Here at Vibrant Health, we believe health is an inside job, unique to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind and your needs are complex – that’s why your supplements should be too.
To celebrate all of the beautiful complexities of our lives, each month we’ve been highlighting individuals in our community – taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of their work life, wellness rituals and all the wonderful things that make them who they are.
With back-to-school around the corner and all of the unprecedented career transitions many people faced this past year, this month we wanted to feature a Corporate Wellness and Career Coach to get some advice. We’re thrilled to spotlight Aileen Axtmayer, a Career Coach and Corporate Wellness Speaker at Aspire with Aileen.
In this insightful interview, we got to chat with Aileen about her go-to stress relieving food (hint: it’s not what you’d expect), the power of a deep belly breath, and her mission to optimize work and wellness through food, mindfulness and movement. We hope you enjoy our series…and remember, keep being you!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Compassionate, Resilient, Fun
What’s a day in the life as a Career Coach and Corporate Wellness facilitator look like?
Given the different areas of my practice, my day to day really varies. I try to batch them by topic and do similar tasks to help me get into a flow state faster.
On career coaching focused days, I meet one-on-one with clients to empower them to land work they love. On wellness focused days, I teach corporate yoga, meditation, and workshops to help people manage their stress and increase their energy. No day feels the same and I’m so grateful to do what I love!
Tell us more about your mission to optimize work & wellness through food, mindfulness and movement!
My mission revolves around a core belief I developed after over a decade of working with people: when we’re happier in our careers, we’re healthier, and when we’re healthier, we’re able to thrive in our jobs.
Doing work that you love is a form of self-care, and at the same time, all work comes with challenges and stress. I partner with companies to equip employees with the coping tools they need.
By holistically covering everything from sleep and food to movement and mindfulness, employees can feel supported and better able to process the inevitable challenges that life throws their way.
You’re passionate about helping employees manage stress and do what they love. What’s your top stress-relieving tip to tackle the workday?
Breathe! It sounds so simple, but we’re not taught how to do it and are often taking very shallow breaths in our chest. By breathing into our belly, taking expansive inhales and exhales, we can start to turn on our parasympathetic nervous systems… which is a nerdy way of saying we can start to get out of that constant stressed state that is home base for most of us. From there, we can tackle our day from a place of presence, calm, and clear-minded thinking. No matter what comes up, we can keep coming back to our breath.
This past year has been a whirlwind, affecting everything from people’s jobs to education. What advice would you give someone who’s about to start their first career, or perhaps looking to change careers?
Both the career first timer and career changer often feel fear. There is something scary about the first step, making a change, and doing something new. My advice is to honor those feelings, explore where they are coming from (the scary story in our head isn’t always based on real life facts!), but also recognize that fear can be a good sign too.
There’s a word called “eustress” which refers to good stress, or when we’re pushed just outside of our comfort zones. This is essential to a life of continuous growth, both personally and professionally. Know that if you end up not liking the path that you’re on, you don’t have to stay there forever.
What’s your favorite energizing snack or meal to bring to work? Do you have any go-to foods for stress relief?
Asking a foodie to pick a favorite snack/meal is tough! My go-to food for stress relief may sound cliché – it’s dark chocolate – but the science supports it. I go into it in more detail in my “5 Foods That Fight Stress” guide, but a few mindful bites of a Hu Kitchen Cashew Butter dark chocolate bar definitely brings me lots of joy!
Do you have any daily wellness routines or rituals that help with productivity and stress-relief?
Two of my daily productivity and stress relief practices are walking on the nature trail behind my house and creating healthy tech boundaries. The power of tech boundaries is so strong that I created an entire workshopto help others — “Power Down, Level Up: How to Create a Healthier Relationship with Your Phone to Improve Your Life.” Reconnecting to nature for a moving meditation and disconnecting from that always feeling “on” both do wonders for my mood!
What does health look like for you?
This is an ever-changing answer for me.
I don’t think one person has one dream job: we grow and evolve and with that our values and interests change. The career that was once a dream doesn’t feel as aligned as it used to then.
I think of health as evolving in this same way.
What health looked like before I became a mom is quite different than what it looks like now. Health looks different in a pandemic or when caring for a sick family member than it does when life is calm.
Right now, I define health as my ability to continuously look at how I’m feeling in mind, body, and spirit, see what is or isn’t serving me, and make small but realistic changes to get closer to how I want to feel.
Thank you for being a part of our community! Want to be featured on our Vibrant Health blog? Send an email to Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org