Dr. Alisha Reed on Self-Care and Happiness
By Amy Jacques
Dr. Alisha Reed is the guest on Strategies & Tactics Live on July 21 at 1 p.m. ET. Join us on LinkedIn here.
Name: Dr. Alisha Reed
Title: Clinical Pharmacist and Self-Care Strategist
Location: New Orleans
Job highlights: Wellness Advocate
Favorite downtime activity: Reading a book while listening to it on Audible… adult storytime!
Any three dinner guests: My late husband, Michelle Obama and Rosa Parks
Favorite books: “Believing Bigger,” “Setting Boundaries, Find Peace” and “The Secret”
Best leadership advice: A leader is only as good as their team. A leader should always empower others.
Favorite quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
What was your dream job growing up?My mom said that, at the age of 7, I already knew what I wanted to be: a pharmacist. Here I am, a pharmacist, for 19 years. My dream was to be able to help people, to make them feel better.
As a PR pro, pharmacist, blogger, podcaster, strategist and more, you understand the importance of networking and professional development. What are some of the creative ways you’ve seen people adapt during the pandemic?
We learned how to use Zoom! The pandemic pushed us to think outside of the box. For businesses and organizations to remain open, they had to get creative. Conferences moved to virtual platforms. Curbside pickup became the norm. The pandemic allowed businesses to reevaluate their current processes and adjust. These changes are here to stay.
As a wellness advocate, I observed people prioritizing fitness and health by investing in Peloton bikes and wellness apps. The pandemic forced us to evaluate our current health status and make changes. It made us sit still and stay inside. We were able to read more or focus on our own professional development. It forced me to take an inventory of what was and wasn’t important in my life. I was able to identify stressors and eliminate them.
Why did you choose to launch a podcast and blog, and focus on self-care, life-coaching and helping others find happiness?I read a quote that said, “One day, your story will be someone else’s survival guide” and it lit a fire inside of me. I thought about how often we Google things in search of an answer to life’s questions and I wanted to be that resource. Often, when we suffer a loss or devastating situation, we are told “it will get better” or “everything happens for a reason.” No one wants to hear that. They want to know when and how it will get better. The answer lies within. We hold the key to our own happiness.
After I lost my husband, I knew that I would never be the same and I would have to rebuild myself, just as I had done once before. I knew the secret and had to share it with other women. It’s simple: First, love yourself.
How do you find work-life balance, and what are some lessons and coping mechanisms you’ve learned in life that you’d like to share with others?You have to create work-life balance. One of the most important things I was told was: “You can do anything, but not everything." There is no reward for overworked female of the year. Early in my pharmacy career, I worked at a drugstore pharmacy, which was the job of choice for new graduates. What appealed to us was the money. The pay was great, but the long hours, staffing issues and lack of support were not worth it. I made the decision that my quality of life was more important. Peace of mind is priceless. That is the key to work-life balance.
As a communications professional and public speaker, what skills, knowledge and tools do you think are most important for new pros to succeed?You must do it. Sign up for speaking clubs, volunteer to moderate or serve on panels, give presentations within your organizations, watch TED talks, or go Live on social media. Get comfortable and be confident. Another piece of advice is to become the expert on whatever you are speaking about. If you are passionate about your topic, then it will show. Most important, ask for help and feedback.
What are some of the meaningful conversations you hear among your life-coaching clients and podcast audiences? What are they hoping to gain from working on self-care, health and wellness?The most common reason for not practicing self-care is guilt. Women feel guilty for prioritizing their needs over others’. We are natural-born nurturers and we have been taught that we come last. We need to come first so that we can be here to take care of our families.
Other conversations center around how to make time for self-care and wellness. I teach women how to schedule self-care and create a self-care plan that they can stick to. Lastly, society has everyone thinking that self-care must be extravagant and expensive. False. Self-care is whatever you say it is and whatever you need to do to feel like you again.
You’ve said: “Self-care isn’t an expense. It’s an investment.” What advice can you share with anyone going through a tough time or who could use some support?It’s OK to not be OK. There are resources available, and I support therapy. Mental health is a part of self-care. Don’t focus on whether or not the glass is half-empty or half-full — it’s refillable.