MENU

How to build a business that thrives whilst living with chronic illness

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Nikita Williams, where we are talking all about how to run a successful business whilst living with a chronic illness.

In this episode, Nikita shares her own personal experiences of living with chronic illness and how she found alignment and capacity through business ownership and personal growth.

Nikita shares some incredibly valuable tips and strategies to help anyone else living with a chronic illness to not only manage every day tasks, but also to run a business that thrives.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. How to stay productive when dealing with brain fog
  2. How to approach decision making whilst managing flares
  3. The power of finding strength in accepting life with chronic illness

Nikita is an award-winning Business and Mindset coach, Certified Professional Aromatherapist, speaker, and host of the top-ranking global podcast Crafted to Thrive.

She aims to help all entrepreneur women – especially those with chronic illnesses – share their stories and empower them to use those stories as fuel so they can be successful, create the life they deserve, and, most importantly, thrive.

If you enjoyed this episode then please feel free to go and share it on your social media or head over to iTunes and give me a review, I would be so very grateful.

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Connect with Nikita on Instagram

Listen to Nikita's podcast, Crafted to Thrive

Find out more about working with Nikita

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

Transcript

Teresa: Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Your Dream Business Podcast. I hope you are doing well. So, this week I have an interview with the very lovely Nikita Williams, who is an award-winning business and mindset coach, certified professional, aromatherapist, speaker, and host of Top ranked Global podcast, Crafted to Thrive, which I've been a guest on a long time ago.

She's been featured on Rising Title and the Jasmine Star Show, which I'd just picked her brain to find out how. And she was diagnosed with endometriosis back in 2009. Fibromyalgia in 2010. These diagnoses inspired her to use her previous entrepreneur, community and corporate experience to jumpstart her career as a business coach.

She aims to help entrepreneurial women, women. I am terrible at reading these things. You know, I am a lovely listener, especially those in chronic illnesses. I think I must've had something when I was a kid, like someone must've scared me when reading out loud because I do not like it and she shares their stories and empower them to use their stories.

So, as fuel so they can be successful, create a life they deserve, and most importantly, thrive. Well, I've done a terrible job of doing her bio. The interview will be so much better. Nikita, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?

Nikita: I am doing great, Teresa. It's okay. I am the same way.

Teresa: I hate reading. Like I know some business owners and some podcasters Literally script their podcast. Mm. Could you imagine?

Nikita: I can't. I can't do it. I have clients that do the same and I think it, it's a miracle that they can, I would lose my head.

Teresa: Literally no idea. As you saw, I literally had a very well written bio to read and I couldn't even read that. So. Can you imagine an entire podcast of me trying to read?

But anyway, anyway, anyway, Nikita do a much better job than I have done. And please introduce yourself. We always start by you sharing how you got to do what you're doing today.

Nikita: Thank you so much for having me on, Teresa. So I've been living with chronic illness for now 15 and a half years. And over those 15 and a half years, endometriosis and fibromyalgia were my first like, diagnoses, but there's more ever since then.

And most women who live with chronic illness know that you usually don't just have one. The average is three or more. And let's just say we're, we're kind of over that number, but I have come to this world of finding alignment and capacity through living with chronic illness. It has been a huge part of my life.

Thriving for me, living and enjoying life. When you have a constant fear and challenge of uncertainty, you find reasons to find as much alignment in your life so that you can enjoy it and, you know, have those beautiful moments. And that's definitely been my journey as a business owner as well as just a human being.

So that is in its nutshell that that began, honestly, with my podcast. When I had my podcast, I started my podcast literally after having a hysterectomy and having some complications afterwards. And I started that healing journey to finding more alignment in my life by embracing what I love, which was people and helping them.

Teresa: I, this is such a great topic for today because this has been coming up in my world just very recently and the universe has done its thing and brought you to me at the right time because I was having a conversation with someone earlier about, well, in fact, two conversations happened today. One happened this morning that was very much along the lines of someone who was letting things get in their way that really shouldn't get in their way.

And they were already going, Oh, I can't do that because of this. And, Oh, I can't do that because this is coming up almost like, you know, self fulfilling prophecy. And then the second person I spoke to had some really big, massive stuff in their world. And we're like, Am I just making excuses? Should I just keep pushing forward?

Like, why does this stuff, how do I run a business when this stuff seems to be coming up all the time? So I'm really, really kind of excited to get into this conversation because I think I tend to. I'm on the side of, I just crack on. Okay. Which is not always the best thing to do. And I've had to learn how to slow down and stop a bit and, and just do the bare minimum.

And that this like a million questions, I haven't even given you one, but in my head, like it's like this conversation, we'll just stop. But first off, how do you create a business that enables you to give yourself the time and space that you need without being inconsistent, letting people down, not showing up?

Nikita: Yeah, great question. And also those three things you just mentioned are the things that are constantly holding people from living with chronic illness, from even doing the thing, right? Like they don't have an answer to those questions. So to me, it's embracing first, the mindset that everybody is trying to figure out how to do this.

And in their, in their world, whatever life hurdles, you can have chronic illness, or you could just have a really busy life. You can have a really unpredictable life. Maybe you're a caretaker. There's just so many different levels of where running a business while living with life can affect consistency, can affect your capacity, can affect, you know, whether or not you can decide to set up systems and process in your life for being Casey emergencies, the what ifs, all of those different things.

Right. And so I like to answer the question around what you're asking around, like, do you know, What is your baseline?

Teresa: Mm-Hmm.

Nikita: what's your filter? Like? Where are you filtering saying yes and no to things? And oftentimes as chronic illness warriors, we tend to overcompensate. Right? Overcompensate. Do more plan to do more over, deliver over, over, over.

And not leave enough space. And so, because I know that's kind of also I'm a high achiever, I'm also like, put my mind to it and like do the thing that's definitely how my brain works. I had to really think about what do I want? What do I want this business to do for me and to serve my life versus like I'm just trying to just grind this out.

And for me, it really came down to two things, capacity and freedom. I feel like You need capacity to decide, you need to know what your capacity is to decide how freedom will look like for you. For me, my business really needed to have space, lots of space, lots of calendar space, lots of ability to move and flow.

Teresa: Mm hmm.

Nikita: And my calendar, if you look at my calendar, my clients are like, how do you do any of what you do with all of the space in your calendar? And it's intentional because I need the space. And so the first thing I say that helps you is creating a schedule or routine that takes into account your reality of life.

Your reality of uncertainty because the thing about uncertainty when you're living with chronic illness is that you're certain that your chronic illness is going to show up someday.

And you're bedridden at some, at some point. Right. And so for me, it really has been embracing and accepting. I'm going to have a flare up.

I was just telling Teresa before the show, I've had death in my family. I've also got COVID for the first time. Can't believe it. And. All of that was happening, but my business was still running because of this point of building a business that is within the capacity of understanding that life and crap happen.

And so that's how you show up consistently is just embracing that fact and being okay with that imperfect action.

Teresa: And I think firstly, when you said space in your diary, I was like, Oh yes, I looked at next week today and I was like, I can't wait for next week because there's hardly anything in it. And I am so excited about that.

And it's not that I don't love what I do. Of course I do. I adore what I do, but just seeing space in my calendar makes me feel like makes me feel like I run my business, you know, and, and that I've created something that I love. Whereas the last few weeks running up to us recording this podcast, I have been so busy that I have literally had back to back to back to back.

And that doesn't feel good to me. Like I can do it, but it doesn't feel good. So I think. Almost the word I want to use there is expectations. You've almost set your expectations straight from the get go saying, I will not be able to do X, Y, Z. Is that right?

Nikita: Yeah. And I, I think when I think about expectations is that we often have these boundless thoughts of what we think it should be based on what society has told us it needs to look like to quote unquote be successful.

And I had just learned that when it comes to expectation is that I get to set it. No one else gets to set that for me. And so if I look at my calendar, to your point, even when it's a busier season, I still know my expectation is that I'm going to see space because I planned it that way.

I'm going, I'm, I have to, like it's, I have to, and it's also a choosing to and expectation of thinking.

I need to do or complete so many different things in a given moment of time feels extremely triggering to me, like to my body. My body does not like looking at a calendar and seeing I don't have space. Like I literally might go into a little bit of a panic attack. Like it might literally go through that because my expectation is set that I am always giving myself space.

Regardless. Like I was just having this conversation with my mom and I was telling her, I was telling her something and she's like, yeah, but I'm your mom. I'm like, yeah, I love you. But I also have this boundary around what I expect of myself and what I can give. And I love you. And I know you mean this from the best place, but this is for me and your business honestly is for you and other people that you serve.

Right. And so you just give yourself that permission.

Teresa: So again, you said another word there that I think is key with this is boundary. And how do you do that then? So obviously from what you're saying, you start your, your business life with great intentions of This is how I, what I need. This is how I need to show up.

So I guess you're setting those boundaries from day one. Did you know them from day one or no? Good. That's a good space.

Nikita: That's funny Teresa.

Teresa: You've got it all together, right? Okay. So how did you discover them and how did you then set them?

Nikita: I feel like the first thing that I discovered and I've always leaned into is my strengths.

And to me, my strengths always set up the expectation and it always set up like what I'm capable of, right? There's a part of me that felt that my strengths weren't really strengths, right? And so over the years, have I learned, okay, I can depend on me here. I can depend on me here. And those things have helped me create those boundaries.

Those things have helped me create understanding what my expectations are. That's where I tell everyone to start. Start with what you feel good about doing, what you feel aligned doing, what fills your cup, and make those the bigger, you know, balls in your jar, if you will, first, right? And so that's where you start if you have no clue, if you have no clue, start with what you do.

Teresa: How did you then, so you have the podcast. And you consistently put the podcast out and that is hard work. How did you, and how do you manage looking after yourself, being considerate to yourself and still showing up doing that?

Nikita: I love that question because it's hard, but it's not hard. Like to me, it wasn't hard.

Like I said, I started my show in 2017, right after hysterectomy complications being in the hospital, and I needed two things. I needed to grow my business and I need people like those are my strengths. I'm a very, I'm an extrovert person. I love connecting. I love networking. And at the time. I was like, I'm not going out anywhere.

I'm not going to go to networking events. I was literally bedridden. I was like, none of that happened. And so I leaned into the thing that was my strength, which was connecting with people. And so with my podcast, when I started that, I didn't know how to do it technically, but that's what YouTube is for.

And that was what, what, you know, Google is for, and I didn't put any expectation that I was going to be like Oprah interviewing everybody in the first 10 episodes. I didn't put my expectation of like, this is going to be number one from the get. I had no expectations in that regard. The only expectation was I knew I could connect with people.

That's it. What happened from there, I was okay with. I was open with learning. And that's where I gave myself permission around, you know, the expectation of being like, just show up for what you do know, and then you'll learn the rest. And then over the years, I've just kind of It's been easy. I've added people into my team to do certain things, systems, processes to kind of automate some of it.

And thanks to AI now these days, there's, I mean, me doing a podcast now versus 2019, 2020 is like a whole different experience, but it's easy. And it's easy because it lives in a zone that I know I'm good at.

Teresa: And that is such a crucial thing. I think there's so many things in our business that we need to do.

And so many of them we feel we have to do. And it's like actually just asking yourself the question of, do I want to, do I need to, is this important? You said earlier that, you know, if you're in a busy season, so I guess you almost allow yourself to go, this is a busy season, I'm going to get through this and then I'm going to give myself some space or how do you do it?

Nikita: So as living with chronic illness, a busy season, to me, it used to me pushed through. It used to be to me, like, I just know I have to push through. But what I've learned and what I see with my clients is that that creates, the worst season after. So what I mean by that is a lot of us are triggered by our flare ups and our pains and symptoms with our chronic illness during seasons of high push, extremely busy, busy times.

And we can do it, definitely can do it, but it's the after effect that is the, the consequence that leads to the inconsistent actions. And so what I personally do and the thing that I work with my clients to do is like, even in the busy time, we actually account for more space. in smaller increments over time because that gives us some recovery time so that when that busy season is done, we have actually given ourself enough space to, to allow for maybe a week or two to like really chill for a moment and get back.

But we don't need two or three months. We're not going to be triggered into a flare up because we were pushing and doing everything back to back. We can't afford that for consistency sake.

Teresa: And so in terms of like making money, then what are your thoughts on that? Because there are points where, you know, I've got a summit coming up, you know, you're going to be at the summit.

Like there are points in our lives where we have to work really hard, like, and sometimes like people would use the reason of not making money because they haven't been able to work as hard or because they haven't been able to show up as much. What, what are your thoughts around the. And I'm not even talking like the hustle culture because I think we're past that.

But there's still an element. Well, if you want to earn money, you are, you have actually got to work, you know? So how, what's your thoughts around that?

Nikita: So when I think about, so funny when I think about making money and being sick, because really that's what we're talking about. Chronically sick and making money.

That's, yeah. Those two things don't seem like they work.

Teresa: Definitely not.

Nikita: It is about intentionality. I know it sounds so frou frou. It sounds so like, blub blub. It sounds dreamy even. But when you design a business that is going to serve you in the seasons where you are absolutely sick and cannot do, right, it can still be creating the, the, the leads and the sales in the back end.

And so this is why I find for chronic illness warriors who are starting a business, starting, they think they don't need these systems in place until they've reached a certain dollar amount.

And in actuality for us, we need them at the, at the beginning. Right. And so that if you are doing like a talk or if you are growing a list, or if you are offering a new service, you need processes and system that give you the flexibility to offer that Solution and a different ways, especially service providers.

If you're a service provider living with chronic illness, you need to be able to deliver what you're doing. And like I said earlier, through this filter of on my worst day. What's going to happen on the back end of that, right?

Teresa: So you have clients. Do you do one to one calls with your clients? So how, how do you manage that then?

So on your worst day, you might be bedridden. Like is that, you can't have a call that day, maybe like, how do you manage that?

Nikita: Voxer. Voxer is

Teresa: That's good to know. Like, honestly. How would you do it?

Nikita: Voxer. There's a couple of different ways you could do it. So, like, for me, it's been Voxer, email support.

I can lay up in bed. I could be in a hospital. It's in an email. It's not that hard for me. But what I had to have in place in order to do that is a system or framework where I know I'm leading them to because the other thing when you're living with chronic illness isn't just pain, it's brain fog. I may not functionally be able to like, Articulate what I need to tell you, so I need to already have a system in place that I know works and I just grab and pull or send you to your, your portal in the back end and go, Hey, actually answer that here.

This is what I mean about having systems and processes on the back end so that when you can't, your systems and processes are doing it for you. I also, now this is not for the new person. This is going to take a little time. I also have clients that I now send my clients to because they've gone through my process.

They know what I need. They know how to coach the way I coach. For example, last month, out of town, sick with COVID, grieving, I wasn't showing up. I have one on one clients. So what did I do? Asked one of my past clients, who's an amazing coach, who knows my frameworks, who knows my clients, I want you to take over for this month because I can't.

Right. And if they need me, they can box me or email me.

Right. That's the way you still make money. And that's the way you continue to grow a business. And that's why it's important that your offers align with not just what money you want to make, but how you want to show up making that money.

Teresa: Again, I think it's so important to think about those things, to think about how you would manage that. It's interesting. You know, I've had points in my business where my mum passed away, where I spent last year getting sober, you know, I. There are points where I haven't been able to show up as much as I want, and those are almost such learning and they're so valuable because it's like, okay, if I don't want to do anything, but I've got to do something, what is it I have to do?

Where do I have to show up? So for me, it was things like, you know, I didn't start anything new. I didn't launch anything new. I didn't go all in on something because I just wasn't in the season where I could do that. But I showed up to all my calls. I did all my clients stuff. I didn't overly promote things like one to one clients because I didn't have the head capacity for it.

And I think you were so right as well, when you said, you know, physical illness is bad enough, put it in your brain. Like we know those times where it's like, I just need to focus. I just need to concentrate. I just need to get on and your brain goes, no, I don't think so. Like, what do you do at those points?

Like, how do you, do you physically step away from the business? Do you take a day off? Do you, you know, go, that's fine. We'll deal with that later.

Nikita: Exactly. It depends. It depends on what and where it is, right? For me, brain fog shows up in highly emotionally draining times, aka last month. I was not, brain fog was real.

I could take a walk. These are some of the, like, practical steps if you, you know, deal with brain fog, like as an everyday part of your challenge. You know, physical movement is very helpful for brain fog. So you can take a walk, you don't even have to go outside, you can do stretching in the bed. For me, aromatherapy has been a huge tool in order to help shift some of the cognitive fogginess out of the way for about an hour, giving me a window if I need it, like in a moment.

And then sometimes it's just literally okay to be like, Not today. Not today. And I have built a business where my clients are also women living with chronic illness. And so that, that understanding is already understood.

Teresa: I've got people that have young children and they only work with people who have young children.

Because it's like, when that time comes and I have to go because they're ill because something's happened at school because whatever the reason, I don't want someone being like, Oh, this is so annoying. Like, you know, I'm not going to take the mick in terms of like go off every 30 seconds, but I want them to be understanding.

And I don't want to work with people who aren't like that, you know? So I, I totally get that. So the big question is for me, and the one thing that I think most people struggle with is how do they know the difference between self sabotaging and actually not being in the right headspace or physical space to do something.

So how do you know when things are just getting tricky in your business and then that might manifest in brain fog or physically not feeling well or whatever? And how do you know when it is genuinely that and you need to rest? Do you ever struggle with that?

Nikita: It's funny that you say this. I had a client this morning Vox me and I, the moment she started talking, I knew where she was.

It's because I've been there and this. The self sabotage comes from when you're in your worst part of a flare up where you're in the most amount of pain. If you are like living with PMDD or endometriosis, our hormones are really crazy and it makes everything extra, you know, extra whatever. If you're in a lot of physical pain, you tend to disassociate from your body and go into let me do.

Right. Let me do, do, do, do, do, do. And it's almost like, it's almost like a ticking away of like, that's just a lever we go to very frequently. And then we try to do these like huge, amazing things we've never done before during this, this moment. Right.

Teresa: Love it.

Nikita: And as my client was telling me what she was doing, I was like, I need you to just sit for a moment.

Just because in those moments we start having thoughts that we're not a good enough.

This is never going to work. The client's never coming. I don't know why I'm doing this anymore. And then you go down this rabbit hole. And then after this fog avails itself, if you will, later on, you come back to it feeling so drained from this new activity.

Now you've written it off. You've written it off. You will never do it again versus giving yourself the permission to be like, I was in that season. I was in that moment of trying to get out of my pain, trying to get out of this body that I'm not happy with at the moment. And so if you're trying to do something new and you've never done it before and you find yourself obsessing over trying to do it a certain way and getting it perfect, likely there is some self sabotage happening.

Right? Because in your more logical, critical thinking brain, you will come with to the solution or to the conclusion like, of course, I don't know. I've never done this before. So your thoughts and your pain sometimes are very much closely related. And so if you're feeling that panic or that, internal struggle of like, something's wrong with me, the person doing the thing, you're in self sabotage mode.

Teresa: And it's interesting that you said that, and I, I, you know, I do understand the concept of this, where you're in so much pain that you step out of your body and you go, I'm just going to ignore everything from here down. And I'm just going to focus on something else that will try and distract me from doing the things.

And I think, like you said, I have this thing of never make a decision from fear, and it's almost the same thing. Like if you are not, and it's not that you always need to be in a very good physical and mental place every time you want to make a decision, but it, You've just got to bear in mind what else is going on in your world.

So if suddenly you're sat there going, yeah, I think I'm going to like, redo my entire business and start again and record everything new and change my logo and other like. Okay, let's just give it a minute and just think about it and just step back a little bit to do that, because otherwise we'll make these decisions.

And then, and especially I guess if you're, when you need to use your energy or when you need to use your time, which we've already said is so valuable, you know, everybody's is so valuable, but if you need that time, it's even more valuable. The last thing you want to do is shove a load of stuff in it and give yourself a massive to do list.

Nikita: Yeah, that's exactly so right, Teresa. That's this. My, my saying instead of fear is like never make any new decisions, any life altering choices in the middle of a flare. Never do it because you are in, yes, fear flight, your nervous system is in fear flight at that moment, but also things look so much different on the other side of a flare.

Right. When I think about like this past couple of months, it's really interesting in the middle of the grief and COVID and being in a whole nother state, by the way, away from my husband, the longest I've ever been from whole different thing, right? Lots of things happen that what could have happened was I'm changing everything.

Right. Yeah. But what I tell my clients to do in a flare is to kind of go inward and see where are you, where can you give yourself one more permission to breathe and be. Breathe and be. Two, what are you grateful for that you can do in this moment that doesn't need changing? Right? And then three, what lessons will you learn when you look back?

Write all that down. And leave it for later and then give yourself a maybe a couple of weeks. Then you go back and you can see more clearly. Oh, like for example, for myself, I'm like, Oh, my capacity has changed. I've noticed that this is not just in this flare. This has been like over a course of time. My capacity has changed.

So maybe the way I show up or my offers are going to change a little bit. But if I did that during a flare up, It wouldn't have been that clear.

Teresa: And I think exactly what you said, you know, this person I was talking to this morning, my client this morning was talking about, you know, am I just thinking like that?

Is it thing, are things really as bad as I think? And it's like, right now you can't think straight. And it probably is as bad as it feels like in your head, you know, you are right in it. So nothing is going to feel good. Nothing is going to feel like, Oh, actually I think everything's okay. Because you don't feel like that.

Like, And things feel awful. So the only way we're going to know, because like I said, she was basically saying to me. you know, am I making excuses? And I'm like, no, is the first answer. And she, and again, the second question was like, should I just push through this? Should I just do this? And I was like, I can't answer that for you.

I said, I can only answer it for me and what I would do. And we're all so different. And some people get floored by the, I was about to say the smallest thing, which would have been really unfair of me, but They get floored by something that I would deem fairly small and some people power through the things that I think of flipping ginormous, you know, so we can only make that decision for ourselves.

But what. I was trying to say to us right now, you're not in the head space to make that decision. So you just need to give yourself some breathing space, some space for you to go, okay, like, who am I? What do I do? What's important to me right now? And the other thing that, and actually I'd be really interested to hear how you manage this.

So for me and for this client that I was talking about, The one thing that we let go of is self care. So when life gets difficult, when business gets hard, when stuff happens, you know, say for instance, when my mom passed away, there was a lot of work I was doing for my dad and when with the house and all this sort of stuff.

And so obviously I went and dealt with that. Cause I had to, and then I went and dealt with running my business cause I had to, and therefore anything to do with me and my care and my own sleep and my health and my food and all that just literally went out the window. So how do you, and actually for you, it's even more important, I'm assuming for when you have a flare up that actually you give it that time.

Nikita: Yeah, here's what I will say. Here's what I will say. Everybody deals with this so differently, right? When I think about myself and I think about my clients in that kind of season of like, lots of life is happening, right? And What you're supposed to eat, the pain management protocols that some of my clients are on, natural health, like self care, honestly, to a chronic illness warrior is often exhausting in itself because there is so many things we have to do in order just to function, right?

And so the other things that we consider luxury, right, which is space, time, like just you time with you without taking this, without thinking about this, without calling this doctor, without doing all these little things is really super difficult to do at any season. Then you add the, you know, life season of things going on is that you have to make a practice of doing this when you're not in the seasons of stress, right?

It is, You are not, it is crazy and doesn't make any sense to think that in the season of all the life happening that you're just going to pick up the trait to take space five minutes in the morning to just be with yourself and your breath and your thoughts. It's not going to happen, right? And so a lot of the things that I work with my clients to do in the seasons where they're in their normal, when I say their normal pain cycles, they're normal every day time is start anchoring habits during a little less stressful like stressful times, but aren't like the crazy mama Drama stress.

Yeah anchor them into feeling. Oh when I have these Sensations. Yeah, I am actually gonna go into a room or I'm going to go in the car. Right, and I'm going to sit and I'm going to breathe.

I'm gonna give myself five minutes But that ritual is so challenging to do when it's not intentional. So even when you do get to that point, like, for example, like you were saying with your with your dad and your mom and all of these different things. If in your day to day life, there hasn't been space for the five minutes every hour to just sit and breathe and be with you, doing it in that, it's not going to happen, right?

What happens is when you make that a practice, you like look forward to it so much that in those seasons you know exactly what to do when you haven't had it. You know exactly what to do when you haven't had it. And so I was just telling this to another client this yesterday and she's like, I know what I need to do.

She knows what she needs to do because she's made a practice of giving herself this self care. And for, you know, Most chronic illness warriors, self care isn't a massage because, for example, if you have fibromyalgia, I got to get that like every other week. Like, let's be real. Like, go and get my nails done.

Yeah, that's not a thing because the toxins and the fumes, like, gets on my headache and that's like a pain. Like, there's all these little things that we consider self care, but the real self care is that inner being and having space for that is so important.

Teresa: And you're right, like the, the care for, for someone who has a chronic illness, but someone who even doesn't have a chronic illness, that self care of take my supplements.

Like I was talking to, I've had a problem with my jaw, I think it's TMJ that I've got in my jaw. And I went to see a chiropractor while over in the States. And he's like, get one of these roller things. And he was telling me what to do and do that for like so much time a day. And then I was talking to my friend who I stayed with, who she was talking about lymphatic drainage and whatever.

And, and she was saying that I need to, so it's just like, it's a body brush, whatever. And it's like literally the list of things are in my morning routine and like, and it's exhausting. And like I said, it doesn't feel fun. It doesn't feel good. Taking supplements doesn't, you know, having my electrolytes, none of this feels good.

Like, you know, we know there's a benefit to it, but that doesn't feel like, Oh yeah, great. I get to do this today. Like. It doesn't feel like that, does it? So I think, like you said, it's hard. These things are hard work. So for me, what feels good is like lying down and having a nap. Right?

Nikita: I think the thing I, I will say about chronic pain or chronic illness when it comes to like, just walking around and taking care of everyday thing is that most chronic illness, people do these routines for like 2 percent better of a feeling.

They are still operating in pain, they are still operating with the constant lab works and tests and the mental emotional tax of basically going to war to advocate for yourself every single day with a doctor or someone who you think should care.

On top of taking care of just being able to function today.

In itself to me always feels just Because I, for example, I live with a husband who is amazing, but he doesn't really live with anything chronic. And recently he started having some issues with his back. And just from the issues from his back, he's like, I don't know how you do this.

No.

I, he's like, your list is like three times longer than mine.

I don't know how you do this and then still do all of these other things. I'm, it's amazing.

Nikita: But the, the permission I tell him is like, but this is a lot for you. Right. And so no matter whether you have chronic illness or not, your little baby list of whatever you're doing is a lot for you, especially if it's new.

Right. And so taking care of yourself in this world is a challenge. Like it's hard. Like it's not easy. And if you live with chronic illness, it's really, really not easy. So giving yourself or deciding or discovering what does give you some peace, some wholeness to yourself in the, in the, in, in, in between the waves is so important.

Teresa: That, that admin. Like, I don't, I have a few different things that I have to see people for, you know, on a regular basis, but, and that in itself is exhausting, like, you know, and I know I feel like I'm sounding so pathetic in saying this sort of stuff, but it's not getting on the phone, booking the appointments, making the, you know, so even like going to hospital appointments, that's a whole afternoon out, you know, for, and, and I don't know, I have a hospital appointment tomorrow actually.

And I don't know how long that's going to take. So trying to book things in and around it. Like, will I be back by then? I'm not sure if I will be back by then. Like, you know, it just constant admin, like forget the reason you're going in the first place. Forget that that's a problem in itself. Just the admin around it is hard.

Honestly, I feel like. There's so much that people can take from this, you know, in terms of being inspired, that even with all the challenges that you have, even with the chronic illness, managing that you know, working through that, working with other people with chronic illness, you know, that is inspiring to go, you've created a really successful business and have something that you love and that you can still do all that.

But also I think as well, this conversation for me was less about taking, it was less about having permission to not work and more about permission to decide how you want to work and to understand what you need and how that looks and create that business. But then what, at not one point have I heard you go, which is obviously so good, you know, well, if I didn't have this, I would have a better business.

And if I didn't have this, I would have more money. And if it didn't have like, And.

Nikita: That's a waste of energy. I don't have time for that.

Teresa: And I, do you know what? I love this because one of the sayings I use today actually on another call was, and I've quoted it before, but it's so good. Don't be annoyed about the results you didn't do, the results you didn't get for the work you didn't do. And I, and I mean that from a point of view, when someone has the tools, has the energy, has the time, has everything they need, And they just don't do it. And then they're like, Oh, and it didn't work because, and it's like, we've got to be honest to ourselves, but you've done it the other way around.

And the fact that you've been honest with yourself and then created what works for you, what is successful to you, what you love and then gone. And I'm really happy that I've got that. So.

Nikita: I think that the, the thing I will say to that though, Teresa, just to acknowledge people who haven't gotten to any step of acceptance with chronic illness that you will at some point. An acceptance isn't a one time thing. It is an ongoing process. And in order to grow a business living with chronic illness, you have to accept yourself as a whole person, not parts of a person, and that your chronic illness is not all you are.

Yes, it consumes all of the things that you do, but it isn't all that you are.

And that's my always like go to where it's anyone who's like, but I can't, and da da da. It's like, okay, where can you find some acceptance? And for those of you who are working on that, one of my favorite tools for this is ACT, which is acceptance and commitment therapy. It is one of the best tools that I have found.

For those living with chronic illness, there's a book called The Happiness Trap. Amazing. If you are seeing a therapist, this is something to ask them about. It's very helpful for those of us living with something that's not going to be quote unquote fixed. You're living with it on a day to day basis and that will help you ground yourself and the way you grow a business living with chronic illness.

Teresa: And I think that acceptance, like what, like you said, what is the point of fighting with yourself? You know, it's funny when, when I've spoken to my therapist about being celiac, just as one of the, you know, many, like I said, I have a little list as well. And my husband doesn't have a list, which is funny, but you know, we would talk about the fact of how, you know, I can't have gluten and how I would get really annoyed by that and really upset by that and really frustrated.

And, and she would go, It's perfectly understandable. It sucks. You know, in the same, when we did, you know, worked through the whole addiction thing and it's like, you know, I hate not being able to be quote unquote normal and have a drink like normal people can. And she's like, yeah, and that sucks.

And it's, you know, and it's understandable that you would get upset and angry, but I just can't stay there because what would be the point of that? So it's, it's having You know what? Yeah, that does suck. And yeah, it must be horrific to be in pain all the time. And that is going to get you down. And that is going to, you know, like have a massive impact on you and your life.

And however, we have to accept it.

Nikita: It's the, it's really the beautiful line of this end. I think we live in the world of this or, or that, but, but not this and.

Teresa: I love it. Nikita, thank you so, so much. It was such a good conversation. And I just think, like I said, so much that people can take from it in terms of achieving amazing things that they deem as amazing and what's important to them and still doing it while struggling with other things.

Where can people come and find you? Where do you hang out the most?

Nikita: I'm always on Instagram at Thrive with Nikita. You can also get to my podcast from there. And if you're interested in learning more about what is coaching with someone who understands life with chronic illness, you can just book a call on, on that page.

Teresa: Awesome. We will make sure we link up to everything. Thank you so much Nikita. It's been a pleasure to have you on.

Nikita: Thank you.

Teresa: Okay. That was the very lovely Nikita. Hopefully you got lots from it. Please do come and share with us. Please do go and connect and I will be back next week with another episode. See you then.