People say that successful people set their day up for success in the morning. What would you say your morning routine is like, do you have something that you stick by every day? Or is it different?
Ajla Tomjlanović: One thing I stick to is this mindfulness app, it’s called Calm. It’s been a tough road for me to get into meditation, but I’d heard so much about it. I finally found a way to incorporate it into my life where I do it consistently and it’s not perfect. When my alarm goes off, I will put in my headphones and while I’m still groggy I’ll listen to it (Calm).
There have been times when I fall back asleep but it just gets me and my mind going in a good way to start my day.
I love taking my time with my breakfast so I always make sure I have at least 45 minutes for my food and my coffee. I’d rather sleep less and have my time in the morning to start my day then to have 10 minutes and do everything quickly and get on my way. So, it’s not really routine, I just plan things.
That sounds like a pretty nice routine to me. So, tell us a little bit more about meditation, how long have you been doing this?
Ajla Tomjlanović: I’ve been attempting for at least 10 years, but I think I bought into it probably two years ago. When COVID hit, I had more time to do things consistently without having the excuse of things coming up. And I just saw a lot of positives that came out of it. I wasn’t one of those people that are going to say, “Oh my gosh, it’s the best, it changed my life”. But I can definitely say it’s something I turn to that I know and know it can only help. So having it (mediation) in my corner and knowing it’s always there, and it’s on my terms, I love that.
And even before matches, when I’m really nervous, I’ll just put it (meditation app) on quickly, and I don’t know, it’s supposed to calm me it. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. But I think it’s that consistency is what has changed for me over the last few years.
Yeah, definitely. And also knowing that you don’t have to be perfect at things like meditation, like you’re just having a go and some days, you can sit there and tune into yourself and just Zen out. But then at other times your mind might be racing, and that’s okay, too.
So are there any other things that you might incorporate in terms of mindfulness into your life? Positive affirmations? Or do you do anything like yoga or any other sort of physical activities? What is it that you really like doing?
Ajla Tomjlanović: I love doing Yoga. I only incorporate it sometimes on the weekends because my schedule is pretty packed during the week. So, when I have a chance, I do it. I’ll be honest thought, sometimes on Sunday it’s the last thing I want to do because I usually do Bikram which is like the hot steamy one.
But I don’t have anything crazy physical, for me, I always check my mood. So if I’m feeling down, I will always try to ask, where’s this coming from? And that’s something that has helped me a lot. Because maybe in the past, I’d let it go and pretend it’s not there and then it would spiral eventually. But now I’m always checking in with myself and that brings more awareness of what’s going on, and sometimes it’s things that are not even important, but stress me out, and then I’m like, oh I don’t need to worry, and it really just helps. Talking has been huge for me, I love talking, I’m a talker! If something is bothering me, I will sometimes close in but if I’m with my people, I’ll be like, I need to tell you this.
Well that might answer my next question a little which is all about our Cocobella campaign which is all about Feeling Cocobetter. So, what are some of the little things that you might recommend to people to Feel Cocobetter?
Ajla Tomjlanović: I was listening to the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast recently and he was saying, would you ever share your negative thoughts to your seven-, eight- or nine-year-old self? So, I have put a picture of my younger self next to my bed and I also made it my screensaver on my phone. Look at this picture! I would never say anything like my negative thoughts to this kid that has a huge smile on her face and say that’s she’s not doing well enough or not trying hard enough.
And that’s something I do when I wake up, it’s the first thing I see and it reminds me not to be so hard on myself and to take things more lightly, and to keep going with what I want to achieve and what I want to do.
That’s really beautiful and such a great way of looking at life and thinking of your younger self, your inner child and be gentle.