When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.
Amy Leigh Mercree is a holistic health expert and the best selling author of 11 books. She travels the world teaching her sought-after classes. In her latest book, The Mood Book, Mercee offers smart, actionable tips for lifting your mood and eliminating negativity through self care.
In her Thrive Questionnaire, Mercree discusses her personal self-care routine, how she boosts her energy, and ways to be more mindful every day.
Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Amy Leigh Mercree: I am not really a routine person, except during working hours. So my routine is not always the same thing. If it’s the weekend, I might get back in bed and read or journal. If it’s a weekday, and I have a meeting or a TV appearance for my book, then I might check my phone for any updates and start shifting into work mode.
TG: What gives you energy?
ALM: Self-care in all of its forms. Acupuncture, massage, and spa treatments are favorites for me. My friends also give me energy when I spend time with them and go dancing or talk on the phone. Anything that is fun or relaxing recharges me.
TG: You counsel women and men in the underrated art of self-love to create happier lives. Can you give us some of your key tips?
ALM: That’s a wonderful question! Consistent, mindful action is what it takes to make lasting change in your life, which includes prioritizing self-love. It can be those extra couple minutes you give yourself to appreciate the beauty of nature in your walk home from work. It can be that few minutes you give yourself to check in with a friend on the phone before you go home to feed the kids, if you’re depended on for that. For me, it is sometimes an act of self-love to make myself go to bed at a reasonable time and not stay up too late writing or reading.
TG: How can we incorporate giving as self-love?
ALM: Giving is absolutely a form of self-love, if — and only if — it recharges you instead of depleting you. If you are an over-giver, that is something from which you need to rehabilitate before you can be enhanced by giving. You can experiment and try different forms of giving, like helping friends or volunteering, and then after the giving is complete, check in and notice if you feel joyful and enlivened, or tired and drained. Then you have your answer.
TG: How did being diagnosed with learning disabilities when you were younger drive your mission to help others heal from the struggles in their lives?
ALM: Having challenges at an early age helped me be even more empathetic to people who are suffering. I experienced a lot of ridicule from certain teachers, and from students. It ultimately helped me develop a thicker skin —although I think there was a bit of a delayed reaction because it didn’t really solidify until I was an older teen. My challenges were small and surmountable compared to other people’s challenges, so I keep that in mind and try to share positive knowledge and information that could uplift people, or help them on their journey.
TG: What are some of your daily habits that help you thrive?
ALM: Neurofeedback is something I get monthly that helps me a great deal. It’s wonderful for people with learning disabilities, and helps your brain work more efficiently whether or not you have any brain abnormalities. I think sleep is incredibly important, so I try to prioritize that as much as I can, and schedule my day accordingly when possible. Hydration is absolutely critical to our well-being, so I always make sure to drink lots of water.
TG: Do you think there is a way to unlearn behavior?
ALM: I think conscious daily effort goes a long way. Setting reminders on your phone, posting notes on your bathroom mirror, and making a commitment to change your behavior can work. There are lots of different theories that assert that anywhere from 21 to 40 days of consistent daily action can change your habitual behavior. I have found that to be true.
TG: You once said joy is the highest vibration. What brings you optimism and hope?
ALM: In my work as an intuitive, I have learned that joy is the highest vibrational energy in the known universe. It has the power to heal. It’s a little bit different than optimism or hope, although they can result in a greater likelihood of experiencing joy. Joy is most efficiently experienced by mindful presence while doing something that brings you a peak experience — often involving your senses. Some examples would be eating a juicy peach while feeling the sun on your skin, riding a waterslide, jumping on a trampoline, and laughing with your children.
TG: What was your inspiration for writing The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit?
ALM: Every single one of my books is a love letter to my clients. I write about the things that I feel would most benefit my medical intuitive clients.
TG: Are there any self-care rituals you recommend?
ALM: Meditation is one of the most powerful acts of self-care we can choose to give ourselves. I think meditation is best done in the most comfortable position possible. It can be incredibly relaxing to do a meditation while lying down and enjoying some aromatherapy. I also recommend yoga nidra. I’m also a big fan of spas!
TG: What does your relationship with technology look like? Do you sleep with your phone?
ALM: Tech is my friend because it lets me reach more people! I have a rule: almost no tech in the bedroom. I may look at my phone in there, but I never sleep with it in there. And, if I do not have to set an alarm in the morning, I often turn it off. I also unplug my Wi-Fi as much as possible at night. I know that some people have a timer for that, and I’m planning to get one.
TG: How do you make sure you spend time for yourself?
ALM: I schedule it!
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
ALM: I’m not sure. Sometimes, I feel a little bit overworked, and then I try to schedule extra self-care time and pull myself out of it pretty quickly. When I am on a book tour and traveling doing media, I usually make sure to give myself some recharge days afterwards. I try to plan ahead to avoid burnout.
TG: When was a time you failed and how did you handle it?
ALM: So many times! Someone I know used to say that every dollar you lose as a business owner will still be cheaper than getting an MBA. I try to remember that. I handle it by learning from it, changing the behaviors and actions as much as I can, and moving forward. I try not to dwell on things from an emotional perspective if they have to do with my professional life. If I’ve made a personal mistake, I am much more likely to agonize over it. Then I usually talk to a trusted friend, and they help me work through it.
TG: What is a quote or mantra that you live by?
ALM: Live joy. Be kind. And love unconditionally.
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