We are living in historic times, from a global pandemic to social and racial injustice. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we take time to focus on our mental well being so we can take on the day.
When it comes to self-care, wellness, and lifestyle, there is a LOT of information out there, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what all of it means!
Jennifer Wei is the founder of modern routines, a new platform for modern living, exploring the lifestyles and rituals of inspiring humans and brands. Below, Jen shares her daily wellbeing routine, how quarantine inspired her to create this inspiring platform, and how entrepreneurs can stay mentally and physically grounded in our unprecedented world.
Tell us about modern routines!
We are a new platform and community for fresh, modern living. modern routines is all about exploring what it means to be a modern person living in a modern world. From what we do, to how we feel, and even what we consume. We also want to feature great design, meaningful brands, and the people behind them.
We’re here to explore their lifestyles, mindsets and approach to living, and to put a contemporary spin on finding inspiration.
It was kind of wild how it all came to be! We started out as a team of six and we’re completely remote, scattered all over the U.S., Canada and the West Coast. It’s funny because we used to all be strangers on the internet, then we connected and started modern routines in April this year!
What was the inspiration behind creating this inspiring platform?
A big piece of it was inspired by my own journey. I lived in California for the last 6 years and while living in San Francisco, I noticed that the culture of wellbeing and living is more holistic and integrated; it’s just part of the California lifestyle.
I spent quarantine in the Midwest, where I’m originally from, and there’s more land and greenery there. In my home, there was a master bedroom with this bathtub and a window, and it had a really calming, healing vibe; That was kind of the catalyst for creating MR.
One day I was like, “I think we should do something around modern living here! There’s a movement that we can create.”
I’ve also always been interested in fresh design, innovative brands and those who create them. It all came together for me during quarantine. I thought, how do we incorporate this stuff I liked in a way that’s fresh, relatable, and inspiring for a modern audience?
What does modern living look like for you and your team?
For us, modern living was always about connected well being: mind, body, and self. Quarantine has accelerated this need for us to be more present, more intentional, and more holistic as people.
There’s so much pressure to do what your friends or society tell you to do, like there’s a “right” way to approach wellness and be inspired. And now, there’s a real opportunity to redefine what it means to live life on your own terms, and find inspiration from brands and people who are paving the way forward.
Can you talk us through your typical daily routine?
I like starting my morning with warm water and lemon. It’s just a great way to jumpstart your day and get your body moving. Then I like to take roughly 15 minutes to do a gentle body stretch on a yoga mat and say a little thank you/prayer to myself, just to show gratitude.
I don’t like to eat right away, so I’ll use that time to check my emails. Then I’ll make my cup of coffee and get my day going. But lately, I’ve been trying to stay off coffee so I’ve been drinking this alternative caffeine drink called Mudwater. It’s kind of like chai!
What well being and self-care advice do you have for business owners and entrepreneurs?
Often, as business owners, you feel like you’re running a marathon. I know that for me, by 4pm I’m exhausted. It sounds simple, but my advice would be: don’t forget to breathe and take a moment to just pause everything.
Take time to go on a walk, lay down on a yoga mat and just decompress and listen to music. I think it’s okay to take a breather and not feel guilty about stepping away from running your business. Give yourself a solid three hours off. You’ll come back feeling ready to tackle the rest of your day!
What are some common misconceptions or myths around self-care and wellness that you’ve noticed?
I used to be like this myself, but I think a lot of people think of self-care and wellness in a super regimented and structured way. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be! You don’t have to spend $500 on face lotion or purchase the latest brand name.
At modern routines, the biggest thing we hope people will get from the platform is that modern living is all about greater mind-body self-connection and a feeling of genuine comfort. Be you. Do what feels good, and truly move forward in ways that make you feel happy and whole.
What’s the first thing you’d tell someone who is new to wellness and looking to explore a greater modern mindset approach?
It’s important to not think about it as a binary. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it. Be more mindful of what your body is telling you, listen to what your gut is saying, and be more connected with your subconscious; basically bring mind, body, and being together.
It can take a lot of time to get there, so some actions can include integrating outdoor activities in your daily routine. Try meditation for 5 minutes. Hang out with friends by going hiking or continue to read, explore, and be inspired by others out there who are taking risks, defying “rules” and doing things their own way.
Has COVID-19 impacted your business and modern living journey in any way? If so, how?
I think COVID-19 was the catalyst for me to finally start modern routines. I just held it off for the longest time;
I didn’t know it was going to be called modern routines, I didn’t know the details, I just knew I wanted to start something. COVID-19 was the push for me to finally get started.
How would you explain the importance of community when it comes to modern living, especially in today’s world?
Community is so important for us. Today, our world is so hyper-connected but somehow we (Gen Z and Millennials) are the most disconnected generations.
There’s this pervasive mentality of being in a rat race and on our phones all the time. Plus, a lot of us don’t know who we are or where we’re going, so we were inspired to use the idea of fresh, innovative brands and mindsets to spark creativity and serve as a catalyst to live your life with intention.
How do you deal with self-doubt?
I grappled with self-doubt for the last couple of years. That’s why I didn’t start my business until now. I’m part of a lot of women entrepreneur groups and through them, I met this amazing human. Her name is Alisa and she’s a life coach.
We just vibed really well and started talking every week. She really helped me to not doubt myself so much.
What’s next for modern routines?
We want to turn this into products pretty soon. In a few months, we’re probably coming out with fun merch as well, but more to come on that!