Mia Kyricos is the president and founder of Kyricos & Associates LLC, a firm which provides strategic wellness-driven guidance to companies within the hospitality industry. She is also a founding board member for the Global Wellness Institute. She previously served as the SVP and global head of wellness for Hyatt and director of global spa brands for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, where she created six international spa brands for Le Meridien, Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, W, and Luxury Collection while overseeing the Starwood Spa Collection marketing program. Learn more about her wellness tips and picks here.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
To me, a “well” day means rolling out of bed and meditating for 10 to 20 minutes and enjoying a slow cup of coffee, followed by a brisk walk in nature, journaling if I have anything bothering to me or that I need to work out, and meaningfully connecting with someone I love every day.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
Yes! Anything outside is my favorite, including walking, hiking, swimming, and beach yoga if the season allows for it. Nothing grounds me more, especially considering we are living in a digital world, than spending time with Mother Nature.
What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?
I absolutely love a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, broiled with lemon, garlic, herbs, and spices with a side of bright-green steamed broccoli seasoned the exact same way. And then berries and whipped cream for dessert!
What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?
My favorite healthy cocktail is quite simple: a vodka-water (instead of a vodka-tonic) with fresh squeezed lemon. I believe the best way to prepare it is:
- Fill a rocks glass with ice
- Add one-third vodka (something top-shelf like Grey Goose, although Titos can do in a pinch) and two-thirds water (or half and half if you’re feeling sassy)
- Squeeze half a lemon (meyer is ideal!), and stir to get the drink nice and cold
- Enjoy with one note of caution: the better the vodka, the easier the drink goes down, and it starts tasting like lemon-water.
What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?
Any “re” word like re-lax, re-juvenate, re-new, etc. I advise against them at all costs!
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
Yes! When I was a kid, my dad would always say to my sisters and me, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself,” and this piece of advice could not be more relevant to the wellness world today. Self-care is not just a necessity; it is a responsibility. We all have people who depend upon us and that’s only possible if we take time to love and care for ourselves first.
What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?
Oh dear, it’s impossible to pick just one, as the world is a huge, wonderful place! However, several come to mind including:
- Any lakeside or seaside destination in my home state of Maine
- Gwinganna on the Gold Coast of Australia
- Miraval and Canyon Ranch in Tucson (they’re tied, each for different reasons)
- Como Shambhala Estate in Bali
- Rancho La Puerta in Mexico
- A personal favorite for both my husband and me is Mii Amo in Sedona, AZ.
Is there a particular wellness company or brand that truly impresses you with its efforts and why?
Yes! I think Headspace is a truly remarkable company, from the quality of its branding to the approachability of its content. While I have always been an advocate of the efficacy of meditation and mindfulness, I have only recently become a practitioner, and I have Headspace to thank for that. I now enjoy guided meditations of all kinds from a variety of sources around the world, and I continue to admire Headspace for not only what it does, but how it does it.
What is your favorite self-care routine?
To me, there is nothing like a long, warm soak in an Epsom salt bath at the end of the day. I light a few candles, pour in some essential oils, and sink in. In many ways, I receive the same benefits from this bath as I do from a 90-minute massage (my other favorite self-care routine once a month), only this time in the comfort of my own home, and for a lot less money.
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
Walking alongside, swimming, or floating in water of any kind. The weightlessness that comes with water destresses me like nothing else, and it’s literally a metaphor for letting my worries float away. I love it!
What wellness-related books or authors do you recommend, and why?
One of the most impactful books I have ever read is a book called Positivity by Dr. Barbara Frederickson. Just like the science and business of wellness, there is so much evidence behind applying the many forms of positivity, like hope, gratitude, and love to everyday life. Through this book, I learned we all need to have three positive thoughts for every negative thought in order to flourish in this life, and I now believe that positivity can literally be the difference between people living and dying, succeeding, or failing, and even loving or hating.
How do you celebrate small victories?
Whether you choose to have a special meal or buy a special treat or better yet, make a donation of some kind to someone who needs it most, I believe the important thing is to be ceremonious. Our world moves too fast, and it’s too easy to just move on to the next task on your list without acknowledging the little victories we experience along the way.
What brings you joy?
Cooking and caring for people I love!
Follow Mia on at Twitter @mkyricos, on Facebook @KyricosAndAssociates, and via LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/kyricos/.