Last night, Viva celebrated our first event of 2021 at Hotel Jen’s Prototype with a focus on health – specifically, the connection between Mind and Body. This topic felt especially relevant as we all navigated through 2020 as best we could, faced with daily uncertainty, difficult changes, updates on COVID-19, and much more. We learned a lot from our 2 speakers, Eike Westerholt and Melissa Rodriguez, who presented their unique perspectives and tips for incorporating wellness into our lives at a time we need it most.

Eike Westerholt is a leadership, team, and personal coach, as well as parent, facilitator, experienced professional with over 15 years of corporate experience, and leader of coaching initiative Grow2Glow for Siemens China. She taught us important practices of mental muscle training and being present, like how to interrupt our inner self-saboteurs that negatively influence us by incorporating short exercises multiple times a day. She explained how it takes 6 weeks to build our foundation of weakening the negative saboteurs and strengthening the positive powers of our mind, and how in doing so, we invite positive energy and happiness into our lives. To put her words into action, Eike literally walked us through a mindful journey of exercises, having us roam around the room while paying attention to various senses and sensations, such as the feeling of the floor on our shoes as we took each step and the ridges of our fingertips while rubbing our index finger and thumb together.

Melissa Rodriguez is not only a Naturopathic Doctor with extensive experience running her own private practice as well as working at established hospitals and medical centers, but also a Writer, Lifestyle Counsellor, and parent of 2 teenagers. She shared 5 practical strategies to improve our overall health through resilience, exercise, sleep, the breath, and nourishment. Melissa gave us specific advice on all 5 topics, such as how to develop resilience (yes, it can be developed!), how to incorporate breathing techniques to remain calm under pressure, and ways to wind down for optimal sleep. She went over the importance of ensuring we meet our daily amounts of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. To accomplish this, she recommended supplementing them in capsule form, as they do not include the binders and fillers that tablets do. Melissa also talked about the importance of sleeping 7-9 hours each night, specifically recommending going to bed at 10 PM to optimize our brain’s natural melatonin production (surprisingly, both sleeping less than 7 hours and more than 9 hours makes us tired), and to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day as our bodies thrive on good routines.

Viva was grateful to also have in attendance two of our mentors from this year’s Mentorship Programme, Jo Kedian and Michaela Schneebauer. Jo is a passionate artist, educator, and Director of Outreach at BACA Beijing, and Michaela is a Nutritionist, Philosopher, Psychologist, Group Leader for therapeutic areas, and Regional Clinical Trial Manager.

We started and ended the event with inspiring conversations with fellow attendees, some excited to see old friends, and many enjoying meeting each other for the first time and creating special connections. Most stayed long past the 9:30 PM end time, not noticing that time had flown by! We joked with Melissa that we would not be getting to bed at 10 PM like she recommended, and she reassured us saying “it’s okay, social connections are important for wellness too!”

We look forward to seeing you at our next event in February, after a relaxing Chinese New Year holiday. Have a great weekend, all!