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How are you? Honestly.

The last year has taken its toll on all of us in different ways. And in the backdrop there's been an unhealthy hustle culture that's been growing, defining our successes by how hard we push ourselves and 'soldier on' through tough times.

Life is not linear, it's not a constant upward trajectory or having it all together. There are days' when we're being total gal bosses and others we're curled up on the couch or spending time with our family. At team LUXE, we've learned (the hard way) to let go and take things as they come. To define our own vision of happiness and success beyond society's labels, one that's based on balance. We've learned to listen to ourselves more and know what we need to do differently each day to be at our best and create a sustainable, healthy life.

Here's what team LUXE had to say when asked 'What was the hardest thing you experienced about last year?' and 'What have you done to make sure your needs were met?'.

Even though we're a small team, we work in different countries meaning we miss out on those water cooler moments. We're sharing this with you because taking the time to listen to each other has reminded us that while life is about making sure you in yourself are good, it's also about looking out for each other. 

Rachel, Chief of Relationships

Last year I had my first child away from my family and any support. When I took maternity leave during the pandemic there was the added worry of leaving Jené on her own to manage the biggest challenge our business had faced. I came back to work gradually after three and a half months and life was relentless, looking after a small baby while doing everything we could to fight for our business. There's a certain amount of pressure nowadays to feel like you can do everything. I know that I can't, and I actually don't want to. The biggest gift I gave to myself was getting support to look after the baby and with housework so I could have some time for myself. I'm very lucky our family has the means to do this, but we should never feel afraid or too proud to admit we're not coping and to ask for help.

Jené, Founder and Chief of Botanicals

Managing LUXE on my own was the hardest part of the last year for me. I worked intensely while not taking time for myself. After 6 weeks I was forced to stop when I ended up in the ER with excruciating pain from pneumonia. I’ve never been good at taking things slow, but this gave me a chance to rethink my routine. Once I’d recovered, I went back to my favorite online yoga channel and I kept my mental health in check by setting an alarm for 10.30am each morning to stop and do a daily meditation with Calm.

Stef, Social Media Manager

Not to be dramatic, but it's been a very difficult year. I've always had anxiety but developed panic attacks during the lockdowns dealing with a lot of stress of the unknown. Then, I started to suffer from chronic pain which I still have. So it's been a challenging year. I'm still figuring out how to balance myself and am adding a lot of natural solutions. I also sought help from my family doctor and a therapist. Not everything is as pretty as a "self care Sunday day" but I'm trying to get there. I've learned to have a lot of patience and live by the day, being very thankful for the opportunities that I have and trying to do the best that I can.

Erin, LUXE Esthetician

Hands down, the lack of sleep! My husband and I welcomed our sweet baby boy on July 4, 2020. To say that our world has changed a bit would be an understatement. Our little guy is perfect but unfortunately, despite our best efforts, he has never been a good sleeper. The chronic lack of sleep these last 15 months has been a massive challenge both physically and mentally. The first year we tapped into all the resources - books, friends, various articles, tracking and logging consistently - we even hired a sleep consultant! It was only recently that we finally decided to fully embrace it. 

Exercise, open and honest communication with my husband, therapy and talking with my sister almost daily has helped quite a bit. Talk Therapy can be so powerful! I would love to see the stigma around it erased, as I believe everyone, no matter your mental state, can benefit from it. Frequent walks, deep breathing and practicing mindfulness has also helped. And coffee! All the coffee. So much coffee.

Natt, Digital Marketing Manager 

The last 2 years were so emotional for me. Whilst being in the throws of a fertility journey, the pandemic put a sudden stop to it all, and facing my emotions was the hardest thing. As a natural emotional "bottle-upper", I was forced to open up, and so booked in sessions with my friend and life coach Mhairi, and this was a revelation. The emotional weight that came off my shoulders was almost physically visible. I walked a bit taller, felt a bit lighter and most importantly, was on a new journey of self-discovery... I have not looked back since! 

Lisa, Marketing Manager

Feeling the intense Mum guilt we all do as we juggle work and our babies - especially our little lockdown babies! My daughter was close to turning 2 when COVID hit and so missed out on nursery fun and interaction with other little ones. I decided to start cutting myself slack, it was the only way to keep going. Secondly asking for help, which doesn't come naturally to me at all - I’m the one who loves to feel like I’m there for those I love and care for! However never a wiser word was spoken than that you “Can’t pour from an empty cup!”.

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