This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City, and the first truly conscious food finder app, Trubelly.
Simplifying Mindful Wellness with Jules Hunt
Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down to earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive. She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, and nontoxic living with some purposeful productivity hacks.
Today we’re going to talk about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from OM and the City.
Jules is the creator of the mindful lifestyle brand, OM and the City, and the founder and CEO of True Belly, the first truly conscious food finder app.
Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down to earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive.
She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, and nontoxic living and purposeful productivity hacks, which is exactly what we’re talking about today.
Before we get to the interview, I want to let you know about our free Simplified Wellness Starter Guide that you’ll definitely want to grab.
It’s free, downloadable, printable, and it really gives you a step by step to get started with gentle wellness, incremental, intentional steps to take to simplify movement, meals, and mind and really feel good.
Jules has been a long time listener to the Feel Good effect podcast, so it's really awesome to have her on the show.
On how Jules's childhood affected where she is today:
Jules was very free spirited and sensitive as a kid.
Being empathetic was a big part of who she was a child, very aware of the feelings of the people around her, which is how she was able to connect with people early on.
But there are some cons to being a sensitive child, too.
Moving to New York definitely helped Jules thicken her skin and start to cultivate stronger business, work, and personal skills that she needed.
Jules' family was always pretty healthy, her mom was always very conscious about ingredients and they always tried to eat really fresh foods and cook everything at home.
And even though she was even drinking matcha from a young age, they still would eat out or have McDonald's and indulge sometimes.
But overall, Jules' mom prioritized wellness in their family growing up, which really impacted Jules as an adult.
On moving to NY and starting a wellness blog:
Jules majored in fashion design and merchandising so moving to New York was always the plan.
She's originally from Kentucky, so she was looking for a drastic difference with more energy and excitement.
She was able to secure a job after college with the same company she did an internship with a few summers prior, so it all worked out.
And since she was ready for this move for some time, there wasn't a lot of shock from the city life.
You might feel like there are so many people when you move to a big city, but it can actually be very isolating and even though she was there living with some of her best friends, Jules still felt lonely at times.
She was also in a toxic work environment, and when she got out of it she couldn't believe some of the things that had happened.
But it all led her to where she's at now: if she hadn't worked there she wouldn't have been seeking an outlet, which was her blog.
Jules started her wellness blog while working in fashion and she's so grateful for it.
In retrospect, it's an obvious thing to think "I want an outlet, so I'll start a blog", but it wasn't as common when Jules started hers.
She had a few different blogs over her lifetime, since writing was always a way to express herself.
But when she decided to start her wellness blog, it just felt different.
It felt like something that she really needed at that point in her life and she knew she was onto something.
It was something she decided to start to express how she was feeling and to document her clean beauty journey after healing her cystic acne with coconut oil among other things she was learning and exploring.
She was working through some mental health struggles that she had in college, too, and she realized that yoga and nontoxic living was something that she was really passionate about and she wanted to have a place to document and share it.
For the first couple of years with her blog, Jules wasn't active on social media, terrified of promoting herself and not wanting anyone to judge her.
It took some time, and she was purely writing on the blog building up web content.
Then, she ended up quitting her job in fashion and going to Nicaragua for a month for her yoga teacher training and it was at that point she realized how much her blog meant to her.
There was a time when she wanted to delete it, feeling like no one was listening or reading besides her friends and family, and it was discouraging not getting that feedback.
But while she was in Nicaragua, she had this chance to disconnect and tap into what she was passionate about.
When she returned to New York, she decided she needed to first get a job, because at that point she wasn't making money from her blog and didn't even realize that was a possibility.
And she kept on blogging, kept sharing what she was passionate about.
She started becoming more active on social media and her fiance also gave her the confidence to take photos that had her face in them and to start to share more of her life online.
As she was consistent with her posting, her platform started to grow, she started to get feedback from people she didn't know, and she was hearing about how her writing was positively impacting people.
It gave her the fuel to keep going.
On pressures for wellness perfection:
Jules was doing an instagram story about making a matcha with oat milk not too long ago.
It was a short, harmless video, during which Jules disclosed that, while she usually makes her own oat milk, she had bought it this time.
Shortly after, she received a message from somebody commenting on the canola oil in the oat milk that she was using.
She didn't feel the need to have a disclaimer on her own story, since it was a very innocent video, but low and behold someone wrote her message that was not positive, judging her for using oat milk that contains canola oil.
It was one of the few messages she received that week, just nitpicking at her.
"The more your audience grows, the more you feel like someone's waiting for you to mess up".
Jules has never claimed to be perfect or immaculate with her wellness, and she does a great job of telling people that.
So when she gets these nitpicky messages about what she's eating, it really bothers her.
And this is a bigger issue that as a wellness community, we should be more aware of and start talking about more.
It's not about the canola oil in the oat milk (you might not even see a problem with that example at all).
But this is what happens on a daily basis for those who have wellness platforms who are showing up and sharing content.
On a daily basis, no matter what she does, somebody (or many people) send Robyn messages about why what she's doing isn't right.
And not about moral or ethical issues, it’s about nitpicky, little, tiny things like Jules' oat milk.
No matter what she posts, there's a message about how she's not doing it right.
"Wellness is not about getting it right all the time".
By indulging in that little nitpicking, we are creating this sense that there is a perfect version, and that if you just try hard enough you can get it all right.
When people are waiting for you to fail, rather than celebrating actually trying to make positive change, you're setting up a society where people aren't going to want to share anymore.
We want to celebrate and lift people up who are trying to share bits of their life.
On perfection chasing:
Jules has a history of an eating disorder, and if she was to start thinking of food as "good" or "bad" or "off limits" or all these negative words, it will send her down a negative spiral.
So, to her, it's about celebrating when she's doing things that fuel her body as well as celebrating when she wants to celebrate.
"It's not just about the ingredients. Being healthy is also about your mental well-being and are you allowing yourself to live, are you allowing yourself to explore, have fun, eat birthday cake?"
If you're constantly telling yourself "you can't have this", it's unsustainable.
It's not the path to healthiness.
Robyn hears from listeners, too, who are feeling paralyzed by wellness.
People reach out to her saying that no matter what they do, they feel like they aren't getting wellness right.
There's still a "good-food-bad-food" mentality.
And all this pressure to get it right makes them not start at all, or start and then stop.
"Start somewhere, start simply, and really break it down to how you feel".
If the best thing you can do is wake up in the morning and ask yourself what you need, that's a step in the direction of living a more mindful lifestyle; there's no rulebook, no checklist.
There's no perfect path to wellness. It's completely personal.
We just need to give ourselves permission to do it our own way.
Permission to do wellness your own way. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to eat things that sometimes aren't the best for you. Permission to skip some workouts.
There's no gold star for doing it perfectly.
Everything counts and the little missteps or splurges are totally part of being human.
It all started with a simple closet clean out over a year and a half ago that transformed into something so much more impactful than physical decluttering.
Since she started becoming more aware of what she was mentally, physically, and emotionally bringing into her life, Jules has started to transform her mindset and it's helped her become more purposefully productive with her time.
She stopped being a slave to day to day time-sucking tasks, she started to learn how to better manage her business, and it became less wasteful and more thoughtful.
"The deeper I go into simplifying, the more I realize that less truly, truly is more and the less stuff I have, the more space I have to breathe, think, move, create".
Jules calls herself an "aspiring minimalist", not wanting to live in a home without art or things that make her happy.
She likes the values of minimalism, though.
Applying those values to her life in her own way is her version of being a minimalist.
Minimalism itself has really expanded to include more people and more approaches.
We did a decluttering series on the Feel Good Effect with Gretchen Rubin talking about how to do it from the perspective of your personality with no one right way, and Allie Casazza who talked about minimalism and simplifying motherhood when there's only so much you can do with other people bringing things into your house.
And just like wellness, everyone has their own definition of how much stuff we can handle, whether it's material items or calendar events.
On simplifying your workflow:
Jules is someone who is balancing a lot of things: she's running her business, constantly making brand deals, posting on social media, running her website, planning a wedding, and closing on a house.
When it comes to managing her workflow, Jules talks a lot about simplifying as a constant practice; it's consistently choosing to declutter her calendar and not take on certain work, constantly choosing how to prioritize her day.
Not every day is perfect, but because of her strong values and habits around prioritizing her time, she's able to react in an effective way.
She leaves her personal life open, but when it comes to work she likes to run her business like a CEO, rather than reacting to things all day.
Notifications are a big time sucker by taking you out of your focus.
By simply turning off your notifications, you're able to reclaim your time and choose how to spend that time.
Task-batching and categorizing
These have been game changing for Jules.
For example, she may make Mondays and Wednesdays her administrative days, checking emails or taking meetings, really where she does all of her left brain things.
And then on Tuesdays and Thursdays it's writing, content creation, photography, all the creative things.
Categorizing her work days really helps her stay focused and avoid letting notifications getting her off track.
Even for people who have to be present on their email every day, and maybe can't only answer messages twice a week, blocking out 30 minutes to an hour during the day will really help with productivity.
"Once I overcame the self-imposed idea that everyone needed a same-day response from me I was liberated. I was liberated from the chains of my inbox".
It's an incremental approach, it's not all or nothing.
If only checking your email a couple times a week seems completely unrealistic, you can ease into it.
And it's also about getting through that discomfort and realizing that it is, for the most part, self-imposed, that most of the time (depending on the work that you're in) most people don't need an immediate response.
Managing social media
Showing up online is part of Jules' business.
She wrote an article on how she mindfully approaches social media, and the first thing is that she takes her business very seriously so she knows that it doesn't solely rely on Instagram.
Yes, it can be important to maintain that presence, but it's not a crutch to be on your phone all day because there are better, more productive things you can be doing for long term success.
1 | Don't treat social media like an all you can eat buffet.
When you constantly have notifications that you're checking, the next thing you know you're sucked in and 30-minutes have passed.
To be more productive with social media Jules typically posts in the morning, stays on for about 20-minutes to answer as many messages as she can and respond to comments, but then once that period has passed she puts her phone on do not disturb, puts it in her drawer, and she gets to work.
It's helped her to have that time in the morning to check in and then not touch it again until her lunch break.
When you're working from home, people might find it hard to stick to that structure, but Jules has learned that structure is her best friend, helping her stay grounded and stay on task.
2 | Capture it, save it, and post it later.
If Jules is going to capture a moment, she captures it, saves it, and posts it later.
Sharing on Instagram stories is a fun way to connect with her community, but Jules also wants to live her life and enjoy whatever she's experiencing.
And again, it's not all or nothing.
She's still present on social media, but it's not taking over every second of her life, nor is it taking her out of the moments that she really wants to be present in.
And Jules used to be an all or nothing person, but it's about taking baby steps and being consistent with your boundaries and actively trying to pursue them rather than cutting yourself off completely.
It's catching yourself, checking yourself, and then recognizing it and trying to do better tomorrow.
And the other thing: she engages with people on social media.
When people tell Robyn that they hate being on social media, she asks them if they've actually typed words into the app recently, or if they're just scrolling.
If you're just scrolling, it's really passive and it's easy to forget that there are other people who want to connect, too.
It changes the experience of being of the app when you're actively engaging while you're there, versus passively scrolling.
Social media isn't inherently bad, it's just how you choose to use the app.
And unfollow people who don't make you feel good.
It's up to you to unfollow them, you can't dictate what other people are doing.
On what's going on with Jules right now:
Jules has a guidebook called Simplify and Thrive-- 40 pages of tips and tricks to declutter your life.
It's a compilation of everything she's learned through her own decluttering process.
She covers the mental, physical, and emotional aspects, while also talking about simplifying your time, your relationships, and where you're spending your energy (not just about decluttering and organizing your closet).
It's one of her favorite things that she's created and it's really her in a nutshell.
Jules has also gotten into business coaching, starting The Mindful Entrepreneur mentorship program after getting so many questions from other aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to learn how to build their businesses mindfully.
She created this program as a way to share knowledge and guide her community about strategic band growth.
It's meant for people who are visionaries, great at coming up with ideas, but need help getting unstuck and getting started.
There's a waitlist that you can apply for here.
Right now, Jules is excited to, one, close on her house and move in, two, eventually have brain space to plan her wedding and, three, for her and her fiance Andrew's app.
Andrew is a mobile app designer and one of their best friends is a developer so the three of them teamed up and created a start up, called Trubelly, the first truly conscious food finder.
Trubelly is basically all about helping mindful eaters discover high quality, conscious, and transparent restaurants in town, even accounting for food allergies and special diets.
Find out more and get on the waitlist here!
On what it really means to be healthy:
"To be healthy is completely personal, it's intuitive, it's something that you innately feel within you and there's no rule book, no right or wrong way to do it, it's just about how are you feeling in your body".
Jules Hunt is the creator of the mindful lifestyle brand Om & The City and Founder/CEO of Trubelly, the first truly conscious food finder app. Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down-to-earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive. She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability + non-toxic living tips, and purposeful productivity habits for your most vibrant life. Jules was recently named Wanderlust's '35 Under 35 in Wellness' and has been featured on Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, The Daily Mail, Well+Good, PopSugar and more. Beyond the blog, Jules is a certified yoga & mindfulness teacher, crazy plant lady, and proud dog mama.
Guidebook: Simplify & Thrive
Mentorship Program: The Mindful Entrepreneur