Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.
Scott DeLuzio: Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast today my guest is Natalie Shand-Spellman, or Coach Nat as she’s known. She is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and knows firsthand the impact stress can have on our bodies and our lives. She’s an occupational therapist and the author of the book Drop Stress Like A Hot Potato, which helps readers practice self care and live a purpose driven, fulfilled life.
Scott DeLuzio: And we’re going to be talking about how to reduce stress and live a more purpose driven life. So welcome to the show, Natalie. [00:01:00] I’m glad to have you here. Scott, thank you
Natalie Shand-Spellman: so much for having me on your show. It’s a pleasure being here, and I’m so excited about all the things we’ll talk about.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, me too.
Scott DeLuzio: I think stress is definitely one of those things that is a huge issue. We may not realize how big of an issue it is, but it can definitely be a huge issue and I’m looking forward to getting into that conversation with you and learning more about how to manage that and all that kind of stuff.
Scott DeLuzio: But first, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So, Scott, as you already mentioned, I am a combat Marine and I remember vividly. I was in Iraq, and then two weeks later I was back in the United States. And before you know it, I was transplanted back at home with my family for Thanksgiving.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And I just felt like, you know what? It was a disservice because in a war zone, two weeks prior and in two weeks I was home. And I just realized that we didn’t have a chance. I did not have a chance to transition to being a [00:02:00] civilian. I mean, I was in a high stress environment and before, you know, I was home in a calm environment.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And I didn’t take much notice of that, but as soon as I continued with my life and I started living and starting a family, I went to college, got my degree as an occupational therapist, I recognized that I was actually fake in life. And it got to the point where one day I was just standing in the bathroom mirror and I would just remember just standing there, just washing the makeup off my face.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And when I looked at myself, I saw that I was hurt. I was broken. There was something seriously wrong. But as a typical Marine, I just rolled my shoulders back and I reminded myself that, you know what? I’m strong. I’m tough. I got this. And you know what? Eventually I ended up in the er and the reason was that my right set of my body was not functioning well and I was.[00:03:00]
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I was scared because I was a new mom. I was like 34 years old, and my right side of my body wasn’t working. And in that moment I just felt like my life just flashed in front of my eyes because I realized that this diagnosis does not sound well. It sound as if my life could stop. And I remember my stepmom was present with me and she got on the phone and she called her friends from church.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: They’re like, we need. And something miraculous happened that day. My body started to function again, and they did the CAT scan, they did the mri, they did all these different testing and they didn’t find anything. And the diagnosis was just like, you know, female, young woman, stroke-like symptoms. And that was it.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: It didn’t make any sense to them as to what had just happened. When I left the hospital that day, there was this new deal, there was this new passion and there was a mission because how is [00:04:00] it that I work with these patients whose who have strokes all the time? They didn’t have a second chance, but I did, and that was the day when I started.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I went on a mission because I needed to get to the bottom of this because I was dealing with like emotional stress, spiritual stress, physical stress. It was a combination of stress and I had to, I went on a quest. I came up with all the answers, so that’s why I’m here today just to share the wealth of knowledge I found through extensive research.
Scott DeLuzio: And it’s amazing how much impact stress can have on our bodies physically mentally obviously can have a significant impact but the physical symptoms. You could think that there’s something totally different wrong with you. Because stress can manifest itself in so many different ways within our bodies, and you end up going to the doctor.
Scott DeLuzio: You think it’s one thing, and it could really just the root cause just be that you’re, you had too much stress in your life and you need to figure out how [00:05:00] to manage all of that stress because, Yeah, you sure you can try to eliminate some stress. You know that, that sounds great, but in reality, there’s always stress in life.
Scott DeLuzio: And so we, we need to work at how we manage that stress and not not let that overwhelm our bodies, our minds, everything else about us. And we have to be able to figure out how to do that. So, and you served in Iraq, right? And so, that obviously in a combat zone, that’s about as high stress as it gets.
Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. Exactly. So, so tell us about your experience there. I kind of want to go back a little bit and talk a little bit about that. Talk about your experiences and what your stress levels were like. Obviously being in combat that’s a stressful situation. And then we’ll go.
Scott DeLuzio: Okay,
Natalie Shand-Spellman: so, I actually volunteered to go to Iraq. I was one of those female marines who thought that she could conquer the world because I felt like I had to prove something. I had to prove that, you know what, I am better than any [00:06:00] man. If I’m wearing the billboard that I’m a Marine, I gotta step to the play.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I gotta stand hall. I’m an advocate for women to be in the military, an advocate for women to be on the front line. So I thought that, you know what? To prove that I am as good as any male marine. I’m gonna volunteer. I will serve my country. And it’s easy to have a talk about raw marine. You’re hardcore.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I’m a marine. I’m hardcore, I’m strong. When you get into a war zone and their bullets flying, , all that talk was kind of cheap and I realized that, oh my gosh, this is for real. We have Marines going home in body bags, and here I was trying to prove a point. As a woman, I can do it. And I remember, I, you know, I, I stayed there for nine months, actually seven months Marines.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: We stayed there for like, around six, seven [00:07:00] months. And I remember two weeks before we were scheduled to return home, we were hit with marker rounds. And the challenge was that it hit the Armory that was right next door barracks. And I remember it was this cool evening. We went for a. And out of nowhere there was like the armor was in flames and it became like, oh my gosh, is this gonna be the end?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Are we gonna be returning home? Because like I said, we’re scheduled to return home in two weeks. And when we saw that, you saw young kids, we were young kids, we were scared, we were panicked, we weren’t quite sure what was going on. Are we gonna see our families ever again? And I remember looking into the faces of other Marine.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: In that moment, we realized that, you know what, we have each other, we have camaraderie, but at the end of the day, we’re not quite sure what’s gonna happen next. Unfortunately, nothing else happened after that. [00:08:00] We were able to assess the situation. It was nothing too serious. It was just a threat where we just got hit, but it was nothing major where we were actually we didn’t have any casualties, but that reminded me how life.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: That in a moment, in a moment, everything could be taken away from you. And I came back home with all that suppressed emotions. No one truly knew what happened in Iraq because you come back home saying, yes, I’ve served my country, I’ve done all these great things. But those emotions, those little trauma, it stays and it stays in a bruises in your mind.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And then that’s what happens later on in my life. It all came to a crashing hall. It, it really affected me on so many levels.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And so you’ve obviously had to deal with stress during combat and then bringing that back home with you, not having maybe adequate time to decompress after that coming back home.
Scott DeLuzio: And I know that’s a common story, especially these days where we’re able to get on a plane [00:09:00] and the next day we’re. We’re home, basically, right? Like that’s, yeah, there’s no transition period there. When you think about troops from World War ii, for example, fighting in Europe, fighting in the Pacific, a lot of times they had to get on a boat and it was, you know, a week or so they were on a boat traveling across.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And they had all that time. They got to hang out with the people who served with them on the front lines and. Got to decompress and had some time that transition to get their heads right before coming back off that, that ship. But you know, when you hop on a plane and it’s a eight 12 hour flight or something like that to, to get back to where you’re going it’s it’s like in a blink of an eye, you’re home.
Scott DeLuzio: You don’t have that time to decompress. And especially just sitting. Airplane seat for that amount of time. It’s like you, you can talk to the one, maybe two people that are sitting right next to you, but outside of that who are you really getting to talk to? And so you don’t get that kind of time.
Scott DeLuzio: So, like a lot [00:10:00] of listeners you served in combat you know, I served in combat. What advice you have for coping with that kind of stress coming back? You
Natalie Shand-Spellman: know what? I wanna respond to something you just mentioned because I currently work with veterans on a daily basis, and I’ve been looking at all the different generations and I’m looking at why is it the World War II veterans are tended doing better than the Vietnam veterans, and they’re doing better than my generation.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Why is it that they’re doing better? And I think you just saw that puzzle. I think you solved that because I kept interviewed and maxing all these question. But like you said, they had time to decompress. Decompress, and we did not. Right. We did not have time. And it makes me think we’re, we come back home and we’re transplanted back into our families and they expect you to be the same person you were before you got deployed.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: You’re not the same person. No. You’re. [00:11:00] To me, when you are in a war zone, you’re hypervigilant. You are in a state of higher, high level of stress because the body goes into the survival mode, fights right, fight, flee or freeze. So we’re in that high level of stress, and then you’re gonna transplant me back in an environment where that’s not the norm, and then you expect me to assimilate and to function on the same.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I think our society is very unfair when it comes to our veterans because they expect so much without truly understanding what it’s like to serve in a war zone without truly understanding what PTSD is. And I think it is high time that our society are properly educated. Because I was speaking to a veteran today and he mentioned that he was in the movie theater.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: He was just staring. He just saw a movie, just a clip, just a small. Of something from Zo, and he immediately grabbed this woman’s children and she pressed charge because she was like, how can this [00:12:00] man actually try to hurt my kids? And for him, it was a flashback. He felt the need to protect when the society does not truly understand when we are going through all these stressful episodes in her lives.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And it’s not just occasionally, it’s constantly, especially when you’re observed in a war.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. The military does a great job at helping us put the uniform on training. Exactly. Learn how to be a soldier, be a marine. Yes. Be a sailor. Everything. Yes. They do a great job at that. Yes. But they don’t do a good job at teaching us how to take that uniform off and become a civilian.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: thank you. And like I said, because my heart gets so upset, because like I said, I do work with veterans on a daily basis and I see this cycle of our veterans are here this month and they’re backing again. The diagnosis are the same and it’s just repeated cycle where obviously our veterans are not coping and at the same time too, the system we have in place to help them may not be working as well as we.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Sure. So I think there’s a breakdown [00:13:00] between transitioning from active duty or is it a transition when we get back home? What is it we can do to help our veterans assimilate better into civilian way of living? And there’s a disconnect.
Scott DeLuzio: There is. Yeah, absolutely. Now I wonder, is there a way. Through a lot of your training and everything, I wonder if is there a way to prepare ourselves in advance Yes.
Scott DeLuzio: So that we can deal with stressful situations that we anticipate? Like, so for example, if you’re, you know, you’re going to deploy to a combat zone, you know there’s going to be all that high stress and things like that. Is there a way to physically and mentally prepare yourself for what’s to come so that you can manage that stress a little bit?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Yes, and I do talk a lot about that in my book. My book is called Drop Stress Like A Hot Potato for Busy Women. But it’s not only for busy women, it is all the information I am just sharing out and the market, obviously for women who are more stressed. But the reality is that the content in the book talks a lot about all the proactive tools.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: You can actually implement in your [00:14:00] life to pretty much handle stress. For example, there’s a five step strategy, my protocol for handling stress and one of those techniques I call is called being the stress detective. When I say the stress detective is that you are in the moment and when you are in that moment, you are observing rather than judging your environment, you are pretty much observ.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And let’s say I’m having a conversation with you, Scott, and I realize that you know what, I’m being triggered by the words coming from your mouth. Typically, because I’m triggered, I’m gonna be very reactive. Before you know it, my face may be tightening up, my heart is beating faster. I may see the first that comes to my mouth, or I may start actually being physic.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: The difference. Now, when you use a proactive tool, notice we are not using the reactive method of reacting. But if you’re using the proactive tool of observing, you are paying attention to yourself in the moment, am I getting angry? What are my [00:15:00] thoughts? What are my feelings? And what’s gonna be my reaction if this person does not stop seeing those words?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Right? And , when you start observing, then you become so aware. That you have that choice, you have that decision in that moment. Say, you know what, instead of me wanna punch the person without me, wanna get physical, without me want to do that, I’m gonna ch change my thoughts. I’m gonna assess like, you know what?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Maybe I see I’m getting upset. Maybe I need to take a deep breath. Maybe I need to pause. Maybe I need to take a deep breath and maybe walk. So it’s one of those techniques where you are observing, you are assessing, and is this a whole step? There’s a whole process that you go through, but that helps me in so many ways because I know I get triggered at times with certain words, with certain tones, and if I’m not careful, I have to really [00:16:00] observe myself in the moment just to make sure I gain control over the situation.
Scott DeLuzio: Okay. Yeah. So that’s a good way to. Be able to manage that stuff that, that comes at you? Yes. And you can see that stuff. A lot of times you can see that stuff coming too. Yes. Where you might be in a certain situation where, you know, okay. In the past I’ve been. Stressed, I’ve been triggered, I’ve been dealing with various issues and I know that it’s probably not gonna be the best situation I might have to do.
Scott DeLuzio: It might be part of your job, it might be something like that. Maybe even going to talk to your kid’s teacher who just, you don’t get along with or something like that. And you know that you wanna reach across and strangle the person. You know, you can’t do that either. So you kind of have to prepare yourself mentally before you go walk into that classroom or whatever.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, it, and I say that all jokingly obviously, but but there are those times when you do end up in those situations where you’re like I can’t stand the way this person talks or the way they treat me or whatever. And you know, it’s going to be stressful. So [00:17:00] yes, you know, ahead of time, okay, I need to pay attention to my own reactions and how I’m conducting myself, so that way I don’t let this escalate to a point where, I’m actually making it a physical thing or anything like that.
Scott DeLuzio: Because that would just be the worst case scenario. Right,
Natalie Shand-Spellman: exactly. And the secret I also use is this technique I have incorporated. It’s called sizing. And what sizing is that you are immersing yourself in a state of positivity and it is a great way to start your day. And it’s also a great way to end your.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So, for example, a morning re routine would include me waking up in the morning and instead of me just rushing out the doors, I know that I’m not mentally prepared to handle any challenge that may come my way. So it’s so crucial for me to be mentally and spiritually and emotionally be prepared for the day.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So when I size is that, let’s say I [00:18:00] may turn on inspirational. When I turn on inspirational music, I immerse myself in a state where I could hear the music. It talks to my heart. It gives me a positive and a very uplifted message. I could feel happiness. I could feel joy, I could feel peace. I could feel centered.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I could feel I’m in a state where I am not stressed, but I’m in a state of high level of positivity. And when I do that, I may spend some time just listening to another uplifted message or just, it’s just positively like maybe 30 minutes or so of positivity. It could be through what you read, like a devotional.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: It could be through a podcast, it could be through a YouTube video. Anything that’s positive. And when I do that, when I leave the house, I’m in a better state of mind. I know that my tank, which may have been empty, is now filled to capacity, right? Right. So when my cup is filled, when I go through the day, I have enough to give to somebody else.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: It’s like having enough oil in your tank so you can actually get where you [00:19:00] need to go. So when I’m full, I’m better able to serve. When I’m empty, I’m stressed and I get like very frustrated and overwhelmed quite easily. But when my tank is full, I have a little more to give. I’m a little bit nicer. . So the challenges of life.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Better way.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. When you’re using that example too of having your tank full. Yes. Even when you think about your car, you can go a whole lot further with a full tank than you can use that empty tank. Right, exactly. And so even when there’s bumps in the road, when there’s things that are, you’re going uphill, you’re things are maybe a little bit more difficult going off road or something like that, you can get a whole lot further with the fir a full tank.
Scott DeLuzio: Of gas and you could with an empty tank or nearly empty tank. And so, the same idea, I guess, holds true with us as people. You know, you have to fill up on that positivity, fill up on, you have to on all that stuff. And when you’re full on positivity, you don’t really have as much room for the negativity in.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Thank you. You Yes, [00:20:00] guy. You’ve got it. Yes. That’s the message .
Scott DeLuzio: That’s a message, so we’re done. Right? No, just kidding. . So I, you know, all of these things I think are great. Great ways to build that that muscle of resilience when it comes to these stressful situations that we may see coming.
Scott DeLuzio: You know, we know we have this event. We know we have this meeting or whatever coming up. We know we need to be prepared for that. But what about things that. Unexpected that, that pop up. We don’t see these things coming, you know, maybe sudden loss of a job and now you have to scramble to figure out how to pay your bills.
Scott DeLuzio: That, you know, that all comes along with that. And there’s stress involved with all of that situation. Any number of other things like that where, Now you’re living in a very stressful environment, and that stress isn’t just situational, where I’m going to talk to this one person who gets under my skin, and I’m stressed about that one situation.
Scott DeLuzio: This is now life is stressful because I don’t have a [00:21:00] job and I can’t pay my bills because I don’t have money coming in. And that creates additional stress. How do we obviously get a new job? You know, step number one, right? But how do you deal with that stress so that way you can think clearly about what those next steps are?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Great, great, great, great question because that question is so relevant because that is the real life and the answer to that I cover in so much detail in my book, in so much detail, especially in acts. There’s a section in the book called Acts Coach Nat, and that’s where I talk about those real life situations where sometimes we tend to fluff.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: When it comes to the deep issues, we are like, oh my gosh, this happens. And within our veteran culture, most times when things like this happen, the natural thing for most of us to do as veterans is to start drinking. And when we start drinking, that’s where it goes down a slippery slope. And before you know, it leads to one thing and to one thing.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And before you know it, you’re in a state where alcoholism is [00:22:00] like a big thing. So like I would. In any moment, no matter if it is something major happens in your life, it goes back to your reaction in the moment being that silent observer, like, oh my goodness, I have lost my job. Am I gonna be reactive? Am I gonna start drinking?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Am I gonna hurt someone because of I’ve lost a job that is so meaningful to. You have to step back in those moments. You have to be that silent observer. You have to assess that environment. You have to assess your state of mind, and sometimes to clear your mind is best to do something meaningful. It is also great to let de-stress.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Let’s go do some deep breathing. Let’s go for a run. Let’s destruct myself by doing something challenging, a brain teaser. Do something just to take your mind off the stress. When your mind is clear, that’s when you’re able to better strategize. Okay? [00:23:00] So when you do all of that ways to de-stress, you need to sit down.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: You could purpose size a little bit. Get your state in a good state of positivity, do some deep breathing. When you do some deep breathing where they know that it’s turning off the stress response system in the brain, so you need to deactivate your stress response right? Then after that, getting a state of positivity.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And sometimes when we worry and worry, it’s all in your head. You have to declutter your mind. Put all that information on paper, right? When it’s on paper, you’re able to see the bigger picture. I’m stressed because I lost my job. Okay. So what’s the next step? Alrighty. How is this affecting me? It’s affecting me cuz I can’t pay my bills.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Okay, what’s gonna happen? Do I have enough money to pay my rent for the next month? So as you dumping all that information from your brain on paper, just to see exactly what’s going on, you are gonna then assess what’s on paper and then that’s when you’re gonna strategize. What is my next step of [00:24:00] action?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: What do I need to do? Do I need to reach out for my support system? Do I need to connect? Do you, when it’s all on paper, you’re better able to assess the situation, and this is something in the military we do. We just have to assist. When our officers are in charge and we’re trying to create a battle plan, we just don’t react because there’s a crisis.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: We don’t react because something is going on. We have to strategize and make great plans. So when it’s executed, it is done in the right way and it’s more be. If that makes any sense, .
Scott DeLuzio: No, it does. I think all of that makes a lot of sense because Yes. As you were talking, I was thinking to myself of just, when you’re in the military, you’re on a mission.
Scott DeLuzio: Any mission that anyone has ever done in the military has had some sort of objective to it. Like, this is, we’re gonna go do this because this is the objective and we’re gonna go accomplish this mission. Yes. So you’re laser focused on that objective. That’s the thing that you definitely need to go and accomplish.
Scott DeLuzio: Yes. And so in a situation, and I’m just using, losing a [00:25:00] job as an example, but there’s any number of other situations that could be stressful like that. But when you lose a job, if your first reaction, like you said, is to go grab a bottle and just. Get blackout drunk or no, just keep drinking not, not even blackout drunk.
Scott DeLuzio: Just doing that. But it doesn’t solve,
Natalie Shand-Spellman: the problem doesn’t, by the time you’re sober, the problem is still there.
Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. It just pushes it off. And then when you finally decide to go and tackle the problem, you’re now doing it with a head, that’s not quite as clear as it could. It could be. And so, you know, I, as you were talking, I.
Scott DeLuzio: The voices of some other people some people who might be kind of like naysayers right now who might be listening to this episode saying that well I just lost my job. How do I have time to go for a run or to go meditate or to do any of this stuff? How do I have time for any of that kind of stuff?
Scott DeLuzio: And then they go and grab a bottle and they start drinking. It’s like, well, how do you have time to go? Drunk if you don’t have a job, you know, like going for a run is free. You could go and do that. That doesn’t cost you [00:26:00] anything. You gotta go buy that booze that you’re drinking, right? And you don’t have a job.
Scott DeLuzio: So where are you getting that money from? Like that doesn’t make any
Natalie Shand-Spellman: sense. Right. Thank you. Doesn’t make sense. Like everything I say is something I implement because I remember I mentioned that I’ve gone through multiple miscarriage. Imagine as a woman, you’re trying to be, it’s natural to be your children for the longest.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Miscarriages. Miscarriages. And to me that’s traumatic in its in itself. And before you know it, there are moments where just can function. There are moments where there’s, in my life, if I reveal everything that’s happened in my life, there’s so many moments where something traumatic happens. And I realize that if I take the negative approach, I would not be the person here talking to you today.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Right. I would not be. And it’s a matter of picking yourself up, assessing the situation. Like what’s the mission, what’s the goal here at the end of the day, do I wanna make a decision that is positive and [00:27:00] it’s not gonna be making a permanent decision because of a temporary problem? We gotta be very mindful of when we make decisions.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Sure.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that, that is, Key is being mindful and thinking through the problem. Yes. And I like what you said before, write down the problem, write down what is going on, just list everything out. Yes. And I’m very much the type of person where I like to have a checklist in front of me of, okay. Now I know what the problem is, what are the steps?
Scott DeLuzio: And I’m gonna make yes, make a list of the next steps to do, you know, write a resume you know, go on, job interviews, reach out to my network, all these different things that I might need to do. If I’m in that situation where I’ve lost a job and I’m looking for a new job. Again, I’m picking on that because that’s just the example I, that came to mind earlier,
Scott DeLuzio: again, any number of different things, right? But yes. But you come up with a checklist of those things that you need to do, and then you start tackling that, that checklist. Yes. And once when you get through that [00:28:00] checklist, you should be at the point where you’re ready to solve that problem.
Scott DeLuzio: Whatever the situation is that came at you, yes. You know, perhaps unexpectedly you now have a game plan, you now have steps that will help you address this problem. And that’s. Gonna just solve it, solve the whole problem for you and it doesn’t it, it doesn’t need you to go and do things that are counterproductive, getting drunk and doing other things like that.
Scott DeLuzio: Right.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And Scott, not to, as you were talking, it just hit me that we are as veterans, we are stronger than a general population. We have been through bootcamp, we have gone through different challenges. We have been in award zone. We have been through so many things. So we can handle high stressful environments because that’s what we do when we serve in the military.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And the same way we could handle those stressful environments. And we come out as winners, we accomplish the [00:29:00] mission. We have done those things before. And to accomplish those things, we always do it with a clear. The question we must ask ourselves is that if we have done this in the military, why is it that we are having a hard time now doing the same?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: The same things when we’re out is maybe a different scenario, but the underlying issues that is a high stressful moment, high stressful situation. So those same coping skills we had, we could also implement it now as being civilians. And sometimes we tended to get those.
Scott DeLuzio: Sure. And I would even add that one of the differences maybe between dealing with a problem in the military and dealing with a problem in the civilian world is when you’re in the military you have a whole team of people who are there working together to achieve that same objective.
Scott DeLuzio: Yes. So find that network come. Yes. Get those people that that can help you. Any sort of times, you know, it could be neighbors, it could be friends, it could be [00:30:00] former coworkers or even people that you served with in the military. Depending on what the situation is, you may need a different set of people in your corner to help you out with different things.
Scott DeLuzio: So lean in on that network. You met these people at one point in time. You built a relationship with those people. Mm-hmm. And I think part of it too, Keeping up those relationships. And I know I’m guilty just like a lot of other people of not doing a great job at keeping up older relationships.
Scott DeLuzio: But, you know, reach out to people if you need the help and you know that there’s people in your network who have that ability to help you out. You know, reach out and see if they’re able to help but also be receptive to helping out other people as well. So that’s how that network can kind of help everybody out.
Scott DeLuzio: Everybody get better than they were. Exactly the day before.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Right, exactly. You know what I, I love that you’re saying this because I spent a lot of time thinking and assessing different problems and I kind of did a comparison to why is it our veterans as a whole, we are not [00:31:00] doing so well When we’re out of the context of the military and when we think about the military environment, what do we have in place?
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Right? We have structure, right? There’s this great military structure and we also have camaraderie. We have we are very mission driven. There’s a purpose to what we are doing. And also at the same time too, we are given orders, right? So when we have those contexts, we know how to function in that.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: What if we bring that same concept into being a civilian, right? Not in the true structure of what it is, but what if we live like in a way where we have camaraderie, like you said, we are connecting with our bodies, we’re connecting with the support system. We have people in our corner, so when we need support, there’s a support corner for us.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: What if we live our life where we’re disciplined? Right? Right. We know what we wanna accomplish in life. Let’s stay focused. Let’s say we know what the mission, this is where I come in as a. I’m [00:32:00] talking about a living, a life with purpose. Living in your assignment, living in your mission. Because when you know where your destination is, you are think of life as you driving down the highway of life and you’re trying to get to your destination.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: All of our destinations may look different, but if you have a destination, it gives you a goal, it gives you a destination, it gives you an end point. So what if we. The purpose for our lives, and we know where we’re going. It gives us goals to work on. It gives us a focus. It prevents us from living life aimlessly and recklessly and experimentally.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: But we’re kind of focused on our mission. We’re focused on our purpose in our lives, and that kind of gets you to your destination rather than to be live in precariously. I.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And when you said that you know, imagine your life as if you’re on a literal journey, you’re driving journey, life journey.
Scott DeLuzio: When you’re on that, when you’re on that journey, it’s very much [00:33:00] like. The back in the days where you used to print out directions from like MapQuest or something like that, white . Where they tell you on the printed out sheet, turn left on Main Street and turn right on, whatever.
Scott DeLuzio: And yes. But all of a sudden you may come to a street where it’s like it’s closed, there’s construction or something, and that street’s closed. Now you have to find another way around. Mm-hmm. . And these are those unexpected things that, that pop up in life. But you still figure it out. You go around, you go the next street down, you go take a turn and you work your way around and you follow the detour signs or whatever.
Scott DeLuzio: Until you get back on, on track to where you need to go. There’s always going to be unexpected things that happen in life. There’s always going to be that, that detour that you need to take. It’s like, okay, well I, my goal was to, you know, you know, at this position at this company in the next five years.
Scott DeLuzio: But you know, there’s some downsizing in the company and it’s not quite working out the way I’ve thought. Okay. Well, How do I get there now? I just need to take a detour. Maybe it’s not gonna be five years that it takes me to get there. Maybe it might be six or seven or something like that.
Scott DeLuzio: [00:34:00] Because of those detours, it takes you a little bit longer, but you work your way to still get to that end destination. This is the same way that you would if you’re behind the wheel of a car. You Yes. You follow the steps to get you to where you need to go in destination. Yeah.
Scott DeLuzio: And without having those, Laid out. If you’re just going through life just letting life happen to you, no you’re not gonna get that thing done, so, so I think it’s a whole lot less stressful if you were to get behind the wheel of your car and go drive someplace that you’ve never been to before you, you never knew how.
Scott DeLuzio: To get there cuz you never, you’re not even familiar with the area. Mm-hmm. and you’re driving through that area, you’re gonna be pretty stressed out driving through that area. Cause you’re Exactly, you’re trying to figure things out and you’ve never been there before. Well, I’ve never been to tomorrow in my life.
Scott DeLuzio: neither have you or anyone else who’s listening. We’ve never been in tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. Right. But if we have a roadmap and we have the directions. And the steps laid out of what we want [00:35:00] to accomplish, where we want to go, how we need to get there, what the steps that we need to do, then.
Scott DeLuzio: I mean, it’s a whole lot less stressful than just winging it. Right.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Scott, I’m getting so excited with us having this conversation because it’s all covered in my book. Excellent. Okay. I have it all covered in my book because like I said, I was lost. When I said loss, I just, you know, as a woman in the military, you identify yourself as a strong female marine, and it’s a title that only a few people have that title.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So imagine coming back home and I’m like, you’re not a Marine anymore. You don’t have those two navy achievement medals. You have, it doesn’t mean anything to us right now. Right. So, losing my identity, losing, having all these multiple losses in my. Lost relationships, lost babies, lost everything. I kind of got to the point where I was very scattered.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I kind of lost my identity and had to figure things out. So when I [00:36:00] had that second quest of life and there was a new surge of mission inside of me. I went on the internet, I went searching. I went, I love research by the way. I’m a nerd. , you may not know it, but I’m a nerd. I love research, I love studying.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: And I went on a quest for like a year or so And I research. And I research and I research. And while I’m researching, I’m like the Guinea pig. So everything I researching, I’m like actually practicing on myself and when I’m doing that, I also found the purpose of my. Right. And when I found the purpose of my life, I know what my purpose is.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I know it’s for me to start speaking. I pour life into people all the time. I’m encouraging, like, come on, you gotta pick yourself up. You gotta do right. Come on. You have greatness in you. You gotta, keep moving. So I know I need to motivate. I already know what my assignment is. I already know what my mission in life is.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: I already know the strategy to get to my destination. So I figured all of that out and I outlined [00:37:00] each step each. In my book, and I use the whole analogy of where life is a journey. You’re in your car and you’re heading to your destination, and it’s all covered in the book where I pretty much gave you the roadmap.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: The roadmap, to get your destination in life without it being stressful. Because at the end of the day, on a flip coin, stressed and purpose, or on the opposite, Right? Yeah. When you’re living in a state of stress, you’re so focused on the problem. You’re so focused on this is what’s going on. Life is this.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Life is that, and you’re just focusing on all the negative things that life is doing to you. But if you flip the coin and you’re living a life of purpose is no longer internalized as to what stress is doing to you. It’s more you live in your life. Focus on impacting, focusing on greatness, focusing on making an.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So when you’re so focused on serving and giving and helping and making an impact, you don’t have time to focus and you’re stress [00:38:00] anymore, right? You don’t, is irrelevant. And if you have stress, you’re like, okay, let me readjust, let me adapt, let me overcome, let me sort this out. But guess what? There’s a mission that needs to be accomplished.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: There’s a destination that needs to get to. I have a focus, I have a goal in life. So it just totally changed your per.
Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. And with that, I don’t want to give away too much more about what is in your book. I want people to go out and get a copy of the book, . So, why don’t you tell people where they can go to get a copy of the book?
Scott DeLuzio: And again, the book name is Drop Stress Like A Hot Potato. So where can people go to get a copy of the book and find out more about everything that you.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So this book is scheduled to be released December of 2022, and this book can be found on my website. NatalieShand.com. Or you can actually go on Amazon and just type in the name Drop Stress Like A Hot [00:39:00] Potato.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So it’s like, it’s an easy name to remember I think. So if you go on Amazon in December, , and after that time in December, you should be able to get an access to the book. And I’m excited about it because this book is to me, I don’t think like the average person, I like things that are clear, simple, colorful, tell me what I need.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So there’s no lot of reading. I don’t do all, it’s a workbook. It’s simple, it’s colorful. You wanna find your purpose. This is what you need to do. I need this strategy of my life. This is what you need to do. I need a blueprint. This is what you do. So everything is just simple. My mission accomplishment here.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: We gotta get the job done. Let’s don’t have time for reading. Just make, teach me what I need to do. And when you do this whole process from moving from stress to power and purpose, you should see results in 63 days. That’s when it takes a habit to form in 63 days. Excellent.
Scott DeLuzio: Well, I’m looking forward to seeing this book coming out.
Scott DeLuzio: By the time this episode release a book should already be out, so go to [00:40:00] Amazon for the listeners, go to Amazon type in Drop Stress Like A Hot Potato. That’ll also be a link to the book in the show notes and also to the website that she mentioned earlier. Again coach, it’s been a.
Scott DeLuzio: Pleasure speaking with you today. I think we covered a lot of stuff that I really do think will help people managing the stress in their own lives. You know, it, but I think people just need to focus on that intent, being intentional and being focused on what’s going on in the moment and how their actions are going to.
Scott DeLuzio: Push ’em towards whatever the goals are that they have in their lives. So, thank you again for joining me. I really do appreciate you coming on and sharing your story with us.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Thank you so much, Scott. I just, can I leave a word for your audience? Yes, absolutely. Leave. I have, leave a word with your audience and I just wanted to let you all know this.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: Your life has so much meaning, so much worth. You are meant for more. You are meant for greatness and your. [00:41:00] Mission in life, your assignment in life affects the life of somebody else. So when you start living a life of impact and purpose, there’s someone else’s life that will be affected by your actions.
Natalie Shand-Spellman: So each day, when you start your day, just tap into that inner fire, that inner energy and cognize that you are here to serve and to make a great impact. And when you do, you be less. You’ll find more meaning and happiness in your life. So it was nice chatting, . Appreciate for having me here.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely.
Scott DeLuzio: And I appreciate those final words that you had there. I think that was absolutely true. And hopefully people take that to heart. So thank you very much again for taking the time to join us. Okay,
Natalie Shand-Spellman: thanks again.
Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also [00:42:00] follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.