Lauren Lee is a corporate litigator turned entrepreneur and traded her life as a lawyer in Brisbane to share Korea’s best skincare secrets with the world and founded STYLE STORY, Australia’s first e-commerce Korean Beauty platform.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care means taking time out from the things I have to do to prioritise my own well-being. For a long-time I prioritised work over everything else. I was working two jobs, 7 days a week to get my side-hustle off the ground for many years.
Once I quit my corporate law job to focus on my skin care startup I realised that I was still working 7 days a week and thinking in terms of “billable hours”. It was a difficult habit to break but I knew I needed to reprioritise my time and start carving out space in my schedule for me – after all, that’s why I went into business for myself in the first place.
How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?
I start feeling really anxious, procrastinating more and becoming less efficient at work. I find when I’m really burnt out it takes longer to do everything because my mind is all over the place.
Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?
Yes. For me, self-care is about building enough time in my daily routine to do my skincare and go for a walk or bike ride outside. I also need regular exercise.
Skincare is a core part of my self-care routine because it’s the part of the day I look forward to the most. I enjoy the ritualistic element of it and the process of “removing the day” and getting ready for spending time with my family.
I had a really bad relationship with my skin in my teens because I suffered from severe cystic acne. That changed when I discovered the Korean skincare approach during a uni exchange to South Korea in 2011. Finding a new way of taking care of my skin taught me how to love my skin again, and was the inspiration for my brand, Jelly Ko.
My other main form of self-care is exercise. I do pilates and figure skating. I was a competitive skater in my teens but gave it up to focus on my senior exams. I returned to the ice a few years ago and it has given me a new appreciation for what my body can do.
What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course
Travel is the main thing that bumps me off my routine but I always try to get back on course as soon as I’m back at home. Having a set routine really helps me to manage my stress and anxiety so I am pretty militant about it.
Where do you go for inspiration, ideas or tools for self-care?
Social media. The algorithm seems to know me too well and is always feeding me new inspiration for the things I enjoy.
What do you think you need to improve in terms of your self-care practice?
Right now I’m pretty happy with how much more time I’m devoting in my schedule to self-care compared to previous years. I just hope I can keep it up as the year gets busier!
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