Last week we caught up with Kelly Vittengl, the certified girl boss, extraordinary podcaster and founder of Frances Loom — a business curating beautiful ancient rugs. As a notable mental health advocate, Kelly opens up about her own journey with anxiety, and the rituals that help keep her grounded and balanced.
- Tell us a little about your journey.
My name is Kelly Vittengl. I’m the founder of Frances Loom and the host of Joan, a podcast about mental health.
- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?
I am a creature of habit, but I also travel a lot! So having a routine that I can take with me anywhere is very important. Each morning I have a ritual of cleaning my skin, meditating, and taking my supplements. When I’m at home, there is always the making of celery juice involved!
- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?
As someone who has experienced some pretty intense anxiety and panic attacks in my life, self-care is incredibly important for me. As I previously said, my morning routine is what gets my grounded and moving each day. However, I recently read a quote by Ashley Wood that said “self-care is not salt baths, Palo Santo and chocolate. It is making a choice to build a life you don’t regularly escape from.” This really struck me because I’m such a “doer”, and I often believe that my external experiences will magically transform my internal ones. So as much as I love all of the things mentioned above, I spend a lot of time in therapy, journaling, crying, and doing the work that doesn’t necessarily feel good to make that exterior stuff feel even better.
- What element of your work is most lighting you up at the moment?
There’s always so much going on with the rugs, and I can never complain about opportunities that Frances Loom has brought me. But, working on Joan has taught me so much about joy and connection. It feels like a tiny little step in the direction my life is moving.
- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.
When I was a kid my Dad used to say to me: “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” and I often believe that this single-handedly gave me the momentum to start my own business at 24 years old.
- How do you practice nourishment every day?
A couple of years ago I decided to take the healing of my anxiety into my own hands. I began researching, listening to podcasts and really tuning into my own body. Based on much of what I read, I made some big changes in my lifestyle. I’ve become more mindful of the foods I’m putting in my body and have cleaned up my diet significantly. I also get a lot of soul nourishment through prayer. My meditation practice is absolutely crucial for me, but following it with prayer has been like a little cherry on top.
- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?
- I’m a big bath taker. I only take one about once a week, but when you need one, there is nothing better. I also love yoga — I do hot yoga when I need to blow off some steam, and I love me some yin yoga when I just need to relax.
- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?
Garlic is my number one always and forever. I love it so much! I also always have kale for sautéing my favorite kale salad (with lots of garlic of course), and my third is crispy, tart apples — one of my favorite snacks (with a touch of almond butter!)
- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?
I mean... isn’t everyone’s chocolate and cheese?! Sadly, I’ve recently gone off dairy to get some skin issues under control, but I’m so thrilled with vegan options out there!
- What one quote do you try to live your life by?
Alan Watts said “if we are unduly absorbed in improving our lives, we may forget altogether to live them.” I mentioned above that I’m a doer... I will try just about anything in an attempt to get closer to enlightenment. But recently, I have been learning how to come into the present moment to find the absolute extraordinary experience of just being here.
- Matcha or turmeric latte?
As a part of cleaning up my diet for anxiety’s sake, I cut all caffeine out of my life. So, definitely turmeric latte... although, even if I did drink caffeine I’d still choose the turmeric!