This is the fifth feature in our series, How I Live Well. Through this series, we sneak a peek into the daily lives of creative and inspiring women who seem to have and do it all. What seemingly small choices do they make throughout their day in order to live fully and with purpose? How do they design their days with living well in mind?
At All You Are, we believe that self-care shouldn't be another item on our to-do list. Instead, we believe in committing to living well, every single day.
Alyssa Kerbel is the founder of Mini Mioche, a line of impossibly cute, ethically made, organic baby and kids basics. In addition to online, Mini Mioche can be found at their two retail locations in Toronto, and a newly opened shop in LA at Palisades Village.
Alyssa started her business ten years ago when her daughter was born and is now the mom of two with a thriving business that has been on Canadian Business' Fastest Growing Companies list two years in a row. Alyssa is also a dear friend and confidante - she was the first to give me feedback on the first iteration of our robe!
Alyssa lives by the phrase, "everything is figure-out-able" and truly leads by example.
Read on to learn more about how Alyssa lives well:
What does living well mean to you?
Living well means feeling like I have time for the things that matter to me. And also feeling balanced, so that I can not only do those things but also truly enjoy them. For me, the things that matter are spending time with my family and friends, exercising and reading and learning inspiring things. Participating in social activities and travelling are also on my list. Oh and of course, working, but in balance. And while doing all of these things, it is important to me to feel like I'm making an impact and inspiring others.
What rituals support your quest to live well?
I find that ritualizing the things that are important to me is a way to make sure they happen. Ie, they need to be on my calendar! I have a standing monthly dinner with girlfriends, my monthly mastermind meeting, and a biweekly lunch with my husband (we call it our Lovers Lunch) all on my calendar to ensure they are prioritized. Weekends are for family so we head to the cottage most weekends to spend time together.
On a personal level, I have started to implement a mindfulness and meditation practice which helps me to stay present and focused throughout packed weeks when I have a lot on my mind. Being able to tap into mindfulness during a busy day is powerful.
Exercise is really important for my wellbeing overall and sleep specifically, but it is often the first thing I tend to drop when I'm stressed out. I've made the commitment to exercising regularly even when I'm lacking sleep so that I don't perpetuate the cycle.
Learning to master my time is also a major priority for me. The one thing I’m focusing on right now is getting up earlier, even though I'm not a morning person. But I recognize and have experiences that this is a more effective way for me to start my day.
Tell us about your morning routine.
I just recently began a new morning routine. I set my alarm for 6:15 am. Two mornings a week I wake up and go directly to spinning or yoga. On those mornings I come back and get the kids' lunches ready and sometimes head to work with my workout clothes on unless I have meetings. My morning beauty routine is simple - I always wear SPF and do a simple 5-minute face, mostly using Glossier products. I love their mascara, cloud paint, tinted moisturizer and concealer. My husband drops the kids off to school so I head straight into the office. My goal is to give myself some time at home to plan and strategize before I head in and have to hit the ground running. Once I'm at the office, its go-go-go all day!
If I don’t go to a class, I wake up and do some stretching or other exercises for 20 minutes. Then I do a short meditation using an app called 10% Happier that I really love. There are different experts that do mindfulness meditations but they all start with an interview with the expert which helps give it context. Then I take some time to plan my day. I'm trying to use a physical day planner instead of just my online calendar. I've been using Brendan Bouchard's High Performance Planner – its intense and can be time-consuming but I'm finding a way to make it work for me.
How do you wind down when your workday ends and transition to home time?
Winding down is important to me so that I can ultimately sleep well. I avoid alcohol during the week unless I have a social occasion as I find it interferes with my sleep. I'll be honest, I don’t have a great routine right now but I’m working towards a better one. I love putting on music when I get home because it changes the atmosphere and creates a sense of fun. I'd like to set some boundaries around electronics and devices for the family, but instead of aiming for perfection, I've found that even a little shift can make a big difference. For example, starting with all devices off for an hour so that we can focus on each other.
Tell us about your nighttime routine.
My nighttime cleansing routine includes all my favourite Province Apothecary products - their oil-based cleanser, toner and face oil. Sometimes I use a Retin-A treatment and eye cream as well. I like using a relaxing Lavender diffusor or even Province Apothecary's Lavender Incense. It is really lovely. I like reading a non-business book before bed, preferably an autobiography. I feel best when I have eight hours of sleep, which means I should be asleep by 10:15 which rarely happens. But I'm working on it!
I think people often wonder how entrepreneurs balance it all? What they don’t realize is that nobody does it all on their own. What systems have you set up to support you so that you can focus on reaching all your goals?
My husband Mike is a huge support. He is self-employed and so he understands what it means to run your own business, but he also has flexibility. My parents are amazing - they really help out a lot with the kids. Workwise I have coaching and peer support too. My mastermind group helps me to navigate the entrepreneurial journey while also helping me to maintain my sanity. Entrepreneurs need support on the home AND on the work side. Surrounding yourself with people who are on a similar journey who can help you balance it all because they are learning as they go too. I also invest in business and personal (self-care focused) coaching.
What do you love about your robe? :)
I wear my robe every single day when I’m getting ready in the morning. I’ve given it to many people as gifts and they love it too. I love that it is comfortable, a great length and it isn’t bulk. I love the attached belt so much and the pockets - I never lose my phone in the house now! Everyone should have this robe.