Balancing the Grind with Jessica Dodd, Wellbeing Consultant & Facilitator at Mindfully Connected

Jessica Dodd is a Wellbeing Consultant & Facilitator at Mindfully Connected, whose mission is to directly impact the health & wellbeing of workplaces & teams across Australia.

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter.

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

My career over the past decade has been largely focused in talent management, agency recruitment and most recently workplace wellbeing. 

During my 20’s I struggled with my mental health and in 2015 I was unfortunately diagnosed with PTSD and depression, I was suffering from major anxiety and insufferable panic attacks which was the catalyst for me to start my own well being journey.

I threw myself into every kind of healing you could think of before deciding to undergo some formal education in the wellbeing space ( yoga, meditation, wellness coaching, neuroscience and workplace mental health) 

Unbeknown to me at the time, my own Mental Health journey would eventually become the roadmap for the creation of Mindfully Connected, a consultancy focused on optimising health & wellbeing in the workplace. 

At Mindfully Connected, we specialise in workplace wellbeing & offer:

  • Transformational Workshops (In-Person & Virtual) with a variety of topics such as Self-Care, Mindfulness, Meditation, Resilience, Mindset & Managing Anxiety. 
  • Bespoke Wellbeing packages – which is end-to-end assessment & development, custom designed & curated by our in-house wellbeing team.
  • In-house Health & Wellness Consulting for larger organisations, we’re extremely lucky to be so well-networked in the workplace wellbeing space & love to support organisations with long term wellness solutions. 

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

Mornings are my sacred time, I’m an early riser and usually wake at some time between 5:30-6:00am – I’m somebody who thrives from routine and I genuinely enjoy sticking to the same routine every day. 

I start my day with  meditation which is a ritual I can’t live without. After meditation, I move my body, depending on how I’m feeling or where I’m at in my cycle, I’ll weight train, walk or practice yoga at the studio – it doesn’t matter what type of movement, for me, it’s just about moving in ways that make me feel good. 

After the gym, I head to the Sauna for 15 minutes, (the studies that have been done in Finland around daily sauna use are incredible! I urge anybody reading this to do some research on it). 

Every work day for me is different, but I always start my day by checking emails and what meetings I have on for the day.

I work my best in the morning, so I try to get any labour intensive work done before midday. Some of the daily activities might involve program development, running workshops, filming or shooting sessions, recording meditations, content creation and meeting with our talent.

The afternoons I tend to try to keep free, or at least 2 days per week to focus on my own inner work – doing what I do, it’s so important for me to look after myself so I have the energy and space for others. 

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

If you would have asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would have probably laughed as it didn’t exist for me at all. As an employee I clocked off’ at 5 but always mentally took work home with me. When I started MC in 2020, I was working 12/13 hour days to get the business off the ground – It was a full on first year. 

I read a quote last year which made me laugh and stayed with me to this day, it sums up my first year in business “I quit my 9-5 to start my own business and now I work a 24/7”

I’ve learnt that there is no one-size-fits-all for work life balance, but for me I like to focus on my own personal non negotiables – this might be self-care, socialising, being in nature or taking a break from the digital world – as long as my non-negotiables are being met outside of work, I know I can fully show up when I’m at work. 

To anybody reading this who’s seeking more work-life balance, I encourage you to take note of your non-negotiables and see how you can incorporate them into your day – you will find it makes a huge difference. 

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

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

Last year I started setting timers on my phone for the first time, I set timers for Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook and (I got a little obsessed with the housing market for a while) – I found that during my ‘down time’ my automatic response was to turn to one of those apps, I would scroll to see peoples holidays, babies, promotions, dream houses – you name it! 

The fact that I turned to this as an auto response did not sit well with me so I decided to put some healthy boundaries in place to minimise time spent on apps and focus my time more intentionally. 

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

I love podcasts and I spend a lot of time listening to them whether it’s on walks or at the gym, some of my favourites are: 

Do You F*g Mind? by neuroscientist Alexis Fernandez – which talks about the brain, mindset and self love in a fun, modern woman way. 

I also can’t get enough of the interview style of Steven Bartlett at The Diary of CEO – I love his down to earth approach with his guests and how he’s so open about his own entrepreneurial journey. 

My all time favourite  podcast, one which I’ve listened to for about 7 years and would highly recommend to anybody is The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.

This podcast taught me the value of simple living and that it is ok to not be striving for financial gain and material goods. Coming from a background where I’d always worked towards financial targets, it was challenging for me to break away but this podcast really taught me how to separate from my ‘stuff’ to live a more simple and intentional life. 

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

Probably Joshua Fields Millburn or Ryan Nicodemus from The Minimalists. Their work has really shaped and inspired me. I’d be really interested to hear what balance means to them and what a day looks like in their life. 

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

Understanding that work-life balance is truly different to everybody, we are all so unique and what fits my lifestyle might not fit yours. 

Instead of trying to focus on what work life balance looks like from an organisational perspective, try to figure out instead what balance means to you as an individual. 

I invite people to think about what their 3 non negotiables are for self care and find a way to work them into your day. 

When I’m working with organisations I like to provide tools and resources their people can use to help and support themselves so they can take their health into their own hands. From a company perspective, flexibility, versatility and understanding that no two people are the same are the keys to make work life balance a success.

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.