it is amazing how much of those little stressors one can eliminate if they do delegate.

[00:31:33] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. Yeah. And little things. Like I was at biggest, I was the ones that I have to do at all. I can only, I only I can do as, as, as good, as better than anyone and I have to do it all. And I found that like, no, you can do it just as good as me. And you know, with the kiddos. Yes. It does take a little bit of repetition.

[00:31:50] Come on, come on. But like I'm telling you if they do get conditioned, you know, and what can you put off, like what doesn't have to be done. And then what can you completely take [00:32:00] off? What is completely unnecessary? That's under to-do list because we all have it. Right. But take it off, you know, maybe do have to go to the grocery store every day.

[00:32:08] No, can you kind of go maybe twice a week and make it a lot easier? Yeah. You know, delete that daily grocery shopping off your list and just don't do it twice a week. So that is a big one. And then the C is just communication, which I think. BNC like a super women. We think we have to do it all.

[00:32:24] And again, I say this from personal experience, this is why, in my opinion, this is what makes me a good clinician is in, you know, doing what I do is because I guess I have the certification, but I have the experience like I was at self-proclaimed superwoman. Like, yes, I got it. I can do it all. But guess what?

[00:32:42] At the end of the day, when you fall into bed, you're not getting a trophy. You might get some bragging rights, but you're not getting a trophy. And my point is, Your loved ones, your kids, they don't know what you need. Right? They're not mind readers. Number one, number two, when you're doing it all and look like you got it all under control.

[00:32:59] They're like, [00:33:00] Hey, my wife, my mom, they're doing a great job. Kudos to you, mom. Keep doing that. We've all in your head. You're like, oh, I just wish somebody could help

[00:33:07] Julie Michelson: Somebody would help me write.

[00:33:09] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah, you just have to ask, you know, there's so many women I talk to they're like, he gets so angry when their husbands come in and they pop on the couch on their phones.

[00:33:16] I'm like, did you ask them if they could do homework with the kids or a common make to dinner, so you can go and do a little something for yourself, because that was the other thing that that leads to burnout is like women have lost themselves. And when I talk self-care, I'm not talking manicures, pedicures, I'm talking like, like sitting and reading a book for 15 minutes going and taking a bath, you know, like going for a walk

[00:33:37] Julie Michelson: The things that feel like a luxury, especially for those with children. And even without, depending on your, your mindset and your routine. What I used to women would call it like guilty pleasure. And I'm like, it shouldn't be guilty. It's a necessary, that's not taking care of yourself is not something you feel guilty about.

[00:33:57] Renee Wellenstein: Yep. So many women feel shame or [00:34:00] guilt for taking 15, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. Oh my gosh. 30 minutes themselves. You know, I love for women to work up to one hour a day, but like, you know, it's so funny. I actually had a conversation with someone recently and they're like, yeah, men take three hours of their morning ritual.

[00:34:14] Like we hardly get any because we're up hit the floor, taking care of the kids. Right.

[00:34:18] Julie Michelson: Yeah.

[00:34:19] Renee Wellenstein: So, you know, even

[00:34:20] Julie Michelson: the women, especially women with daughters, but even, you know, sons as well. What would you want for your children? You know? Cause we do get stuck into this, do do do, and I have to do it all and I can't take that time. And, and it's like, is that really what you want to be teaching your child? No, but it's okay for me.

[00:34:41] No, it's not.

[00:34:43] Renee Wellenstein: cause they're watching you too. Like I had never realized how much my kids watch. You know, you don't have, it's not what you say. It's what you do. They

[00:34:49] Julie Michelson: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, cause this, you know this, but you become the better mother, the better partner, the better everything [00:35:00] fill in the blank when you are prioritizing that.

[00:35:03] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. Yeah. So it's not, you know, shameful or you shouldn't be guilt ridden because you want to take a little time for yourself and, you know and it again, yeah. Walk outside a little 30 minute exercise in the morning. Makes me so much of a better mom and wife and doctor, all of the things like I just show up.

[00:35:21] When I give a little bit to myself and don't, you know, because so many women are resentful and angry and frustrated all these emotions because they're just not communicating what they need. It's just as easy as saying, honey, can you do? And I've got my, my, my husband's very well conditioned now to say, you know, when, and again, it's all about balance.

[00:35:40] Some weeks, I'm doing a lot more than him. Cause he's at the hospital time. And sometimes I was like, okay, it's all you this week or more. Is that perfect balance, but now he's really well conditioned to say, I have some time, what can I do or I'm leaving for the hospital, but before I do, can I run to the store and get groceries?

[00:35:58] Or can I make dinner tonight? [00:36:00] Or, and I was like, oh, can I pick up the kids? And it's like, so now if I don't ask, he asks me and I'm like, oh yeah, sure. Yeah. Great.

[00:36:08] Julie Michelson: and that is that sign of that community. You said conditioning the first, before the conditioning, you need the communication, right?

[00:36:14] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. And there was a little learning curve and frustration there. I'm not going to lie, you know, like even with my husband. And I was like, okay, I kept to keep asking, but after a while you find the gets it.

[00:36:23] Julie Michelson: for so many of us, it's so hard to ask to begin with because it's so non-natural that then when we need conditioning after asking, it's like, well, wait a minute. Do you know what it took for me to even ask why aren't you doing it? 

[00:36:38] Renee Wellenstein: Yeah. And you know, it's just, yeah. It's You know, they just don't know. They can't, again, they can't read your mind. They don't know. And it looks like, you know, they, you got it under control. So it's just knowing that number one, even if you do have it under control, where can you like just delegate a little more as you get a little more relaxation?

[00:36:54] You know, I think a lot of women just don't know how to relax myself included. I have a hard time relaxing, but I forced myself to, [00:37:00] because of role models, right. I want my kids to say, you

[00:37:03] Julie Michelson: Yes, we have to, we have to walk the talk. So, but it really does. I love the ABCs. Because without the awareness, I mean, you know, you lived it, there was no aware you didn't realize. And, you know, in hindsight I imagined, cause as I was listening to your story, it was, you know, if it wasn't the fall off the whole.

[00:37:28] It would've been something else because you weren't aware you were just running your body into the ground. And so I love, I love that. So if you would give us the ABCs one more time, and then I want you to share with listeners one. Step that they can take. I mean, you gave them, you know, if they could listen to this over and over and really make amazing progress by doing all of the things working their way through the alphabet.

[00:37:58] But, but what would be [00:38:00] one step that if they could just start to.

[00:38:04] Renee Wellenstein: Oh, yep. So ABC's awareness, boundaries and communication. And the one thing I think, you know, let's bring it back to the self care because I think I just need to hit that home of you are worthy of having some time to yourself. And I think we go back to the whole mindset thing of, I'm not enough. I'm not worthy.

[00:38:22] I need to prove myself. Bologna you've proved yourself enough. And you know, you, in order to be, didn't get your health on track and to feel better and to get a better mindset, all the things and better health you've got, it's got to start with you. And that, that begins with a little you time, whatever that looks like for you, I would love your audience if they don't even know what it is anymore, because so many women don't even know what brings them joy, but makes them happy.

[00:38:47] What they want to do your homework is to figure that out and start over. You know, 15 minutes a day and communicate with your partners, say, Hey, I love taking a walk outside. Do you mind [00:39:00] when you come home from work and you can just hang out with the kids so I can go out and get a little air, especially if you little ones you can just going to need to get out of the house at the end of the day, just for some air, we're going to take a bubble bath or at night, you know, can you put the kids to bed or do the bedtime reading?

[00:39:14] If you have little ones? I just, I think about like, even though my kids aren't little, all the little things. I remember doing, and it's like, I couldn't have my bedtime routine because I was, and I loved it, but like, we didn't both have to do it, you know, like one could have done it and then give them the other one kind of the night off, you know?

[00:39:30] So yeah, figuring out what it is that brings you joy will kind of help obviously relieve, relieve your stress, whatever you become aware of with your stressor and start doing. And, you know, obviously the sea comes in there with communication of telling your, your, whoever is rounded. Hopefully, hopefully someone can help you if it's not a partner, maybe it's a mom.

[00:39:49] Maybe it's a friend wedding to talk about friends. Like 

[00:39:52] Julie Michelson: I raised my kids alone for 20 years. And even without a partner. [00:40:00] If you, you know, cause the boundaries with the kids, it's not always boundaries with a partner. It's boundaries, everybody, friends, work people life yourself. And so if you go through those ABCs and create that awareness, I really, I want to reiterate because I want to make sure everybody heard you say no.

[00:40:24] Are worthy. Right. And, and that's, that's the piece. So one tip, I give people because unfortunately, like you said, so many people don't even know what brings them joy. So I'm going to give them a little tip so they can do your homework and figure out what that is often. It's. What did you use to love to do.

[00:40:45] Renee Wellenstein: No, sir.

[00:40:46] Julie Michelson: Right because it's so far fallen off your radar. You don't even remember. I, and I know so many people where it's some form of art or creative expression, you know, they loved as a kid or even as a younger adult or [00:41:00] maybe before they had kids. And so, you know, drawing for 15 minutes a day or any of the, so it doesn't have to be somebody else's list, like really.

[00:41:10] Take that time. Listen to what Dr. Renee said, you are so worthy. You so deserve it. And I always say, too, you know, a better you is the more you take care of yourself. The more you can take care of those that you love really. And so, oh my gosh, there's so much gold. We could do this again. Hopefully we will do this again in the future.

[00:41:32] I am so appreciative of your time and your wisdom, and I know that your story and your tips are going to help. So many of the listeners for everybody listening. Remember you can get the show notes and transcripts by visiting inspired living.show. I hope you had a great time. I had a blast.
My Guest For This Episode
Connect with Renee Wellenstein
Renee Wellenstein
Hormone Physician
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
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