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 Cornerstone Naturopathic Co-founder Dr. Ashley Margeson, who loves a lazy morning (complete with coffee in bed) and love a 10 a.m. bath.
City: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Company: Cornerstone Naturopathic, a company that helps high-functioning women put the "life" back into their lifestyle.
Role: Chief of Operations at Cornerstone Naturopathic, Founder of the Superwoman Code, Co-Creator of the Burnout Blueprint
Truthfully, I love a lazy morning and my morning is my time. I don’t check my phone, which means I’m not peeking at emails or responding to texts. Energy conservation is important to me and I recognize that the morning is not my best time of day. I do my best work between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm, that is my prime energy time, so I have designed my morning routine to allow me to purposefully move slower to conserve my energy for later. I wake up to the sun and never set an alarm.
My husband brings me a coffee before I get out of bed in the morning and I enjoy that coffee as I sit in bed and think about my top three priorities for the day. I’m usually up and out of bed five to 10 minutes later, and I head downstairs to enjoy my coffee and spend time with my family. At this point, I’m still not checking my phone and often won’t check it until I get to the office. My days are set based on where I am in my cycle. If I’m in my follicular phase, I tend to run on higher energy, if I’m pre-period, I know I’m going to need more rest. So I’ll plan my food, lunch, and movement around that.
During the first half of my cycle, I’ll jump on my water-rower for 15 minutes or so but during the second half of my cycle, I’ll stretch instead. When I’m on my period, I get notoriously painful cramps. Thankfully, they are much better than they were in my early twenties (I do try to practice what I preach) but even in my thirties, there’s a good chance I haven’t slept well the night before if I’m on my period. Those mornings, I’m sipping a protein coffee, wearing leggings, and off to work. I’m always adjusting my days according to where I’m at in my cycle. Breakfast is always enjoyed together as a family and on most days, I will eat an egg, some toast, some sort of sprouts, and a little bit of cheese. This is my fuel for the day: one fat, one protein, one fiber, and one green. Three days a week, I’ll add a green smoothie to the mix.
My protein coffees are for quick days with a coffee, one scoop of unflavored whey protein, and 1 tbsp of coconut oil blended together. Typically, I’m out the door about one hour and forty-five minutes after I get out of bed in the morning. Once I get to the office, I start my day by running through my top three priorities. I won’t check my emails until after those are completed. Generally, I’m responding to emails between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the afternoon.
The first thing I do after work:
Self-care guilty pleasure:
A really great bath! I am notoriously known for taking a bath at 10 a.m. if I’m working from home that day. If it’s the week before my period or I’m on my period, I’ll add some Epsom salts to the water. And of course, I’ll usually light a candle and put a mask on.
Workday self-care hack:
How do you define self-care?
Favorite childhood toy or hobby:
My favorite childhood hobby was arts and crafts. It was back then and it continues to be today. When I was little, we had a craft closet in our home filled with buckets of supplies. You can take whatever you wanted and make anything. The only rule was to put everything back when you were done.
Today, I have the same craft closet for my kids, except that the top shelf is for me. It’s where I keep all of my painting and art supplies. The lower shelf is for the kids and I love watching them create! Creativity is so important to me. It’s a form of self-care. If I don’t have time to be creative, I’m not a happy person. I need something that brings me joy and art brings me great joy.
State of your (email) inbox:
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