Optimal Living with Kelsey Matheson

We’d like to introduce you to our friend and major #girlboss Kelsey Matheson. She is the Co-Founder and Owner of Anamaya Resort in Costa Rica, and she also runs the Optimal Health & Conscious Living Academy, an online coaching series for women to help them find balance and feel vibrant. We spoke to her about what conscious living is, her course, and beauty.

Hi Kelsey, you’re a conscious living coach. Can you explain to our readers what that means to you and how it came to be?
Conscious living is living your life with more awareness. It’s about becoming more self-aware and deliberate, and no longer blaming past events, or other people for your life circumstances. It’s about learning to take responsibility for yourself and for your experiences.

In my family, there is a history of addiction, depression and suicide. I’ve seen what happens when people blame the rest of the world for their problems, and I’ve seen how difficult it can be for people to take responsibly of their own lives. I’ve seen family members paralyzed by the stories they tell themselves.

A few years ago, I found myself in a dark depression, which resulted in becoming disconnected from my husband, my daughter, and all of my friends. I knew if I stayed in that place the path it would lead me down would be a scary one, so I had to do something. I had to start taking some baby steps to get myself out of that very negative mental and physical state. That was the catalyst to starting a four-year journey of studying women’s health and what it really means to live consciously, parent consciously, partner consciously, etcetera. It’s an ongoing journey, but now I have the privilege of coaching other women to take charge of their health and vitality, and to live consciously and courageously.

You run The Optimal Health & Conscious Living Academy, can you tell us what it’s all about?
The Optimal Health & Conscious Living Academy is an 8-week online course that I’ve created with the help of many of the same highly respected health and wellness professionals who collectively helped me during my own personal journey back to balance. The women who enroll in the Academy are given strategies through a catalogue of instructional videos, live Q&A’s, interviews, group coaching sessions, and exercises that are practical and easy to implement so they can live their best lives.

Every week, new video content is available to access simply by logging into the course platform, so women all around the world have access to this program. We cover hormonal imbalance, food sensitivities, stress management, fitness, meditation, sleep deprivation, sex drive, body image – and so much more. By signing up to the course you also gain access to a private Facebook group dedicated to the women going through the program.

What type of person would benefit the most from signing up for your course?
The Optimal Health & Conscious Living Academy is geared towards women aged 35 – 50 who are burning the candle at both ends, and feel as if the rug has been ripped out from underneath them in terms of their overall health and well-being. Here are the common issues my clients experience:

  • Constantly exhausted and stressed out
  • Packing extra weight they just can’t lose
  • Lost in brain fog with poor focus and concentration
  • Dealing with a loss of sex drive
  • Experiencing headaches, skin irritations, and/or IBS
  • Struggling with sleep

It’s important to note that the 8-week course covers a ton of information and my team and I do everything we can to motivate my students, but I always encourage everyone to go at their own pace.

What is your personal philosophy on living well?
My personal philosophy on living well is infusing my days with joy, gratitude and adventure, while serving and investing in others. My personal wellness rituals focus on:  

  • My physical and emotional health
  • Nurturing the relationships with my family and friends
  • Continuing to educate myself
  • Dedicating time to spirituality and connecting to my inner self
  • Adding value to the lives of others
  • Having fun and being grateful everyday!

The French existential philosopher Albert Camus said, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.” That’s what conscious living allows you to do.


What’s your favourite way to unwind?
I just recently moved from Toronto to Brooklyn, New York and we live near a beautiful park. Currently my favourite way to unwind is to go for a run in the park, or if I’m on a conference call then sometimes I’ll put my headset on and go for a walk in the gardens while I’m on my call. Getting out into nature has amazing health and wellness benefits.

I also own a home in Costa Rica, and spending time there fills me up with so much joy. My body and mind have no choice but to unwind and recover from my busy, hectic life.


Do you have any favourite beauty products? 
Yes! I absolutely love Tammy Fender products. I think organic and holistic skin care is very important as almost everything we put on our skin ends up in our blood stream. I can’t live without her Quintessential Serum. It hydrates my sensitive skin leaving it glowing and feeling nourished. I also love the Epi-Peel. It’s called a facial-in-a-jar, and it’s exactly that! My skin feels so smooth and beautiful after I use it. It’s a must have.


As we come out of the colder temperatures and jump right into the warmer months and start to spend more time with friends and family, what’s your best advice for staying healthy during the busy summer season?
I hibernate in the winter. I’m not a fan of the cold so I’m very happy to lock myself away in my house and home office for the bleak, cold months of winter. Not only are we entering the warmer months now, but I’m emerging from my hibernation in a whole new city. My goal for this summer is to be more social and nurture new friendships, and also to get out more and explore our new ‘hood. However, those plans may revolve around drinking and eating in more indulgent ways, and activities spent outdoors. Here are my tips for staying healthy during the summer:

  • Drink lots of water EVERY DAY – not only the days you’re outdoors. This will help you stay hydrated, but it will also help you to rid yourself of the additional toxins from the BBQ you attended and additional cocktails you had during your girls night out.
  • Make sure to have a small bottle of sunscreen in your bag at all times. It will save you from getting a sunburn and will help to prevent your skin from aging. If you always have sunscreen with you, you can reapply whenever you need and not have to worry about sitting on the patio with your friends for a little longer.
  • Dig into your garden. A number of studies are coming out saying that spending time digging in the dirt is extremely beneficial for our health. It can boost the immune system, improve mood, decrease stress levels, burn calories and more! For those of us who live in colder climates, we need to take advantage of having the opportunity to garden during the spring and summer months. Just remember your sun hat and sunscreen!

    Thanks Kelsey!

    Check out The Optimal Health & Conscious Living Academy –  sessions starting this month!

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