In episode 094, we chat with Sarah and Laura, of Wandercooks, about the importance of creating boundaries and balance in your personal and work life when you work from home.
We cover information about establishing physical boundaries as well as time, how important self care is throughout the day and what that looks like and having a “think retreat” to rejuvenate and plan your business.
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BIO Meet Laura & Sarah – best friends, life partners and the creative duo behind Wandercooks. As cooking-obsessed foodies, they love to cook, photograph, write and create videos for each of the recipes you’ll find on this site.
- Incorporate self care into your routine.
- When you work with a partner in the same space, carve out your own work space to be productive.
Create a main to do list that has everything in both businesses. Then write on a to-do list for that day that needs to be accomplished.
Establishing boundaries with work and personal time is important for self-care.
- Have an end time to your day that you stick to.
- Keep each other accountable.
Take small breaks throughout the day to help you keep your energy up. Stop, take a walk and enjoy fresh air.
Creativity is inspired when you let your brain reset and then head back to work.
Go someplace new each week outside your office to get inspired, have a meeting, creative planning.
Book a trip away for a “think weekend”. Go away and focus on whatever business they need to work on. It helps to become refreshed and ready to work again.
- Avoid the afternoon slump with healthy food/beverage choices.
A benefit of working for yourself is that you can take a timeout to do a mindset shift.
Morning Yoga – https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
Book – Boundaries by Henry Cloud
Bill Gates’ Think Weeks
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094 Sarah & Laura
Intro: Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. We’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.
Megan: Food bloggers. Don’t forget to check out the food blogging forum style community that we started over at forum.eatblogtalk.com. Finally, there’s one place that we can all convene and talk and that isn’t scattered all over Facebook. Here are the things that I am loving about it. It is free. It also allows for categorized discussions on all food blogging topics. There’s a category for sharing successes, AKA self promotion. So no more holding back about discussing your big wins and things that you’re promoting. Also, everything is in one single spot. So no hopping around from group to group, and there’s an amazing opportunity to network and really get to know your fellow food bloggers in a single place. So come join the discussions that are going on over at forum.Eatblogtalk.com. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Don’t forget. Forum.eatblogtalk.com
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What’s up, food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. The podcast made for food bloggers wanting to add value to their businesses and their lives. Today I will be having a chat with Sarah and Laura Turner from wandercooks.com. We will talk about creating routine and structure while working from home and balancing our businesses.
Laura and Sarah are best friends, life partners, and the creative duo behind Wandercooks. They’ve traveled the world over 35 countries on a mission to bring edible adventures to curious foodies. When they’re not cooking, they also run their own graphic and web design business. They have been running both for the past five years. Sarah and Laura, I can tell this is going to be a really fun chat, but first would you guys give us a quick fun fact about yourselves.
Sarah: Sure. So when we first got together, we challenged ourselves to cook a different meal every night for six months. It was quite the challenge, but yeah, it was amazing once we got into it, how easy it was to just use similar ingredients and get just these absolutely amazing flavors and learn about all these different cuisines. And that really was, I think, what sparked the Wander Cooks for us.
Megan: Oh, what a great fact and how cool that you got right into the kitchen together, like right off the bat. Let’s do this. Let’s cook every night for six months. I’m sure you learned a lot too about flavor pairings and just cooking in general.
Megan: Yeah, that’s really cool.
Laura: Absolutely. Another fun fact is that. So I normally do all the chopping in the kitchen. I’ll be there preparing all the ingredients and then Sarah would take over the cooking. I find that works really well for us. So yeah.
Megan: Got to find a system, right? You gotta find what works. And obviously if you did it for six months, every day in a row, you probably came up with a pretty good system.
Laura: Sarah finished all the cooking, I finished all the cleaning and we can sit down and relax and enjoy our meal.
Megan: Oh, that sounds perfect. You got it figured out. I absolutely love your story. I was reading through your application and I just loved how adventurous you guys are and how you’ve made your lifestyle work. I don’t know, I guess to begin, I would love to dive into a little bit more of your story and how you got started. So could you talk us through how you’ve made this adventurous lifestyle happen?
Sarah: Definitely. We ended up after we had been cooking all those different meals, friends and family started saying oh, you should start a blog and put your recipes out there. But we found that just looking at cookbooks and reading blogs online wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to actually go out there and experience what other people are cooking in all sorts of different cultures and inside their homes. We made the big decision to quit our jobs and sell our houses. We planned for a year before we ended up heading overseas with a one-way ticket and we said, let’s just go. So I think we had the first three months planned out and that was it. From there, we just let the journey take us where it wanted to. So we went all through Southeast Asia and all through Europe and spent a good amount of time going through each of the 35 countries. What we ended up doing was when Airbnb was just starting to come on the scene, so we stayed with a lot of local families and if it wasn’t Airbnb there was also couch surfing. Which allowed us to then share our hospitality by cooking for them and then, we’d be able to learn their meals, sit down with them and just I suppose get to know them over a really good meal. Which is, it was just so inspiring and we could not wait to share those recipes on the blog.
Megan: There’s nothing better than getting to know somebody over food, right? That’s one of the best things in the entire world. So I love that you guys did that in so many different countries and just floating around and learning about not just the country and the people, but also the food. So how did this journey and this adventure influence your food and also the food that you put up on your blog?
Laura: Ooh, that’s a good one. I think what it taught us most was to embrace different ingredients and to learn how to weave them into our own recipes at home. But taking something like Gochujang, which is a spicy Korean ingredient and incorporating that into our dishes. One of the most fun things for me, I think about our adventures. In that first time, I think that you taste a new ingredient. It’s just that wonder of, what is it like? How did they get this? That curiosity just wraps itself around it. And you just want to know more and be like, yeah, ok, where can I use this in my next recipe?
Megan: Something that you probably wouldn’t explore when at home. It requires you to go to these places and taste their unique ingredients in order to experience that. So there’s really no other way to do it. I just want to say you guys are so courageous and amazing because this is like a dream of so many people. Everyone’s, “someday I’m going to travel the world”, it’s like that someday thing. But you guys just made it happen and you only had a three month plan and you did this for an entire year. Is that right?
Sarah: Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, it was exactly a year and one day. Yeah, it was, I’d do it all over again. It was a fantastic experience.
Megan: Do you think you will do it again?
Sarah: What we’ve been doing since we got back, we now go overseas usually for a month at a time each year, just to learn some more recipes and stuff. Whether or not it would be a whole year next time or whether we break it up maybe on shorter stints. So I think sometimes you appreciate being overseas and then coming back to your comforts and then going back again.
Laura: It keeps your energy and your motivation up. I think long-term travel obviously has its highs and its lows. We went through all of the roller coasters while we were traveling. So it is nice to have that time at home to reset and get fired up again for the next trip.
Megan: So that kind of leads into balance. So balancing work and life is something that as food bloggers struggle with because we get into this to have more freedom. Most of us do anyway. Then we get to the point where we’re just working so hard because there’s so much to do. Then I feel like all of us get to that line where we’re like, okay, where is the balance? So we’re eager to hear your secrets because it sounds like you figured out some things about how to balance. Let’s start with daily routines. Are daily routines really important to you guys? Talk us through that.
Laura: Absolutely. I think the daily routine that we’ve developed over time takes into account ourselves and personal time, as well as structuring the work day to really be productive and successful. Morning routine. I love it. This has definitely grown over time. So I actually get up earlier than Sarah and I will go out and do about an hour of yoga and meditation in the morning. That just for me is a really lovely way to start the day. It gets my body moving and gets my brain awake and active, and then we’ll come together, have breakfast and then we’ll spend an hour or so reading our books. That might be an educational or non-fiction book, or it could just be whatever fantasy, fiction book that we’re enjoying. Then after that we’ll hop into work.
Sarah: Once we hit the desks and go into the study, we’ve made sure that the study is our area of work, to try and separate that work area. So we start off by going through our main to-do list, which has everything on there. So it’s got everything we need to do from both businesses. Then what we do is go over those, open up our diary and then write down only to do each item. Then that way we make sure that gets done. That is the most important item of the day. So that if that’s done, then we know that we’re satisfied and we’ve made that leap to do something more.
Megan: That’s such a good strategy. I love that you start your days with downtime, or like you mentioned, just reading a book, getting up and doing yoga. I think there’s such immense power in that. It’s something that is so easy to overlook because we just want to get into our day, especially if we’re motivated right away in the mornings. I’m really productive in the morning. So I’m always so tempted to skip over that part just to get to work so I can get more done. But the days when I actually work out and do those downtime things, I’m actually way more productive and it’s better for me emotionally and mentally. So I think there’s such power in that. Then also separating work and home, super smart. So do you have your office somewhere that’s away from enjoyable things? Or how do you do that at home?
Laura: So our office is a separate room. We have a nice window that looks out over our alfresco patio area. So we’ve got a nice view of our plants, but yeah, it’s separate from the kitchen. It’s separate from the lounging and relaxing areas. So it really does help us focus and stay on task while we’re here.
Megan: I love that. We have in our home we have this really cool workout room. We just bought our house a few years ago and that was one of the selling points. Because my husband and I love exercising and that was such a selling point because we love doing that same thing where we separate certain things. I don’t want to exercise in my living room because if I’m sitting in my living room, then I’m like, Oh, maybe I should be exercising. So we really like to establish boundaries based on rooms in our house. So I think there’s something to that. Making an office, make sure you have an office and you only do work there and things like that. So I love that. So how do boundaries, speaking of boundaries, how do boundaries play roles in your lives?
Sarah: Yep. With that, I think it sets an expectation. So especially say if we’re working with a sponsored post. We want to really outline when we will be starting the work or when the invoices need to be paid. When our working times are. I think people really appreciate being given those rules or those guides, because then they know what to expect from us. How are we going to work together? It’s just really easy when they know that. Moving along, it just makes the whole process a lot smoother. I think keeping up that communication with them as well just makes it so much more important.
Laura: Whenever we’re emailing our clients or our sponsors, we will say exactly when they can expect the next step from us. I think that helps them be confident that we are going to work well together and that the project’s going to be completed on time. It keeps everything going.
Megan: Communication clear, setting expectations. So how do you handle cutting off work time? Do you ever let that bleed over into evening or enjoyable time? Because I know it’s really hard for me just to be like, okay, it’s four o’clock. I should put my computer down, but I have something I could work on. So how do you establish those time boundaries?
Laura: This is something I’m really passionate about because I think it does come back to that self care point where whether you feel like it ore not, we really do need that break from work and that time for our brains to extend and relax. So usually we try to finish by five o’clock. Sometimes it does bleed over if there is an important task or if we have got into that flow of that particular piece of work. Sometimes if you’re on fire with that, it’s important to let that kind of naturally progress and develop. But I do like to draw the line. If we get to that six o’clock mark, it’s time to close the computers, it’s time to get out there and start cooking dinner. It’s time to maybe pour a glass of wine and relax. I think that because we just enjoy that downtime together after work or sit on the couch. We talk, we really want that. So we don’t want to miss out on that time together. It does make it easier as well.
Sarah: I think that’s where we definitely differ because I will usually get stuck into whatever I’m doing and she’ll be like, Sarah, come on. We have to get out of this study, enough today.
Megan: That’s good that you dig her out and remind her. That’s great.
Laura: I try to find that balance between being a nagging wife.
Megan: Yeah. There is a fine line and you mentioned, if there’s an exception, we all have those projects that need to be worked on a little bit extra. Or you also mentioned the flow that you get into and you don’t want to mess with that. Just if there’s a good flow, you’ve got to keep it going obviously to a reasonable point. You don’t want to work until midnight. But I love that you guys balance each other in that way and gentle reminder, let’s go make dinner. So that’s really cool. A lot of us don’t have that. My husband is extremely forgiving to almost a fault. He would let me work as long as I needed, because he thinks I need to work. But sometimes I just want him to be like, okay, you need to be done. Then I would say, oh yes, thank you for giving me that permission. So that’s great that you have that. You touched on self care a little bit, just by making boundaries around your time and taking care of yourself. What are some other ways that we can implement self-care in our lives in order to make our businesses more successful?
Laura: For me, I think it’s breaking up the workday to include little elements of self-care. So for us, we will have a good working stint in the morning, and then we’ll try and break it around 11 o’clock, get ourselves outside, get some sun, go for a walk. That I think just keep the energy levels up to then take you through the rest of the day.
Sarah: So I think it really revitalizes us. When we head out on our walk, it’s usually the time that we’ll be talking about what we’ve worked on in the morning and we might end up brainstorming and come up with new ideas while being outside under the sun. So usually a win-win productivity.
Laura: It’s a good dose of creativity when you get out of your walking and you’re seeing different things and yeah, it gives you your brain that chance to reset.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s not a long walk either. It’s usually 10, 15 minutes. It is just enough to get outside and that’s usually all you need.
Megan: That’s a great suggestion, just to do it right in the middle of the day. I’m inclined to do it either right at the beginning of the day to start the day or at the very end and just push through the whole day, get through all that work. Then you can enjoy a little bit, but what a great idea to break up your day and just force yourself outside just for 10 minutes.
Laura: Because doing that, I feel like it really does bring that element of holiday feel to your day. So yes, you are working. You’re working really hard. But having that time to have a break means that you can work even harder when you come back, because you’d had that chance to relax, that little chance to relax in the meantime.
Megan: It’s like you’re on vacation just for a little bit. You come back just more revitalized I can imagine. I’m going to steal that because we have a really huge backyard and I love our backyard and we have a hammock back there. What better way to just trick myself into thinking I’m on vacation. I can just go sit in the hammock for a few minutes in the middle of the day
Sarah: Do it.
Laura: Drink a glass of water and sit there and relax for a little bit.
Sarah: So when we get back with me to the environment around our study, a bit of a Haven as well. Because we obviously are spending a lot of time here. So we’ve done things like making sure our desks are super clean. We don’t like clutter there. The only things you’ll find are usually my cup of tea and our diary. That’s it. Usually it’s just kept nice and clear. Then we’ve also done just little bits and pieces around the room. So you find indoor plants and we’ll usually sometimes pop a candle on, or even incense. Maybe put on some relaxing music, but we really try to set ourselves up to do well.
Laura: So sometimes that music might be something that we share together. We’ll have a play in the background or other times we’ll each pop our headphones in. I find that really helps to deep focus on whatever it is that we’re currently working on.
Megan: Those little things can add up, can’t they? A scent, a smell, having the right candle burning can mean so much for my mood. So combine that with just a little music that inspires you along with a clean workspace. I love that you guys do that clutter-free space. You mentioned plants. That’s an amazing idea. I love that. Because growth nurturing, it just signifies all of that just healthy I don’t know, healthy mindset.
Laura: They help to freshen the air as well. So from a health perspective, it’s good for you.
Megan: Yeah, absolutely. Do you have anything else along the lines of self care?
Sarah: We also try to bake on a Sunday so that for the week ahead. We were either homemade cookies or a homemade cake that we can have with our tea while we’re working. I think with things like that, it’s like a little thank you to ourselves during the week. Say enjoy yourself while you’re working and just treat yourself.
Megan: Yeah, and the smell of baking filling your house on a Sunday is perfect
Laura: Why can’t you feel like you’re having these little elements of holiday through your day, and still be working really hard? Why does work have to not be fun? I think that there’s lots of ways that you can add little elements to make it a really fun, nourishing experience ,while you’re working.
Sarah: We have a little silly thing that we do, where if we do get a win, say we get a new goal achieved with Wondercooks or there’s a post that goes crazy, we usually get up, stop what we’re doing and we have to dance around the study. These are the wins that we need to celebrate and just be happy about it and not let it pass by.
Laura: It’s so easy to let it pass by because you’re so focused on getting the next thing done. So one of us will take the other and we’ll make sure we have this celebration dance.
Megan: Yeah. Just to recognize it. I love that. So that whole concept that you guys are talking about of treating your life like a holiday or a vacation is so interesting to me because I think that is why I crave vacation so often. Because I separate my life from vacation too much. So it’s like when you’re on vacation, you’re like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. So incorporating more of that mindset into your day-to-day life, I think, is so healthy. I love that concept.
Laura: It’s just a small tweak to the mindset, really of just allowing yourself permission to have these things that make your life just that little bit more fun, especially when you’re at work. Why not?
Megan: Small tweak to the mindset? I love that. I’m totally stealing that from you guys. I’m going to start maybe giving myself reminders throughout the day. You are on vacation or I don’t know.
Laura: Some people like to do that with alarms and reminders on their phones that just pop up and say, Hey, how are you feeling? Or hey, why don’t you go for a walk or something like that.
Megan: I’m sure there are, like, you could put that on your calendar and I always get reminders from my calendar, but I’m sure there are apps for that too. Reminding you to take care of yourself or I don’t know, find something you’re grateful for.
Laura: Yeah, literally scheduling that in, That in that time, that permission allowing yourself to do that. I think it’s a huge part because a lot of us think that, work or whatever, it has to be a certain way. But when you work for yourself, that’s the strongest power you have is to make those decisions; to incorporate healthy things, healthy habits into your life.
Megan: I think this is such a big part of it. Self care is so huge. You guys are just showing that there’s proof in that because you seem to have such a good grasp on taking care of yourselves, taking care of your minds. How that plays out for you and your business and how you guys seem so grateful. You express so much gratitude for the little things, and that is so inspiring. So thank you for sharing all of that. So in addition to self care, what ways do you keep ideas fresh and also keep the creative juices flowing? You mentioned taking walks, but what other things can we do?
Sarah: So one of the things we do on a Monday morning is actually test ourselves by getting out of our environment and finding a new place every Monday. We’ll head there and spend either an hour or two, just brainstorming ideas for both businesses and just writing everything down that we think of. I find that taking yourself out of your usual environment, just lets your mind wander that a little bit more to figure out some new ideas or some problem solving or even planning, what’s coming up next. It really gets you out of your comfort zone.
Laura: It breaks those habits too, because I think as soon as you come into your office in the morning, you probably have that set routine of turning on the computer, checking the emails, doing whatever it is that you do. So yeah, us taking ourselves away or outside of that situation and it just somewhere new, it makes your brain think in different ways. Yeah, it opens up so much room for creativity.
Megan: It’s like a distraction for your mind? Like you said earlier, it’s a little tweak to the mindset. You’re tricking yourself again. You’re not at home. You don’t have to go through those same motions, turning on the computer. We do that all the time, just checking email, and then we get into a groove and then pretty soon we’re like, what am I even working on today? Just second nature.
Laura: Anything with emails, that can be such a huge trap, checking that first thing in the morning as well, because you can get sidetracked by work or intentions from other people that you take on board checking those emails straight away. So we do try and before we open up our computers, we’ll sit down and this is every day. We sit down and work out based on our master to -do list, write down that first important task and just set ourselves up to achieve the things that we really need to work on together. Then open it up to the emails and to the urgent things that may come through. Even if they’re urgent by someone else’s standards.
That’s right. I always say, there’s nothing sitting in your email right now that is so dire that it can’t wait a couple of hours. If you get an email from the Food Network, I think they would be forgiving enough to allow you a day to reply. So just that way and changing your mindset that way too. There’s really nothing that important that’s going to be life-changing. Most people are pretty understanding about that. It’s just an annoyance, honestly. I check my email way too much and I berate myself like, what am I doing? I do not need to be here. So that is my personal downfall with working. So any strategies you have for that, I am all ears. Yeah I think the temptation is always there too to check the emails a bit too much sometimes. We do fall into that trap too. But setting a time, specifying the time that you want to check your emails, even if that’s twice a day and taking that time to reply and then closing it off and doing what you need to do. So it really helps us get through.
Sarah: Yeah, I think the two times that we’ve been doing it is after we get back from our walk, we will check our emails just before lunch and just address anything that is urgent. Then after that, we know that then the afternoon is set for whatever tasks need to be done. Then we’ll relook at the emails at about 4:30, so that again, we can address anything that needs to be done and anything else is set up for the next morning. So it gets you in that nice rhythm and it lets you check it enough that everyone is getting a reply within quite a short amount of time. So I think twice a day, it’s probably enough.
Megan: That really is. You really don’t need much more than that. There’s something called inbox pause. Have you guys seen where you can actually pause the emails coming into your inbox? I’ve experimented with it a little, I need to do more because I do really well. I’ll be really strict with myself. You cannot check more than twice a day and I’ll do really well for a while. Then I start sliding off that slope. Before I know it, I’ll be like, ah. That is something that I just really need to work on because I think it squashes my creativity too, because it’s just unnecessary garbage, like most emails are garbage. So that’s one of my personal things that I’m working on.
Sarah: I was gonna say, I haven’t heard of inbox pause. That sounds amazing and I probably do need that. I’m usually the one who checks my emails too much and slips into those old habits. Like you were saying before, I think when you first sit down in the morning, you usually think about work a little bit before you’ve started. So you have this idea of what you want to be working on. If you do check those emails, as soon as you read something, your mind just completely resets to task B. It’s like you’ve gone to task A, oh yeah, you’re going to work on this. Reading now task B and then when you go back to work on task A, it’s like your brain is still thinking about task B.
Megan: You forget about it. That happens to me all the time, because I’m one of those people who gets up really early, wakes up early and I’m just thinking like, okay, I could do this project this way and then you’re right. I get sidetracked and then I forget. Maybe getting up and just journaling really quickly, brief journaling of what you were thinking about would maybe counter that. Instead of diving right into the emails, just writing down the ideas you had. I always have the best of intentions with that. You know how it is. There’s just a few things surrounding my work, in the way that I work and process everything, that I just need to change. It’s just a matter of okay, I need to be firm about this with myself.
Sarah: One good thing is if you find that you almost just keep getting tempted by checking those emails, you can either turn off the internet if you don’t need that, say if you’re writing a recipe or something. Also where you try and take our phones out of the room completely so that we can only check them at lunchtime.
Megan: That’s great.
Laura: Especially with habit, twitch needs to check the phone. Becoming aware of that and then controlling it and redirecting it towards your work is a good way to stay on track.
Megan: You guys have any other ideas for keeping those creative juices flowing?
Laura: Yeah. What we like to do on a quarterly basis, is we’ll book ourselves a trip away to a cabin or somewhere like that. We like to call it our weekend. It’s like what Bill Gates does. We drew on that as inspiration. So now we like to get away on weekends. We clear our schedules and we focus on whatever it is about whichever business that we need to be working on. So we have had huge bursts of growth with Wandercooks from doing this.
Sarah: Essentially it’ll be for three days, two nights and we will set a slight agenda for the trip so that we know that we have quite a significant intention. We will not work on any other work. I suppose it is just time for planning and brainstorming. So I think the first one we did was last year and we went through every single recipe post. We did keyword analysis on every single one. It was huge. I think we were so excited by it, that just spending that time only planning, it was so satisfying and we made sure it was the middle of winter. So we were at this cabin and we had the fire going and we had all the munchies. We made sure that we were comfortable as well.
Laura: We took our dog as well, so she came and enjoyed time in front of the fireplace with us. That got us going out for those quick walks to break out the sessions as well together. Then just jumping back into all of that planning and thought process.
Sarah: I think by taking out all of the distractions, that you’re not there to do any other work, to check emails, to hear from friends, any of those sorts of things, it really helps you to completely focus on the task at hand and really get that work done. It’s so satisfying.
Laura: I think we were working from say eight o’clock in the morning to eight o’clock at night, with those few breaks, but the whole time, it felt like we were on holiday. So we were working and thinking really hard about everything to do with the blog, but we were so happy and so relaxed and just having an absolute ball.
Sarah: It’s like you trick the mind. So I’m on holiday. It was just a win/win.
Megan: That’s a theme here for you guys, is just changing mindsets a little bit or a lot in little increments, in different ways. What a huge payoff that can be. I’m sure your brainstorming sessions were huge payoffs, right?
Sarah: Definitely. Yeah. I was going to say yes or huge growth last year when we first started doing it. It’s just been also just encouraging to then obviously keep working through everything and you get back and have that refreshed feeling all the holiday, but you’ve also achieved a whole lot at the same time.
Megan: I think you guys should write a book called mind tricks or something. Because there’s something to that, especially for entrepreneurs who are lonely and quote stuck at home. We get into these traps of thinking all of that stuff more negatively. But if you just change those thoughts a little bit, it can actually be so different. There’s something to that. You guys are onto something.
Sarah: The Holiday Entrepreneur.
Megan: Yes. Yes. I’m serious. So something that I struggle with is keeping my energy levels up or managing, I guess you could say more accurately, my energy levels because I get really motivated and I get super productive and then I just burn out and I’m exhausted. So do you have tips about how to better manage energy?
Laura: A couple of ideas here, and I think it also coincides with some of the things that we talked about in terms of self care and motivation and things like that. One minor thing we try to do, we try not to drink too much coffee. We will drink tea, but we try not to drink too much coffee. Cause I feel like as much as we love coffee, I do find that I get that slump in the afternoon when that little buzz wears off. I don’t want to drink too much. Yeah, so drinking tea or drinking water, lots of water throughout the day definitely helps. Taking those breaks and then trying to get plenty of good sleep in the evening as well. Which can be hard to do sometimes, but taking distractions out of the bedroom, taking the phones out of the bedroom, if you can. Just making it that dedicated space, that sort of comfortable bed type situation is a good way to try and get that good sleep.
Sarah: Also, I find when we are at work, if one of us is having a bit of a problem and we’re trying to work it out, we’ll usually actually step away from the computers and talk it out and be like, all right, how can we address this the best? That kind of helps to keep your emotions in check if you’re getting stressed out or sometimes I think that almost blocks the answer that you need. So just allowing yourself that time to analyze a situation where you are trying to figure out a problem can definitely help and therefore keep your energies up because you haven’t stressed out or you’re not getting to the end of the day and be like nothing left.
Laura: That’s the thing, I think it’s just trying to keep aware of how your body and your mind are feeling through the day. So if you work really hard and you feel the cotton will affect your head, you feel like that’s an exhausting feeling coming over you. We can give ourselves permission to have that break and to step away and to really calm the mind and to get that energy level back up before you then re tackle the project or move on to something else.
Sarah: Yeah, I think I remember one time where we were having a particularly stressful week and we had a lot of work to do at that particular time. I remember looking over at Laura and she was just so stressed out that I actually said, you know what? Get out, go into the lounge room and do yoga. She’s like, I can’t do this. I have all of these projects. I said, Nope, get out, go and relax for an hour and she’s okay, okay, I’m going. Then she did. When she came back, it was just like a completely different person. I just remember her looking at me and she said thank you.
Megan: Oh, I love that.
Laura: This month I’m so busy. I can’t leave my desk. I have to get all this done. That person that was sitting there at that time was not a very productive person. So by taking that break out and just literally disconnecting for that brief amount of time was enough for me to reset and go ooooh ok.
Megan: Sometimes we can’t see that in ourselves, right? We are to the point of, like you said, I have to get this done. I have work. I can’t step away. I get like that all the time, but it just takes one person that knows and loves you to see you from the outside and say, oh my goodness, you need to step away. That is huge, I think. My thing is taking naps. He knows that if I’m super stressed and it’s a weekend and I’m working and I look probably like you did, when you get called out, he knows to come up to me and say, go take a nap. Go take a 30 minute nap. I’m like, what? Same thing? I can’t do that. He’s yes, go step away. Yeah, every time I come back and I’m like, thank you so much. That was so helpful.
Laura: You’ve probably worked through whatever that block was, even if it’s totally subconsciously. Then you come back to me on that particular day, I came back and I ended up working solidly on this project for another two hours, completely oblivious to the world around me, because I’ve just found that flow. But beforehand, when I was in that stressing mode, I was just flailing.
Megan: There’s no way you can push through that. You think in your mind that you can, you try to rationalize, like I can do this. I’m going to push through it, but there’s no possible way that you can, unless you take that break.
Laura: Because we work for ourselves, we have that power to do that, to make that decision, to make that goal and to just step away. Unlike a traditional kind of employment situation where you’re at your desk and you just literally have to push through.
Megan: Absolutely. A great point. Yeah. When you’re in an office situation, you don’t have the option to go into the other room and do yoga. You have to keep pushing through. So I just think you guys are so inspiring and it just seems like you have so many good things in place, and I love your mindset and the way that you just see your day to day as a vacation. You’ve definitely inspired me to just incorporate some of that thinking and mindset shifts into my own life, my days. So I really, really enjoyed this talk. Is there anything else that you think is valuable that we should mention before we say goodbye guys?
Laura: I think just to be easy on yourself and to listen to yourself, when you need to stop. Sometimes I think just taking that moment and literally a couple of seconds, just to check in with yourself throughout the day to see how you’re feeling, what do you need? Is it a glass of water? Is it a walk? Just to be nice and check-in.
Sarah: Be kind. Absolutely.
Megan: Then I want to ask you one last thing about the adventure that you took. What if there’s somebody listening who really has that on their heart? They went into food blogging as a way to get into that freedom lifestyle or where they can travel. What is your best advice for them?
Laura: Do it. That’s what we were told. We were on a hike and we were saying to someone, oh, we want to go overseas. We can’t because we had a job and blah, blah, blah. They just said why not? And that kind of stopped us in our tracks and we thought oh, Actually okay. Let’s do it.
Sarah: I think at the time we were thinking of just three months and then I think one of us said, I’m sure we could go longer. That same friend was like, why not? Just do it. That’s when we really thought, wow, we can make some serious changes in our life and we can make this happen. Furthermore, we can plan this without even a return date in mind and just see where we end up. And my gosh, what an adventure that turned out to be.
Megan: I am such a huge believer in the fact that you can really make anything happen that you want to, anything. If there’s something you really want to do, you can absolutely 100% do it. There are always excuses. There’s always going to be something. Like you guys were like we can’t, we have to work. Actually, why couldn’t you just do it? So again, that is the mindset again, because it takes you out of comfort almost. You’re just comfortable with making excuses for why you can’t do something.
So when you actually have someone to shake you and say why can’t you do that? Then you’re like, whoa. I guess you’re right. It makes you reevaluate. So that’s really solid advice, ladies. Thank you so much for being here today. I know you’re across the world from me and it’s early in the morning for you, but I just really appreciate you taking the time for this chat. I know that food bloggers are going to find this inspiring and encouraging. So thank you so much.
Laura: Thank you so much for having us on, Megan. We really appreciate it.
Megan: Oh, it has been fun. So before you go, do you have a favorite quote or any additional words of inspiration for food bloggers?
Laura: Yeah. Our favorite quote that we have lived by right from the start is, “start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.” it’s a classic one, but yeah, I think it’s just so true.
Sarah: I think so many times you can look outward for whatever it is that you’re trying to solve, whatever solution you’re trying to find, but try and keep it simple. Rein it back in, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. It never fails.
Megan: My gosh. That’s so great. Thank you so much for sharing that. So Sarah and Laura have a list of resources relating to everything we’ve talked about today. We’ll put some show notes up based on this episode, and you can find those at eatblogtalk.com/wandercooks. Ladies, tell my listeners the best place to find you online.
Laura: Sure. So you can find us on Instagram at wandercooks or on Facebook at wandercooks as well. We’re probably hanging out there the most.
Megan: Awesome. Thank you again for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.
We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.
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