In Conversation With: Kirsty from Koggno

This week we are kicking off a new series called 'In Conversations with', where we sit down with leaders in wellness to discuss their favourite rituals and practices as well as their love of matcha. 

In the first edition of 'In Conversations with' we sit down with Kirsty Martin from Koggno, a platform and podcast to help navigate different approaches to psychological wellbeing all in one place.

What does "wellbeing" mean to you, and how do you incorporate it into your daily life?

I think wellbeing is a good word to take into consideration both mental and physical health. A sense of ‘wellbeing’ aligns your inner balance and helps to support your emotional and energetic strength. I believe that small habits have a big impact on our minds and bodies so I try my best to incorporate daily practices that contribute to an overall wellbeing. Something I am learning is not to worry if you miss a day, but try to reset where you can, even if it means doing a small practice to avoid missing more days.

Do you have any specific rituals or practices that help you maintain your wellbeing?

I have a few! I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always follow my own standards but turning up for yourself when you can is the best start. Journaling is an important part of my practice to maintain mental wellbeing and subsequently, helps my discipline and motivation for physical wellbeing. Scientifically, journaling engages neural activity associated with introspection, emotional regulation, and processing. For me, it is important for self-discovery, reflection and identifying cognitive blocks so I try to journal on days when I feel good, bad or just so. Writing down thoughts, feelings and emotions is crucial to understanding our responses, resilience and providing clarity to what or why we are feeling a certain way. Another practice is leaving my phone outside the bedroom when I go to sleep. If you can be susceptible to, aimless, or ‘pillow scrolling’, I encourage leaving your phone on the other side of the room, getting an alarm clock or finding what works for you. For such a small change, my personal sleep patterns and knock on well being  improved significantly.

What role does mindfulness play in your approach to wellbeing, and how do you recommend incorporating it into daily routines?

For me, breathwork has been an amazing practice to incorporate moments of mindfulness into my routine. It can help engage brain regions that are linked to self-awareness, emotional regulation and cognitive flexibility. Taking the time to consciously be mindful is something I find I easily forget to do but never regret doing. Even a 5-minute guided meditation or breathing exercise can repurpose my thoughts and focus.

What are your thoughts on the concept of "slow living" and how can people embrace it in a fast-paced world?

As a concept, embracing slow living can provide true self compassion and care, especially when we live in such a fast paced world! A lot of society thrives off quick fixes that often don’t serve wellbeing. Find where slow living suits you and prioritise quality over quantity, or block out time to build connection and be present. My advice when you feel slow living is unattainable is to practise gratitude, make time for yourself and use resources like nature and reading. Being intentional is the key, you can be busy and balanced.

How did you discover matcha, and what are your favourite ways to enjoy it?

I’m actually not sure where I first discovered matcha! I love the flavour and have always been drawn to it as a coffee alternative. An almond matcha with cinnamon would be my favourite, iced or hot depending on the weather.

Beyond the taste, what are the aspects of matcha that resonate most with you in terms of well-being and slow living?

I like that good quality matcha has a wide range of health benefits. One very noticeable one is having longer lasting energy with less of a ‘crash’. I’m not sure about the science behind it but this helps me regulate sugar cravings and tiredness too. Combining a work break or a walk with a matcha is often a good time to move away from my desk or laptop and appreciate a moment ‘offline’.

Do you have any rituals or routines specifically associated with enjoying matcha?

I love hearing about people’s recommendations and trying new matcha spots. It is fun to explore places that carefully consider the flavour and quality of matcha. I enjoy the process of making a matcha at home and find it quite therapeutic but also meeting a friend, or going on a solo date and picking up a matcha out!

As a wellbeing influencer/expert, what are some of the biggest challenges you see people facing today, and how can matcha play a role in addressing them?

I think that often we forget to look after our mental and physical health in a balance of mind and body. For me, I found that I neglected my mental health until I was caught in a negative cycle and needed help to break certain patterns. I think that finding the time to look after our wellbeing should come into our routines as often as possible so we have resources and tools for when we need them. Although matcha does not directly serve this, it is an example of what we consume and how that can contribute to our wellbeing.

What are your personal hopes for the future of matcha, and how do you see it evolving in the wellness space?

I hope that matcha is accessible and enjoyed by anyone who wants to explore its benefits and taste. I love seeing brands that are keeping the origin and high quality and trying different types and combinations.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in learning more about matcha and incorporating it into their life?

I think try lots and find your way of enjoying it. Be open-minded but the flavour isn’t for everyone, nothing is! I do recommend learning about the health benefits and especially if you notice a sensitivity to caffeine, it's a good alternative to coffee.

Is there a specific quote, mantra, or piece of advice that you find particularly helpful in maintaining your well-being, and would you be willing to share it?

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants”- Coco Chanel

What are some of your favourite resources (books, podcasts, websites) related to well-being, rituals, slow living that you would recommend to our readers?

A book I love and is frequently recommended on Koggno is James Clear’s Atomic Habits, I also think ‘Why has no-one told me this before’ by Dr Julie Smith is a great resource for understanding the mind.

The Koggno Podcast (!) which I host, but sometimes I find it extra valuable to listen back to the advice and insight from the guests- an episode I’m loving at the moment features Izzy Utterson and glowing up to be the best version of yourself.
The Therapy Crouch for a light hearted podcast that makes me laugh!

Looking ahead, what are some exciting projects or endeavours you are working on that you would like to share with our audience?

Koggno has an exciting lineup of podcast guests and events coming up. I will be sharing more information on our socials- please get in touch if there is an approach you want to hear about or if you want to collaborate on upcoming events. Next week, I am speaking at a retreat on topics around mental strength and I’m looking forward to connecting with the host, ME lifestyle. Most of all, I am excited to keep connecting with people also navigating and exploring mental health and wellbeing. 


Thanks for reading, see you next week!

M x 

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