Two female founders on how they stay mind fit in a fast-paced world
This March, our friends at P.E Nation thought it was an ideal opportunity to give our emotional and physical wellbeing a makeover and rediscover the wonderful benefits of beauty-through-wellness.
To celebrate the end of Mind Fit March, we have partnered with P.E Nation and couldn't think of a better way to complete their program than sitting down with two dynamic and successful businesswomen who have plenty to impart when it comes to finding balance.
Elle Macpherson, Founder of WelleCo and Claire Tregoning, Co-Founder of P.E Nation, sat down to talk all things movement, wellbeing, and staying mind fit in a fast-paced world.
How do you start your day?Elle: It’s important to me that I start my day feeling centred and connected to my heart. I practice prayer, and meditation in the mornings – it helps keep me focused and clear minded. There’s a wonderful philosophy I heard that is really valuable: “If you can’t find the time to meditate for half an hour every day, then meditate for an hour.”
I also make sure I set my intentions for the day – both personally and professionally. Just writing down my hopes and wishes sets up an unconscious undercurrent of focus for the day. Then I have a clear vision on what I can set out to achieve and my energy is effortlessly angled towards it.
Claire: I wake up about 6am every morning. In my house, with two young children, it's the quietest time of the day, so the first thing I do is try and meditate before anyone wakes up. If I can, I'll meditate for 15-20 minutes. Movement early in the day is important to me too, so about once or twice a week, I'll go to a Pilates studio and do a session there. On the rest of the mornings, I do an at-home workout known as The Class, by Taryn Toomey. It's a mat-based workout with lots of music, like a blend of yoga and dance. It's high-energy and shakes you up. It works for me. I love how fun and convenient it is; I don't even have to leave the house to get to enjoy it.
How important is movement in terms of how you feel? What kind of movement makes you feel the most strong, in every sense of that word?
Elle: Movement is one of my daily non-negotiables. Each week I mix it up so my body doesn’t become accustomed to the same exercises and so I don’t get bored. I like sports and I love being outdoors, so I’m more likely to go for a swim, ride my bike, hike in the woods, or play a game of tennis, than to go and work out in a gym. In saying that, I have started doing weight training to help protect me from getting osteoporosis.
I’ve come to understand the increased importance of movement combined with fresh air, sunshine for vitamin D to support my immune system – it helps keep me connected and healthy on all levels. Most importantly, love and laughter – it opens the heart and lightens the spirit – vital for a strong immune system and meaningful life.
Claire: Movement is so integral to how good I feel. It's very important; I try to incorporate movement, in some form, into every day. I enjoy so many forms, but I definitely feel strongest when I do Pilates. I think that's because it feels so focused on strength-based work; when I practice Pilates I feel like I'm doing work that's helping to build muscle. At the same time, a Pilates session brings me into the moment and helps me feel calm - and all of that combined really helps to set me up for the day.
I get movement in lots of other ways, too. I live in a beach suburb north of Sydney, and often take my kids surfing. We all love jumping in the ocean. It's so freeing. It's really cleansing for the mind, a great way to reset, good for the soul. And a few times a week, I'll go for a walk as well. Each of these things, in their own way, helps clear my mind, helps me reset, helps me feel strong.
When life gets busy, stressful, fast-paced, what helps you stay in the moment?
Elle: Learn to prioritise and balance. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I focus exclusively on what I am actually doing at the time, then when I am done, move on to the next thing. One minute I’m doing my weekly shop at the market, the next minute I am on a Zoom call with the WelleCo team, preparing for a press interview and then cooking dinner for my son. All the time I remain focused on the present.
I’ve actually found that stress is usually about what we are not doing, rather than having too many things to do. So I find it’s vital to spend at least some of each day – even if it’s only 15 or 30 minutes – doing something for yourself, something that really matters to you. No matter how big or small or whether you finish it or not, just investing some time and effort in yourself is very powerful and also helps you focus on other things when they need your attention.
Most importantly, remember to laugh and not be too hard on yourself. I find deep breathing also helps when you are feeling stressed, to slow you down and centre you.
Claire: My life, my schedule, is so full, and so fulfilling, but I do need order to get the most out of every moment. Writing lists not only helps me stay focused; it also helps me see how much I've managed to achieve in any one day. I get to break down to-dos into smaller tasks, which helps to prioritise and manage each one. Plus, there's something so satisfying about looking at just how many things you've ticked off by the end of the day; it's a great way to see with clarity just how much you've accomplished, even on days that have seemed overwhelming.
Where or how have you found strength in challenging times?
Elle: Learning to trust myself was an inner strength I found. Especially trusting myself to start WelleCo at the age of 50. I’m sure that people see me as strong and confident, but I went through the same moments of nervousness and procrastination as the next person would.
You never truly know all the wonderful things in life that can happen until you trust that inner urge and take those first steps. But that’s what I did. I’ve learnt that any business, like any journey, has its twists and turns, delights and disappointments, successes and compromises. Having courage to follow your dreams and curiosities is extremely important. When you find the inner stillness to sense what moves you, it gives you that little ‘zing’ feeling – the signal to take the courage to act on it… that’s where the magic lies. It’s a gift. And now I get to do it every day with WelleCo.
I find that strength is also built by reassuring myself that everything has a purpose and valuable empowering lesson in it. Everything. No exceptions. Whether or not we see it or understand it. And just knowing that valuable, positive gift is there in whatever I’m doing or whatever is happening and keeping an eye out for it or seeking it out, it raises my enthusiasm, determination and persistence. I want that strengthening gift and it’s worth my effort.
Claire: I'm a big advocate for self help books. So, in challenging times I'll reach for the bookshelf and pick something to read. I recently read Glennon Doyle's Untamed over a weekend and, my god, she is just incredible. It was so powerful. It moved me so much I'm actually about to read it again, it's just brilliant, there are so many good takeaways in there. I love listening to podcasts too, and the long commute to and from the office is the perfect opportunity to get through a good episode or two. A couple of my favourites are Unlocking Us with Brené Brown, and Oprah's Super Soul Sessions.
What are the non-negotiables within your daily routine that help to safeguard your mindset?
Elle: For me, it’s about being consciously aware of my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Every day, not just sometimes. I’m a big believer in nurturing my inner environment – I know if I nourish my body with clean nutrients and keep up daily beauty and wellness practices that support my energy, it shows on the outside.
To make sure I remain focused and centred, I find it important to stick to healthy routines. Through clean food, movement, sleep, meditation, gratitude, laughter, beauty and wellness practices and supplementing my nutritional intake with WelleCo’s ingestible beauty collection (The Super Elixir™, Nourishing Protein and Sleep Welle Calming Tea), I constantly rediscover the wonderful benefits of beauty-through-wellness – exuding a beautiful vitality, feeling alive, inspired and being capable of making great choices for myself – instead of “I can’t be bothered”.
At the moment, I hydrate with warm water and lemon followed by a green matcha tea with some coconut butter. Mid-morning, I oxygenate and nourish my cells with a big green sprout juice. This includes a mix of pea sprouts, sunflower sprouts, broccoli sprouts, cucumber, celery and two teaspoons of The Super Elixir™. I feel amazing after, and I know that early on in the day I’m getting all the nutrients I need.
Right now, one of my daily non-negotiables is an infrared sauna steam (Therasage offers a fabulous portable option) followed by a cold plunge in a saltwater pool. It’s great for detox, immune boost, lymph support and relaxation.
Most importantly, I drink lots of clean distilled water – three litres a day.
Claire: My non-negotiables are generally boundaries I've built around my work time. I live quite far from the office and I have two small kids, so the first boundary is ensuring I'm there in the morning to drop them off to school before I go to work. Once I'm at the office, I'm fully focused on everything I need to be doing there. So when I do leave I know I've done everything I need to do, and can then get home in time to see my children, help with homework, enjoy a meal as a family, be present. These are the boundaries I've learned to create, and that work for me.
I also cut coffee a few months ago and now have a green smoothie in the mornings instead. It was something that just happened organically. I was finding it hard to fit coffee into my morning, and when I finally got around to it around 11am I just didn't feel like having it at that point. I've definitely noticed a difference; mainly a clearer head in the mornings. So I've been starting my day with a green smoothie for three or four months now and love it - it's a blend of cucumber, celery, cinnamon and coconut broth cubes, blueberries, avocado and mint.
Where is your go-to place that makes you feel at ease?
Elle: Home in Miami. Just being in that familiar place close to my boys and doing everyday things and catching up on life.
Claire: I think just being at home. There's no place like it. Feeling comfortable in my own space. Living away from the city too, you feel a gear shift as you drive towards home. It's escaping the urban setting, separating from the busy-ness, getting to feel a bit untouchable.