meet giovanna campagna
The founder of Joaquina Bótanica who believes meditation is the most powerful tool for calming your inner dialogue and realizing that you are not your thoughts.
What, for you, helps boost your confidence?
I started committing to a workout practice about five years ago. My whole life, I’ve always dabbled in different things and it wasn’t until recently that I found something that works for me, which is pretty heavy weight training. Since COVID, I’ve been doing a mix of remote sessions with a trainer and then in-person circuit training classes. But it was really wonderful to feel like I finally found something that I actually saw results in, something I enjoyed. It’s become such an integral ritual for me.
I always feel so much more uplifted, confident, and accomplished after. There’s never a time that I regret it, whereas, going into it, there are so many mornings I just want to text my trainer and say maybe we should cancel. But you get past it and it’s given me so much confidence.
What keeps you grounded?
A few years ago, I read Julia B. Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and I recently started doing the morning pages ritual. Each morning, I sit down and do this form of journaling, whatever comes to mind and write it on the page. I find that it really helps to get my creativity flowing and identify things that are on my mind or problems I need to work through. I love to do that in the mornings when I can with my coffee. I look forward to that first cup every day. And so, having this ritual of sitting down after having this moment to myself is so important.
You gave birth to your daughter during COVID, how did that impact your mental health?
It was definitely a very strange and stressful time to become a mom. I spent my whole third trimester in quarantine with my husband. We didn’t see anyone. When I gave birth to her at Weill Cornell in New York, there were very strict mandates. I wore a mask during labor. We couldn’t leave the room the whole time we were at the hospital and my family didn’t meet her for weeks after she was born.
“I never imagined this being the way it would be the first time I gave birth.”
ut on the positive end of it, we’ve switched to this lifestyle where we’re much more at home. That’s been such an amazing silver lining because I’ve had so much more time with her and there hasn’t been the same pressure of doing business trips or being at an office during the day.
These moments with her are so important for my mental health. If I’m having a stressful day, if I’m feeling a lot of anxiety, those moments with her are so powerful and brings me back to the present moment. Parenting so far has been so joyful and even that touch and hugs and cuddles with her is so therapeutic.
What’s your relationship like with alcohol?
I read this book Sober, Curious, which came out a few years ago. I’ve had certain moments where I’m like, wait, why do I keep drinking? I tend to get pretty bad hangovers or I notice that the next day it can make me a little more down. These are little things that we take for granted.
I don’t know if I’ll ever stop drinking, but I started to look for something that could replace that urge to be drinking something in a social situation or even at the end of the day. So I discovered Kin Euphorics last spring and I’ve really loved it as a substitute for a fun drink at the end of the day or even sometimes I’ll bring it to dinner parties. I find that it really does give a nice enlivened feeling.
What keeps you grounded or helps to relieve stress and anxiety?
My sister turned me onto this supplement called SuperYou from Moon Juice a few months ago. I’ve never been very good at taking supplements because I sometimes get a stomach ache or don’t feel great when I take a lot of vitamins. But these have been wonderful and I’ve actually stuck with them because I did see an instant effect. It’s a blend of adaptogens that help with reducing anxiety and enhancing mood, and even improving clarity and focus. So all things that I definitely need more of now as a mom and an entrepreneur.
Anxiety for me has been a bit newer. I’ve never taken anything for anxiety. It’s become more acute since the pandemic and definitely, in postpartum, I felt it more. It’s triggered by this aversion to having things undone. I can’t stop thinking about what’s on my to-do list, what’s unfinished. What I’ve mostly done in the past to help is meditation. And that has really helped me a great amount. I learned transcendental meditation about seven years ago.
“Meditation was hard for me to do while pregnant because I felt so sick during my first trimester.”
I had really bad morning sickness that would last all day. And unfortunately, one drawback with TM or meditation, in general, is it’s ironically harder to do. When you do it, it’s the most powerful tool for calming your inner dialogue and realizing that you are not your thoughts.
How has your mental health been lately?
I can have a varied array of emotions in a day. So high notes, low notes. I definitely still feel that pretty often, but it’s not necessarily a negative thing. But my mental health has been pretty good lately. It’s probably a combination of having this toolkit that I constantly draw on, like my supplements, my meditation practice, and my workout practice.
The first year of anything is really challenging. I just had the first year of being a mom and the first year of a business and I feel finally the business is more of a well-oiled machine. I feel like I’m in a good place to end the year and start the next one and see what’s in store.
How does being an entrepreneur impact your mental health?
Last January, I launched Joaquina Bótanica, which is a skincare brand inspired by my Columbian roots. We have two products right now and they are powered by Latin American botanicals and beauty traditions paired with clinical actives. It’s reimagining all these beauty philosophies that I grew up with. What drew me to it was feeling that there was a hole in the market for more Latin voices in beauty.
“Being an entrepreneur and having your own business, especially with a product, things are always going to go wrong, even when the company’s doing really well.”
I’ve had to learn a lot mentally about faking it until you make it and getting comfortable with imperfection in some ways. In business, you don’t see everything that’s going on behind the scenes and no one’s going to know that a product launch was three months late except for you.
Business can be going really well, but it’s easy to fall back into worrying too much about things you can’t control. It’s been a great mental practice of just letting go of control. You keep your standards for your product and your brand, but there will always be certain things out of your control in terms of your bigger path.
In one of your Instagram posts, you said, “Thankful for everything being your mama has taught me-presence, patience, strength, love, and embracing uncertainty.” Can you unpack that a little?
Becoming a mom, knowing that I have to be an example to my daughter and I’m responsible for her helps force me to feel confident in situations. If I have an important business meeting or presentation, or I’m trying to achieve a goal, I remind myself that, in a way, I’m also doing it for her. She’s going to see the results of this in a few years.
When I talk about patience and accepting uncertainty, you can’t control your kids’ mood or what they eat. You can’t control what they’re drawn to, or who she’ll want to be when she grows up. I already have the sense that I’m more of her custodian than her owner or creator. I look at her and I don’t really see her as mine. She’s her own person. How lucky are we that we get to know her? I don’t have control over her. I guide her and help her get where she’s meant to go.
How does intimacy and relationships impact your mental health?
Having my husband as a confidant and sounding board is so crucial to my mental health. I’m someone who can be in my head a lot and it’s important for me to be able to have someone I can talk to about anything. That’s sometimes a role a therapist plays, but sometimes it’s hard for me to make decisions without talking it through with someone. So being able to work things through with him gives me a lot of added confidence.
We got married in February 2020, right before COVID and had our baby about four months after that. So for us, it went from zero to 100. We were actually in a long-distance relationship before February 2020. And since then we haven’t separated from each other at all. There have been moments where that’s been tough on our relationship and I see the value of having more space from one another to help keep the romantic side alive.
“Recently I’ve taken a few of my first business trips and it’s been such a luxury to get in bed alone and watch a TV show and not talk to anyone.”
That’s very re-energizing for me. My husband and I have this ritual when we see each other again; we go out to dinner the next day. If we have some days apart, we’ll go on a date night. It’s exciting to see each other after not having seen each other, which is rare these days.
When do you feel most at peace?
In the bath.
When do you feel your body tense up?
Email notifications or phone notifications.
What gives you serotonin?
What does your body language say about you?
It can sometimes say that I’m shy. It’s something I’m working on.
When do you speak your mind?
I speak my mind when I think what I have to say could be of service to someone. As an entrepreneur, there’s this founder stereotype that you’re this cutthroat person and you’ll do anything to get the job done. So it feels vulnerable as a founder to admit that you have to battle with these things sometimes. I would say there’s some shame around, saying yes, I’m a leader and a founder. Also, I’m not perfect in this. You wouldn’t want your future potential investors to know this about you, but then at the same time, so many creative visionary people struggle with these things.
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