My Feel Good Routine with Rachelle Snyder of Coozie Gear
By Elizabeth Villa with Rachelle Snyder, Co-Founder of Coozie Gear
This week I got to virtually hang out with Rachelle Snyder and ask her to share the self-care practices she's feeling good about and the tips and tools she's using to make them happen.
Rachelle is the Co-Founder of Coozie Gear, a company that is transforming the outdoor industry by allowing you to experience the outdoors without ever needing to own outdoor gear. What I love about Rachelle and the company she's created is that when I spend time with them I always leave feeling more empowered to try new things and inspired to be more intentional with my time.
EV: What’s one area of your personal health and wellness that you feel good about right now?
RS: One of the things that I’m feeling better about is that I found a female only gym which has been super awesome to have. When I lived in Boston I used to have one there too and when I moved out here it took me a while to find one. Choosing to focus on physical health has been something that supports mental health a ton.
The other thing I always try to do is spend time outside. So I do a ton of walks throughout the day. I think you can do that at any point of the year. It’s nice to go out, you can get all bundled up and have an excursion going somewhere fun.
Also, having something to look forward to like an event where you’re going camping, or going hiking, or having a friend in town. Something you can look forward to is also good for your overall wellness.
Okay, I would love to know more about the female gym. Why is that important to you?
I used to have a membership at a mixed gym and it was fine. However, I am more motivated and empowered at a female-only gym. It’s very welcoming.
Can you talk a little bit about what you do and why taking walks is helpful for you?
I’m the co-founder of Coozie Gear, a company that is transforming the outdoor industry by eliminating your need to ever own your own gear again. We provide premium outdoor gear that’s delivered to your door and picked up after you’re done. My work is all about building the company. Some of that is doing the day to day work like working with gear, but also doing a ton of computer work - reaching out to partners, reaching out to brands.
You can get really into putting your head down and grinding it out but it’s really important to take those breaks, to take those mental breaks, and to go for a walk and clear your head. It’s also where I find that I have the best ideas and I’m most motivated after those walks. They’re super important for my day.
How do you make it work? Do you get outside when you feel like you need it or actually schedule it into your day?
I do it as I feel. I think if I schedule things into my day it almost stresses me out more because if I don’t do it I may have done another thing instead that’s even more productive or made me feel better in the long run. So I try to do things where it just comes up naturally. And that’s really important I think, is to not put too many constraints when you’re trying to make yourself feel healthier and be happier.
And how do you feel when you’re regularly walking and going to the gym? Do you notice a difference?
Oh yeah. I have a ton more energy. I’m able to focus more. I’m happier. It’s like night and day. Otherwise I’m working on the computer and at the end of the day when you’re like “Oh what did I do to get moving today?” and your answer is “I was on the computer working all day or I was in a car.” You have to do something that gets you moving to feel good at the end of the day.
I find that those types of activities create a lot of intention and those moments break up the parts of your life that could keep moving with your head down forever without noticing.
The more that we can have opportunities to get outside and let inspiration hit, get motivated, and spend time in different ways it can be helpful.
Yeah and it also doesn’t have to be going on a walk outside. I think anything where you’re shaking up your general routine or meeting new people or going to a new part of a city or traveling somewhere really fun for a night, those are all things that can help reinvigorate your motivation for the rest of the week or the rest of the month or however long it lasts. I think it’s super important.
Shifting gears, What do you do when you go to the gym? What’s your workout style?
I’m a big fan of the StairMaster and weights. Sometimes I arrive at the gym and then realize that I don’t have a plan. So I end up doing the exact same thing which is fine for a while but I'll soon lose motivation. So recently I started watching YouTube videos to learn new workouts with the goal to have a plan for the gym when I arrive.
I listen to podcasts while I’m at the gym which I love. I listen to How I Built This a lot and Jonathan Van Ness’ Getting Curious. I have 100 podcasts on my phone so I find myself listening to a lot of one-off podcasts.
And Nicki Minaj is my musical motivation.
I totally hear what you’re saying. Ambiguity is sometimes the hardest thing about working out! I love the idea of getting some info and writing out a plan. Having a plan can be so helpful and motivating.
I also follow a ton of personal trainers and they often post how to videos, so a lot of times I’ll be at the gym watching their how to videos and then doing it myself. Some people may think “Oh she’s just on the phone at the gym" but I’m trying to learn!
I love that you’re embracing the process of learning as you go.
you mentioned having things to look forward to as a tip for self-care. Does that relate to getting outside or is that something separate altogether?
I think it can be anything. I think getting outside or having an activity outside or learning something new can be something that can have a light at the end of the tunnel when you’re having a tough week or a tough month. Learning something new I find to be really helpful like learning how to surf is something where you really can’t focus on anything else but the ocean while you’re in it. Or even learning how to camp if you’ve never gone camping before. Going camping can be one of those things where you’re choosing to sleep out in the woods or in the forest or on the beach or wherever I am, but you’re completely disconnected from everything else so it’s really rejuvenating.
Half of people who come to us at Coozie Gear have never been camping before. So it’s really fun to hear them come back and be like “This is amazing!”
I like the idea of putting events on the calendar when you’re having a hard time so you have something you know you can look forward to. It can create so much optimism.
It allows you to just stop and just be in the moment too. It’s already July. Time goes by so fast, so when you have things to look forward to or you have events, they’re kind of mile markers throughout your year. In the future when you think about what happened this year, you probably won’t say “Oh I sat at the computer for 10 hours a day doing work.” You’ll probably say “Somebody came to visit and we went downtown.” Or “We had this big group camping trip.” Or “I learned how to surf this year.”
There are so many things that can shape how your year ends up, but I think planning those intentional times whether it’s getting outside, learning something new, or spending time with friends and family, is a way to recognize what your year has been.
So those are the three things you’re feeling good about right now, but I’d love to know is if you have any other rituals or habits that you integrate into your day to day.
This is not something I’m super great at, but every morning one thing that sets every day up is that we have a stand up meeting every morning to think about which orders are going out, who booked what gear, where orders are going, where is it in the city, and planning it out. Then thinking about bigger goals too that are related to the goals of the week. What are the things that we want to achieve this week? Then each morning when we have that meeting we think about if that feeds up into the bigger goals for the week.
The other ritual that I try to do is go to the gym every other day and not let that lapse. I will say that I haven’t been to the gym in like weeks, so I have let that lapse for a while but sometimes when I get into those rhythms everything is so much better.
I’m pretty good about nightly routines like having 20 minutes to get ready for bed. It’s really important for me to feel like I can fall asleep and not have anything else going on.
I think the other thing I don’t do often enough, but can be a good way to transition from work to non work is making dinner. Not just making a quick dinner, but trying to make a meal where you have a recipe. I used to cook new recipes all the time, and now I just don’t do it anymore but I really enjoy it because it’s kind of like the act of surfing where I’m in the water and can’t think of anything else. With cooking it’s a little bit creative, you have to focus on a few things at one time, so it’s a good transition point.
Do you have any go-to meals that you make?
I don’t eat meat so I do a lot of meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh. I do a lot of tofu tacos. A lot of Mexican-inspired meals. A lot of hot sauce. I think that’s one of the things I like about cooking too. I try not to make the same thing twice. Like, I really hate leftovers. I try to make something new every time. So each thing is a little bit different.
When I’m not being my most creative it’s brown rice with vegetables, tofu, and a ton of hot sauce. I’ve gotten really into Beyond Burgers. I like to get sweet onion buns, then add sprouts, avocado, sriracha and mayo for a spicy mayo, and the Beyond Burger for a meal that’s mostly vegetables but tastes like a burger.
Okay my last question for you is do you have any apps, resources, tools you use in the health, wellness, self-care category?
HipCamp – It's like AirBnb for camping. They’re national so they’re all over and you can find great spots to get outside.
Flo – I use it for period management and I love it.
Seven – An app full of seven minute workouts that I would do every day. I did it for 21 days straight and it actually tones you up! It makes you feel like you accomplished something without having to go to the gym for an hour.
Strava – An app for tracking your activities that also lets you see where your friends are running.