“Authenticity is key.” With Ming Zhao & Alexis Haines

Meditation and exercise are the most imperative for my overall health. Meditation allows me to restore my energy. This is major in day to day life, but even more so when I am traveling. And exercise is important for my mental health. I need those endorphins and that outlet to get out the stress. At […]

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Meditation and exercise are the most imperative for my overall health. Meditation allows me to restore my energy. This is major in day to day life, but even more so when I am traveling. And exercise is important for my mental health. I need those endorphins and that outlet to get out the stress.

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing. As part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexis Haines.

Now a mother, doula, wife, author, and mental health advocate, this former wild child and forever valley girl knows that whatever your struggle looks like, you are worth the journey back to wholeness. Alexis got sober at nineteen years old after facing up to six years in the correctional system due to a burglary conviction as a member of the notorious “Bling Ring.” As the star of the E! Reality series Pretty Wild, Alexis became a media sensation after her public meltdown became a viral meme. Her first-hand experience with substance abuse combined with the explosive effects of social media storytelling turned her rock bottom into a reinvention tour; igniting a movement to eradicate shame around the stories that inevitably save us — if we are brave enough to share them with others.

Bold, fresh, modern, and accessible, Alexis shares her authentic truth with the world as a way of inspiring others to do the same. A survivor of the entertainment industry, drug abuse, eating disorders, rape, physical violence, and childhood sexual trauma, Alexis created Recovering from Reality to get real about life’s challenges and empower others to see pain as a portal for growth.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

Bythe age of 19, my life was in shambles. I had just wrapped the first and last season of my reality show ‘Pretty Wild’ and in rehab for my heroin addiction. As a recovering person and twice convicted felon, the chances of me turning my life around were nil. What I didn’t know then, that I do now, is that those experiences would soon become my greatest gift. I went to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor, and shortly thereafter co-founded our treatment center Alo House Recovery Centers. I stayed away from media, because I knew I would probably relapse if I went back. For the next 6 years I focused on raising my kids and working in the recovery field. In 2018, I felt a calling to return, but under my own terms. I couldn’t sit by and watch so many suffer and die from mental health and substance abuse issues any longer. That’s where Recovering From Reality was born. I decided to start my podcast and write a book. The rest is history.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been so many people that have inspired me on this joinery. The top two that come to mind are my husband, Evan, and Lauryn Evarts-Bosstick. Evan has emotionally supported me so much in this process. I don’t think as business owners, we focus enough on how important it is to have someone who will give you a hug when it’s been a hard day. And then Lauryn gave me some of the best advice in my early days, when I thought I needed the perfect cover art, website, intro music, publisher etc. She said, “Launch fast, and tidy up along the way.” AKA just do it or you never will! I am so glad that I did.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I think my first 10 podcast episodes were so cringe worthy. I talked the entire time over my guests and didn’t let them get a word in. I suppose I was so nervous. I look back now and am so grateful I figured that out early on.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Find your niche. What makes you standout? For me it’s being authentic and talking about mental health and addiction. What are you passionate about? Find that and run with it.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

Authenticity is key. Do not sell product that you don’t truly believe in.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Meditation and exercise are the most imperative for my overall health. Meditation allows me to restore my energy. This is major in day to day life, but even more so when I am traveling. And exercise is important for my mental health. I need those endorphins and that outlet to get out the stress.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I make prioritizing my life and work has made a huge impact on my life. First, I prioritize my family and my needs. I have to take care of myself first, then my relationship with my husband, then our children, then work and then fun/friends. If any of those things get out of order my life starts to fall apart.

Then daily with work, I set out to accomplish three big tasks and three small tasks a day. I get as much done as I can, and if i don’t finish, I add that item to the next day’s list.

Create space in your life. When you’re with friends or family, put your phone away and be present. When you’re in bed watching Netflix, put your phone away. You get it!

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Get into therapy: Finding out who you truly are and what your desires are, will leave you feeling empowered. And an empowered woman is a sexy woman.

Stop focusing on your body: We live in a society that focuses so heavily on bodies these days, whether you are size 0, 6, 12 or 18 we are so heavily focused on our bodies and narratives around them. Show your heart and bring your big ideas to the forefront. We need more of that from women, in order to change the world.

Smile at yourself in the mirror: Say “I love you” to yourself.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

Oh so many: Any of Brene Browns books, Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meditations and books, Ed Mylett’s Podcast, The Skinny Confidential Podcast, the book Lost Connections by Joan Hari.. I could go on and on.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

The most embarrassing by far, is getting a colonic. Nothing like having someone move poop out of you to really make you feel super uncomfortable.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I take my work very seriously. As a mental health influencer, podcaster and author, I know based off of first-hand experience that my work has impacted thousands of people. My online course is really making a huge impact on my community. I don’t take this work lightly and I am honored to be a part of the millennial sober moment.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Hands down, Brene Brown. She has made the biggest impact in my personal and professional life. her work really helped me to heal deep wounds that I needed to address and by doing so created a massive shift in my entire family. My mom started together into her work and it changed her life as well.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

TW & IG: @itsalexishaines

IG: @recoveringfromreality

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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