Marchela Georgieva’s Self-Care Routine: “Self-cafe for me is the piece of the puzzle that keeps me grounded.”

Marchela Georgieva is the co-founder and COO of Capto, a company on a mission to automate repetitive manual tasks that consume time, energy, and team motivation.

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What does self-care mean to you?

Self-cafe for me is the piece of the puzzle that keeps me grounded, productive, and at peace especially when the days get tough. It’s somewhat easy to keep it all in control and feel balanced when everything works out well. However, when a deal falls through or there is a people issue to resolve, that’s when it pays off to have taken care of myself because the way I react in such sensitive situations is fundamentally different than if I was stressed out even before that. 

I’m a passionate advocate of prioritising health, both physical and mental, so for me, self-care manifests itself exactly in that – doing the few things that keep my body and mind healthy and in balance, and being non-negotiable with keeping that consistent.

How do you know when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out?

I tend to forget for a moment my otherwise positive outlook on things and often focus on what isn’t working out, instead of taking a step back and analysing the situations a bit more optimistically. It’s moments like this that I know I shouldn’t be making any big decisions or having important conversations because I know I wouldn’t be able to be as positive and forward-looking as I usually am.

Luckily, I’ve now learned what to look out for so I quickly start looking for what has been missing from my daily routine lately and give myself exactly that as a way of getting myself out of the stressful cycle. Thankfully, most of the time I feel the difference almost immediately. 

Do you have a regular self-care routine? If so, what does it look like?

I 100% do, otherwise, I don’t think I would be able to live the startup life with much joy and success (haha!). I have tested a few things over the years and what works best for me is first and foremost having a good night’s sleep.

That’s my number 1 non-negotiable. I’ve read a lot about sleep and I know different people promote the idea of sleep hacking whereby you train your body to work at full speed with 5-6 hours of sleep a night, and I’ve tested that but I’m an 8-hour deep sleep girl and I’m simply not the same without it. So good restorative sleep definitely comes first. 

Then, I do yoga at least 3 times a week and I work out, either at home or at the gym, between 3-4 times a week as well. I think the combination of yoga for the mind and workouts for the body keep me toned both physically and mentally and it’s often these 2 that I look out for when something in my mood gets a bit off balance.

I also make it a must to spend as much time outside as possible so most days I go for a walk or a hike in the mountains. Depending on where I am location wise, some days I would even work from a place outside, enjoying the sun and taking a pause from the screen to appreciate the view. It makes me so happy.

Recently, I also went to a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in Bulgaria where I spent 11 hours a day in meditation, with no access to the external world or any “intellectual entertainment” as the teacher liked to call it.

This meant no books, phones, podcasts, or journals to write in. I went into the course with the goal to learn a new self-care technique that would help me manage the everyday challenges that come with the entrepreneurial life and I came out with a very clear realisation that this kind of detachment from everything for a few days is something we all need in order to keep grounded, find balance and reflect.

Whether in the form of a long hike in the mountains or a meditation/ yoga retreat, this idea of turning off my phone for at least a week is something that I’ll be trying to incorporate into my self-care routine going forward as well.  

What bumps you off your self-care routine and how do you get back on course?

From the very beginning, we set up Capto as a remote-first company and I truly love that because working remotely has allowed me to fulfil my passion for travel which I’ve been so grateful for.

However, with travel also comes the disruption of the daily routine which does occasionally mean that I skip a gym session, a yoga class, or a few. Also, I didn’t mention it above but I love my vegetarian healthy diet as so depending on the travel location, the healthy food choices can be quite limited and that’s definitely a big bump that has challenged me quite a bit, especially in countries like Albania, France, Vietnam where locals aren’t huge lovers of vegetarian or non-fried food.

Having said that, with every trip I learn and improve so I now do more research than before to be sure that I’ll have my non-negotiables covered, like a gym, a couple of healthy food places, and more recently a good coworking space with a friendly community.   

Where do you go for inspiration, ideas, or tools for self-care?

To be honest I can’t pinpoint any one resource that I use specifically to get inspiration. I’ve now learned what works for me and I don’t tend to need to look for more tools to add to the basket. Having said that, the vipassana meditation I mentioned above is something I learned about very randomly from an entrepreneur I met in Thailand so the inspiration tends to come unexpectedly and without much of an active search for it.

Before you go…

Self-Care is a content series exploring the different self-care routines and habits of people from all walks of life. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to talk about your self-care routine.

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.