The first year of entrepreneurship taught me one critical lesson: the momentum of success is only maintained when you take care of yourself (no matter where in the world you are).
Mindfully carving rituals that promote work-life balance have been my absolute savior over the past several months (and I certainly was no expert to begin with). Like most of my lessons and realizations in life, travel and living abroad made me better at this. From experiencing the Italian riposo – a glorious three hours in the afternoon that Italians simply dedicate to good food, family and naps – to experiencing European corporate life where 30 days paid vacation, generous sick leaves and a strict “no emails on the weekend rule” was lifeblood, I learned to set boundaries between work and self.
Owning your own business, however, is a totally different balance ballpark. It’s a 24/7 job of wonderful highs, long nights and the non-stop pursuit to be better and grow bigger than you were the day before.
The concept of “turning off” is something I tried desperately to do for a long time until I realized that well, with entrepreneurship it isn’t so simple. No single day is quite the same, so trying to cram a routine into a path where routine can’t exist can create more stress than it can alleviate it. The first step is to embrace spontaneity and accept that anything is possible (this applies to both accomplishments and lows), so be prepared to be flexible no matter which direction the winds take. To maintain balance, incorporate rituals instead of routine. Rituals that allow you to decompress, reconnect with yourself and fuel your creative and strategic reserves for a success – no matter what your hustle entails. Here are the five rituals I live by:
Do right by your body – every day
It’s simple: taking care of your body makes the mind happier, so do it. Whether running, sweating it out in hot yoga or swimming in the sea, make your heart work for one hour every day without exceptions. Eat what will make you feel good (on most days that’s probably a salad and smoothies, but on some days it’s perfectly OK if that entails a generous bowl of pasta).
Plan out the week on a quiet Sunday night
Jumping into the week in a juggling act is not something I’m a fan of. Instead of frantically planning my day in the mornings, I calmly go to a cafe on a Sunday morning and plan out the next seven days – not only for Modern Jetsetter, but for connecting with friends, scheduling workout classes, catching up on Game of Thrones or diving into that new book that is waiting for me in a suitcase. Plan in the things that make you happy in addition to business.
Plan yoga and wellness retreats into travel routine
One of the main rituals I plan into my bigger picture are travel escapes that combine wellness and health – and for me, that’s always with Sole Yoga Holidays. My first yoga retreat in Zanzibar completely transformed my relationship with how I balance my personal life and business (not to mention made me fall in love with yoga not only for the inevitable flexibility and strength perks, but for the mental ones as well). I’m thrilled to be embarking on a retreat to Santorini this October and can’t wait to experience the magic of Greek life during one of it’s more off-the-radar seasons (plus sunrises, twice daily yoga, greek salads, sunshine and of course, the sound of crashing waves). Yoga, paradise and girl time with owner and instructor Shari are, without fail, my go-to creative reset.
If you want to join me on this experience in Greek paradise, I would love for you to go on that journey with me. The next person to sign up and use the code MODERNJETSETTER on the booking form will receive €150 off, a free massage and above all, a special Santorini-themed Mala by Blooming Lotus Jewelry (which I’m recently so obsessed with, I don’t really ever want to take off).
Crafted with Agate (a stone that promotes harmony for the body and spirit and delivers courage to accept your truth), Sandalwood (promotes humility) and gorgeous Aegean-sapphire tassels meant to symbolize the roots of the lotus, this necklace is a vibrant and chic symbol of enlightenment and choosing your path.
Mala beads are a reminder of our intentions and affirmations – and whether that’s to create a travel lifestyle empire dedicated to Italy or simply to stay connected to your heart (or both), I’m excited for Santorini and my treasured yoga escape with Shari to fuel my imagination and creative fuel once again.
Wake up early
I could just say “you can sleep when you’re dead” but really, waking up one or two hours earlier will change your life. Identify the two things you always say you don’t have enough time to do, wake up earlier and finally do them. For me, I wake up at 5AM for two reasons: to watch the sunrise (worth it) and fit in my daily sweat session.
Find a quiet place and go there alone
Independence is so important for the spirit. Find a place where your mind can find calm and slowly map what’s next. No matter where you are in the world, you can find that place or recreate it. For me – nothing slows down my thoughts and puts life in perspective like hearing waves crash against to shore. Whether I’m in New York City or Italy or the mountains of the Alps, I know where to go for water. Find your place and make it a priority to visit once or twice a week. .