Self-care Series: Natalie Garay, founder of Ther-Happy and the Natalie Garay Methode.
At &Breathe, we're extremely passionate about our parental self-care mission. It's so important to make time for yourself in your parenting journey - self-care isn't selfish! After all if you're not at your best, how can you be at your best for those around you?
Natalie Garay is a pilates teacher and postpartum healing & women's health advocate who founded her flagship journey back to strength and wellbeing for women, using pilates, mindfulness, flower essences and community connections.
&B: How do you manage to balance work and life? Is it possible?!
NG: Ah yes, that tricky life/balance thing.. I'm not sure that it's possible. As a solo mama and a business owner, there's always a little give and take I think. I know how to stop and take a break when I need to. I require quiet time, meditation, movement to keep my sanity but sometimes they get pushed aside. I do my best to balanced schedule but sometimes it just doesn't happen.
Career vs Kids
&B: How has your mission with Ther-happy and your Methode been a factor in keeping your professional life on track? Has your mission changed over the years?
NG: Over the course of the last 5 years, my focus has been on educating women about the importance of rehabilitating their mind and body after baby. The reason being that I was hearing the same complaints from too many women about physical and emotional imbalances. What it boiled down to was that they hadn't properly cared for their body after birth. Mostly because they just weren't aware of the resources available. My mission continues to be to educate women and support them in their rehabilitation needs whether that be in person in my studio or via video.
&B: What do you hope to teach/pass on to your child(ren) by the way you live your life/mission?
NG: My daughters watch as my close friends and myself run our businesses and I think they are learning that you can create a life and a job that fits you while doing things you enjoy. I try to include my girls in my work, some days they are my tech crew for a workshop I'm offering, other times, they're the catering crew setting up food for events. My youngest daughter, Ava (14) just started working for a friend of mine as her Virtual Assistant. All in all, I hope to teach them to be independent and confident leaders.
on keeping fit
&B: How do you like to keep fit and active?
NG: This is a juggling act in itself. There have been seasons when I've been able to attend a class 3-5 times a week no problem. Life is glorious when this happens. I'm just now coming out of a not-so-active season (into a more active season) and I can feel a major shift in my mood and energy now that I can move again. Movement is so magically healing. I practice yoga at a studio nearby after I drop off my daughters and before I go to work. Sometimes, when I have energy left after teaching Pilates, I'll hop on the equipment and do a few exercises. But just like most mamas, I do much better being taught by someone else!
on eating healthily
&B: What's your best foodhack secret to eating healthily?
NG: Again, seasons. :) (I should probably track these seasons to see if there's a pattern here.) When I'm on my game, I make a Fab 4 Smoothie in the morning and try to maintain a diet combining fiber, greens, protein, and fat for each meal throughout the day. (Check out Be Well By Kelly) When I'm not on my game, my basic goals are to keep sugar and processed food to a minimum, and drinks lots of water.
&B: What's your favourite thing to do to relax?
NG: I enjoy taking a yoga class to relax or I get a massage when I can. When I can't do either of these, I take a walk on the beach or lay in my bed and listen to the waves crash. Heavenly.
#1 Selfcare Tip
&B: What's your number one self-care tip for mums or dads?
NG: Movement, movement, movement. You just can't beat the healing power of movement.