Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Net Cast, where leaders with three or more years of experience in the senior care industry share their advice. So let’s get to it, and in a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do.

Christina Kantzavelos: https://www.beginwithintoday.com

My name is Christina Kantzavelos. I’m a licensed psychotherapist, as well as a case manager. I work with those with disabilities, including age-related chronic illness and developmental disabilities, and I’ve been doing that for gosh, a while now. Nearly, nearly a decade, I would say.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Yeah, case management is a tough thing and you are the Jack of all trades and you know all the resources I’m sure, right?

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yes. Yes, queen of resources over here.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

What is the best thing about serving aging adults?

Christina Kantzavelos:

Oh, I mean, I just love all aspects of it. I think it’s … You go in there hoping to share and impart your own wisdom and your own resources, and oftentimes I’m the one who leaves with that information. That’s the one thing that’s so beautiful about aging, is that wisdom that you get with each year.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and our seniors are so wise and they’re so full of good information and things they’ve tried and anything you’d ask them, they’ve probably been there done that.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Exactly.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

So tell us a little bit about in your history or your past, in your lifetime, there’s probably been people, maybe parents, grandparents, or organizations, or other mentors in your life that have really meant a lot to you and have really spurred your career to where it is today, spurred you on. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Christina Kantzavelos:

I think that would have to be my parents. They’ve encouraged me to always do what I want to do, but with the intention of helping others and I couldn’t think of a better field where I get to do both. I get to do what I love and I do believe I am able to help others help themselves while doing that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yes, absolutely. And that’s … You know what? If you come to work and you love what you do, that is … I mean, that’s the best part of life, is loving your job and loving what you do.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Sure is.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely. All right, let’s talk about online marketing a little bit. I know it’s challenging, I know it’s ever changing and confusing. What has been your experience or thoughts? What do you do for online marketing?

Christina Kantzavelos:

It is ever changing and at this point in time, it is ever vital as well because everything is online since COVID. We don’t have a choice but to kind of move and shift with that. So it’s been … I’ve been marketing myself online for a while now and vary social media tools like using Facebook and Instagram. Those have been quite helpful as well as marketing myself on resource websites, such as Psychology Today, that sort of thing putting yourself out there and then for aging adults often, it’s their children or family members that contact me that are maybe a little bit more tech savvy and that’s okay. It’s a little bit unconventional compared to what we’re all used to, but it still works.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep, absolutely. And yeah, you’re right, it’s more important than ever that you have an excellent online presence and we keep up with it as much as you can, on top of all the other hats that you wear.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, it gets a little overwhelming, but it certainly … It helps people, I think it used to be … It was your yellow pages ad, it was your storefront, it was your … And now it’s the first thing they see is your website, the first thing they see is maybe a blog post or a Facebook post or a page, so it’s important to keep up on most of that anyway.

Christina Kantzavelos:

I think so, and I recommend dedicating one hour a day to either posting or engaging somehow. I mean, LinkedIn is also a beautiful tool.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yep.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Totally worth it.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Absolutely, and LinkedIn and professional outreach is great on LinkedIn and yes, there’s definitely a lot to learn and a lot to do out there, but I think that if you can schedule yourself an hour to go on and say something meaningful, what’s on your mind, what’s your … Something, celebrate something that happened that’s awesome without of course, names or anything like that, just share with other people how your work life is and what you do, and I think that the rewards come from doing that. All right, what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Christina Kantzavelos:

I think, number one, just have self-compassion. None of us are doing a perfect job at this. We’re all trying our very best and we need to remind ourselves of that once in a while and give ourselves like a little hug of encouragement that we’re trying, we’re doing the best that we can. Yeah, I think that would be it. Our jobs aren’t that easy.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

No, not at all. Not easy and we’re our own worst critics, right?

Christina Kantzavelos:

Definitely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, give yourself a pat on the back because even if you don’t feel like you were the expert today in the eyes of the folks that you serve, you really are the expert and they do rely on you and they know that what you say is … You’ve got great resources. Every day may not be perfect, but certainly you’re doing the best you can.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Sometimes it’s a thankless job, and so we have to be the ones to thank ourselves.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, it’s true. Yeah, sometimes you have to say okay. There are family dynamics, there’s all kinds of things that go into this that make it difficult and challenging, and it’s that human element sometimes that gets in the way.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Just a little bit.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, but overall though, it’s … There’s hopefully more wins than [inaudible 00:06:54].

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yeah, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, right?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s right. That’s how you know we love what we do. Okay, when you have a win in life or in business, how do you like to celebrate?

Christina Kantzavelos:

This is something that proves to be challenging for me. I have a very go, go, go attitude, and I hit a milestone and I’m like, okay yes, but I have 20 more. So I’m learning to embrace celebrating both small and big wins and I do that by giving myself a chance to just breathe, to rest, to make myself a nice meal, do something that’s really self-care related that feels good, and maybe journal about it. That sort of thing.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, I think those quiet moments are a really nice way to celebrate. Honestly, just self-reflection, taking a nap.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yes. Yes.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sometimes that’s the best way to do it.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yes, a nap, what a concept.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sometimes after you’ve done a whole lot for maybe it’s a family or you’ve been celebrating a birthday or whatever, just sometimes just some peaceful, quiet reflection is nice to get your energy back up and just you did a good job, so take a minute.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yep. Yep.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Absolutely.

Christina Kantzavelos:

And when things open up a little bit more, maybe going on a tiny little vacation or a day trip or whatever.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah.

Christina Kantzavelos:

Yeah, whatever feels good.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Getting outside is always helpful. Getting away from … Yeah, I know. I think we’re … Our family is ready to go somewhere. We talk about it all the time, but of course we haven’t made any plans yet, but hopefully this summer we will definitely get back on the road and do a little road trip or a long road trip or something.

Christina Kantzavelos:

I’m with you on that. Yeah.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Getting out of here would be a great thing to do, but taking our time. So I want to thank you for being on the show, for sharing your wisdom, for sharing your role in all of the senior care craziness and what you do and your expertise.

Christina Kantzavelos:

[inaudible 00:09:02].

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

We’ll make sure that everybody knows how to get ahold of you, and thank you