Interviewing Dr.Judy Ho, “SUPERCHARGED LIFE: The Action-Packed Podcast with Scientific Wellness Tips with Lindas Book Obsession for @Suzy Approved Book Tours
Linda:What motivated or inspired you to make a Podcast for your followers?
Dr. Judy Ho: I wanted to create a podcast that would offer tangible tips to inspire people to live their best lives. SuperCharged Life is about teaching people to be superheroes in their own lives, to take control of areas that they wish to improve, and to obtain success, fulfillment, and joy.
Linda: What motivated you to become an author and write such a successful book? What made you decide to become a Psychologist?
Dr. Judy Ho: I wanted to be a psychologist so that I can help people understand the importance of their mental wellness for their overall health. Stop Self-Sabotage was a really important part of that work, to know that we all, as human beings, have the propensity to get in our own way sometimes, but that with scientifically proven strategies, we can find our way again towards the goals the matter the most to us.
Linda:What are some of your goals for your Podcast? What would you like for your listeners to take away after listening or viewing your podcast?
Dr. Judy Ho: I want listeners to feel inspired by the content, to be able to walk away and know that there is so much they can do every day to make the most of their circumstances.
Linda: What are some of the topics that you are planning to have for your podcast?
Dr. Judy Ho: We will be covering topics from motivation, stress reduction, productivity, parenting tips, better relationships (romantic and non), career and job improvements, but also more serious and heavy topics such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction.
Linda: What kind of guests would you like to have on your podcast?
Dr. Judy Ho: I will be interviewing influential people from different spheres of life including celebrities, health experts, doctors, and people with incredible stories to share so that listeners can be inspired and learn from all types of different people from all walks of life.
Linda: I loved that you had your sister on your podcast as your first guest. How did you feel about having a family member as a guest?
Dr. Judy Ho: Thank you! It felt like a very comfortable and warm start to all of this. I was ecstatic to get to collaborate with my sister whom I adore and get to talk a bit more about our upbringing and how we became the people we are today.
Linda: With so much of the country in a health and economic crisis, what advice for coping skills can you suggest?
Dr. Judy Ho: The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of us grappling with fear, stress, anxiety, grief, and feelings of being overwhelmed. With the new directives to practice social distancing (maintaining > 6 feet of physical distance from other people, or avoiding direct contact with people or objects—no hugs or handshakes—in public places during the current coronavirus outbreak to minimize exposure and reduce the transition of infection), we are urged to work from home, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and do so to protect ourselves and the larger community.
These directives, while imperative and clearly necessary, have direct tolls on our mental and physical health in addition to our growing fears of the unknown and the fact that news updates seem to present an everchanging picture each day. With no specific end in sight, the unknowns of how long this new normal will last and what it will look like as the situation unfolds is bound to cause heightened anxiety. Unknowns are very stressful for the human mind. We want to feel in control of our lives, as the more we feel is in our control, the more our chances for survival increase. The social distancing directives isolate from others, and we know that loneliness and perceived dissatisfaction with social interactions can wreak havoc on our well-being. Being in one place most or all of the time will also lead us to experience symptoms of cabin fever, lethargy, sadness, problems concentrating, irritability, feelings of being stuck, claustrophobia, and difficulty dealing with minor stressors.
To help us cope, here are some evidence-based tips on how we can make the most of these times, attend to our mental and physical wellness, and stay productive and motivated.
- Take deep breaths and combat defeatist thinking. In these unprecedented times, it is easy to lose hope or feel absolutely inefficacious about how you can improve the circumstances. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the challenges, take deep breaths. This resets your brain and body and tells it to chill out and veer away from a state of emergency or fight or flight. Then, manage any negative, catastrophic thinking. Thoughts are just mental events and not necessarily reflective of the truth, even when it feels that way! Try this evidence-based technique from the ACT literature called defusion. Whatever negative or catastrophic thought you are having, put the clause, “I am having the thought that …” in front of it. This takes the wind out of the sails of that negative thought just enough for you to feel more proactive and in charge of your life. So “I won’t be able to survive this” becomes “I am having the thought that I won’t be able to survive this.” This simple exercise of distancing from harmful thoughts without trying to change them is extremely helpful in helping to curb subsequent negative emotional or behavioral reactions.
- Accept negative feelings and thoughts, and let them be. You are bound to have negative emotions right now, and one of them may be grief. Grief can be conjured not only be fears of death and dying (and this pandemic certainly has aroused that existential fear in many of us), but it can be about saying goodbye to a former type of lifestyle, the end of a job or career, the fracturing of relationships; all of which are possible outcomes many are dealing with during this uncertain time. Rather than grief processing occurring in stages, I actually think it’s a circle of grief. People don’t move linearly. When we grieve, we bounce back and forth between depression, denial, anger, acceptance, and bargaining. One day you might feel accepting of the situation, the next day when a news story hits, you are back to experiencing anger. And that emotional swing can be tough to manage, so we have to be kind to ourselves and allow these feelings to happen. Know that they are normal and that they won’t last forever. The more you struggle with feelings the longer they linger, but if you accept them as normal and in fact, they tend to dissipate easier.
- Find creative ways to socially engage. We are social animals and we need meaningful social engagement. We can do this by making sure we touch base with loved ones in real life by calls or video chat. This can be additionally bolstered by having a shared experience. For example, eat lunch or dinner with a loved one over video chat. Watch a movie together while on video chat and share commentary and opinions about the film during or after. Make sure you do this a few times a week.
- Open the shades (and get outside). Whenever possible, try to get outside, even for a few minutes a day, to take in the fresh air and the outdoors. Research shows this is especially effective in the morning hours to align with human beings’ circadian rhythm which can also help promote better quality sleep. If you are unable to get outside, open the shades. This can help ward off claustrophobia and boost your mood.
- Avoid binge-watching anything (or binge video game-playing). It would be so easy to pass the time with hours of Netflix or Call of Duty. But doing this can actually lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness, according to research. Limit yourself to two hours per day for video and media consumption. This would include leisure shows, news, and social media.
- Keep a routine. Routines are comforting to the human mind. Make sure you devise a daily routine that mimics what you did prior to social distancing directives. This means getting up at the same hour every day (set an alarm clock if you need to), showering and getting dressed as if you were going to work outside the home (and direct your children to do the same), and having “work hours” when you focus on industrious activities and “home hours” where you focus on family togetherness and relaxation.
Linda:What is a typical day in the life of Dr. Judy Ho? What are your hobbies?
Dr. Judy Ho: Typical day ranges in types of activity and every day is different, but includes a good amount of work, ranging from private practice patients to forensic expert witness work, teaching courses and heading up the Institutional Review Board at Pepperdine University where I am a tenured professor, some media work such as appearances on TV shows, recording podcasts; but also time for fun. I love exercising as a way to deal with stress so I work out every day. I also love playing music, cooking, and learning something new. I am currently learning how to edit videos so that I can put out more helpful content across social platforms for my followers.
Linda: What are your plans for writing another book?
Dr. Judy Ho: I definitely have plans for writing another book, and the next book will be all about how we can work on essential skill sets to boost confidence, which is a key factor in promoting all kinds of successful outcomes in life.
Linda: How do you feel using a podcast as a means of communicating with a tremendous audience?
Dr. Judy Ho: I love it. I am a huge podcast consumer myself. I adore podcasts and think they are such a great way to learn. I am so excited I have this platform to share my work with a wider audience.
Linda: How do you balance your life as a wife, psychologist, author, and now has a podcast?
Dr. Judy Ho:It can be very difficult to balance but it’s all about intention! You have to have the intention to do so and make sure that you align your day and the goals you commit to with the values that are most important to you. Part of the balance is making sure you have time for yourself to recharge and also learning to say no. Everything sounds amazing but you can’t do everything on a given day. You have to start prioritizing and making some tough decisions but overall you will feel much better and less overwhelmed. I am personally working on trying to balance out my self-concept with the various things that bring me fulfillment and not to be overly focused on work which has been a big thing for me. I am definitely a workaholic, and if I don’t be careful I can be consumed with work activities and not have time for other things that are crucial to me. Spending quality time with my husband and extended family is incredibly important and I am always making sure I have time to do that despite the busyness of my work life.
Linda: How would you like your audience to connect with you?
Dr. Judy Ho:
Twitter and Instagram @drjudyho
Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/supercharged-life-with-dr-judy/id1501219826 (apple users)
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-supercharged-life-with-dr-58580065/ (non apple users)
Linda: How does it feel to have such a “SUPERCHARGED LIFE”?
Dr. Judy Ho: Thank you! It is a work in progress for me, we are all works in progress. We are never complete in our wellness development, but I try every day to live the life that I try to teach people to live too. It feels good to be congruent with my own message and to walk the talk. It makes me feel authentic and also adds to my passion for wanting to teach people how to do this for themselves too!
Thank you so much, Dr. Judy Ho, for your wonderful answers and your gracious time.