How I Thrive takes an inside look at founders, entrepreneurs and leaders and the behind-the-scenes self-care work they do to in order to live balanced, happy lives. Today's edition is with Apothekary Founder Shizu Okusa, who has a black belt in Japanese sword fighting (!) and has eight secret tattoos.
City: San Francisco, CA
Company: Apothékary, an online herbal apothecary that offers food as medicine to heal our modern-day ailments.
Role: Founder & CEO
I typically wake up really early, around 4 to 4:30 a.m., and I always start my day with an Apothékary-infused concoction, whether that be coffee and our Mind Over Matter blend, or Maca and our Slay the Day blend, or a simple You Dew You sparkling water tonic. Whatever my body is feeling that morning!
Next, I always try to move my body, even if just for 10 or 15 minutes. It's such a vital step in releasing those early morning thoughts of anxiety or stress. It really doesn’t have to be intense, a long walk or calming yoga session will do the trick. Lately, I’ve been really into [solidcore's] at home workouts. Next, I always make sure to have a fresh-pressed celery juice (my first company was called JRINK, which got acquired in late 2019), and just sit for a moment, kind of as a meditation. I like to sit on the floor and just ground myself and write out my to-do list for the day ahead. After all that’s done, I’ll hop in the shower and get ready for the day.
The first thing I do after work:
The first thing I do after work is take a walk outside. I often find myself regretting that I stayed indoors the whole day, and even if it’s just for 10 minutes while on a call with my team or friends, I like to get some vitamin D in with a leisurely stroll to decompress from the day. Given I start my day around 4:30 a.m. PST every day (yes even on weekends!), I like to wind down around 3pm PST and check my email / Slack sporadically until evening. In a non-COVID world, I’d probably be out with friends at a park, a happy hour, a workout class, or at an event meeting with other like minded female entrepreneurs.
I love to cook dinner at the end of the day. It's a great way to do something that requires most (if not all) of your focus, and its a great self-care practice when you’re making healthy, plant-based meals that fuel your body. But I’m human, and sometimes I just need someone to bring me dinner! On those days, I love to support local small restaurants and in particular Japanese food because it reminds me of my heritage and Mom’s cooking. When I can’t have the actual thing, I’ll take it to-go!
Self-care guilty pleasure:
Workday self-care hack:
How do you define self-care?
Favorite childhood toy or hobby:
I like flow—things without a lot of lines or instructions. To me, instructions are kind of like rules meant to be broken. To this day, I prefer things like sketching and painting without any guidelines and just doing whatever my heart vs head desires at that moment (i.e. less “cerebral”).
State of your (email) inbox:
My inbox is always a busy place, but my team and I use a few tools that help keep the inbox organized and less noisy. One tool that is great for internal team communications, especially while we’re all working from home, is Slack: it is so helpful for chatting back and forth without clogging your inbox while keeping the conversations organized with categorized channels.
We also use it as a bonding tool, with a channel for gratitude (#gratitudegym), where we share what we’re grateful for that day. Two tools that really keeps me organized are Boomerang, an extension for gmail that helps me control my inbox, and Clockwise, an app to manage my calendar—both are Godsend apps to help me with work-life integration.
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