Kelly Hody

Kelly Hody on Hey Paolo


Most Challenging Moment:

I have always been a natural optimist and an empath, with a tendency to view the world through rose-colored glasses.

I had a pretty typical Aussie upbringing, and although in hindsight, I definitely experienced my fair share of childhood trauma, mental health simply wasn’t something I was conscious of until much later in life.

As a member of Gen X, it felt normal to just tough it out, no matter what. In my twenties and thirties, I worked in the corporate world in an industry with a “work hard, play harder” culture, and if you weren’t stressed out, you simply weren’t working hard enough. In 2013, I came extremely close to experiencing burnout and quit my high-flying, well-paid job without having another job lined up. I think it was the first time I had ever consciously recognized that my mental health wasn’t great and that I needed to make some significant changes and reassess my priorities.


It took me a few more years, but I eventually recognised that I am an innate people-pleaser, which meant I consistently put other people first, sacrificing my own needs and wants in the process.

The biggest realisation was that other people weren’t asking or even expecting me to do this. I was the one making these decisions and paying the price.

In 2017, I started my own business, and in those first few years, I was too scared to say no to any opportunity or inquiry. The turning point was when I accepted that I deserved to put myself first and set the terms of my own life and work. From there, I developed the confidence to say no and start setting boundaries, both with others and with myself. The impact on my mental health has been enormously positive as I no longer feel guilty for taking time out for myself, and now I prioritize self-care on a daily basis.

Daily Self-Care:

Three years ago, I was not practicing self-care consistently at all.

Today, I am proud to say that self-care is a daily priority. It looks a little different each day, but often includes meditation, diaphragmatic breathing exercises, reading, resting, taking naps, connecting with my husband in a meaningful way, cuddling with my cat, journaling, dopamine dressing, eating nutritious food to fuel my mind and body, soaking in some sunshine, connecting with dear friends, and seeking new experiences.

Message To Younger Self:

You can never please all the people all the time. Find your people, nurture those relationships, and they will be your biggest cheerleaders.

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