By Nicholle Chandler

Years ago, my therapist once pointed out that I sacrificed a lot for my career, including my health.

He wasn’t wrong.

I was functioning in a tunnel vision of productivity and achievement, overworking myself to burnout. After stressful auto-pilot living for so long, I had forgotten how unstressed living felt. Being a great business owner was the goal, but I was going at it all wrong, and my health was sounding the alarm.

To help shift my perspective, my talky-doc asked, “Cole, if YOU were the business, what would be mandatory to do to keep you profitable?”


Just like how I keep my businesses running like well-oiled machines, what things do I need to keep running myself effectively with positive returns? 

Exercise, quality sleep, eating mindfully instead of downing lunch in five minutes, meditating and more play were just a few of my thoughts.

This session was at the heart of my healing journey and led to significant insights into how I was spending my time. I was all business and no fun. My life was unbalanced, and my Libra self doesn’t do well when the scales are tipped that steep.

Before I go on, let me state that we live in an unbalanced world. Being perfectly balanced doesn’t exist. It’s not about balance; it’s about balancing. This means you’ll often be doing more of one thing and less of, maybe even zero of, another. Balancing is the goal, not balance. 

Three of my top five strengths are execution strengths: achieving, discipline and focus – great strengths for getting sh*t done, but not exactly fun. However, I didn’t want my store (me) to go bankrupt. I decided to experiment using my super strengths for self-care instead of my job.

I pulled out my planner and I got to work.

I scheduled my self-care, such as exercise and meditations. I made a point of connecting with friends for weekly hikes or dinner together. I made morning and night routines to help me sleep and rules to ensure I followed through. I reached out to my “board of directors,” think friends, family and colleagues, and let them know my plan.

That might all sound a bit too disciplined, but seeing as that’s my top strength, it worked for me! Once I started to view my self-care as my job and doing things that made me “profit,” the path of returning to my healthy (and yes, fun!) self opened up. And I was a better boss, too! #winwin

As we go into our busy tourist season, one with limited staff and further uncertainty, you might find yourself working more. “Work hard. Play hard!” is a common summer theme in Skagway. But don’t forget the play part. Don’t forget what brings you healthy gains. Deciding on just one self-care act can make a significant difference in your life.

Ask yourself:

• What would go on the top of my to-do list if my boss ordered more me-time?

•What strengths of mine can help prioritize this daily or weekly?

•How might tipping the scale for my self-care benefit other areas in my life such as family, work or relationships?

If you are unsure of your strengths, you can take a free strengths profile at

It’s been a joy writing this newsletter this winter. As I start prepping my stores for my busy season and training for two new certifications, I won’t be writing as much, but I’ll be slipping in an article here and there. Thank you for reading, and if you need anything, you can find me at my stores (2nd Avenue) or hiking up to Lower Lake.



Nicholle Chandler, NBC-HWC, is a National Board Certified Functional Health & Wellness Coach, meditation teacher, fitness instructor and local business owner. Go to for more information.