Meet Janine Hall

Owner of Escape Haven - Luxury yoga, surf and spa retreats

When your job title is Chief Happiness Officer, you know each workday is going to be full of smiles. That’s definitely the case for Janine Hall.

Escape Haven is the home of luxury yoga, surf and spa retreats in Bali, Byron Bay, Noosa, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Morocco, which are designed to revive, refresh and renew mind, body and spirit. Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

The idea for Janine’s business was born from an experience she had in a wellness hotel in Ubud after suffering burnout following an international marketing career. In Ubud she had a powerful realisation of how to manage a busy life, like the one she was leading at the time. With a menu of whole foods, yoga and Ayurvedic spa treatments, she nurtured her body, restoring it back to balance.

I got to burnout because I never gave myself permission to hit the ‘off' switch

Escape Haven retreats were created to refill women’s energy tanks and allow guests to unplug and get back to a carefree state of vitality. Away from the pressures of daily life, the week-long wellbeing programmes help to create clearer perspectives on work and life while inspiring and refreshing the mind, body and soul.

“I got to burnout because I never gave myself permission to hit the ‘off switch’,” she says. “I would work through lunch and then work late. Relaxing was unproductive to my mind and I refused to let myself do it.”

Today Janine’s habits are very different. She avoids technology at the start of every day, instead opting for something that makes her soul happy, like a beach walk with her dogs or a surf or yoga class. This gives her a clear mind to think creatively and is often the time she comes up with her best ideas.

What I do to find balance

  • I follow an energy-based diet and focus on eating healthily and living well.
  • Prioritising resilience tools helps me cope in more demanding and busy periods. Tools include spending time with friends, connecting and laughing.
  • Meditation has been my saviour and a great way to create stillness in a busy life. It gives me energy, better sleep and allows me to react to situations in a calm, clear way.

janine's top 5

Listen to the signs and be aware of your triggers so you can take care of yourself
Remember life is measured by happiness, not how much you worked or how much money you made
You can only give what you have so refuel yourself regularly so you can give what you want to
We need strong foundations to make the most of our busy lives and reach our full potential
Let go of the guilt and ensure you prioritise you. It could be as simple as scheduling a gym session, using aromatherapy oils in your office for mood elevation and energy, or deleting Facebook off your phone to allow yourself more time to be present. You’ll notice the difference.

Meet Marilyn Brady

Corporate High Flyer

Marilyn Brady’s career has spanned two sectors: education and training and general management. She has sat at the helm of a high school and led the Electrotechnology Industry Training Organisation (ETITO) for more than 10 years. For the past six years she has worked across five roles at Fonterra, from General Manager Human Resources to General Manager of Technical Capability for Global Operations.

Such demanding roles call for extreme dedication and that commitment has, in the past, led Marilyn to burnout. Over the years, experiences in growing a business quickly, managing cash flow crises and adapting to new senior governance staff have all contributed to stress.

“I worked weekends and most evenings, I let my exercise regime fall away, I was turning down invites to social occasions and I moved my house closer to the office,” she says as she remembers some of the bad habits she formed that led to severe lifestyle imbalance.

I realised this was laying down habits for me that were creating stressors.

I recently met FOMO (an acronym for fear of missing out) she adds. “I realised this was laying down habits for me that were creating stressors. Things like reaching for the mobile phone every time it beeped. And everything beeps - the fridge, the washing machine, the iPad! I was unnecessarily going on alert and flooding myself with stress hormones every time it happened.”

Changing those habits was vital and creating routine helped. Simple things like having outfits ready to make dressing for any occasion easy and stress-free are on Marilyn's good habit list, as well as delegating work, forgiving oneself often, practising mindful meditation and, one of the most important, smiling often.

Finding My Balance

  • I don’t sweat the small stuff. More and more I smell the roses and revisit happy memories.
  • Know that there has been a tomorrow for millions of years and it is highly likely that there will be
  • another one after today.
  • If I mess up today, I will fix it tomorrow

Marilyn's top 5

Connect - talk and listen, be there, feel connected
Give - your time, your words, your presence
Take Notice - remember the simple things that give you joy
Keep Learning - embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself
Be Active - do what you can, enjoy what you do, move your mood