Women In Wellness: Dr. Jaclyn Bauer of Virtue Supplements on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
People want you to succeed. Being a clinical psychologist I did not have experience being in the business world. When I had my own private practice, I was the one running it and doing billing, but I had no experience working in the business world.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jaclyn Bauer, Ph.D., CEO, Virtue Supplements.
Dr. Bauer is a clinical psychologist for over 15 years specializing in anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Since earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at California Graduate Institute she has worked in drug and alcohol treatment centers, hospital settings, colleges, eating disorder clinics, as well as in private practice. After working with patients for many years and hearing the same complaints about the over prescription of pharmaceuticals, she decided to create Virtue Supplements to offer a natural option that is properly formulated with quality ingredients that have been clinically studied for effectiveness.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I have always been interested in human behavior and psychology. I earned my doctorate in clinical psychology at California Graduate Institute. I worked at drug treatment centers, eating disorder facilities, hospitals, college counseling centers, and private practice. Throughout my career I noticed a rising trend in mood disorders and it appeared that more people were struggling, however, they were resistant to traditional medication. My husband then got an amazing job opportunity out of state and we decided that if we were ever going to do an adventure and move someplace not knowing anyone, now was the time. So I took time off my private practice and raised our two young kids. Being a stay at home mom was beautiful, fun, challenging, and exhausting. During that time, some of my previous patients kept in touch with me giving me updates on how they were doing and my mind kept going back to how so many people
needed an effective natural solution regarding their mental health struggles. My husband, who is in nutraceuticals, mentioned a trade show that he attends that has vendors from all over the world with amazing ingredients, so I went with him one year and found amazing trademark ingredients that have been clinically studied, but a lot of companies do not use these ingredients because they are more expensive than their generic, synthetic counterparts. After seeing how there were natural ingredients, clinically studied for their benefit, and finding a manufacturer that can make a capsule with liquid and powder in one capsule; where you can get the best of both worlds in one capsule, Virtue Supplements was born.
Personally, I struggle with anxiety. Most of my anxiety comes at night and I feel it in my limbs and it makes it hard to relax and creates a very difficult bedtime. I tried a lot of different natural supplements out on the market today and they did not help. Looking at their ingredients I noticed that there were 3 different types of formulations: (1) fairy dusting- taking a “hot” ingredient and adding a minimal amount of that ingredient in your product to save money, but to be able to say that your product contains that ingredient. (2) kitchen sink- adding every single ingredient that may or may not help so you are consuming a lot of unnecessary ingredients. (3) generic ingredients- some generic ingredients are great as long as it contains the “right” concentration of the active components and they are naturally derived. However, with trademark ingredients, you have an ingredient that has been clinically studied and is very strict on the correct mg in the product for it to be effective. With those ingredients, you KNOW the ingredient that was clinically studied is the same ingredient going to Virtue’s customers.
At Virtue Supplements, we wanted to be different and to formulate a product that has clinically effective ingredients at the correct dosages.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
My husband does a horrible job managing his stress. In the past, he was constantly on his phone answering work emails and calls, and eventually I had to ask him, “Does your work expect you to answer these emails and phone calls if you were at a movie theater?” He told me no. So then I requested that he act like he is at the movie theater from the time we have a family dinner to when we put the kids to bed, and we put the kids to bed relatively early. I told him that our kids needed him to be more present and they needed time with him, and he needed time with our kids. Thankfully was able to do that, unless there is a true work emergency. But it was important to set boundaries with him and his work. However, things got really bad right before my 40th birthday. My parents were able to come out and watch the boys and my husband and I were planning a long weekend away at a wellness retreat. The day before we were supposed to leave his work got incredibly stressful. The power of stress and anxiety was so prevalent in his life at that time that I was truly worried for his health. Seeing how the stress and anxiety was so
powerful it was taking away his ability to be present and have happiness, I knew something had to change. That is when I really decided to create Virtue Supplements. Before then I was on the fence if I was ready to pull the trigger but seeing how much it can impact not just his life, but the lives of loved ones as well. I decided that it was time for me to be a part of the solution.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think the biggest mistake I’ve made with Virtue Supplements is waiting so long to start the company. I wanted to create this company for a few years now, however, I got in my own way. I lacked the confidence and felt I had to know everything there is to know in the business world, in my space, and how to run a business. I got in my own way and realized that as long as I created an amazing product with a wonderful team, then I was golden. It reminds me of when I was studying for the licensing exam in psychology; a friend was studying at the same time, and this is an exam that you set aside months to study. I never felt ready and felt there was always more to learn, and my friend felt the same way. She then shared some words of wisdom her father shared with her, which was, “just take the damn thing.” I think that with my personality type I want to feel like I know everything before I jump, and that is not a reasonable expectation in business or life. So I have found the importance of jumping and asking for help when needed and surrounding yourself with great people.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband, Casey. Not only has he been incredibly supportive of Virtue Supplements, but he is supportive of me. He has a background in nutraceuticals and has helped from the formulation to the containers and he has also made some wonderful contacts where these people have been amazingly supportive of answering my questions and helping me. It has been uplifting to see how many people have been willing to help me and if I had questions that they did not know the answers to, they knew other people who I can ask. Casey has been supporting me with working long hours and working during the weekend, but also reminding me of the balance I need.
When it comes to Mental Health and Wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Creating Virtue Supplements made it so I could reach a lot more people. When I was doing private practice, the number of patients I could see was limited. There are many wonderful therapists out there, but I wanted to make a bigger impact on normalizing the discussion on mental health. There are also
many people out there who are struggling and don’t know how to ask for help or who to talk to. Every week I do an “Ask Dr. Jackie” on IG where people can ask me questions. It is not therapy, but a start to help point people in the right direction. I have also done a blog post on the website on how to find the right therapist for you. When my family and I moved to a different state, I noticed that many people were not as open regarding their mental health struggles compared to California. Many people were afraid to reach out and ask for help, but they still had struggles and were in pain.
I want to invite more conversations about mental health and mental wellness. We all struggle. We all have bad days, some more than others. I also want to help the conversation by talking about my own struggles, which I share on Virtue Supplement’s social media sites. I want to normalize people asking for help and for people to love and accept themselves, wart and all. People deserve to feel better, and my hope is that Virtue Supplements helps them with that.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Balance- balance is something I am continually working on. It is from something as simple as not taking my phone with me during my workout time to making sure I tuck my kids into bed and read to them. I think it is important to examine the things that are important to you and to not compromise on them.
- Mindfulness- My kids and I struggle at bedtime with winding down and anxiety. What we have started to do every night after reading to them is doing a 5-minute family meditation where we all lay down in a room, breathe, and listen to a meditation. I have noticed that it really helps me center myself and I have noticed that kids don’t struggle with bedtime as much.
- Gratitude- I feel that when the world gets busy and chaotic we forget to remember all the positive things around us. Every night at dinner, we go around the table and share 3–4 things we are grateful for during the day. Some of the things get repeated, but I love how even my 6 year old shares what he is grateful for and it is a great time to talk about our day and remind ourselves of our gratitude.
- The power of “yet.” This is another one that I can relate to with my kids. My 8-year-old loves all sports. He loves watching them and when skills camps started to open up again after covid, he was eager to play them. However, he was really frustrated that he didn’t excel at sports like he was expecting. So we have worked on trying to end those negative self-talk statements with “yet.” I can’t do this…yet. I have started to utilize it as well. “I can’t figure out how to do XX, yet.”
- Play. As we get older we forget to play, and the ability to play is important. We try to do weekly family game nights where was play anything from Life, Sorry Monopoly, Dominoes, to Laser Tag and hide and go seek. But whether it is with kids, other adults, or animals it is important to have fun and play.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- There will be hurdles, but you have support. It is okay to stumble and fall, but just make sure to pick yourself up afterward
- People want you to succeed. Being a clinical psychologist I did not have experience being in the business world. When I had my own private practice, I was the one running it and doing billing, but I had no experience working in the business world. That world was so unfamiliar to me and it was intimidating. However, after having so many interactions with different people I found everyone to be so supportive and helpful. It is ok to not know things, just know who to ask when you get stuck.
- Be kind. You won’t get everything done you want to get done during the day while you are in a pandemic. Balancing work and distance learning means work will come second. But it is ok. Be kind to yourself. You will get it done eventually, just maybe not the timeline you envisioned. And be kind to others, because we are all treading the same waters.
- Go with the flow. Starting a business, unexpected things happen and delays occur. We were on track for everything, and then the pandemic hit, and production for some of our materials hit a drastic backlog. There was nothing I could do. I was frustrated and annoyed, but then my husband reminded me that although it is frustrating, there is nothing we can do but wait. It is hard when there are so many things out of your control, but that is part of the journey.
- Build a good support group. One of my girlfriends is starting her own business with a similar timeline. She has been a great resource in terms of emotional support as well as someone who has helped me build my team and answer a lot of “starter” questions that have come up.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health is near and dear to me. I started seeing a therapist in my 20’s and the positive impact from that experience has literally changed my life. I am more comfortable with who I am, my voice, and my needs. As a psychologist working with patients I have seen how life-changing therapy can be and I have also seen an increase in mental health issues. When people talk about their struggles, whether it be with a therapist or a trusted friend/family member, it helps them not feel as alone. I think sharing our struggles helps normalize that everyone has their own things they are working through and we do not have to pretend to be perfect.
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Thank you for these fantastic insights!