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Zoya Misha
March 22, 2022

Female Founders on the Importance of Self-care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

With these words, Audre Lorde – a queer Black civil rights activist, writer, and feminist - coined the term “self-care.” What started as a concept of activism, has today grown into a flexible term focused on the art of preserving oneself through lifestyle choices. Yet, what it exactly means still remains individual to every person. To dive into their point of view, we interviewed four badass female founders in Berlin on the importance of self-care.

Alexandra von Quadt is the founder and CEO of Fira - which means “Feierabend” or “afterwork” in old German - a brand of relaxing cbd infused drinks. She chose her products according to the principles of what self-care means to her: they are fluffy, they taste good, they help you relax and therefore make you happy, all while being healthy and sustainable.

Rosa Tapper  is the co-founder and CEO of Soulhouse - Germany’s first on-demand platform for certified massages at home or in the office. Her goal is to give everyone the luxury to feel good about themselves, making wellness accessible, integrate feel-good experiences easily into everyday life and, as their mission states, “Be good to yourself".

Anais Cosneau & Maya Miteva are co-founders of Happy Immo - a club that supports women in reaching financial well-being through investing in real estate. Through their webinars and podcasts they teach women with our webinar how to buy their first apartment and become financially independent.

What’s your concept of self-care?

Alexandra from Fira: For me personally, self-care means staying on top of things and being prepared for the full, adventurous, and demanding life that I chose. That means I need to plan my time and energy well - my tasks, my friends, the activities I love, and of course, time for myself. That's why I founded Fira - The Feierabend Company. Feierabend is a great synonym for "time for myself to spend how I chose to."

Rosa from Soulhouse: Let's face it. The concept of self-care is much more difficult to maintain if you are a busy city person needing to cope with the hustle and bustle of the town and very demanding business life. That's why it was so important for me to create a self-care service that is tailored to the needs of busy people, something feasible, reachable, and affordable. With Soulhouse, we focus on moderate prices but do not make any compromises in terms of a feel-good ambiance, quality, service, individuality, and exclusivity.

Anais & Maya from Happy Immo: Self-care for us is to invest in becoming financially independent. We love to take care of our finances especially through investments in residential real estate - apartments or multi-family houses. These offer a good return and after the loan is paid off you have safe and stable income to live on.

Some might call it escapism rather than self-care, what’s your view on this?

Alexandra from Fira: I think some modern belief systems are very ego-centric in the way they are communicated. So many people, articles, and Instagram accounts talk about self-care, self-love, meditation, and all these things without putting them into the context of actually living a happy, fulfilled, and integrated life. You can meditate, do yoga and write journals all you want - if you don't put it into the context of your life and connect the benefits you receive to goals and relationships or being a cool person, it's kinda useless.

Anais & Maya from Happy Immo: To escape into financial independence through “self-care of your finances” inspires us! We would like to see women not escaping their responsibilities towards themselves and their financial well-being. Who has not dreamt of that house on the seaside drinking cocktails and enjoying life?! This is the ultimate self-care for some of us.

Self-care during a pandemic. What were the struggles and how could and can we approach this?

Anais & Maya from Happy Immo: Life for a lot of us changed drastically, and the pandemic put quite a major strain on families. The importance of space became more and more evident. For some the word ‘home“ needed to be redefined - close to nature, a garden, a terrace, an office space for one or two. We need to think about the new requirements as companies introduce 20-30% home office. For us self-care during the pandemic meant managing our homes to combine school, work and living within our four walls.

Rosa from Soulhouse:

The paradox is that we often forget ourselves in difficult times. It is precisely then that it's essential to focus on physical and mental health.

On grueling days, it is more important than ever to maintain your own balance in order to bear the challenging circumstances with a strong mindset and a strong body. Taking care of yourself in these times is key. It's not ignorant if you temporarily step out from what's happening and stay away from the heavy topics going on in the world.

Alexandra from Fira: Like in all unpredictable life situations, it's super important we discover what makes us happy, energetic, and able to live our lives. To me, the pandemic was both a struggle and a blessing. I founded Fira two weeks before Covid hit, and it was incredibly stressful because so many things didn't work out. On the other hand, it gave most people I know and me the time to assess and listen inward. It felt like a spring cleaning for habits, belief systems, even friendships. Self-care isn't necessarily easy. It involves some soul searching, and I think the pandemic put a focus on that.

Soulhouse

Gender Gap in Worker Burnout: what’s your take on women burning out faster than men?

Alexandra from Fira: Let me tell you my number one discovery: women will go to much greater lengths to fulfil their tasks, even if it means a lot more effort and longer hours, without asking for compensation or other benefits. 

I've had a burnout once just before I turned 30, and the reason it happened was not the workload – even though it was a lot – but the lack of success or a sense of achievement that came with it. 

I never asked for anything, though! I expected to be handed some kind of award for working 80 hour weeks without ever making my over-performance a topic, like a cute little worker bee. Now I know I should have asked for it and demanded benefits by knowing my worth. Even if it meant comparing myself to my male coworkers in order to leverage my proficiency.

Anais & Maya from Happy Immo: Indeed we see women burning out, more than men. Women still want to be perfect in every domain: family, work, body. A woman goes on a business trip - when she comes back one of her children has a red and a blue sock on! She is of the opinion that her husband did a bad job, so she took away that responsibility from him. Instead, she could have accepted the 80% perfect result - at least her child wore two socks! Women strive for perfection in every respect - this strains them often to their limit. 80-20 is something torturing about - less perfection - more happiness!

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