Women are leading the way in the wellness world.
According to the Global Wellness Summit in 2018, there is no other industry of its size ($4.2 trillion) as heavily predominated by women. From wellness entrepreneurs through to practitioners. And following International Women’s Day, that’s certainly something to celebrate.
Yet it’s easy to assume that those ‘leading the way’ in the wellness industry – from fitness studio owners to nutritional experts – must have it ‘all figured out’.
As Sophie Scott, Founder and Editor of BALANCE magazine in the UK, says wellness founders struggle with the same demands. It’s how they handle it that makes all the difference. It’s why she’s so open and honest about her personal journey.
BALANCE has reached 27 million people since its 2016 launch and is on a mission to deliver mindful content to help reduce stress levels and promote well-being.
Warrior versus worrier
Sophie acknowledges this comes with pressures of being seen as a ‘Woman in Wellness’. She suggests she’s a Wellness Warrior as much as she is a Wellness Worrier.
While definitions of wellness and well-being differ, what is universal is that both integrate a more holistic approach to life— from physical health, through to relationships, nutrition, mindset, and mental health.
Focusing on inner well-being
Sophie suggests this is where true wellness starts, from within, and taking care of your mental health.
Having worked as a coach, and now a practicing psychotherapist, this may not be a surprise. In fact, Sophie’s one non-negotiable, regardless of how busy or stressful her schedule, is her weekly one-hour therapy session.
Her work to date has led her to engage with people from all walks of life—young people through to CEOs and those working in major banks. Regardless of age, background, industry or ‘perceived’ success, everyone struggles with the same issues.
Globally mental health, and the ‘inner’ work has become a far more accessible topic over the past few years.
An increasing number of celebrities and highly successful business people have even spoken up publicly about the issues they have faced.
The power of stories
Sophie shared this is part of what makes the BALANCE magazine community so successful today. There’s been a wide range of people, including high-profile individuals and celebrities, who have been so open and willing to share their stories.
Hearing others’ stories helps people challenge their own belief systems and break free of the ‘scripts’ they have inherited throughout their lifetime. It’s these inner dialogues and limiting beliefs that keep people stuck at the same stumbling blocks.
Dealing with stress and busyness
Speaking with Sophie, she was very honest about how she handles her own challenges. She shared she still has hard days and struggles at time with the conflict between being seen as a woman in wellness, having it all together, and the mounting pressures of running a successful business and keeping ‘well’.
(Admitting even that one of her go-to tools to manage moments of stress and anxiety is to head to the bathroom and listen to a meditation or simply focus on her breathing).
She still experiences stress regularly but said it’s what you do with it that matters.
It’s about recognising good stress versus bad stress. Good stress drives me, it spurs me on to be the best version of myself. Bad stress is on the other side of that – when I’m no longer operating from a place of authenticity, cos I’m exhausted all the time and running myself into the ground. That’s when I’ve learnt the hard way how important it is to take time out.
Sophie believes that this level of self-awareness has come from a deeper level of listening and feeling into what it is she needs.
And as the trend for more personal freedom and fulfillment continues, it’s this inner work that will take people from feeling stuck to true wellness. With stress and mental health predicted to be the ‘next global epidemic’ Sophie’s message is more critical than ever.
Everything starts in the mind—with knowing who you are. Wellness, to me, begins with deep inner work. You can have had tons of therapy, workout daily, eat all the ‘right’ foods and still feel at a loss. True wellness comes from discovering what makes your heart sing, and then doing that thing daily.
Sophie Scott is one of eight UK Women In Wellness I interviewed in a series in 2019 to understand how they lead successful businesses whilst bringing balance and well-being into their own lives. The remaining interviews will be published throughout March in celebration of International Women’s Day.
First published on Forbes.com on 08 March 2019.