Tanya says: I always wake-up early (before 6am) but I avoid getting up until I absolutely have to – I love my bed! What eventually gets me up is the sound of my dog (Dolly, a wire-haired dachshund) barking to be let out. When it’s warm I go out into the garden with her and eat my breakfast on a bench under the apple tree – always oats, almond milk, nuts and berries. I love starting the day outside. I’m incredibly lucky that I walk to work, only 30 minutes, with Dolly who always comes into the office with me. Even in the wind and rain I’d so much rather be doing that than being crammed onto a tube or bus. I usually get into the office around 9am.
I worked online for over 20 years and noticed my focus and concentration was shot to pieces. I’d stopped reading, which I’d always loved, because I just couldn’t focus long enough on a book, and my sleep quality was terrible. When I started looking into whether other people were overwhelmed and suffering with balance in their digital lives I found SO much evidence of poor mental and physical health lined to screen overuse. After three months of my own digital detox my concentration was restored and my creativity came flooding back. I knew then that I had to set-up a business to help people get a bit of balance back. I love meeting people who are cynical about digital detox and blinding them with the evidence. Convincing people is my passion. And I really love talking to school children and their parents about establishing good habits early. My least favourite part of the job is dealing with bank managers, accountants and lawyers. They always move far too slowly and make me want to tear my hair out!
The most useful advice I’ve received is to follow your passion and do what you love (as Steve Jobs said “the best way to do great work is to love what you do”). Passion and self-belief can take you a long way when things get tough (as they inevitably do in any business). In both my businesses I identified something new and decided to grow with it as an industry rather than join an established one. Going into a new area is always a great way to make your mark. I’ve had graduates connect with me on Twitter or track down my email to ask me for work experience and I always take on people who show initiative. Find a business you want to work for and stalk the people who run it! Arianna Huffington is someone I’ve always looked up to. But I also admire some of the pioneers in the health movement who’ve got us all to think differently from received wisdom about what’s constitutes good health. Sarah Wilson on sugar is inspiring and I love Rachel Brathen for what she’s done for global awareness of the benefits of yoga and how she uses social media without compromising her message that being offline in the real world is best.
After years of eating lunch at my desk I now make a point of taking Dolly out for a run around the park at lunch, which gets me outside. When it’s warm I eat my lunch out there too. Lunch is usually a salad with salmon, tuna or feta which I make at home. I snack on almonds and coconut water throughout the day and I’m a big fan of Itsu’s wasabi seaweed snacks too. After eating badly throughout my 20s and 30s I’ve now found a way of eating which I love and which gives me heaps of energy.
I’m quite disciplined about leaving the office, usually around 6pm, I try not to make it later than 7pm. I do yoga twice a week in the evening and the class start time is always a good impetus to leave. I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years, it’s unbeatable for fitness and stress relief. I’m evangelical about it. I’ve also done weight training on and off for five years. I hate cooking so usually do it all in one big batch at the weekend for the following week. I’ve found myself a big fan of the raw food movement as it gives me a great excuse not to cook!
I always wanted to be a journalist as I studied English and loved writing. The irony in technology is that blogging is more important than ever, so I now write a lot in my daily job. Since I’ve done more work in schools and loved it, I’ve wondered whether I actually would have made a good teacher.
My top three online recommendations are:
Thrive Global Arianna Huffington’s new venture is definitely one to watch, she’s always been ahead of the curve and has just launched this dedicated ‘living well’ brand.
MyFitnessPal is my go-to app for making sure my diet is well balanced.
Wanderlust Festivals run yoga and health festivals in the US and are fantastically inspiring on all social platforms. I went to one of their festivals in Hawaii last year and it was incredible.