Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Hannah Lindström, Co-Founder of Olivia

Hannah Lindström is the Co-Founder of Olivia, a startup that offers a digital tool for women going through menopause.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have a background in competitive boxing and for the last few years in CrossFit, My interest in biohacking came early on as I realised I performed differently based on my hormonal health in relation to others, usually the guys.

As I was learning more for my own sake I understood that many didn’t have enough knowledge in general on how us women are affected by our hormones. Since then this has always been my life passion and being able to combine that in my current work as co-founder of a health tech startup with my experience in marketing and sales I feel very fortunate.

My startup, Olivia, is a digital tool for women going through menopause where we offer cbt based programs to alleviate symptoms where we focus on small lifestyle habits that makes a big impact.

Menopause is such an underserved target group and misunderstood oftentimes, thinking it is something that “just happens” and later on. But then when a lot of women reach 40 and start noticing changes in their mood there’s usually nowhere to really turn to to get advice that actually helps. That’s where we come in.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My days can look quite different as a startup founder, but I am very obsessed with sticking to my routines and habits that I know keeps me balanced despite having a very stressful life at the moment.

I try to wake up around 5.30-6.00 am, usually, I go out for a morning run or head to the gym for a strength training session or a HIIT workout. I then come home and get ready for the day, eat breakfast, usually some homemade gluten-free banana bread packed with seeds and nuts, or some kefir, berries and granola. And of course coffee, let’s not forget about that!

Then I head into the office and look over the day ahead and my most important things on the to-do list. Check in with the team and see where I am needed the most, whether it’s the marketing team or development team that needs my advice or any work done.

As I love meeting people I tend to have quite a bit of in-person meetings throughout the day, anything from partnerships to current or potential investors. I try to get home around 6.00-7.00 pm and have dinner with my boyfriend.

Chat about the day and be present with each other. Then I usually have some leftover work from the day I want to take care of before I can mentally check out, like answering emails or doing any admin work. Then I try to go to bed around 10 pm before the circus starts all over again the next day! 

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For me, work-life balance is all in my head. I really need to separate myself and my identity from the work as much as possible otherwise it can consume quite literally all of me. I find it difficult to turn it off and say “this is good enough for now”.

As a startup founder, you can always do a little bit more, make another phone call, or create a little bit more. And you need to decide when to shut off and when to be on again. I have learnt that the hard way and now I truly respect that if the fatigue is very heavy and I notice I’m in desperate need of a break – I have to take it.

And reminding myself that I work with very talented and passionate people, it’s important to learn in that shift from doing everything yourself to being fortunate to delegate things and focus your time on what actually makes the most impact. 

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

One routine I have always known to be good for me that I’ve recently made a priority is supporting my circadian rhythm by stepping out early and getting sunlight in my face in the morning.

I notice a massive difference between when I do and when I don’t in my sleep quality and my mood. So I’m constantly reminded when I stop doing it that I need to get back to that good habit. And going to therapy, I think that is something every person should do – getting an outside perspective on things and processing your emotions is a key component for me to be able to continue working as focused as possible and avoiding any negative thoughts taking up too much space in my mind. 

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I am an absolute fan of Andrew Hubermanns podcast. I listen to every episode and I’ve learnt so much from him. I highly recommend it.

I also read a lot, some recent books I really enjoyed were The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi, What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz, and a book I read often is of course the one and only How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (a must-read for everyone), oh and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is a fantastic read as well. 

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would really enjoy getting deep into athletes’ minds like Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Muhammed Ali, and Simone Biles. I take a lot of inspiration from athletes, especially around their mindset. 

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Something I learned quite recently was an expression that goes “How would this look if it was easy?”, meaning, looking at situations and thinking if this was easy for me, how would I go about it? And then do just that.

It’s a fantastic tool in so many different aspects and it really helps me to usually take a deep breath, relax my shoulders and see things from a bit of a different (not so worked up) perspective. Another thing I think we all need to remind ourselves of is to have fun. We aren’t on this planet for so long so we might as well do things that we enjoy. Basically, eat that cake! 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.