After the Webinar: Womens Health and the Justice Workplace. Q&A with Wendy Hummell

Webinar presenter Wendy Hummell answered a number of your questions after her webinar, Women’s Health and the Justice Workplace: The Relationship between Rest, Stress, and Hormones. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question:  If we are dysregulated because of these stressors and recognize these symptoms in ourselves, what kind of doctor should we seek out? I can’t find a doctor to help. How do I persuade them to help? 

Wendy Hummell: Oh, gosh! Whoever asked this. Yes, I feel your pain, and this is really what encouraged me to start looking into things and taking charge of things for myself. So, I’m going to say, obviously, start with your primary care doctor. I have heard that some people have really great experiences starting here, and then, of course, I’ve heard you know, the other end of the spectrum. So that’s always my recommendation. But here’s what I’ll tell you. Everybody’s different. But I, personally have started just started about 5 years ago going to a functional medicine doctor. There’s a clinic in my town that really helped me 5 years ago when I was going through some really extensive digestive gut issues, which has been a source of kind of really angst for me for many years, which I now know has to do with a lot of the stress and my lifestyle. but I’ve recently gone back and rejoined because I’m not really getting the answers that I need personally on some of the issues that I talked about today. And so, unfortunately, a lot of times, not always. Everything is different. And a lot of things in this landscape are really changing. Your insurance won’t cover you going to a functional medicine doctor or the functional medicine doctor will not take insurance. And so, I encourage you to, of course, start with your medical doctor. But that might be something that you investigate in whatever part of the country that you are. I had to do a lot of different research because a lot of functional medicine nurses, PAS, doctors, and clinics are popping up, and they have a more holistic approach to help. They understand the value of running more comprehensive testing, looking at every individual and their unique needs, and more of a holistic approach. Sometimes you’ve got medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopaths, and just a lot of different backgrounds and perspectives in the medical profession to help with your unique needs. So, it’s not a great answer, because there’s not always a great way. You just have to find the right person in your area. So hopefully, that helps.


Audience Question: Why is this not a mandatory course for organizations that are often male-dominated like in law enforcement? Can you talk a little bit about how we can start spreading this information? 

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I just don’t think that these things are often talked about and it’s something that I’m personally trying to change. Because I think it’s really important. I don’t know why it hasn’t been. I think some of it is just that we didn’t know. I can tell you that it’s really only been the last 3 to 4, 5 years maybe that I really understand. I’ve really started to understand how all of this is connected. Now I’ll even go a step further. I don’t have any evidence of this. Okay, but as a 55-year-old retired cop, I can tell you that I see more women retiring sooner, not always than men, and it often makes me think about how are they feeling. And maybe it was just they were ready to leave the profession, and it didn’t have to be that way necessarily. So, I absolutely think it’s important to bring these issues to the forefront to make people aware of both men and women.


Audience Question: Fantastic. Microaggression is a big problem for me. What are some good coping strategies? 

Wendy Hummell: So, you know, it’s really interesting, because this is something that I recently last year and a half or two that I recently started learning about. And so, of course, you know, being aware of it is the first step, and then depending on what the experience is in the workplace, there really could be an opportunity for you to talk with somebody, maybe in HR, about what is happening, because oftentimes not understanding what some of these things are. And I can tell you from my own personal experience, that’s really what it was like for me. I knew before I understood this concept. I knew I could feel in my body that something wasn’t right. But I didn’t know why, and I didn’t trust myself to investigate further. And I just kind of chalked it up to this is just something that you have to deal with. So, I’m going to encourage the person who asked that question. If they are experiencing something like that, to seek out somebody who’s trusted, who can maybe help to educate, flush some of these things out in their specific situation, and HR can be a really good place to start


Audience Question: How long did it take you to learn to turn your mind off to have a healthy yoga practice? 

Wendy Hummell: Well, first of all, I’ve never been able to turn my mind off. And I think that that’s kind of something that’s a misunderstanding or a misconception. Same thing with meditation and mindfulness. It’s not about controlling or shutting things off. It’s just learning how to dial it down. Notice it. But I can tell you that breathing is probably my number one go-to to directly access my nervous system. I do a lot of other things. Now, I’m a really big proponent of tapping practices. And there are a lot of other things like I said that I’ve discussed, and some other previous webinars. But if I had to give you one thing, the breath and focusing on breathing into your belly versus those short, shallow chest breaths that can really be a great place to start.


Audience Question: A couple of women I work with are also diagnosed with ADHD and are and are on medications for that. Do you know of any ADHD resources? More specifically, are there tools to help diminish ADHD stress, burnout, and rage?

Wendy Hummell: You know that is not something I really know very much about. So, I apologize for not being more helpful. But here’s what I will say. I will say that I have some family members who have been diagnosed with ADHD. I think your first place to start is a trusted mental health professional. Because everybody’s unique. Some people take medicine. Some people don’t. Some people try to, you know, do different things to help control some of the symptoms. And so that’s where I would start, as a trusted mental health professional.


Audience Question: Can you talk more about spiritual rest and actions and strategies that can support spiritual rest? 

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, this is something one of my favorite things to do quite honestly. Again, it really involves, you know, finding purpose and meaning and what you’re passionate about. Actually, recently it did a webinar, but it was. It was related to retirees but a lot of what I talked about there was the importance of kind of reimagining retirement. But this really pertains to everyone, each and every one of us as human beings. We are wired to have purpose and meaning in our lives. And so spiritual rest is just really, that’s really what that’s about. And that is going to look very different for different people, sometimes spiritual rest for some people is religion. And for some people, it’s something very different. So, there’s a lot of different ways to explore this. But really, I think the first thing is to take time to figure out what that looks like. Experiment with the different things that you’re interested in, that you’re passionate about where you find purpose and meaning. You know there’s no blueprint for it. What brings me meaning and purpose is going to be very different than each and every person that’s in the audience today.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Women’s Health and the Justice Workplace: The Relationship between Rest, Stress, and Hormones


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