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The last two years have been chaotic, to say the least. The one silver lining, however, has been the opportunity for personal growth through all the trying times.

If you’re still feeling bogged down by it all (understandably), it’s always good to search for a bit of inspo on how to overcome a rut — which is why we spoke to Aussie legend Lara Worthington‚ who’s conquered the modelling, beauty, hospitality and lifestyle space for nearly two decades.

Given how unpredictable and tough those industries can be (even before COVID times) and her experience in the public eye for so long, Lara knows a thing or two about how to deal with uncertainty.

Here’s what she had to say when we had a yarn about taking care of your mental health, staying in control and overcoming challenges for the better.

What are three things you do every day to take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing?

I value and even crave steadiness and stability. I plan and have things in place to keep to a schedule, and I thrive on the security that brings. It grounds me and gives me a sense of comfort, and I think that’s informed who I am in so many aspects of my life. It’s also something I try and pass on to my children.

There have been heaps of changes over the last two years. What’ve some of the main things you’ve learnt from them?

I have a new take on what I really value. Time spent on devices and things like material possessions has been deprioritised. Our physical and mental health matter above all else – far more than scrolling online or buying nice things! Increasingly I found myself getting off my phone and out of my bubble to be fully present with those around me.

What does being ‘in control’ mean to you?

I always try my best to remain calm. I don’t like it when my emotions get the better of me, and I really like coming from a place where I can keep my emotions in check, no matter what.

What’ve been some of the biggest curveballs you’ve experienced in your career? What did the outcome of these events teach you?

Throughout my career, whenever I am deciding on the next job or project, it’s with a positive and enthusiastic outlook. Hindsight teaches us lessons, and sometimes I become less sure of the choices made, but I will always learn from those moments and move forward.

How have you learnt to try and stay in control in all aspects of life in the face of change?

It’s a very simple method that is not new to any of us, but it works well for me, and as a gentle yet permanent reminder, I had ‘breathe’ tattooed on the inside of my left forefinger when I was 21.

How do you prioritise self-care while juggling many projects and running multiple business ventures all at once?

For me, good quality sleep makes a big difference to how I feel mentally and physically, so it’s essential to get the amount that your body needs. That’s why my friends know to take me to dinner early! I also enjoy working out, so I schedule time each day to make it happen. I love to walk everywhere, and I mix up my training to keep things interesting. Pilates is one of my favourites, and I recently began studying to further my knowledge.

To combat aching muscles, I love to wear mild compression. It doesn’t feel restrictive and offers the perfect amount of support.

What’ve been the biggest challenges you’ve faced over your career, and what have you taken from them?

I admire so many people and am always open to their advice and guidance, but I have learnt over time the most important thing for me (career and personal) is to be surrounded by people I trust, and who are truthful and honest with me.  That’s been one of the hardest things to find within all the noise, especially when I was young.  My circle of people now is extremely small, and very valuable to me.

What are you looking forward to most in 2022? Any projects in particular?

With travel becoming more manageable I am looking forward to visiting other friends and family across the world. Throughout 2021 I began quite a few projects, most of which will be launching this year, and I hope to continue collaborating. 2XU’s It’s Your Move campaign is a favourite — representing such a great brand within the fitness space is a pleasure, and I am excited to see it come to life.

Image: Instagram / @laraworthington