"A Family of Superheroes"


As a new ICU Nurse, Julia walks us through all the different facets of nursing. As a daughter of an ICU Nurse, a sister of an EMT, and a sister of a Resident, Julia offers a unique perspective on healthcare and all the avenues one can take. If you are getting into Nursing or are thinking about it, this is a video you're going to want to watch!


SPEAKERS Julie, Brooke Smith

Julie 00:00
Once you're in nursing school to keep an open mind, especially going back to what we talked about, of all the avenues that you can pursue after nursing school, I know not everyone is familiar with all the routes that you can take. And so keeping an open mind while you're in nursing school learning as much as you can, but then also realizing that school prepares you, but it doesn't teach you absolutely everything. And that's okay.

Brooke Smith 00:35
Welcome to Ark wellness podcast. And today I would love to introduce you to Julia. Hi, Julia. How are you? Well, can you tell us for everyone watching, just give him a little quick introduction and let everybody know what you do and where you live right now.

Julie 00:55
Yeah, so my name is Julia. As you mentioned before, I am an ICU nurse in Oklahoma City. I work at one of the downtown Medical Center is here. I just started about six weeks ago. So I'm a recent grad, and went straight to the ICU. So I'm kind of just getting adjusted to all of that right now. And I'm really liking it.

Brooke Smith 01:15
Wow, I imagine right now, especially during a global pandemic, that being a new ICU nurse during this time has got to be more stressful than normal, because it's already.

Julie 01:27
It's interesting to say the least.

Brooke Smith 01:29
Tell us a little bit about how you kind of fell into this position. I know, I was looking a little bit on your backstory that you kind of started in pharmacology. Yeah, yeah. You're in school for that. I think I read yours. And then you, you kind of tell everybody who doesn't know a little bit about what that story is and how you got into ICU nursing.

Julie 01:53
Yeah. So when I first started undergrad, I was admitted into a six year pharmacy program at Rutgers, the State University in New Jersey. And I really was excited to pursue that. But as I went through school, and even working as a pharmacy technician, I felt as though what I really liked about that profession was the interaction with patients. And I felt as though in a community pharmacy setting, that was my only option to really interact with patient populations. And along with that, I I honestly wasn't really that great in chemistry, which is a really big part of pharmacy, obviously. And that was like very heavy in our course load and I was making it through but kind of just scraping through. So I just felt like maybe that was a sign that the profession just wasn't for me. So then I opened up and looked into other fields in healthcare because I knew I still wanted to do something in healthcare. I ended up shadowing and observing for a lot of other professions like speech pathology, OT PT, and a lot of professors like that. But nursing just really stuck to me because of how much interaction nurses do get with patients. Nurses are there the whole time at the bedside. Even if you're not doing bedside nursing, you really are face to face with patients all the time. And I just really liked that one on one relationship with a patient. So I decided to pursue nursing and look into schools that had programs that benefited me after I already completed a degree in the dead. 

Brooke Smith 03:39
Yeah, they call nurses the heart of health care for a reason. Because you guys are there through the scariest times when we are most vulnerable and feel most afraid and alone. You guys are the ones who hold her hands through all of those dark moments. You're the comfort, you're the care, your jobs are so important. And I think it's a really beautiful that's where life kind of led you to and by just knowing that you liked people and you wanted to help and be around them and wanted like more of an interactive experience with them as opposed to what you were going after with pharmacology but um, that's really a beautiful story. It's always really fun to find out how people found their niche because there are so many different directions you can go like you were talking about. There's so many different specialties in nursing and in healthcare in general, is the best part you just kind of find that like how did you find your and watching? I'd love to kind of hear about what the job application was like for that. Like once you got in to deciding Okay, I want to pursue ICU nursing. I assume that you just you graduate as a as an RN, is that crap and then BSN or

Julie 05:00
So the program that I was in was a little different because it's a dual master's program for people who already have a degree in something else in undergrad. And they know that they want to go into advanced practice nursing to become some sort of nurse practitioner or midwife or crna. So the first part of the program, I would say it, to explain it to everyone else, it's kind of equivalent to a BSN. But we just take 15 credits worth of MSM courses, too. And along with a few other course, inclusions, we end up getting a master's degree instead of a Bachelor's in nursing. So officially, I have a master of nursing degrees. So it's really just because of that bridge between the entry level of nursing and continuing on to the MSN part. But if I were to go to any other accelerated program for nursing, I would get a Bachelor of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Brooke Smith 05:55
Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Thank you for explaining that. Because I think people can get really confused with the differences between all of that. And I'm living too. So it's really fun for me to also know. So how long does that take that whole process of schooling for to get a master's in nursing for you? How long was that?

Julie 06:14
So I know that my school offers this program, and a few others around the country offer the program. So where I went to school at Case Western Reserve University, it's a two plus two and beyond kind of a program. So the first two years, you get that master of nursing degree, you learn all the entry level classes for what what a BSN, after graduating from an undergrad would take. So like most postback nursing programs, that's basically what it is. It's four semesters long, we do get winter break and summer break in between just to kind of give us a little bit of a mental break. And we take all those courses. After those two years, we have to sit for our NCLEX. So we schedule our NCLEX, that for the NCLEX, pass it get our Rn licensure. And then depending on what you want to do, you could move on directly to a nurse practitioner specialty, there are a few that you can move on to without any work experience. I know some of them are like family nurse practitioner, midwifery, a lot of the primary care practice and enroll you can go into without any work experience. But there are a lot that they offer that are acute care or require some sort of work experience in a specific area, mostly acute care roles require at least one year, one to two years of ICU experience or critical care experience. So I chose to do something along that route. So what I am aiming to pursue right now is acute care adult gerontology. So in order to pursue that I have to work at least a year in an ICU setting. And then I can continue on with the coursework for that specialty. So the first half of the program is definitely two years. And then depending on how long the MSM specialty that you choose is that determines how long the second part is. And it's anywhere from two years to like, four years, depending on what the specialty is,

Brooke Smith 08:20
I know you graduated during COVID. How did that affect your graduation? Did you find a way to celebrate like overdue with family.

Julie 08:30
Thankfully, I was with family during my graduation weekend. So I was able to at least interact with them. But it was it was pretty different because starting in March is when they closed our whole institution and kind of sent all the students home and totally converted to an online format, which was an adjustment for us but probably even more so than adjustment for our faculty to be able to kind of restructure their whole curriculum to be able to be online because a lot of what we do is clinical work and labs that require in person hands on experience. And from March to May, pretty much a majority of that semester, we weren't able to go to clinicals. And we weren't able to go to labs. So they had to find ways to make up for it so that we would still be gaining knowledge and experience but just not in the way that we were used to. So it was a lot different. In celebration wise, they weren't able to kind of do an online ceremony that kind of put our picture up and all of that stuff. So that was cool. But of course nothing is as it would be if it was an in person we didn't get a pinning, like we normally would have and things like that. So that was kind of sad, but I mean they did the best that they could considering.

Brooke Smith 09:44
Yeah, I think the panning part is probably though, just the hardest thing to not be able to do because it's such a kind of big, honor and step in it symbolizes a lot, but I'm sure when this is over maybe You can get together with everyone and you can all pin them up, pin them on creative way to celebrate because you guys deserve it. I know, it's not easy. What you do. So I'm proud of you. And we're all like very honored to have you doing what you do. So we'd love to talk about, because I know you started a new job six weeks ago. So on the topic, I would love to hear about your, what you think of it so far your experiences, how much you love it, what it's been like with COVID, and how you expect it to kind of maybe change when COVID is gone. And just tell us a little bit about your new job.

Julie 10:38
So my new job is pretty great. I got hired very close to when I interviewed, which the whole interviewing process was kind of long, because in Oklahoma, there was a point where nurses weren't being hired, especially new nurses, because of COVID, they were kind of gearing up to add more experienced personnel, especially not knowing what COVID was in a brain. So new hires were kind of on the back burner for a little bit. So it took up until about mid June for me to actually make any headway with interviews and the hiring process. But I finally was able to choose the institution that I felt really fit me in downtown Oklahoma City. And I work in their medical ICU right now. And I feel like the environment is just really great. It's a close knit unit, they see a lot of different kinds of patients. The unit itself actually is the designated COVID unit at the hospital. So they have an M ICU and then another wing called ICU West. And they kind of just share like them, they share the nurses and they share responsibilities. But they are like two separate wings in a way. So there when it comes to COVID micu kind of takes a lot of the COVID patients and then if there's overflow, there is one pod in the NICU West that is dedicated to COVID. So it's kind of blocked off from the other pods. So as a new nurse, they don't want us going into the COVID unit yet just because to conserve PP, and because we're in training, and we're not experienced, you know, they don't want to put us in a situation that could jeopardize us or them, you know, so until we're done with our orientation, we're kind of going to be with our preceptor in a non COVID. area. But once orientation is over, I definitely know that they could use the help. And we can be expected to go and take patients in the COVID pod and the COVID unit. But so far it's been it's been a good experience, it's a lot I've always heard that I see us are very, obviously very intense as per their name. But medicalized views are different to me in a way, because you get a lot of different cases and a lot of different types of patients from all all different specialties. So it's not, it's not concentrated to a particular system in the body, you know, like I've had neuro patients, cardiac patients, gi patients, like mental health patients that have other comorbidities. So it's just really interesting to me as someone who just came out of school to be able to be exposed to a variety of patients, instead of kind of just being tunneled into one specialty and not focusing on all these other things that I learned about in school. So in that regard, I really liked the medical ICU. And as someone who is planning to go into advanced practice nursing, I think this was a perfect place for me to begin my training. And just so that I can keep my knowledge of a lot of different systems of the body and how that those conditions are treated and what leads up to those conditions. So that I'm not, I don't forget, I don't learn too much about one system and then forget about other systems completely. So they've done a good job of, I feel like in six weeks, I've learned so much. One of the biggest things for me is I feel like I have so much more to learn the nurses that I work with, even the ones who have only been working for a year to two years, they're so knowledgeable that it's To me, it's kind of hard to realize that maybe in a year or two, I'll be just as knowledgeable just with how crazy things are sometimes and how intricate some situations are that that come on our floor. But I'm kind of excited for that to to realize that in a few years, like I'll be kind of just like them, you know, as long as I keep up with my training and obviously keep an open mind and about learning and things like that. So I'm pretty excited. I think it's a good floor for me to have started and a good institution for me to have started with so

Brooke Smith 14:52
and that sounds really exciting and also seems like it's never gonna get boring. It sounds like you know, Because it's gonna, you're never gonna really quite know where to go or what you're dealing with. And you're going to learn so much that way, because you're just gonna get thrown into it. And you're going to like you say, you're experiencing things from all all ends of the spectrum, which is awesome. Amazing. So I have a couple of follow up questions. Firstly, I don't know the difference between an M ICU and then the ICU West. Can you explain like in layman's terms, normally without COVID? Like what the differences?

Julie 15:30
So in actually I asked the same question when I was hired, because when I was hired, I applied for an MSc position. Both of them, both of them are medical ICU, they're just in two different wings. So it's like, they just didn't have one area for all those rooms to be so like, back in the day, like they gave them separate names just because they were in two different wings. But both of them are medical ICU.

Brooke Smith 15:57
Okay, that makes sense.

Julie 16:00
I had the same question.

Brooke Smith 16:03
I never knew I was like, that's interesting. I know that you talk about what you where you're trying to go in your career, and your what you're pursuing, and you said an advanced nurse position. A little bit about what that is, for everyone watching who doesn't know, as an option for where they can go with nursing, like how far they can go with it.

Julie 16:24
Yeah, so this thing has so many opportunities for you to be able to further your education and your career. And one of the steps right after you do bedside nursing is to get your MSN. And with an MSN, there's a lot of opportunities, you can become a nurse practitioner, you can become a midwife, you can become a crna. Now, crnas are moving more towards a doctorate, doctorate kind of a degree, you can become a nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse educator. So there's so many different things you can do that doesn't limit you to working with patients anymore. If that's not what you choose to do after bedside nursing. I know a lot of nurse practitioner is one of the ones where you will still have to work with patients and see them on a daily basis and treat them in a different way more like a provider than as a nurse. So you'll be diagnosing, you'll be treating, you'll be prescribing medication. And all of those things with bedside nursing does not do or does not have the ability, not in their scope of practice. So a lot of people tend to kind of get burnt out from bedside nursing and want to explore other options. And so they pursue their MSN and they go down that path of not doing the grueling work of bedside nursing. Some people love it for many, many years. But other people kind of just feel like after a few years, it's not really what they imagined themselves doing for a long time. So for me, personally, I love the hospital settings. So if and when I do move on to my MSN, I still would want to practice in a hospital setting. There's a lot of people who choose to leave bedside nursing and then want to go and work in a clinic which has more relaxed hours, it's more, it's more consistent, like nine to five hours and you see like a certain amount of people in the community, depending on where you work, kind of like in an urgent care or things like that. That's like the best example I have of like what a clinical clinical nurse would do those who don't want to be in a hospital setting anymore. But for me, I want to be in a hospital setting. And so I would see more acute patients, so patients who would be in an ICU or like would be in a hospital for for whatever reason. And for that I do need that work experience in a critical care setting. And my specialty that I wish to pursue acute care adult gerontology, it deals with patients who are adults. So from like, age 18, I'm pretty sure it's a little lower than age 18, I'd be able to see patients who are a little younger than age 18 all the way to like, past 100, you know, like, so it's like the adult population and the geriatric population. And I really liked that because I felt like it gave me a large window of people to be able to see. And I personally felt during school that the adolescent and pediatric population just wasn't where I was called to, you know, serve. So it kind of eliminates that aspect for me so that I can put all my focus into a population that I feel like would really benefit from my interest in my future expertise. So hospital setting adults and older populations. So that's basically what I am going to pursue, but there's so many MSA specialties. I believe my school offers about like, nine or 10 different specialties if I'm not mistaken. It's listed on their website. So like if you go on a school's website that has that give the opportunity to pursue an MSN, it'll list what specialties they offer. Not every school offers every kind of specialty, some are limited. So you can definitely do your research and find what school offers what you want, and what the criteria is for that. There's so many paths that you can choose.

Brooke Smith 20:25
Yeah, I'm just hearing you talk about this. It's it's very complex. I mean, is it's like, the closer you are, the more questions you ask, the more questions there are, it feels like that. But where you're like, well, you go down this path, and you go down this path, and there's this option and this option. But if you go down this path, then there's these options. And there's, it's really great. And for everyone watching, it's good to know, because you don't exactly always have to know right where you want to end up. Because you can kind of start down the journey. And like you say, you can, if you want to keep going with your education, there's always that option to keep growing and whatever you learn is not going to be wasted. It's going to go and be with you through all of the different areas that you go into any of the specialties that you go into wherever you feel your call to serve. So that's great for the people watching to remember that you don't have to have all the answers, you don't have to know oh my gosh, do I have to know I was exactly where I want to be. It sounds like you don't, you can start slow. And then as you learn, you'll kind of become like Julia, who knows all the avenues that you can take as you start to learn that as you go down this whole path, and then you'll find your way. Mm hmm. That's amazing. I'll stay on the subject of nursing for a minute longer. I would love to, I know with your Instagram you. You're really an advocate for other people who are pursuing a career in healthcare and you're you really show up for people and want to guide them, I know that you help you answer things like how to apply to nursing school. And you kind of offer a lot of advice through her Instagram, which of course will link in this video and everyone can go check it out. But while we have you on our podcast, is there any kind of advice you could give to young people who are looking to get into healthcare and specifically nursing? Any advice or anything you could tell them that you maybe wish you would have known?

Julie 22:27
Yeah, and definitely one of the biggest things I feel like is, once you're in nursing school to keep an open mind, especially going back to what we talked about, of all the avenues that you can pursue after nursing school. I know not everyone is familiar with all the routes that you can take. And so keeping an open mind while you're in nursing school, learning as much as you can, but then also realizing that school prepares you, but it doesn't teach you absolutely everything. And that's okay. I know one of the biggest things as a new graduate nurse is being in a position where you feel like you should know something, but you don't. And then you kind of start freaking out because you're like, oh, my goodness, I know I learned this in this class, but I don't remember it. I never seen it. I really don't know what to do in this situation. And that's totally okay. When I was doing clinicals, in nursing school, a nurse told me not to worry if I don't remember anything I learned in nursing school, because everything you need to know for your practice will be taught to you on the floor in a practical setting. And that's not saying to just kind of close your ear and everything you're learning in nursing school, but then it's okay. If you feel like you don't know what to do, there's going to be preceptors on the floor that are assigned to you to help you when you get a new job. It's going to be people, managers, other nurses that are always going to be willing to step in, if you need help with something or if you forget, even to this day, six weeks later, there's times where I found my preceptor, I'm like, oh, my goodness, you just explained this to me a week ago, but I forgot. And she'll really explain it and like we'll go through it, I'll see things multiple times, and you'll get the hang of it eventually. So my best advice for people trying to pursue nursing schools don't think that you're going to end up learning every absolute thing in school and to be open minded to continue learning after school as well, because nursing insists, you're going to learn so much all the time and nursing, the concept of nursing stays the same, but times change and situations change. So you always have to be ready to adapt and learn more. So that will be I feel like the advice that will keep you sane during nursing school and out of nursing school,

Brooke Smith 24:43
and such great advice. Yeah, and I think just to add on what you were saying, not being afraid to ask a question if you don't know the answer, because no matter how long you've been doing something no matter what your career is, you're not going to know everything. There's going to be situations That you've never dealt with before that you've never seen that you've never read about you never learned about. And there are people around you, your other nurses and staff and everyone who you can ask you can go to for those questions and say, Hey, I'm not really sure how to do this. And maybe they know the answer. Maybe they don't. But it's always good to ask questions, because, you know, it'll just guide you in the right direction, then that's also how you learn to Don't be afraid to ask questions. No one, people sometimes feel afraid, like, Oh, I don't want to ask a question because someone's going to do, I don't know what I'm doing, but really, actually does the opposite. It shows that you're present and that you're aware and that you're thinking down the line. And you're like, I don't know, this admitting that you don't know something. It's actually a very, very strong quality. So I agree. Amazing. Okay, so I'd love to switch gears a little bit and talk, I want to know, can you tell us a little bit I want everyone to get to know you personally a little bit. So you can can you tell us where you where you're from where you grew up. And tell us a little bit about like what other hobbies and interests you have outside of healthcare.

Julie 26:04
So I am originally from India, and from a little southern state, known as Kerala in South India. And I immigrated here when I was two years old. So I've pretty much been in America, like a majority of the life that I can remember, we immigrated to New Jersey, and that's where I lived most of my life. I grew up there, I went to, like, started school there, went to school, went to undergrad there, my family, my parents and my younger brother still there. And then when I decided to pursue nursing, a year after I graduated from undergrad, I moved to Cleveland, Ohio. So that was the first time that I ever really left New Jersey to go and live somewhere else. And I ended up living with my brother who was do is he actually is doing his residency in Cleveland. So I wasn't completely alone. But it was a good transition that. So I moved to Cleveland and studied there for two years. And then I eventually made my way to Oklahoma City, because my husband is from Oklahoma. So like he's born and raised here. And we were together, like all throughout when I was in nursing school, and even before I got into nursing school, so the natural progression just seemed to make sense that I would end up in Oklahoma. So that was probably the biggest change. For me. I just think of life in Oklahoma because I personally don't have any family here. He has all his family and our community is pretty large here. Our Carola community is pretty large here. So that's that's a comforting factor. But it was definitely a very big step away from always being around my own family and my own, you know, friend group and things like that.

Brooke Smith 27:44
Is it and I just to kind of go off of that I do have another question. Like, I that has to be really hard being away from your family. And I can relate to that, because I'm on the same boat, like most of my family's in Colorado, and, and I know as being a nurse and being around and seeing all of this stuff with COVID in the global pandemic, I imagine that just being away from your family is really hard, especially during a global pandemic, especially because of what you do and what you know, also, that you have about it. I know that that has to be like a stressful thing in a worry that you have because your family and so far do you give them an ice and stuff and tell them like make sure you stay inside and wear your masks.

Julie 28:30
I feel like my family has been giving me advice. So my mom is a nurse. And she worked in an ICU for quite a bit of her career and just recently started working in an endoscopy clinic. So she started having a more consistent schedule, and she's starting to relax now that most of the kids are out of the house. But during the beginning of the pandemic in New Jersey, New Jersey and New York were hit very hard, they're still you know, taking a lot of precautions to make sure that nothing gets worse because they are such a dense, like very densely populated space. So during that time, my mom actually was called back from her endoscopy clinic because of her ICU background, and she was called to the ICU for help with COVID patients. So that was actually pretty scary for me because my mom, you know, she's not young anymore. She's in that age group that's very vulnerable. She does have underlying conditions. My dad also has underlying conditions. So it was kind of that worry of like oh my goodness, my mom just got out of this kind of a situation is being called back because of her experience and could possibly bring something back home to my dad and to herself. So that was definitely a worry and me not being there. You know, like it definitely was worries comes. My younger brother is an EMT. So he also gets put in situations where he could possibly get exposed to COVID but just not being there with the three of them at that time. There's not much I probably would have been able to do if I was there. But the fact that I wasn't able to deal with them and just kind of had to worry from afar, it was definitely tough. But I mean, my mom has experience in this stuff. So she and my dad were very careful, they made my brother be super careful as well. It's gotten better because of the PP situation. But there was a time where like, you know, there weren't a lot of, there wasn't a lot of TP available for people outside of the hospital setting. So they, they did their best to kind of quarantine themselves and limit their exposure outside. I know, like, my dad, my brother would say that my dad was like, spray him down with sanitizer every time he tried to come into the house like this to like, spray. Yeah. And then my mom, my mom stayed in the basement for a majority of the time where she was called on to the forest that had COVID, away from my dad and my brother to minimize any risk of exposure. So they made quite a lot of adjustments to the way that they live daily life, and even now, like it's gotten a little more relaxed, but they're still very, very careful there. And it's hard to understand, because in Oklahoma, it's not really as scary as that. Because I personally don't think that Oklahoma being a state that's not as densely populated. I don't think that Oklahoma really suffered the way that states in the northeast did. So we didn't really experience the height of the fear that I feel like states like New Jersey and New York space. So to hear all the adjustments my parents made, for me here, it was kind of just like, I was like, man, they're doing so much to you know, literally be able to live life as normally as they can. Meanwhile, we're here and yes, we're quarantining me and my husband, personally, we like limited our exposure and all of that going out and things like that in the beginning, but cases definitely aren't as high as they were in the northeast. So in general, I feel like people don't take the rules as seriously here. And especially there's no state wide mandate, it's a left up to the counties and up until the like a month ago, our county didn't require masks out in public and things like that. So we're, it was slow in the beginning. And now it's, it's starting to get more on par with what we've seen in the northeast. But even then there's there's a lot of people who will, you know, wear a mask to get into a store, but then once they're in the store, they like take the mask off. So it's just you have to be very careful yourself because not everybody is abiding by the recommendations. So it's very different to see how things were done here and how things were done in the northeast. So being away from family kind of scared me with that too.

Brooke Smith 32:46
So that's really scary I know it's there's this seems to be this discrepancy between people who want to wear them into people who don't but we stand with you know, obviously wear your masks it protect yourself and others social distance quarantine if you can, you know all of that stuff. But I just discovered something new that you said that I really want to ask you about. You said that your mom was an ICU nurse. You're that's what you're doing now. You said your brother was an EMT. And then I I love to say brother or not, but you said your brother was in residency. So does that mean your entire family almost?

Julie 33:23
Yeah, my older brother is in residency my younger brother does EMP on the side and he's still he's still completing his undergrad with the hopes of going to medical school so aside from my father Yes, most of us are in the medical field My dad is an engineer by education but yeah, so pretty much a lot of the least my family right outside my immediate family there is a little more variety and career

Brooke Smith 33:49 credibly amazing I actually love to get them I love to have all of you on the podcast because I'm so cool the whole family of superheroes over here. Wow, what a giving like I talked about this a lot but to be in healthcare, it's it takes such a heart a certain kind of heart of just like an empathy and a care for others and sacrifice. And it's a really really beautiful thing and it's I I get a little like emotional about it because I know how hard you guys work and you like we talked about earlier you guys are there for literally the scariest moments of our lives. It's just happiest when we're having babies and stuff like that. But I think it's it's so incredible that your almost your entire family is in health care. Thank you guys for for your dedication and to keeping us all safe.

Julie 34:42
You're welcome. We do our best.

Brooke Smith 34:47
You guys are killing it might not be the right word actually. Let's see. So what are outside of health care? Can you tell me a little bit like what you'd like to do with your time?

Julie 34:59
Yeah. I really like to do things that I feel like Bring me some mental peace. So I love to paint that's always been a hobby of mine growing up, I just kind of sit down, put these papers all over the floor and then get ideas from Pinterest. And I just like paint canvases. I like to cook so that has really been helping me and my husband save a lot of money during quarantine since we can't eat out as much. So we've been home cooking a lot of our meals and trying new recipes and breaking out the instant pot and crock pot and things that we just kind of had stored away and finding new ways to create things. And I feel like that that actually was a really big stress relief for me but being it's not so great for my weight gain, but it's also for my mental teeth. And then we have a little dog like little Yorkie that's been kind of keeping us occupied during quarantine as well. And I've always wanted a puppy. And this was kind of the perfect time. So it has taught me a lot about responsibility and patience and consistencies. So I love kind of just putting my mind to a task and working to accomplish those tasks. So the most recent example is like training our dog, it's quite, it's quite an experience because he is a very stubborn dog. But in those moments where you just work really hard and find new ways, and he finally listening to a command that you've been trying to teach them forever, those kinds of things really, really like we'd be happy. So I like I like a challenge. And so that definitely keeps me on my toes for now. But yeah, so there's not too much that you can do in times like this, because it's hard to go out. And, you know, eating out is one of my hobbies. I'm a really big foodie, but it's very hard to do that. Nowadays, we try to be as safe as we can when we do go out to eat. But it's not like we can, you know, hit up our friends and be like, hey, let's go grab dinner here. So cooking at home has been something that has taken up our time and painting we've been working on puzzles together things that we can do together too, because a lot of these things I used to do by myself, but now you know I have someone else that we have to do everything together because I'm not just going to leave him hanging so while I while I do fun things myself. So it's been it's been very interesting. kind of adjust the hobbies that we've had to work during quarantine thinking it's

Brooke Smith 37:22
good, nice to to just do whatever you can do for your mental health to keep yourself kind of sane. And you know yourself best. So you know what that what those things are? It's creative outlet. It's great to just kind of have something that centers you and brings you back home. So that's really great advice. Well, Julia, it was such a pleasure having you on our podcast, of course we're gonna link all her information below so you guys can check her out. She's here for all advice. You have any questions. She's a huge advocate for you guys. So, thank you so so much for it was really a pleasure to have you today. Thank you for having me.



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