Polly Hammond - Managing Director, 5forests (New Zealand)
Years in Industry:
5-20+, depending upon who you ask! My father in law was a marketing director at Southern Wine and Spirits forever and the business of alcohol had been a backdrop of dinner conversations for as long as I can remember. I was a marketer specializing in behavioural economics and, about 5 years ago, I realized that I was spending an awful lot of my free time helping our friends in the wine industry understand how to communicate with customers in this digital era. 5forests was born.
My Biggest Challenge to Wellness:
My weight, my hormones, my brain. At the risk of veering into TMI, I’m headed toward menopause and my body cannot process alcohol the way it used to. My hormones are going nuts and the last thing I need is something that exacerbates weight gain, bad sleep patterns, mood swings, or any kind of depression. And because women don’t talk about this much, it’s not an easy story to tell when someone asks why you aren't drinking…
How I Keep it Together to Stay Well:
I work hard to be mindful and self-compassionate, especially as it relates to food and alcohol. It’s too easy to consume habitually or unthinkingly and I try to avoid that. But sometimes I fail miserably – because the company was good, or the offering was too wonderful to turn down, or because it was a tough day and I needed to get out of my own head – and I’ve had to learn to be gentle with my self-judgments.
More importantly, I’ve become open with the conversation, even (especially) when it’s uncomfortable. I talk about why I’ve cut back, chick hormones, worries that my daughters grow up thinking this is normal, fears that clients will be offended if I can’t keep up…and suddenly, everyone has a story to tell! And then, we all order tea instead.