Camilla Thompson is an executive coach and managing director of Select Wellness, specialists in tailoring effective wellbeing programs for employees, teams and organisations.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
In a previous life, I worked in digital media in a senior leadership role where I was one of those classic high achievers. This led to me getting burnt out and sick, as I tried to juggle two young boys and a career.
Whilst working in media I was studying coaching on the side and did several diplomas with extensive training in health, wellbeing and executive coaching. This opened up other opportunities for me to get into a career that gave me a purpose, to help people live better.
I set up my health coaching brand, The Wellness Coach over 10 years ago for personal clients but I felt my calling was to help people in the corporate space as I could identify with how they were working and the unique challenges that come with corporate life (and trying to balance life).
We launched Select Wellness nearly 5 years ago (myself and my business partner) and we specialise in strategic tailored wellbeing consultancy and programs. Our area of expertise is with senior leaders, helping them to live and work more sustainably through individualised and group coaching programs.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My #1 rule is to never look at my phone when I wake up, I take at least 15 minutes to look outside, breathe and meditate before I go online. I wake up early so I can enjoy a tea in bed and ease into my day.
Depending on school drop off or work, a walk or yoga to start the day. I plan out my week so that some days I’m coaching and other days I’m doing more operational or new business work. I make sure I take breaks, get some fresh air and sunshine when I feel my energy levels dropping.
I also like to take a walk, if I can, after I finish to help transition out of work mode. For fun, I have a rebounder that I like to bounce on during the day to help boost my energy and get my body moving.
I’m also trying to do less video coaching as it can be quite draining, I only book a few sessions a day, I make sure my first session is always video on we can build rapport then follow up with calls.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes! I have created it this way! Work-life harmony is key for me, I recently moved to the central coast to achieve more of this. The majority of my coaching work is now done virtually so it gave me the perfect opportunity to get by the sea and bush.
Yoga and walks are so important to me, so I make sure I fit my work around these with a degree of flexibility. I have to practice what I preach as I am coaching others to achieve better balance, you gotta walk the talk!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I prefer to use work-life harmony, integration or work-home balance. Work is part of our lives, not separate to it, I don’t see a clear lineation between the two as far as work and life, especially now that most of us are working from home more, the two mesh into each other.
However, It is critical to switch and transition out of work mode into home mode, which is proving harder for people working from home.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I moved out of the hustle and bustle of Sydney for a quieter life, this has been life-changing for me, being in nature every day. I have become mindful of not rushing around as much and slowing down to enjoy life more.
Even my exercise routines have changed and slowed down, I used to do much more high-intensity classes but now opt for more restorative and calming exercise.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I love Thrive Global’s newsletter, their content is great (and I write for them occasionally so may be slightly biased:)) Brene Brown’s podcasts are great. The One You Feed, Nigel Marsh’s The Five of My Life and Low Tox Life are some of my other go to’s.
I’m also really into some of the parenting podcasts as I have two teenage boys and need all the help I can get. I really recommend Maggie Dent, Happy Families (Dr Justin Coulsdon) and Dr Kristy Goodwin.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I love 1 Giant Mind for a meditation APP and recently I have downloaded I AM, which is a positive affirmation app. It’s quite funny, makes me laugh with some of its suggestions.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Someone real, not a celebrity with money and hired help. Successful female business owners or leaders that have juggled career and family always inspire me.
There are many perks when you work for yourself, like being able to achieve a better balance between work, home, exercise and family but it can be tough, a rollercoaster ride of uncertainty at times.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
When work is all-consuming and our number one priority, there is always a cost, whether to to our health or relationships. But these should always be our number one priority.
Looking at work through the lens that it is part of our life helps rather than trying to separate the two, helps us integrate them both in a positive balanced way. When you have a purpose or you feel connected to an organisation’s purpose, it changes how you view your work, the goal is to love what you do, life’s too short to be in a job that makes you and those around you miserable.
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