Find Your Daily Self-Care with Anna VanAgtmael

Most days seemed to have blurred together this year. And now with traditional vacationing pretty much out of the questions, how can we carve out a time for us to reset and practice that self care we've been craving?

I chatted with Anna VanAgtmael, the Owner of Wandering Roots and certified Yoga Instructor, about how to practice self care in our everyday. Anna specializes in all-inclusive retreats where guests can choose their own adventure. She also helps women in the wellness industry plan and host their own profitable retreats. 

Xi: Hi Anna, tell us why do you do what you do, and how did you get started? 

Anna: I was feeling bored and completely uninspired in my career but had no clue what else I wanted to do. I started a landscape business with my husband and that fed my love for a challenge for about a year before it felt like it wasn't enough. It was more of a BTS support for his dream. So I signed up for yoga teacher training and it changed my life. I had never experienced a situation where every single person was there supporting each other, and loving and accepting each other. Knowing that I couldn't convince everyone to join a yoga teacher training, I thought I could host retreats and create experiences where people could show up as they are and be taken care of. I wanted to combine my love for community, travel and yoga so I started Wandering Roots.

Xi: What was the most difficult thing you did in your career/small business? And what did you learn from it? 

AnnaThis is a hard one, so many things! First thing coming to mind is my second retreat, which I hosted internationally in Banff National Park. Many of my guests had severe delays, and a couple lost their luggage for over 48 hours. I got a speeding ticket on the way to the airport because I was so distracted. And then we got hit by a blizzard so some of the roads were closed to some of the excursions that I had planned, so I had to plan a whole new schedule! Eventually, I figured it out and everyone had a great time. Through this experience, I learned I'm very resilient and flexible, and that I'm always stronger than I think I am. 

Another big challenge was turning my side hustle into my career, and leaving my really comfortable career in the biotech industry. I had a very successful 13 year career run as a lab manager for a small start up. I left at the end of 2019 only to have most of my events cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. It's been tough but I don't regret it. I've learned so much about myself this year and have been constantly reminded that I can do hard things.

Xi: That's so impressive and inspiring! Thanks for sharing! So, I know you work home a lot, What are three things you must have when you do? 

Anna: A clean, organized space, my laptop, & tea.

Anna working from home
Anna working from home

Xi: A big part of designing our clothing is to allow women to be comfortable and confident in their everyday, so they can more easily navigate between the many aspects of work and life. Tell us a bit about what a typical day looks like for you and how you find balance between work and life. 

Anna: I spend a lot of time on my computer, so I take a long walk everyday with my two dogs. It's non-negotiable unless the weather is really bad. Getting outside even if it's freezing cold in Michigan is so important to me. I also try to workout a few times a week.

Xi: What struggles or myths have you seen with women practicing daily self care?

Anna Most women take care of themselves last. The majority of us think it's selfish to spend time or money on ourselves. It's not. When you invest in yourself, you can show up better for the people you love.

Xi: What advice would you give to them so we can find our own daily self care routine, or our own little daily retreats?

Anna: Do one thing everyday just for you, simply for the reason that you're worthy of the things you desire. For example, mine are giving myself 10 minutes each morning to savor my tea and ease into my day, hiking with my dogs, working out, meditating, etc. My days are very flexible but I build in routines and non-negotiables where I can. I normally meditate at my 3 pm slump when I get kind of tired and unmotivated, and I start my day with tea every day. The walk happens everyday but it varies from day to day and the workout happens about 3-4 days per week. I know that if I don't create the time for these things that fuel me, I won't show up to my work as my best self. 

Xi: I love that you are so mindful about not just what activities give you fuel, but also what times during the day work best for them. I'm going to try that! Anything else you would like to share with our audience?

Anna: We just released our 2021 retreats, which are available on our website
Our retreats are always hosted by a team of women that are the best at what they do. We take care of every single detail and even give you a packing list so that you really don't have to worry about a thing. You get to show up and be taken care of. You can directly contact me at  anna@yourwanderingroots.com for any questions.

You can also follow Anna on Instagram @yourwanderingroots.

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