From mushrooms and sex to dental hygiene and meditation, the girls behind That’s So Retrograde have it covered. With their podcast intent on melding together health and fun, Steph Simbari and Elizabeth Kott will have you somewhere in between rolling on the floor laughing and making a super food salad. They sat down with The Lala to talk about all things journaling, the insane pressure on college students, and healthy rituals.
What gave you the push to take the leap and start a podcast?
SS: We were two friends trying to get information, and we couldn’t find it in a way that was cool & fun- so we decided to start having these conversations… and recording them!
Who would be the dream TSR podcast guests?
SS: Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, and Oprah
EK: Ru Paul!
TSR is all about staying in tune with yourself- how do you stay connected to yourselves?
EK: One thing that I’ve found is the less rigid, the better. I’ll check in with myself, take a minute to breathe, and ask myself how I’m feeling. It’s so simple and it’s the opposite of ritual, which can be a little daunting. The smallest moments where I can just ask myself- ‘how do I feel?’ I’ll sometimes go back and think about my day so far and then say to myself- here I am now. It’s almost a mental exercise, and a grounding one as well. We also get to try so many things in the name of consciousness and mindfulness, so it’s always evolving.
SS: I’m big into journaling, and I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now. I also like meditating.
What inspires you?
EK: I am constantly inspired by people who are weaving their own paths, whatever industry or life picture: People who have gone against the grain and have created something that is different and that has shaped our world.
SS: My friends inspire me, and so do things in nature. Things that make me laugh.
What’s your personal definition of wellness?
EK: Wellness is a very personal feeling, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. We heard a quote that said, “you can’t have wellness without the we- switch out the we for I and it becomes illness.” The collective feel is a major part of that balance.
SS: I just want to feel balanced; to know that I’m taking care of my body and my mind, but also living my life and having a good time, and not being too rigid. Allowing myself to exist and be in my experience in a very enjoyable way.
What’s your wellness tip for someone just graduating college and starting on their own?
SS: Don’t put pressure on yourself to feel like you need to have it all figured out right now. Listen to your body and stay present with what your body needs; that’s more important than what your mind thinks that you should be doing.
EK: I often think of my college self and think, damn, I wasn’t taking care of myself, wasn’t conscious. I exercised but I didn’t treat my body as a temple. As we get older, we realize that we need to work with our body so that it can work with us. And I often think, if I would have given myself an opportunity to have quiet/reflective time, drinking more moderately, hydrating before coffee in the morning, it would have been better- those little things we know now that help to keep us going.
SS: It feels like society is putting pressure on you to figure it all out, but nobody expects that of a college graduate. It’s this weird Catch-22 where everyone asks you what you want to do, with this insane pressure But, nobody REALLY expects that from you. So explore all of your curiosities, you’re still so young. I know people who have hit their 30’s and they wake up at 32 and want to do something totally different- you can avoid that if you don’t feel like you need to know what you’re doing right now.
If you could go back and tell your college self something, what would you say?
EK: Stick with your passions. I don’t know what happened to me in college, but I felt like I needed to be on a more practical path, and it moved me away from the arts and what I was passionate about. In my later 20’s and being 31 now, I’ve come back to those things in a really beautiful way. All of those extracurriculars that I used to do when I was younger are what I spend so much of my time doing now. Part of the journey was moving away from that, but I would tell my younger self- stick with the things you love, you can monetize those and make those a career if that’s what in your heart.
SS: I would tell my younger self- don’t major in theatre! Major in creative writing or something. I felt like I needed to major in the exact thing that I wanted to do, which was cool. Great. But I was so resistant of being in college, because I wanted to live in the world, that I didn’t take advantage of all of the things I could learn there. If I could go back now, I could allow myself to be open to learning without the pressure (grades). I didn’t enjoy learning as much because I felt like I had to have a certain level of accomplishment, and then I took way to much Adderall and drank too much alcohol because I couldn’t keep up with the pressure. I would tell myself that it’s just not that big of a deal. I wouldn’t have put so much weight on it. I wasn’t present.