This month, we’ll be hearing from inspiring women in our network and sharing their stories. We’re passionate about supporting women, especially in their health and wellness journeys. Read on to get top tips for living, working, and playing optimally from women trailblazers.
Profile: Xania Khan
Tell us about yourself.
I have an adventurous spirit and enjoy nature and the outdoors so that’s where you’ll find me. I crave riding my motorcycle through country roads, hiking along nature trails, hanging out at a cottage and anything related to a tropical beach. On the flip side, I have been known to jump out of a plane and explore the underwater world – SCUBA anyone? Alone time is sacred as it allows me to reconnect, meditate, read, learn and observe the world around me. When we clock in on the 9-5, I build digital marketing and content strategies for brands within North America.
What do you consider as your biggest achievement?
Honestly, my biggest achievement or thing that I’m most proud of is my resiliency. I might get knocked down but trust that I will rise from the ashes like a phoenix. I don’t confine myself to societal norms and gravitate towards opportunities that give me the freedom to pave new paths. My biggest achievement is a collection of accomplishments because of this mindset.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Pay attention to your financial health. The importance of having a financial advisor who can set you up for both short- and long-term goals will be invaluable. It may not be a priority now, but once you leave home, you want to make sure you’re independent, have a healthy credit score and proper budgeting practices.
How do you stay productive and be your best self at work?
I get up early for a walk, watch the sunrise and listen to a podcast ahead of my 30-min workout with my trainer (Zoom). That gives me a fresh start to any day. Time-blocking is especially important to ensure time is given to think, regroup and get a little bit of physical activity in – even if it’s a quick 15 min walk around the block. My to-do list keeps me on track and offers a sense of accomplishment. There’s a new list every week and I’m not hard on myself if there are tasks that are carried over into another week (or another week). My colleagues are great and we’ll schedule 1:1 chats that have nothing to do with work, we’re just checking in on one another for a social catch-up. Weekends have so much more value now than ever. I completely disconnect from work and dive into anything analogue – listening to records, going for a drive, super long walks, baking, cooking and reconnecting with friends and family. Tapping out of the digital world is so important to my well-being and an integral part of self-care.
What’s your top mental health tip for when the going gets tough?
We’re human beings. We feel a wide variety of emotions. None of which last forever. I think I really embraced that notion a couple years ago. When things get tough, I acknowledge and embrace the feeling and ride the wave. I turn off devices and recreate my environment with aromatherapy (lavender or eucalyptus), candles and soothing music. They serve as my at-home therapy session and I’ll lay on the couch and until I feel better. My other go-to would be either a long drive or ride, an incredibly long lakeside walk but always with my own curated soundtrack. Regardless, I don’t push the feeling away, it’s natural and a part of being human.
What are your top health hacks?
I love cooking and as I mentioned earlier, it’s part of my analogue weekend. I’ll spin the wheel on Pinterest, find a new recipe and meal prep. It helps me stay on track with healthy eating and avoid unnecessary spending. Everyday after work, I tidy up the kitchen and prep the coffee maker. In the morning, after my walk & workout, I’ve got a clean slate vs. being faced with dirty dishes. People laugh when I share my sleep routine. It’s a bit over the top but I love it. My Himalayan salt lamp is on 24/7, soft brown noise in the background and a humidifier. I get a solid 7hrs of great sleep every night! My favourite part of the day is watching a sunrise combined with a 45 min brisk walk and 30 min workout. Working from home has me sitting for long periods of time so I do try to squeeze in two to three 15 min walks throughout the day and ideally call a friend to talk, vent and laugh.
How do you ensure your personal and/or family’s financial wellness?
As a soloist, I live within my means and contribute monthly to both my RRSP and TFSA. Paying close attention to my finances and credit score is important along with updating my budget spreadsheet and bi-annual check-ins with my FA. Want an easy financial hack? Open an account, outside of your regular bank and set up a modest ASP (automated savings program). The savings adds up quickly and allows me to splurge on something I may not have budgeted for.
What’s your favorite fun activity?
Travel has always been a big part of my life – exploring new cultures, adventures and meeting people. Whether I’m home or abroad, anything outdoorsy and if it has an adrenaline rush attached to it – even better. Over the past year I’ve fallen deeper in love with nature hikes and lakeside walks; there’s something magical about the water. When temps warm up, you’ll find me on my Harley riding through country roads; the scenery is breathtaking!
Who are your female role models and why?
I look to the women in my circle for inspiration and strength. They know and understand me and are an integral part of my support network.
Cheryl Phillips – Cheryl used to be my boss back in 1997, a bit of a funny story about how that came to be – maybe another time. She was the first woman of colour I had as a boss and mentor as it was a challenge to find someone who looked and sounded like me – we both have roots in Barbados. Her career path was just as unique as mine, having come from broadcasting to print to entrepreneur and she’s a genius at reinventing herself. She taught me so much about how to navigate my professional life as a woman of colour. Cheryl and I are thick as thieves, even in her retirement.
Margaret Khan – I don’t know how my mother puts up with my frequent self-evolution but she’s the one constant in my life who will support my every decision. She may not understand or agree but she embraces what makes me happy and supports my decisions. My mom endured a lot and her strength to overcome adversity is endless. I’m proud of her accomplishments.
This month, we’re sharing inspiring women’s stories. Who inspires you? Leave their name and social media link in the comments below!