Tips for Wellness During the Pandemic From Goop's Elise Loehnen

Elise Loehnen at panel discussion at In goop Health Vancouver at Stanley Park on October 27, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

To say that the last six months of our lives have been a little crazy would be the understatement of the decade. Canceling plans to stay home for weeks, balancing our personal and professional lives while working from home, navigating relationships with friends and family without meeting face-to-face, and managing the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic — it’s a lot.

Now, more than ever, self-care is a top priority, so Travel + Leisure spoke with Elise Loehnen, goop's chief content officer, about life and wellness during the pandemic. She is company founder Gwyneth Paltrow's right-hand woman and a visionary behind the brand's incredible growth, so we asked her about working from home, self-care, and travel wellness tips for when we can travel normally once again.

Navigating the challenges presented in 2020 has given us the opportunity to better investigate and address our own wellness needs and habits. “This has become normal, which is startling. How do we go back to how we were, and what can we leave behind from how we were?” According to Loehnen, the last few months have given people the chance to prioritize, or reprioritize, what matters most. When we were busy with our pre-pandemic lives, things like moving our bodies and getting sleep — basic “tenets of wellness” — might have been pushed aside, but now, they’re “have-to-haves.”  This “prolonged time-out” has given us time to work on ourselves, getting back to wellness basics like getting enough sleep, eating wholesome foods, moving our bodies, working on relationships, and more, according to Loehnen.

To practice self-care and balance life while working from home, there are a few key practices Loehnen added to her routine. Creating a structure that ensures you’re keeping work within “work hours” and adding transition times throughout your day is helpful. “I’m calendar-ing meals, calendar-ing walks, and creating that buffer, those transitional periods in my day, so that I’m not working until the moment my kids come inside after being in the park all day.” For Loehnen, that means not opening her computer until 8 in the morning and putting work away at 6.

Being conscientious about space by carving out a dedicated area to work — she created an office in her bedroom — while keeping other parts of the house “sacred” is important for a good work from home environment, according to Loehnen. She’s also a fan of list-making, writing down everything she needs to do each day and crossing it off, and creating order in her home by keeping it clean: “I cannot live and work in chaos.”

Loehnen also noted the importance of having a change of scenery, saying travel is “essential for the soul,” as it allows us an opportunity to get another perspective and really detach. Plus, with social interactions somewhat limited to our work colleagues and families and with the line blurred between work and home, it’s important to get away, according to Loehnen, while sticking to government regulations during the pandemic.

For future travels, Loehnen has a few recommendations. As far as carry-on must haves go, she likes to keep books, goopgenes face cream, hand sanitizer wipes, Vitamin C from LivOn, and a Perfect Bar to snack on. She also likes to bring along her infinity roller to massage any sore muscles.

goop has curated content to adapt to the “new normal” we’re now living in, covering everything from navigating uncertainty to parenting during the pandemic. This Sept. 12, the brand will have its first-ever virtual summit — In goop Health: The At-Home Summit — hosted by Gwenyth Paltrow and Elise Loehnen. The event will include a number of masterclasses and conversations, covering topics like beauty, plant care, movement, and more, focusing on this year’s theme of transitions.

Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her adventures on Instagram @elizabetheverywhere. 

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