We had the good fortune of connecting with Carly Knauf and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carly, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When thinking about how my work-life balance has changed over time, especially this past year and a half I must laugh, maybe so I don’t cry? During this pandemic, work, school, and health concerns have claimed households. We have trained our brains that our home equals work. Like many, I have found it challenging to find work-life balance when my home also became my office/library/gym/restaurant/bar/movie theater/dog park/doctor’s office/etc. I was constantly checking my work email since I was constantly home without any social events on the calendar for the foreseeable future. I had lost the critical balance in my life that had once allowed me to thrive.

I realized during all the chaos and stress I had stopped prioritizing my values and I was showing up to work and other responsibilities with little intention, energy, or purpose. I wasn’t sure how to fix this imbalance until some amazing individuals in my support system reminded me of the importance of slowing down and reestablishing self-care routines and stability.

While re-learning my self-care practices I discovered that common sense is not always common action. We all know eating a bowl of salad will be better for us than the bowl of Mac n’ Cheese, but that doesn’t always mean we pick the bowl full of greens. I needed a system to help hold me accountable by creating and maintaining boundaries around my time and priorities so I could find balance again. This led to the creation of the C.A.R.E. system. C is for connections. A is for appetite. R is for rest and relaxation. E is for exercise and examining unhelpful thoughts. Each category has specific goals and guidelines to help keep me on a path towards my personal growth, happiness, and balance. Not everyone works well with acronyms, but they have always been a great way for me to create specific and attainable guidelines for various areas of focus in my life.

We are still managing ongoing uncertainty and changes and while we are all experiencing this pandemic, it has impacted us on different levels. I recognize how lucky and privileged I am to have my health during this time as well as a home to be stuck in. I know our situations and priorities will continue to change and I am hopeful that I continue to C.A.R.E. for my self-care and maintain a positive work-life balance.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I didn’t always know I wanted to be a Psychologist, but I always knew I loved connecting with and supporting individuals. While in elementary school, one of my cousins died by suicide and I learned from a young age that the process of grief and loss is ongoing and lifelong. During that time, my parents thought it would be best for me to talk with a counselor at school to help me process the loss we were all experiencing. I am thankful for my parents’ insight to make sure I was supported during that time and it has been a mission and passion of mine to end the stigma around mental health and provide support for those in need.

I love working with teens and adults who are experiencing a variety of challenges- from grief and loss to autism to ADHD to anxiety and so on. I believe that clients are the experts on themselves, and therapy is most effective when it’s collaborative and strength-based. I find it an absolute privilege to help my clients find success in their mental health journey and I look forward to connecting with and supporting individuals in Colorado!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I only have a week to show my bestie all the amazing sights and places of Colorado? We better move fast!! I would start out with doughnuts from Voodoo Donuts and then I would take her on a hike to Red Rocks to take in the gorgeous views of the area! After working up an appetite from the hike, I would take her for dinner at Hop Alley, and then we would enjoy some delicious wine at the Urban winery, Attimo. Next on the agenda is cheering on the Rockies at Coors Field. And since we are talking about Coors, it would only be right to take her on the Coors Brewery Tour in Golden, and cheers with our free draft! After examining the Coors banquet can, I would take her to Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs to hike and check out the inspirational waterfall that made it on the Coors can so many years ago. And you can’t go to Steamboat without dipping in the Strawberry Park hot springs and eating the famous NY-style pizza at the Corner Slice. Since we are in the mountains, we will take the back roads towards Aspen so we can be tourists at the Maroon Bells and eat our hearts out at Hickory House and Kenichi in Aspen. Heading back towards the airport we will be sure to check out the Broncos and catch a live show at Red Rocks! What a fabulous week!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be who I am today without my amazing support system that includes my family, friends, supervisors, and mentors!

Website: PsychallogyServices.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carly-knauf-psy-d-18038858/

Image Credits
Bryan Baker

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