My name is Holly McCorriston and I’m a life coach, mental fitness trainer, and former pharmacist. I was born and raised in Kindersley, graduated from KCS in 2004, and spent only a few years away in Saskatoon to obtain my pharmacy degree. My first job was at Close’s Family Foods, then the Co-op grocery store, the Co-op Pharmacy as an intern, and finally landing my first grown-up job as a pharmacist at Pharmasave in 2009.
A decade of pharmacy practice, plus recognizing my own lifelong patterns of self-sabotage, poor stress management, and anxiety made me start to wonder and look at many of the current systems we have in place, and how they may not be supporting or empowering people to actually look after themselves. It’s like we all know on an intellectual level what is good for us and our bodies, but why did so many people (including myself) have trouble implementing and sustaining what might be considered more healthy habits?
I started questioning how I looked after my own mental health and how I had ended up in the stressed-out, burnt-out, anxiety-ridden state I was in. I started asking questions. “When we have this constant cycle of thoughts going on in our heads that tell us we are or aren’t doing a good job or doing enough, why do we never stop to figure that out?”
To support myself in finding my own mental health solutions that did not involve care through the traditional medical system, I hired a life coach, started a meditation practice, and began consuming whatever books I could get my hands on in the personal development realm. I just about opened my own pharmacy in Kindersley and attended both the provincial and national pharmacy conferences in 2019 to assess my ongoing interest in the profession.
I realized quickly at the conferences that the problem wasn’t pharmacy. It was that humans, in general (including a ton of pharmacy professionals) are becoming more burnt-out, overwhelmed, and anxiety-ridden than they’ve ever been before. I didn’t want to be a pharmacist anymore. I wanted a way to enable and empower people to look after themselves that no longer made them reliant on systems and others outside themselves.
I told myself I would never go back to school when I finally closed my last textbook and wrote my last exams way back in 2009. Little did I know that I would be enrolled in six hours of weekly night classes only ten years later. I received my solution focused life coaching diploma in July of 2020 and quickly added mental fitness training in order to really provide sustainable change and results.
I had no idea that my journey through anxiety and burnout in 2018-2019 would lead me to becoming a full-time entrepreneur, coach, and mental fitness trainer in 2021. I had no idea my own battle back from a dark pit of depression would allow me to have the experience, empathy, and connection to serve others on a whole new level.
I had no idea how to truly serve the community and other women struggling with stress, anxiety, and burn-out when I was a pharmacist and I am thrilled that I have the freedom, training, skills, and ability to serve those women now.
If I had only one message to share with the world, it’s that you are not defined by your past, your diagnosis, or who you think you are. Each of you is a culmination of your history, pain, and programming and while you cannot control what has happened to you, it is your individual responsibility to become aware of and heal from whatever it is keeping you stuck, sick, and small.
I believe true healing is a personal responsibility and have first-hand experience that healing myself through awareness and building mental muscles has drastically improved my relationships, health, happiness, and career. The clients that have worked with me through coaching and mental fitness training have drastically improved their own lives in all these aspects. “I didn’t know it could be this good,” a recent client reflected to me after our work together. I never had a single person at the pharmacy tell me anything like that in the 11.5 years I worked there.
You do not need to remain stuck, sick, and small as you secretly struggle with stress and anxiety. You are absolutely capable of healing and having a life you never dreamed possible.
I dream of a world where everyone has access to mental fitness practices that equip them with the ability to know and do what is best for them. There are several free tools and resources available on my website www.hollymccorriston.com and I am currently accepting new 1:1 and group clients in my Be Your Own Hero programs. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to help women struggling with stress and anxiety to overcome the guilt and shame that keeps them from prioritizing themselves and living a life they truly love.
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