Self / 14.03.2015

Calgary Avansino’s 10 wellness rules

By Roisin Dervish-O'Kane
What helps one of London's busiest health and beauty gurus feel balanced?

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Wellbeing warrior, mum and contributing editor at Vogue, 39-year-old California-born Calgary Avansino is one busy woman. Her wellness rules for success? Eating well, pushing past your comfort zone and giving yourself a big old serving of self love

1. Make room for ‘Me-time’

Confidence has everything to do with spending time with yourself. It’s about being okay with you and focusing on giving yourself the love and attention you deserve. I think as women, we’ve forgotten that, and think of me-time as a luxury or an indulgence, but it’s neither of those things, it’s an absolute necessity in order to be stable, calm, centered, happy – and confident!

Read more: The busy woman’s guide to finding me-time

2. Remember: ‘You can do anything, but you can’t do everything’

We put pressure on ourselves to be a good wife, mum or businesswoman and that’s a lot! I try to take a long-term, holistic approach and remember I don’t have to do everything on a day-to-day basis. Every week, I look ahead and schedule things that make me happy: like exercise and picking my kids up from school. I try not to budge on the things that make me a nicer person.

3. Get happy

The power of our thoughts is immense, and the energy that comes from our brain is the strongest energy force in our body. My kids have this great thing at school where they’ll say ‘Turn that frown upside down’, and it’s as simple as that. Colourful dresses, and dancing to Taylor Swift with my kids always seem to make everything a lot better too!

Read more: How to get your summer-happy back

4. Move on up

Placing challenges upon yourself and overcoming those challenges and achieving your goals is what gives you confidence. You don’t want to jump on a treadmill and keep going at the same pace. I worked at Vogue for 14 years taking on bigger roles, with more responsibilities. Now I’m a contributing editor and building my own brand and company. I’m doing exactly what I want and am determined to work that much harder to make what I want to happen, happen.

5. Set your own standards

Success for me is doing what I want to do, and it’s not just me. New research from Crowne Plaza shows people view success very differently from 10-20 years ago: where people based it on very stereotypical symbols like a fast car or bigger house, or larger salary.

Success is becoming more about lifestyle, which is a real focus of people in California and is definitely becoming a trend over here. It’s a more holistic approach to success with a focus on eating well, exercising, taking care of yourself and focusing on what makes you happy.

6. Meditate (just don’t call it that)

It’s actually a really simple way to quieten the mind, but the word makes you think of a monk sitting for hours on end, so I don’t use it. For me, checking in with yourself is as simple as just closing your eyes and focusing your mind on your solar plexus. Think of your mind as a river and your thoughts as boat that floats on by, and don’t obsess over how long you do it for; just a minute is enough when starting.

Read more: How to get some headspace

7. Seek out inspiration

Strong women who think about themselves and their careers in ways people haven’t before really inspire me. Women who decide what they want to do and speak their mind and stand up for something and don’t back down on that, even if it’s not popular. Arianna Huffington blew my mind, and I felt very empowered after reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

8. #JustMoveMore

Get outside and move your body. The Californians do that very well. Of course they have a very beautiful environment, but I took a walk yesterday in the rain and there’s beauty in that too! Exercise classes are also great, Russel Bateman’s sessions and Barry’s Bootcamp make me feel like Superwoman afterwards. No matter what you’re doing, push beyond your comfort zone, that’s when the change happens in your body.

Read more: Why you should get in competition with yourself

9.  Fortify yourself

If we fill ourselves with empty calories then we’re empty, like a car without petrol, and people can’t assume that our bodies will tick along without wonderful fuel in them. I’m a big believer in a powerful breakfast that will make your feel energetic for the entirety of your morning: like a porridge, or a chia pudding or eggs with spinach. I also take Omega supplements and vitamin D and liquid probiotics.

Read more: What they do…probiotics

10. Be kind

If I’m in a bad mood, I’ll go out of my way to do something nice for someone. Somehow, sending that positivity out makes you feel better and it comes back to you. If you smile, your brain responds to that, and so do other people. Smile, and look them in the eye and you’ll exude confidence and happiness with yourself, which people can read in a minute.

Calgary Avansino, lifestyle expert and Contributing Editor for British Vogue, is working with Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts to explore how modern day values have evolved our perceptions of success. Find out more about the Crowne Plaza Evaluating Success report and check out Calgary’s top tips for success by visiting crowneplaza.com/youfirst. Follow Calgary Avansino on Twitter at @CalgaryAvansino

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