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Meet the Team: Lara

What I listen to: I love curating badass playlists to get me in the zone for work. Female artists I am obsessed with at the moment include Lizzo, Thelma Plum, Vera Blue, Lily Allen and Beyoncé. Music aside, I am also an unashamed, self-confessed podcast lover. What could be better than being productive while listening to something valuable, informative or empowering? My favourite podcasts are 'Transforming Together', 'Stuff Mom Never Told You' and 'The Guilty Feminist' – I would highly recommend episode 143, it is hilarious!

What I watch: I am a sucker for good tv drama series like 'The West Wing', 'Borgen', 'The Bridge (Norwegian Noir is a seriously underrated genre)', 'Killing Eve', 'Our Girl', and 'Grey Anatomy'. I also love inspiring movies, I am referring to those thought provoking and tear-jerking flicks. I would highly recommend 'Desert Flower', 'The Whistleblower', 'RBG', 'Spotlight' and 'The Hunting Ground' if you would like to watch a film that touches on sexual violence or women’s issues. However, please be mindful as many of these films require content warnings. As much as I hate to admit it, my guilty pleasure is for sure a Disney movie. Moana gets me every time. I have found it especially good after a night out at Moose with a whole block of chocolate in hand. One of my favourite ways to end a busy day is sitting down with a tea or red wine and my roomies and watching an episode of whatever series I have developed a recent addiction to.

What I see: I generally gravitate towards artists whose work is progressive or provides social commentary of some sort. Something I am super keen to see is Hannah Gatsby’s live comedy special ‘Douglas.’ If you have been living under a rock for the past year and have not seen her previous special ‘Nanette,’ you are missing out. ‘Nanette’ is a poignant, autobiographical performance that provides insightful commentary on LGBTQ+ issues, sexual violence, mental illness and indeed comedy itself and what it conceals. In short, it is a exceptional piece of comedy that I encourage anyone and everyone to see.

Who I admire: There are many incredible, strong and passionate women who deserve admiration. At the moment Jameela Jamil comes to mind as a person I admire. Jameela describes herself as a feminist-in-progress and is the founder of the @i_weigh movement which promotes radical inclusivity and encourages people to look beyond the number of the scale to realise everything else that gives them worth as an individual.

What I do for myself: As someone who has had a major health scare in the past, I have come to cherish and prioritise self-care practices. A self-care practice I will forever advocate for is daily exercise. Whether it is a heavy strength session, a sweaty HIIT circuit, a lake run, yoga, pilates or an outdoor hike, I try to get my daily endorphins in one way or another. I know that starting to exercise can be intimidating for some, so I suggest going with a friend. I have managed to get many of my friends hooked to the physical and mental benefits of exercise by working out with them! Another daily practice I cannot preach about enough is mindfulness. I would highly recommend apps such as ‘Calm,’ ‘Insight Timer’ and ‘Smiling Mind’ for those who are new to the world of meditation. For those who are open-minded when it comes to holistic health practices, I swear by aromatherapy for aiding anxiety and sleep, taking natural supplements and eating healthy. But the form of self-care that has arguably the greatest impact on my health and happiness is spending time with by beautiful friends. For me, choosing to move in with two of my close friends who support, inspire and care for me was the best decision I ever made in regard to improving my mental health. I think the people we choose to surround ourselves with can have a profound impact upon who we are and how we feel about ourselves, so make sure that those around you bring only light into your world.

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