Secret Weapons for Maintaining Wellness in the Wine Industry

Secret Weapons for Maintaining Wellness in the Wine Industry

Last week, Beck and I had the tremendous pleasure to join Hannah Wallace (who we’ve featured previously in the Tribe) and Katherine Cole in at the OPB public broadcasting studios in Portland, Oregon. That’s home-base for Katherine’s award-winning podcast called The Four Top, and the topic on the table was mental health in the hospitality industry, particularly in wine.
Though the topic is quite serious, the format of the show was very conversational and interactive and FUN, and we can’t wait to share the link with you to the final version of the podcast once it’s live.
In the meantime, I wanted to do a deep dive into one of the themes that surfaced: our “secret weapons” for maintaining balance while working in this industry. We ask this question of every Tribe member we profile on a weekly basis, and that section of the website is consistently popular and seems to resonate with our community.
So let’s take it a few steps further. Here are ten “secret weapons” that, between the four of us, equip us with the experience and wherewithal to help balance our glasses.

1.  When traveling, make time to exercise, even if you are overworked. Thirty minutes in your hotel room doing stretches counts, as does 45 minutes walking in the city. I have even done (subtle) wall sits, calf raises, or squats while listening to a lecture in a winery. – Katherine

2.  Cold cement winery floors can be a killer for those who have foot, Achilles, knee or back problems. Wear warm socks and do a bit of subtle movement, like gently rocking your weight from side to side, when you are standing around in a cave or cellar. – Katherine

3.  Drink aloe juice and coconut juice (Trader Joe's sells a combo) to soothe the stomach. – Katherine

4.  Saying no to press events that are not relevant to your stories or interests.  I think you have to be selective or else you drink too much and are away from your family too much. I really have to justify (to myself and to my husband) why I'm going to an event. Am I going to write about it? Will there be interesting people to talk to and network with? If I can answer yes to those two things, I will go, but if not, I will skip it. – Hannah

5.  When I have trouble sleeping I take an herbal "Sleep Tea" with chamomile, lavender, mugwort, damiana, peppermint, and lemon balm that I get at Fettle Botanic in Portland, which I drink about 30 minutes before bed, and a Relaxing Sleep tincture containing Valerian, passionflower, hops, and chamomile, that I keep by my bed in case I wake early and cannot get back to sleep. – Hannah

6.  I enjoy running and try to do it every day—it keeps my mind clear. At least one day a week I run without my headphones so I can listen to my own thoughts and let my mind go.  I wrote a story recently on “Forest Bathing” and in Japan it’s a known therapy for keeping anxiety and stress at bay by being fully present in nature. - Hannah

7.  Pack super light, so as not to over-tax muscles while in transit. I have fun with the challenge of this: to pack only the clothes that I love to wear, that also “travel well,” that is, don’t require ironing. Carefully chosen jewelry and scarves go a very long way to help diversify the look. – Cathy

8.  Negotiate the best international phone/data plan so that it’s stress-free to stay in touch with family and friends at home. “Regular life” at home doesn’t stop just because we’re gone, and it’s important to everyone involved that we’re reachable and engaged, even from afar. This helps to ease the pain of being away, and it makes the transition back home that much easier. – Cathy

9.  Take a Breath - Download The Breathing App from I-tunes. Designed in conjunction with musician Moby and Deepak Chopra, the app enables you set your breath rate and duration of focus according to your needs. I’ve used it on the plane, preparing for a high pressure meeting and to refocus on a project. Did I mention it’s free?! - Beck

10.  Invest in good quality vitamins and supplements to support your physical wellbeing. Even a basic stash of Vitamin C, Complex B, milk thistle and Magnesium is a great start to help support your body’s defenses. Pharmaca carries a great range of high quality brands.- Beck

How about you? What would you add as your “secret weapons” to help maintain balance in this industry? Please drop a line and let us know.


Meet The Tribe:

Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.

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Katherine Cole, Contributing Editor at SevenFifty Daily; Executive Producer and Host of The Four Top; Communications Director at Vin Agency.

Years In Industry:
21. In 1997 I began working in Chicago and LA as a magazine editor for the group that is today known as Modern Luxury Media. Our beat was luxury lifestyle, which of course included high-end beverages, and that was when I got hooked. By 2000, I had moved out to Portland and started freelancing with a couple of monthly beverage columns, then, after a couple of years, I talked The Oregonian into hiring me as their wine columnist. I stuck with The Oregonian and freelanced for other outlets until 2015. I am really enjoying working for SevenFifty Daily now. I'm also dipping my toe into the design, branding, and marketing side these days with Vin Agency. This has greatly broadened my understanding of the industry and I'm lucky enough to work alongside some brilliant people.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Lack of sleep. That is what hits me hardest. I was not built to function on four hours. I fall apart. But I'm the single mom of two busy kids, and I have four jobs, so.... something has got to give. And drinking too much wine with industry folks unfortunately goes hand-in-hand with a night of poor sleep. But we all know that!
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I almost never miss a day of exercise, even if it's just a long walk with the dogs. I would rather exercise for 45 minutes than sleep in for 45 minutes. It is a massive stress reducer and it balances my emotions. And it brings me profound inner feelings of vitality and strength. 
I am addicted to Barre3 and yoga, but I also can't live without the outdoors. I am a recovering runner dealing with a foot injury right now, so I am just getting into road cycling. Anything to be outside!
I also get around in my everyday life by walking and cycling as much as possible. My around-town vehicle is a Dutch granny bike with a wooden wine box on the front and a couple of panniers on the back. I can fit all my groceries, laptop, gym bag, etc. on it. I have been riding it for about 10 years now. I love it so much.

You can connect with Katherine through her website or across social media channels Twitter, and Instagram at @kcoleuncorked


What We’re Reading:

There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.

Hi Sobriety – Our Changing Relationship with Alcohol – The Age (Aus)

“Grey-area drinkers” aren’t falling-over drunks, but nor is their relationship with booze healthy. In recent times, many have been giving up or cutting back – being sober is the new black.”


Iconoclastic Magazine Publisher Marvin Shanken Adapts In a New Era of Media –

The first thing Marvin Shanken—the magazine-publishing maverick and impresario who for the last 40-plus years has built a business based on his own lifestyle passions—tells you is that his success is all due to the content.”


Let's Meet Up!

As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.  Check out details on the new Let's Meet Up! page.

Drop a line to or if you are interested in getting together for practice, a chat or a great glass together.


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