Wellness IRL: Interview With Amy

 
Wellness In Real Life: Interview with  Amy May  | Jennifer Diaz | Photo by  Alyssa Rosenheck

Wellness In Real Life: Interview with Amy May | Jennifer Diaz | Photo by Alyssa Rosenheck

 

I'm so excited to introduce you to this month's Wellness IRL inspiration, Amy May! Amy is one of my closest friends, as well as one of the most inspiring human beings I've ever met. I'm constantly amazed by her incredibly positive outlook on life, how she gives so much kind presence to people she encounters, and the way she handles life's craziness with so much strength and grace.  Amy is the creator and owner of Amy May Paper (this website + all that beautiful hand lettering you see on here is thanks to her!), as well as the co founder of  A Branding Co. Today, she is sharing some serious wisdom with us about how she works to maintain balance, keep her overall wellness at the forefront of her mind, all while being a creative entrepreneur!

What aspect of your personal wellness is going really well for you right now?

Lately, I have really been focusing on making healthy choices when it comes to food, and exercising more days of the week than not. The food part is slowly but surely coming together - it is definitely the more difficult of the two. The exercise, however, has been going really well. I have been trying to take one day at a time - setting intentions for that particular day and getting through it the best I can. I find that operating this way ends in the best result for me personally, over saying I’m going to eliminate this from my diet for an entire month - the long term goals in this regard tend to leave me feeling a little overwhelmed and I find myself reverting back to old habits that I am trying to kick. 

Finding balance in everyday life can be challenging. What helps you stay focused?

I have an extremely supportive husband and some really amazing and encouraging friends. I find inspiration in the people I love, who continually encourage me to be better and make choices that are ultimately best for my overall health. I am trying to incorporate some meditation - this one has been a bit of a challenge for me, but I am going to keep at it. I think long term I could really benefit from the practice of quieting my mind and setting positive intentions for myself. 
 
 

If you were to name an aspect of your wellness experience that has had the largest impact on your life, what would that be?

I think the past. I lost my mother and father at a young age and found myself feeling very much on my own. I have an amazing family surrounding me still, but I felt overwhelmed by this feeling of being alone. I had to learn (and boy was it a process) how to deal with the emotional aspects of wellness that can be so overwhelming. Being able to understand that the past is not a predictor of the future, that although you have lost someone you love so dear you will find joy again, learning to appreciate the people God placed in your life for the amount of time you had them. These are all things that have continued to motivate and shape me into the person I am today. Emotional wellness is a tricky piece of the puzzle. It is something that is always changing - life is always throwing curve balls at you, and to be able to deal with those situations in a healthy, level-headed, and adaptable manner has truly been something I am so thankful for. 

When you are feeling burned out or demotivated, what/who do you look to for inspiration?

My faith is something that has always been a pillar to lean on in those moments of feeling a little overwhelmed or underwhelmed by it all. I find such encouragement in that God has a plan for each of us and that this life we have is such a gift. We are unconditionally and undeservingly loved by Jesus and that is such a motivation to live a life that has purpose, meaning, and is fueled by love. My husband, as I mentioned earlier, is so incredibly supportive. He is constantly encouraging me to try new things, and to hang in there when life gets tough. He picks up on cues when I have hit that spot of feeling not so inspired and does a really good job and picking me back up. The voice behind this entire site and blog - Jennifer Diaz - has been such a motivation to me. I am not sure she even realizes all the ways she motivates others by living such a well and balanced life. I look to her for guidance, motivation, and advice so very often. 
 
Wellness In Real Life: Interview with  Am  y May |  Jennifer Diaz | Photo by  Alyssa Rosenheck

Wellness In Real Life: Interview with Amy May | Jennifer Diaz | Photo by Alyssa Rosenheck

 

Owning/running your own business can often be overwhelming! How do you find the time throughout your busy schedule to stay active and also decompress?

This is still a work in progress. I do not think anyone can truly prepare you for what it is like to start and operate a business on your own. The amount of discipline, time, and dedication that it requires is so far past what I could have ever imagined, BUT the reward is so much more fulfilling. I try to have set hours and to shut down at night when my husband comes home. To remember that work is extremely important but it is not the only thing that matters. For me it is all about finding a balance, and personally that means that every week looks different. Some weeks I have several projects going on at one time: I am trying to get multiple envelope orders out the door, custom projects need to be written out, a sketch for an invitation suite needs to be drawn up, and in those weeks the days are a little longer, but I try to schedule the next week with a little more free time and have the nights off. Being in the business of creating requires a lot of energy and also is something that cannot be forced. I try to give myself that time to be inspired - to operate from a place of creating something authentic and unique for my clients. I enjoy so much connecting with them, learning their stories, hearing about their wedding and how they met their soon to be spouse… it brings me a lot of joy. I do not want to ever lose sight of that aspect of what I do. I think it is easy to get caught up in the accounting, the administrative, and the other work of it all - but I really do try to remind myself what a gift it is to do what I love every single day. Not that every day is perfect, but to be able to take something you love so much and turn it into a business and create something your clients will treasure is just such  gift. 

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Last spring I reluctantly took up biking :). My husband is currently training for his first half ironman {YIKES}, and I purchased a bike last year so I could spend some time with him while he was training. It is something that allows me to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with my husband, and clear my mind when things get a bit fuzzy. I have also really enjoyed incorporating strength training into my week. I have never been one to lift weights, so when my trainer suggested we start there I was intrigued and have been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy it. It really has been so much fun to watch myself get stronger, to be able to do a few more push-ups, lift a little more weight, and be able to hang in there a little longer than when I first started. Seeing myself make progress is such a motivator for me, so this is something I have not only enjoyed, but that has really pushed me to keep going as well.
 
 

What is the best piece of health/wellness advice you’ve received?

You have one life to live - make it count. Take time for yourself. 

What is your favorite healthy dish?

I love quinoa - I have tried it so many ways! Sometimes I make it with kale, mushrooms, and a little feta… sometimes I do asparagus, sometimes I throw in some dried cherries, sometimes I put a Mexican spin on it - I just think it is something that is so adaptable but also keeps you full. You can serve it hot or cold - it is an all around winner for me! (and it doesn’t hurt that you really can’t mess it up)

What is your go-to splurge?

Oh man…I come from an Italian family so anything that involves pasta, pizza, and some dessert is definitely a weakness. Oh, and sour patch kids :) 
 
 

Describe your typical day-to-day routine.

I wake up in the morning and give my sweet pup a snuggle. I head straight to my office and answer any emails that are in the good ol’ inbox. I try to write out what my day is going to look like. Then when I have a grasp on what is ahead, I try to step aside and have something for breakfast - a smoothie, yogurt, something… then back to the office to write away and do some editing on the computer. At some point during the day ( as everyday is different), I workout - some days this is with my trainer , some days on my own but I always feel more productive when I get some form of exercise in my day. Then it is back to the computer to edit, write, create… I squeeze lunch in there at some point :) and then I try my very best to unplug when my husband gets home from work :) Sometimes we take the pup for a walk if the weather is nice (come on spring) - and then we have dinner together. I have a weakness for crummy tv and that is something I am trying to work on, but I would be totally lying to you if I said most nights did not end with some Real Housewives or The Bachelor :) 

Describe what your “perfect” day would look like?

I would begin the day with some form of meditation (remember, I'm trying to work on this), setting some intentions for the day - listening to my body and to myself….. I think it is a good way to keep yourself in check…. then I would workout, have a healthy breakfast - have a plan for the workday - and operate efficiently (this one can always be a bit tricky)… I would continue to fuel my body with healthy foods throughout the day. Find time to take a few breaks outside, as sitting at the computer all day can get a little redundant. I would unplug when my husband came home - take a walk or go for a bike ride and then have a healthy dinner together and catch up about our day. I would end the day with a few thoughts about the day ahead of me - remind myself if there are any deadlines due or any appointments and then have some sort of meditation / quiet time before bed. 
Ahhh… if only everyday could look just like that :) 

What goal are you most excited about right now?

I am trying to incorporate yoga into my workout routine and I am excited about learning more about the practice. I have watched from afar and taken a few classes here and there - every time I go I just feel as if the people who practice yoga regularly have a sense of calm and balance to them that I am drawn to. Being able to deal with life’s twists and turns in a calm and centered way sounds really intriguing to me. It is something that doesn’t come naturally to me, so it will surely be a challenge, but one that I am excited about. 
I also want to continue to grow my business - to challenge myself in that regard. To dream bigger, jump farther, and learn so much more about my craft. To become better at managing all the moving parts that come along with working for myself. To continue to surround myself with other women who own their own businesses- learn from them… support one another. Community is such a blessing and I whole-heartedly believe it gets you through life. 

Any encouraging words for someone looking to improve their overall work-life balance?

Listen to yourself. Take time to think about what makes you better, and incorporate more of those things into your life. 

I hope Amy's insight leaves you with so much encouragement and a few ideas on how to incorporate your desired behaviors into your own busy schedule! 

Remember, we're all on this journey together!

XO-

Jen