How to turn off the noise during the Coronavirus crisis with Karen Garcia

Welcome to the show notes of the Boostly Podcast Season 8 Episode 12. This is a recap of my interview with Karen Garcia where we talked about how to turn off the noise during the coronavirus crisis.

Here's the audio for this episode:


01:30 About Karen
03:00 One bit of advice from Karen
04:20 The importance of breathing and refocusing
05:20 Common areas that are creating noise
06:40 Best things to do about money worries
11:10 Symptoms that you are stressed out
13:30 Tips to get back to a decent mindset level
18:10 Karen's morning routine
23:10 Final takeaways from Karen

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Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

Karen is a mindset coach and mentor. She works with clients one to one retreats in Spain on mindset and works with business owners. She was in the Royal Navy for 20 years and served on board ship. She had the very great honour of sailing around the world, around the Caribbean, posted out to Italy and had an amazing career. She always says she's been coaching for a lifetime. She has always understood people and her leadership style in the Navy was one of her management's way of understanding them, empowering them, helping them get out their own way, helping them grow. There was a firm form of leadership, and they empower the individuals within that and it was a natural progression.

Karen has multiple skills, Psychology, CBT, NLP, a whole host of skills that she uses in the mindset coaching. She genuinely cares about getting people out of their way in life.

One bit of advice from Karen

Take a deep breath, switch off from the external noise. Just come back to yourself in the stillness within. There's an awful lot of stuff out there to distract us. Just centre ourselves and then just sort of refocusing.

The importance of breathing and refocusing

Every mindset coach and mentor's styles are very different. But mostly it's getting your mind into the place where it gets you out of your way in both life and also in business. The way that we set the mind and of course, the mind is so powerful that it will override absolutely everything. And if the mind is set on a certain course of action, it overrides the body, the body gets exhausted. It overrides the emotions. The topics that we cover in mindset are infinite. It can cover things like relationships, money mindset, fear, confidence, anxiety, living your best life.

Common areas that are creating noise

There's a lot of fear out there at the moment. Obviously what fear does is it connects straight with that fight or flight that we have, the adrenaline kicks in. And because there's a lot of uncertainty unknown out there. What it's doing is it's paralyzing a lot of people. You just do in automated you get on and do it you wouldn't think about it, you have your structures, you have your routine, you have somewhere to go and everything is just robotic.

Now all of a sudden the entire world has been turned upside down. So obviously everything that we took as the norm, revenue streams, the places that we would go unquestioningly, everything has changed. So it's creating a lot of a disturbance in the Force out there.

Best things to do about money worries

From a mindset perspective, what Karen is finding is that often in the hospitality industry, people are nurturers, it's very much part of their makeup to want to, make their guests comfortable, to look after them and do the right thing. And therefore what we've got often is a lot of givers providing that level of service. So they are desperately wanting to do the right thing, understandably, by their clients with that same panic that the world is doing and everybody's wanting to cancel. There's all that fear again out there. A lot of the hospitality owners are feeling like they should be sort of giving refunds, and so forth.

Karen thinks that right now, goodwill is a keyword in all of this and that it's imperative that smaller businesses do what they need to do ethically, and obviously morally. The honesty and the ethics bring it back to a human level.

So rather than just maybe emailing or sending out written messages clearing that space to actually speak human to human, not cold calling, obviously. Warm that area because people come to stay with you in the hospitality community for a reason. They recognize the care and attention that is put into that experience, they come to a beautiful scenic part of the world, and that's what they're missing. That's what they're looking for.

So we are like that lighthouse. Maybe they're feeling like that ship on a tumultuous ocean right now. It's about finding that way where it's Win Win, so they have something to look forward to and have that conversation and that could be the sunrise on a horizon of a lot of people out there.

Symptoms that you are stressed out

We're in survival mode right now. And we're reactive when the adrenaline obviously kicks in. And it's the fear of the unknown. Obviously, it's coursing throughout the body, it's going to heighten our state. So some symptoms that we might be recognizing in ourselves, it's going to more than likely affect your sleep, you are likely to be looking for reasons to stay up later than normal. And that might be something that we do ordinarily anyway, if we're stressed but especially now that's been heightened. So it's putting that late night movie on it's sitting there watching something or doing something that really you're not interested in, but it's like the later ones. We think tomorrow takes longer to come.

When we are sleeping, obviously, that adrenaline is still kicking in and we're more vulnerable. So often it's going to be interrupted, we'll wake up tired. And then, therefore, we carry that into our day, we're going to be affected on a clarity level, the memory may well be affected the focus, and that ability to be succinct.

If we're sending an email, if we're making a phone call, often maybe the words are leading us. In relationships, that's interesting, because it's going to be testing our patience. Maybe we've got people in the house now that ordinarily, we're not used to having around us. And obviously, they have their own habits, shall we say, and their routines, but all of those are going to push our buttons.

What's going to happen when we're afraid is the body perceives because it's under attack that it needs to take back control. So often, the way that this presents is through self-sabotage. All of us, it could be slightly different the way that we self-sabotage. It could be eating, it could be both overeating and it could be under-eating. That's a big one. Because we perceive if we can take control, whatever we're eating, then there's nobody to really tell us that we can't have another doughnut or whatever is your thing.

Tips to get back to a decent mindset level

It's never been a better time to focus on ourselves. And the reality is what's happening now for many out there is that all of our businesses have changed. So sometimes we become the business we hide behind the business, especially if we're looking after others. So now that Business focus and guest interfaces are paused for now, then the reality is we're coming back to self, what we need to do is make sure that as we come back to self and the world is balancing itself back out there is that we switch off the distractions.

Ordinarily, when we're out there on duty, everybody has a piece of us, we're reactive, there are emails, there are phone calls, there's text, you know, it's constantly accessible. So we need to start cutting down the ways that we communicate with the outside world, you're going to have to be quite disciplined with this, because, for some, it may be a bit like a weaning process to let go, because it keeps us occupied and it stops us having to think about other things.

So sound is a big one because the sound waves hit us and we respond, so it's a bit like Pavlov's dogs. Yes. And we hear the sound and what we need to do is switch off all the noises. For Karen, her phone, laptop, everything is always on silent. She knows where it is when she needs to go check-in, but if there was a noise, it would be constantly pinging and that makes us react. And that's not healthy.

So we have to create a structure whereby you're only dealing with certain things at certain times of the day. So from an email point of view, set your autoresponder to make it manage people's expectations. These emails are monitored twice a day, don't give specific timings. So people are hanging on them, but access them maybe once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and that when you go to do them, you're done with it and you'll be massively productive.

What you don't want to do is launch into dealing with the outside world too early in your day when you wake up, you are in state fito, which is the same as meditation state. So it's a relaxed state, your physical body is just coming to so you haven't yet put your suit of armour on and we're feeling exposed and we're feeling vulnerable. So if we wake up, go straight to the emails go straight to the phone. The outside world infiltrates, it's going to hit us, you're not in a position to deal with it, it's going to hit more deeply emotionally.

Karen's morning routine

Karen's morning routine would entail sort of working it backwards to the night before where she will go to sleep at a certain time obviously in order to get a good night's sleep and then we wake up early. She likes to be up and around about four o'clock in the morning. It's a beautiful time of day and she won't go online anywhere or check her phone or anything until a good couple of hours.

It starts with usually a smoothie or a juice of some sort and then having a stroll. She likes to exercise without breakfast or before breakfast and just getting morning pages written, journaling, emptying her head for her own purpose. If it's business-related, all of them to get onto paper the night before on to the laptop.

So with that time, it's entirely for her, it's not for dealing with clients. It's not for dealing with social media. It's totally for her and it's quality me-time and a little bit of family time if it's appropriate. She also does meditation stretches and work out.

Final takeaways from Karen

Now more than ever, because your life is your own, Karen advises to lose the alarms where possible. Or if you have an alarm, make sure it's not like the fire engines coming through the house, make sure it's a nice, gentle something that you would want to wake up with.

And also start looking at your own body clock, if you don't need to be awake, the body recalibrates itself, and does what it needs to do. So you're naturally energized. And also, we don't necessarily know how long this situation is going to last. So this is a bit like training for a marathon and then maybe it's going to be a sprint, but we've trained for the marathon so we know we've still got the stamina.

Right now you may be still in that zone of fear and kind of feeling like everything is inbound, there may be a breath of realizing that you can now do all those things you've ever wanted to do. Maybe look at planning three months ahead six months ahead and breaking that down and setting yourself a personal target.

What is it you want to do? Do you want to play the guitar? Do you want to sing and express yourself? Is there a book that you want to write, but unless you plan it now, this time is just going to go by very quickly, day by day by day and then it does accelerate. And then at some stage, we'll be back fully into running our businesses wondering where this time went. So for some of you, that's going to excite you, some of you it's going to instil great fear thinking about spending that time alone.

Look at your life, have a little bit of structure going on there and record your wins each time you achieve something and maybe that is getting up without the alarm. Maybe it's ignoring the phone for a couple of hours reward those wins, feel proud.

You can find out more about Karen on her Facebook.

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