What does wellness mean to you?
My approach to health and wellness can be summed up by a pearl of wisdom my mom probably doesn't even remember sharing with me a while ago. When she saw me applying moisturiser on my dry legs she said: “it's pointless to polish the leaves if you don't water the plant.” In all fairness, I wasn't interested in drinking my two litres of water per day at the time. Fast forward to today, I am a strong believer that food is medicine and I am an advocate of remedies that treat the whole person, not just the single symptom.
You’ve had an impressive career so far – what activities/practices have helped you maintain your mental and physical wellbeing while progressing in your work?
At the very beginning of my career I used to believe that my worth would be measured by the hours of work I dedicated to my job. As a result, I would skip meals, eat fast food, work late and skip the gym more than I'd like to admit. Then I had a forced wake up call. I developed several digestive issues that were considered very unusual for my young age. When your body gets sick, sometimes that's the first red flag that you need rest! After that, I threw myself into researching nutrition. My father is a doctor and his insight was invaluable - we continue to have very long conversations on the best practices to stay healthy.
Now I wake up at 6:30 am every morning to go to the gym, meditate, eat a hearty breakfast, do my skin care and take all my supplements. At 9 am I arrive at my desk and it doesn't matter how late I work, because I know that I've had at least one healthy meal and a workout under the belt for that day. This morning routine - inspired by the book Miracle Morning - allows me to have a much more productive day, and that's priceless.
COVID has upended the way that we work and forced many of us to work digitally/remotely. How do you keep motivated amidst the changes?
I've been working from home for years now, well before COVID. It definitely has its pros and cons. I love how productive I am when I am by myself and value the extra time I gain by not having to commute for work, and it allows me time to squeeze in things other than just work during the day. I've started using a Fit Bit and I am very mindful about taking breaks and going on walks. The flip side of the coin is that I spend most days by myself and I sometimes don't interact with other people for 2/3 days in a row if I am on a tight deadline! But every time the sun's out, which is not that often in London, I take it as an excuse for a walk during lunch (the best time for vitamin D absorption) and sometimes I treat myself to a decaf cappuccino or an almond matcha latte.
What's your top mental health tip?
Daily yoga and meditation are a must for me during stressful times. But for when anxiety hits, I use a trick a friend introduced me to. It's called 5,4,3,2,1 and it consists of going outside, even just on a balcony and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can physically feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This grounds me and allows me to breath and be in the moment.
To see more of Laura's work, visit CPRESS here.