A Former Corporate Executive on The Art of Self-Care
Joanna Andreae is a certified Holistic Health Coach, a Guided Meditation teacher, and the founder and CEO of Wandering Wellness. After leaving her high-stress, corporate job, she began focusing her career on her true passion—personal wellness and self-care.
“It’s changed literally everything,” says Andreae about her career switch. “These days, instead of having to push and struggle towards outer goals and achievements, I focus initially on what I need in mind, body, and spirit, and through that flipped line of thought, I’m able to magnetize much more of what I want towards me. It’s such a beautiful and profound shift and, I think it’s only believed once it’s experienced.”
We sat down with Andreae to learn more about her thoughts on wellness and the importance of self-care for DC professionals. Here’s what she had to say:
Why yoga and meditation? Why not something else to take care of our inner selves?
“It’s a busy person’s dream. When we combine yoga and meditation—and especially Kundalini yoga, my favorite personal practice—we’re literally using lessons that have been passed down for thousands of years about how to have a deeper experience of truth and freedom in our bodies. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around. I think yoga and meditation are the best ways to remember that fact.
“Additionally, they’re much better for the nervous system. I love a good, sweaty workout too and will try a spin class or go for a run when I’m really craving it, but in our busy modern lives our systems are so fritzed and fried already that actually, more often than not, we need practices that cool us down instead of ramp us up.”
What type of clients do you work with?
“I work with people who are struggling to feel worthy of taking care of themselves, worthy of their dreams, and who want to feel empowered when it comes to taking care of their lives. I work with people who want to experience more joy and more energy in their daily life and who have forgotten the vibrant excitement it is to be alive on the planet today. And I feel so honored to do this work!
“I work with clients in person in Washington, but also digitally all over the world. It’s amazing to help people connect the dots when it comes to healing. I believe it’s possible to live a life of so much fullness and happiness and depth, and when that clicks for people, there is nothing better.”
What have you learned through working with so many different people?
“That everyone wants to be happy. That everyone wants to feel good in their bodies. And that truly we’re so much more connected and similar than we think.
“It makes me sad to think we’re somehow inculcated with the information that we’re less-than at some point in life, but it’s so inspiring to teach practices and tactics to turn things around. It’s never, ever too late.”
“Hmm, yes. And no, comparatively. I was just in NYC for some training and I met up with an old friend who used to live in Washington and now lives in the Big Apple. And it’s rough! She’s under so much pressure and stress these days.
“There is so much fear of missing out—with career, with relationships, with friendships, even with restaurants. I think city life leads to a much more pressurized experience. Because of that pressure, I firmly believe that we can’t afford NOT to take care of ourselves.
“Stress is an epidemic for DCers and other city dwellers and is all the more reason to be especially careful, loving and disciplined in that process.”
What are some signs that someone is not focusing on self-care?
“Everyone has their little ‘tell.’ Whether it’s getting sick, or feeling anxious, or not sleeping well, our bodies are constantly trying to tell us what’s going on through feelings and emotions. And instead of pushing them down, if we decide to listen and care about their direction, we can course-correct before we go too far down the path of self-neglect.
“Nevertheless, I believe it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself. Truly never. I have clients age 24 all the way to age 65, and some are just learning what it means to slow down and be kinder to themselves through self-care. It’s always possible to do that.”
What’s one tip you can share with readers to start taking better care of themselves right this minute?
“Breathwork. There are few things more powerful then starting to control and utilize your breath. Most of us breathe way too shallowly, all in the upper chest and never in the belly.”