Meet Our Muse: Helena Vestergaard

Meet Our Muse: Helena Vestergaard

As we sought to bring Breathe to life, we envisioned Helena Vestergaard as its embodiment. Navigating through motherhood, mental health, and mindfulness, she offers a unique perspective on life's complexities.

Helena speaks of mindfulness and self-care not as indulgent, but as necessary to living in a fast-paced world; in balancing her own needs with the competing demands of motherhood and a flourishing career, slowing down can often be the only way forward.

At our Breathe campaign shoot, we sat down with Helena to ask how wellness practices have transformed her life, the daily habits that feed her soul, and the secrets to weaving mindfulness into a demanding schedule.

Can you share your journey towards embracing mindfulness?

I think I spent most of my youth being completely unaware of my conscious state and wellbeing. So, when I was introduced to the idea of being mindful and self-aware, which was mainly from yoga, it was quite foreign and, to be honest, quite scary. Having children was the main component that really flicked the switch for me to living mindfully and ever since I have completely embraced it. I couldn’t even imagine living any other way.

How does mindfulness help you to maintain balance in your life?

It’s everything! How would we be living if not to be self-aware? I acknowledge my mental and physical state and the constitution of others which, in turn, lets me make the right choices and maintain balance in the things I do.

How has becoming a mother changed your approach to mindfulness?

It’s just so important when you are a parent because you can’t just take care of yourself; you have other people that are fully dependant on you. I feel like being mindful is the best tool we can use as parents to help us connect to the present moment and to be honest with ourselves about how much we can handle and when to take a deep breath.

How have mindfulness techniques helped you cope with mental health challenges?

They help me every day! When you have mental struggles and even just the daily challenges children bring to the table, being able to just connect to breath, take moment to pause and look inward to evaluate the feelings can take so much edge off whatever big emotions you have in that moment.

Can you describe your self-care routine?

I guess my main self-care routine is yoga. I try to practise whenever I have the time. Sometimes it’s only once a week as life can get busy for us. But I also have what you could call micro-routines throughout the day. For example, in the morning I always have two glasses of warm water on an empty stomach to get my digestive system going, and every evening I bathe with my kids before the night-time routine, then don’t touch my phone again until the morning. For me, this is essential for my mental health, my sleep and being completely present for my kids.

What’s one thing you’ll be letting go of in 2024?

Holding onto my youth! I just turned 30 years old in December 2023 and it felt like I could finally let go of needing to feel and look a certain way. I feel like I have really come into myself as a woman, and I love it!

What advice would you give to those new to mindfulness?

Just be. It shouldn’t feel forced. Try to be totally honest with yourself. The definition of mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, so even if you are feeling jealous or angry, just notice the sensations, accept, let go and move on.

Words to live by?

At the moment I am loving, ‘Live your best life’. And I don’t mean going out partying or buying designer clothes, I mean in the true sense of YOUR best life. Not what you feel you should be doing. For me, this is being with my family and enjoying the simple things, like when my son makes us all laugh with his hilarious quirkiness or my daughter giving us a nightly performance routine. Or having a really good yoga class or surf session.

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