Monique Betty

How to Optimize Your Wellbeing

Monique Betty
Tuesday's with Coach Mo
How to Optimize Your Wellbeing

Would it surprise or shock you to know that one-third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression?

In Today’s episode of Tuesdays with Coach Mo Podcast, I interviewed Tarin Calmeyer, CEO and Founder of Remote Team Wellness who shared how you can find your balance point and how to overcome obstacles that get in your way for optimal wellbeing.

Coach Mo Knows (a tip, a coaching question and a bit of inspiration)


Connect with our guest on social @tarincalmeyer

Coaching Question:

What is your balance point? As Tarin mentioned in our conversation, what is the one thing that you really need in your life to be able to keep yourself well in all areas?


‘What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.’ ~ Buddha

Episode Transcript

02:21 Monique: Tarin, so excited for this conversation today. Will you tell me, how did you get to this work that you’re doing now? What has been your professional journey?

02:31 Tarin: Well, it has definitely been a journey. I can tell you that much, Monique. So, my journey actually began with my own rehabilitation. I’ve been a dancer and a mover my whole life. So, I’ve really been into body-mind connection. It took me into my studies, which I studied osteopathy, all about learning about the amalgamation between body, mind, spirit, and how we can really use that in order to heal ourselves and to really implement wellness practices and techniques in our own lives. And so, through that work, I was doing a lot of yoga myself in my own practice. And that also led me to wanting to actually teach yoga as a practice for my work. So, I start. I did my yoga teacher training 2010. And then basically from there, I wasn’t quite the studio yoga teacher. I more took it to conferences, took it into the workplace, took it into different spaces where I could really see people who were very stressed, had a lot of high expectations, overachievers who really needed these practices to bring themselves into body-mind unity. So, that’s been my journey with the wellness space.

And from there, I got into an interesting niche right before the pandemic working with hotels and resorts to build out their guest wellness programs. I was also doing a lot of in-person team building, guest wellness exercises, and wellness initiatives and retreats. And that was amazing. That’s me traveling a lot and going to different places around the world to be able to really bring wellness tools, and well-being tools to teams and also to hotels. However, our dear–

04:06 Monique: We all know what happens. We all know.

04:08 Tarin: There we have our pause. Yeah. And so, the pandemic was really an opportunity for me to sit down and reassess how I was doing what I was doing, because in obviously traveling and doing all of these things and being in so many places, taking care of my own well-being sometimes did take a backseat and did sometimes fall behind. So, I really started to reexamine, how can I then start to bring these practices and these tools to my clients around the world who are now open to me, not being there in person, but to doing this virtually? And this actually started with my partner, who is my life and business partner. We were separated during the height of the pandemic. I was in South Africa, finishing a hotel engagement, and he was in the United States. And South Africa closed its borders completely. So, I was not able to leave. We weren’t able to find out when we were going to see each other. And so, to avoid the conversation, just dancing around, “When are we going to see each other again? I miss you so much.”

We started to talk about bigger concepts and bigger ideas of how this was an opportunity and how we could maybe start to create something, create a business that could really serve the people who were experiencing quite a lot of hardship.

05:25 Monique: Yeah. But how awesome is that? I mean, this is where I think there are so many silver linings that have emerged because we were forced to look for them through the pandemic in terms of how to do things differently and bring people along in the virtual journey. So, that’s what I love about what it is that you’re doing. So, let’s hone in on thinking about the high achieving, ambitious young professional. You mentioned about the workplace and one of the things at hotels, servicing guests who are on business travel, typically carrying a high degree of stress along with them on their business travel, that really what the Tuesdays with Coach Mo is all about, is really helping high achieving young professionals gain awareness to resources to support them. And I think developing healthy wellness habits early is critical to longevity in this professional game. And so, what, from your perspective, makes this topic vitally important for today’s young professional?

06:26 Tarin: Well, I think everything makes it really vitally important because the way that you are taking care of yourself is the way that your whole life business is going to translate and go. So, really optimizing for your well-being and learning to have those tools and those practices set. There’s really a loss of ritual in our society, a loss of holding onto really deeply known bodily wisdom and mental wisdom that helps to support us in anything that we want to create. So, I think that for young professionals who are starting a journey, whether it’s entrepreneurial or in the corporate world, it’s really important to have just a baseline of how you’re taking care of yourself in your complete state. And it’s not just physical, it’s not just, “I go to the gym, so I’m taking care of myself.” Well, wellness is not just one thing. And I think for the longest time, there has been that misconception of like, so yeah, you’re going to your yoga class and drinking your green smoothie, you are well. Unfortunately, that is not. That’s only one piece of the puzzle. And that’s honestly how we find ourselves in the state of a full mental health crisis because we’re not taking care of ourselves emotionally and mentally and spiritually and environmentally, occupationally. All of these things really do come from the same source. And so, it’s really about finding out, what is your ethos? What is your– I like to call it your balance point. What is the thing that you really need in your life to be able to keep yourself well in all areas? Because wellness is multidimensional. It’s not just one single thing.

08:04 Monique: I love that, what’s your balance point? Yeah. And this really is resonating with me now because I am working with a fellow coach and we are pulling together a webinar on being in the pursuit of happiness. And that it is that all-encompassing. It is about your thoughts, it is about your body, it is about your emotions, and it’s about that present state and that future desire, and how do you create happiness in your life. Because it is not that proverbial thing that’s just going to happen one day when you do this, when you do that in the future. It is today. And supporting yourself and your overall wellness of mind, body, spirit to create the happiness that you desire and for what it looks like. Your happiness may look different than the next person’s, And so, we think about remote work. I am working with leaders and with their teams who are all in different places. So, how do you get the most out of teams, in particular, in a remote work environment?

09:12 Tarin: That’s a really good question. And I think to be honest with you, engagement has definitely got to be my answer because how we’re engaging employees in the workforce, how we’re engaging people to really feel like they’re able to bring their best selves to work, how they’re able to show up fully for their work is so essential in the corporate world today. And that really just also comes down to what kinds of benefits are they or is the company providing? What kinds of solutions is the company offering for when things like a global pandemic are happening?

I mean, I looked into the corporate wellness market at the start of this when I was just beginning this company, and there were so many companies that had cessation programs and weight loss programs. I mean, that’s fine, but I don’t really know how that is supposed to support an employee that’s going through a global crisis realistically. And so, I think that is really a thing for companies to start to take note of and to really sit up and realize that this is a C-level conversation that needs to be happening about we are going through something as a human race right now. We are going through such a huge transitional moment. We are moving into this new remote working world. We’re moving into all of these different spaces and these different things that have never even been a thought before.

10:36 Monique: Yeah. And as I’m listening to you, Tarin, something that was coming up for me is, everyone is so busy, right? Everyone even got busier with remote work, because they didn’t know when starting and stopping all blended together. But one thing I’d like to put out there for listeners is the consideration that if this topic of team wellness, of wellness in your workplace is really resonating with you, and your company is not offering this, then you are the opportunity. You are the opportunity for talking with your peers, getting some consensus on how others believe they may benefit with, well, virtual wellness programs. And then armed with some like voice of the employee, then start to move it forward. Talk to your boss, talk to Human Resources, talk to who are the decision-makers around bringing programs like this forward. Do not wait for the company to maybe either one day offer it or they’re just not going to do it. You can move things like this forward. I think that so often we don’t realize how much power we do have. If you’re an employee in a large organization and this makes sense, absolutely, you are the one to help in moving that forward. So, let’s talk about the workplace, Tarin. What do you believe are some of the workplace wellness trends that you’re witnessing?

12:01 Tarin: Yeah. It’s really amazing to actually see, again, companies actually starting to take this a little bit more seriously. So, this used to just be a conversation that obviously HR directors, HR managers, directors of people and experience were championing. But right now, again, this is starting to move up to different levels in the company and the organization where we have presidents and we have VPs really seeing the value of a wellness program, and that ROI and profitability of implementing something that is longer-term into their companies. And so, that’s one workplace trend that I’m really, really loving because it’s just showing that more people are actually starting to take notice of how important this is for an organization to really thrive, because an organization’s well-being is also at stake in this conversation. So, that is definitely one, workplace wellness trend.

I’d also say, it’s really interesting to see, as we move into this hybrid format of working, how companies are incentivizing people to be in office, but also to be at home by offering different packages like helping people to set up a home office, helping people to come into the office for an event. I did an event for a company that does weekly yoga classes and I think that is just so incredible that they have the option that if you want to come into the office and do a yoga class in person, in that format, they have a space to be able to do it. They have the screen set up. And then I show up virtually and people can either join in person or can join in online. And I think just having those options is such a beautiful way to show people that it’s not just about one particular part of well-being. It literally can be. We can keep ourselves while we’re working remotely or working from wherever we choose, or we can keep ourselves well while working in the office. So, I think that’s also a really, really fantastic trend.

14:00 Monique: So smart, so smart. So, as you shared from the outset in terms of your journey and being a student of the mind-body connection, how can one make friends with their mind? They may be one filled with a lot of negative thoughts or– I don’t know. What’s coming up for you?

14:22 Tarin: It’s a really, really fantastic question because I mean, again, so many of us are sometimes afraid of our minds, sometimes afraid of the things that we ruminate over those inner conversations and all of that, all of the things that do try to distract us from the present moment. And so, I think one way to really make friends with your mind, one thing I can recommend for anyone going through whether it’s a mental health issue or they just really need to find a little bit of clarity is putting yourself into nature as often as possible and really allowing themselves to be surrounded by nature, like going for a walk. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re hiking to the top of a mountain. Maybe it’s just going for a walk in the park, and getting some fresh air on your lunch break. Maybe it’s just looking out and watching the trees move. Maybe it’s just, again, allowing yourself to really come into tune with the natural cycles of the world because you are actually a part of that. And that really helps you to start to realize your power within yourself, and then also within the system that we are living in within this planet, within this environment. So, definitely putting yourself in nature. Amazing step.

Another thing I can recommend is starting to focus on your breath. And this one sounds so simple and simplistic that, honestly, it’s the simplest things in life that can really be the most transformational. And our breath is not only our first active life, but it’s also our last. It’s our only guarantee from the moment we’re born until the moment we take our last one. So, learning how powerful of a tool it is, and understanding that if we can control our breath, we then have the ability to control our responses. And we can stop ourselves from being reactive and allow ourselves to actually take a step back and respond rather than to be in this heightened state of fight, flight, or freeze. We have so many things that are, again, trying to pull us out of our present moment. So many things that are trying to pull us out of awareness of where we are right now. And just simply coming back to our breath, coming back to our heartbeat can really help to just center yourself into the moment so that you have the clarity to take your next step.

I’m not saying that it’s like going to be this whole unfolding path and you’ll know all of the answers right away, obviously, but it is just such an easy grounding step to be able to, again, focus on the breath, understand that if you can regulate and slow down your breath and control your breath, you can change your state. You can get yourself to a state of calm and balance, and then you can maybe make the next decision, you can take the next step and things will be a little bit clearer. Does that make sense?

18:52 Monique: So smart. Yeah. And I don’t know where I heard this along the way, but years, years ago. And I think it was my brother, who was a black belt practitioner, shared this with me about the breath. And he said something about like, you bring in air and hold as long as you can, then you open your mouth as wide as possible and let it out, out, out. Just push it as far as it will go. Really push yourself with your breathing. And it was that whole open your mouth as far as it will go and breathe out. I was like, oh my gosh. So, may not be pretty. But in private, go into– if you’re at the workplace, go into a bathroom stall. But truly taking it to an extreme, I have found for me is just almost life-changing. And I’ve even done that to help with sleep at night. It’s when I’m feeling like I’m in that toss and turn stage. I’m like, take a really deep breath. Breath in and then let it out as long and hold it as long as I can. And I don’t know why that works for me. I mean, everybody is different, but I found it to be truly effective as a tool in helping me to quiet the mind and to lull off and to sleep. So, I just wanted to echo that.

20:08 Tarin: I also just want to build and add to that point too, because when you speak about making friends with your mind and really understanding your mind, you have to recognize that you are not your mind and your mind is just a part of you. It’s not you. So, really allowing yourself to take a step back and become the witness rather than being so involved in everything that’s being shown to your being or being fed through your consciousness. Allow yourself to witness your thoughts. Allow yourself to maybe even take time to write down some of the things that you’re like, “I don’t really know where that’s coming from.” But even if it’s something that just keeps coming up, it’s a really powerful practice to take a step back from that mental rumination cycle and witness what’s happening in your mind.

And that also comes with another step of being very careful about what you choose to put into your mind. Because the things that we consume are not just through our mouths, the things that we consume are in so many different formats. So, really being careful with the ways that you’re speaking to yourself, being careful with the things that you’re watching and how they’re making you feel. So, that also comes with being a witness of what you are feeding into your life is affecting you as an overall being, not just you on a mental level or you on an emotional level. How is this affecting you as an overall multidimensional being? Does that make sense?

21:39 Monique: Oh, absolutely. And that leads me to this consideration for obstacles that get in the way. What prevents us from just doing that, from making friends with your mind? I mean, it seems like it’s probably easier said than done to be a witness or an observer of your thoughts, but what, from your perspective, are the obstacles?

22:04 Tarin: Oh my goodness. There are so many obstacles, but there are so many because there are so many distractions. There are so many things pulling at our attention every second of every day. We have notifications, we have social media, we have the news, we have peers, we have work. We have all of these things trying to pull us, again, it also comes back, pull us out of the present moment, pulling us into the future, pulling us into the past. And it really stops us from being present with what is happening right now. So, those are just a few. A very, very small portion of the obstacles that we all encounter at some point in our lives every single day. And really, again, it’s about taking a conscious stand and really saying, giving yourself some space, some time, to take a step back to come into– again, meditation and mindfulness, they are wonderful practices. But I know that not every single person resonates with that because it’s really, really difficult to do that if you feel like your mind is racing all of the time.

So, one very simple thing to do is to just take a moment, put your hand onto your heart, onto your chest, and allow yourself to take ten deep breaths. Full breath in through the nose, long breath out through the mouth. And that is such a wonderful way to, again, just regulate your breath, regulate your whole system. And then bring yourself into a moment of clarity for how you are feeling right now. Asking yourself, checking in with yourself, how am I doing right now in this moment? Not next week when I need to be at this meeting over here, not yesterday when I had this really terrible confrontation with my boss, not tomorrow when you have a huge presentation. Right now, how are you feeling? And really giving yourself that space every day.

It is a conscious practice and it’s a practice because you have to do it regularly. It’s not perfect. A perfect would be, it just happens. But it doesn’t just happen. You have to make the time for it. You have to make the time to actually– honestly, my time is, usually, first thing when I wake up in the morning, because my first instinct is to want to sit up and grab my phone and check-in with the world. However, I know that that is not the most effective way for me to clearly and really pointedly start my day in a way that’s aligned and a way that’s calm and clear for me, because that’s me putting myself into everyone else’s business before I even get a moment to tend to my own. So, tend to your own business first.

24:52 Monique: I could not help, but think when you were referencing the obstacles of the distraction – notification, social media, news, all of that. And I’m thinking, yeah, and all of that is controllable.

25:04 Tarin: Absolutely.

25:06 Monique: All of that is controllable because you choose to consume it. And so, to regulate your system, as you’re saying, is a degree of self-control, having those boundaries, having that awareness of how it is affecting you. I quite frankly am allergic to notifications. So, I don’t want to keep notifications. I have one instance with a client group that I receive notifications. Aside from that, I just don’t. I refuse to be a respondent to dings, pings, whatever. And as I said, I chunk it. I’ll create a period of time, engage in a certain– even with news, I will take it in. I have a maximum of 30 minutes, same time in the day, to catch up with what’s going on and then move on. And my husband is one who can consume news all day long, keep Bloomberg on, that ticker tape running, da, da, da. And I just don’t want to hear it. And I just look at him and just say, “I just invite you to please refrain from having that, telling me of all that’s going on.” Because in particular, as a coach, I think people engage with my services to create change and to be whole. Well, I can’t do my best work if I’m clouded and filled with noise

26:21 Tarin: 100%.

26:24 Monique: And so, really good pointing that out about everyone is responsible for regulating their system. So, I’m curious, Tarin, if you will, to share a success story of an individual or a team that you’ve supported on a remote wellness journey. What happened? What brought them to you? What were the results?

26:41 Tarin: Yeah, no, absolutely. I won’t name the company, but it’s been a really, really wonderful transformation and shift for them. They are a tech company. And so, they came to us basically saying, “We have a lot of people who are extremely antisocial and who are very, very good at their jobs. They’re very good at being good at their jobs by themselves.” And that is not, again, the way to foster a community vibe in their company. And they’re a remote-first, remote-only, remote forever company. So, these are not people that even had that opportunity to connect in an in-person format. And so, it was really a challenge to be like, how can we start to bring different kinds of connection exercises that are going to really help them as a team, to ask questions to each other, to also then develop their own communication, to develop their own connections to themselves as well? Because it also comes with– I feel as though stress often gets defined as so many things, but stress is really a disconnection from something. It’s a disconnection from yourself, from others, from whatever it may be that really causes a lot of stress.

So, we did a lot of different stress reduction, workshops, and techniques with this team. And it was so interesting because after our third session together, people started popping on video. Everyone’s videos were offed at first. Everyone wanted to just be in their own space, do their own thing. It was challenging at first because we would love to have a lot of interaction in our sessions. We love to get people to answer questions. We love to have group breakouts. But at first, it really wasn’t that format. It didn’t really feel like anyone would interact. However, as we started doing more of these reduction techniques, we really started to see people actually starting to engage, starting to pop into the chat. This is actually how that practice just affected me.

And then again, the next week, we saw maybe two people on camera and those two people turned into 10 people. Those 10 people turned into 15 people. And it was just a wonderful way to actually see this team that was completely isolated, completely separate from each other, all of a sudden come together, whether it– obviously, they’re not in person yet. We’ll get there eventually. Well, the next stage is to get them on a team retreat altogether. That would be the dream. But yeah, to even just see how they’re actually interacting and engaging with each other, just because of the space that their company is making for them to focus on their well-being at least once a month. And it’s a wonderful thing because it shows that they are cared about. It shows that they do have a community. They have somewhere to actually start sharing resources.

We also share a resource. Generally, our expert will share a resource after the session. And one of the people in the group was saying, “Actually, I think I’m going to start a wellness Slack channel so that we can share other resources and other books and things that we find useful with our team.” And I just loved that. I just loved that. And so, those were some of the really incredible, small, but really incredible results, an amazing ROI for a team that wasn’t even really speaking to each other outside of work to now have this community that they’re speaking about things to help keep each other accountable, help keep each other well, help keep each other in balance, which I love. And that’s really the work that I’m focused on cultivating more of.

30:06 Monique: Nice, really nice. Well, I know we’re drawing to a close. I do have one more question and to certainly welcome any additional information that you believe will be of value for our listeners on this topic of wellnessbut what are some additional resources available to someone or let’s say a team that’s interested in leveling up their wellness?

30:28 Tarin: Ooh, additional resources. There are so many amazing resources for leveling up as a team. One thing I would actually say, these are resources that you can actually just implement as a team right away. And one thing that I would say is to schedule a wellness break of some kind in your day. And that can literally just be sending out an email to your team at a certain time in the day to say, “Stand up and walk away from your computer for 10 minutes. Set a timer, go and do something else. Go drink some water, whether it’s a tip to maybe do 20 jumping jacks or maybe go and do some pushups or maybe go take a little walk around the block or around your house. Go and cuddle your pet. Go and tell someone that you love them. Go and communicate with a family member.” It’s really just a wonderful way to actually bring people into that sense of this company actually cares about how you are doing, whether you’re working in our office or you’re working at home. We really care about the fact that you are a part of this community, a part of this ecosystem that we are building. And that helps to build a well-being culture that really creates, again, a sense of accountability within your team. So, that’s just something very, very simple. That’s a really, really easy resource.

Other than that, we are always happy to provide different types of wellness sessions and different types of wellness experiences for teams. I’d also really recommend having other things that are more than just a Zoom meeting on the agenda. So, whether it’s your team has a book that they’re all reading together, or there’s a podcast that’s really interesting around well-being that you can send out as maybe a weekly wellness reminder. There’s really, really easy ways to just start to, again, bring these little offerings and drop these little nuggets into people’s days to help them integrate well-being into their lives.