5 Minutes with Claire Tregoning and Elle Macpherson
How do you start your day?
Elle: It’s important to me that I start my day feeling centred and connected to my heart. I practice prayer, and meditation in the mornings – it helps keep me focused and clear minded. There’s a wonderful philosophy I heard that is really valuable: “If you can’t find the time to meditate for half an hour every day, then meditate for an hour.” I also make sure I set my intentions for the day – both personally and professionally. Just writing down my hopes and wishes sets up an unconscious undercurrent of focus for the day. Then I have a clear vision on what I can set out to achieve and my energy is effortlessly angled towards it.
Claire: I wake up about 6am every morning. In my house, with two young children, it's the quietest time of the day, so the first thing I do is try and meditate before anyone wakes up. If I can, I'll meditate for 15-20 minutes. Movement early in the day is important to me too, so about once or twice a week, I'll go to a Pilates studio and do a session there. On the rest of the mornings, I do an at-home workout known as The Class, by Taryn Toomey. It's a mat-based workout with lots of music, like a blend of yoga and dance. It's high-energy and shakes you up. It works for me. I love how fun and convenient it is; I don't even have to leave the house to get to enjoy it.
How important is movement in terms of how you feel? And, what kind of movement makes you feel the most strong, in every sense of that word?
Elle: Movement is one of my daily non-negotiables. Each week I mix it up so my body doesn’t become accustomed to the same exercises and so I don’t get bored. I like sports and I love being outdoors, so I’m more likely to go for a swim, ride my bike, hike in the woods, or play a game of tennis, than to go and work out in a gym. In saying that, I have started doing weight training to help protect me from getting osteoporosis.
I’ve come to understand the increased importance of movement combined with fresh air, sunshine for vitamin D to support my immune system – it helps keep me connected and healthy on all levels. Most importantly, love and laughter – it opens the heart and lightens the spirit – vital for a strong immune system and meaningful life.
Claire: Movement is so integral to how good I feel. It's very important; I try to incorporate movement, in some form, into every day. I enjoy so many forms, but I definitely feel strongest when I do Pilates. I think that's because it feels so focused on strength-based work; when I practice Pilates I feel like I'm doing work that's helping to build muscle. At the same time, a Pilates session brings me into the moment and helps me feel calm - and all of that combined really helps to set me up for the day.
I get movement in lots of other ways, too. I live in a beach suburb north of Sydney, and often take my kids surfing. We all love jumping in the ocean. It's so freeing. It's really cleansing for the mind, a great way to reset, good for the soul. And a few times a week, I'll go for a walk as well. Each of these things, in their own way, helps clear my mind, helps me reset, helps me feel strong.
When life gets busy, stressful, fast-paced, what helps you stay in the moment?
Elle: Learn to prioritise and balance. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I focus exclusively on what I am actually doing at the time, then when I am done, move on to the next thing. One minute I’m doing my weekly shop at the market, the next minute I am on a Zoom call with the WelleCo team, preparing for a press interview and then cooking dinner for my son. All the time I remain focused on the present.
I’ve actually found that stress is usually about what we are not doing, rather than having too many things to do. So I find it’s vital to spend at least some of each day – even if it’s only 15 or 30 minutes – doing something for yourself, something that really matters to you. No matter how big or small or whether you finish it or not, just investing some time and effort in yourself is very powerful and also helps you focus on other things when they need your attention.
Most importantly, remember to laugh and not be too hard on yourself. I find deep breathing also helps when you are feeling stressed, to slow you down and centre you.
Claire: My life, my schedule, is so full, and so fulfilling, but I do need order to get the most out of every moment. Writing lists not only helps me stay focused; it also helps me see how much I've managed to achieve in any one day. I get to break down to-dos into smaller tasks, which helps to prioritise and manage each one. Plus, there's something so satisfying about looking at just how many things you've ticked off by the end of the day; it's a great way to see with clarity just how much you've accomplished, even on days that have seemed overwhelming.