How — and Why — the Founder of a Successful Barre Company Practices Self-Care

Jenn Byrne Photography
Jenn Byrne Photography

If anyone can truly be said to have it all together, you'd think it would be the CEO and cofounder of a national barre studio. But as Sadie Lincoln, who cofounded and runs Barre3, will tell you, you'd be pretty off-base.

In a July op-ed for Marie Claire, Sadie revealed that her everyday routine is far from perfect, and that she felt ashamed of it. "Once in a while, I'm a badass before 10 a.m., but that is not my truth every day," she wrote. "In fact, more often than not, I wake up and I'm like, "Damn. I feel old. I drank too much wine last night." She misses workouts, she messes up at work. Yet Sadie tried to cover up the less-than-perfect parts of her life in pursuit of an ideal, role model version of the "female CEO and cofounder."

"We're all born into a conditioned world, especially as women, that certain things make you successful, worthy, seen, believed, sexy, whatever it is," Sadie told POPSUGAR. "There are these conditioned ideals that we all get written on us from the day we're born." Learning to accept the ways we don't and can't measure up to those ideals is a huge part of self-care. "It's a practice to remember that that is all made up, and that our worth has nothing to do with any of that," Sadie explained. "At the end of the day, my worth is looking inside and being honest with myself, and seeing what I need in the moment and recognizing what's going on for me."

Easier said than done. On a day-to-day basis, Sadie said, this can look like the smallest of things: stepping back, taking a walk, getting some air. One practice that Sadie relies on is sighing. "I'm not even kidding!" she said. With one hand on her chest and the other on her belly, she takes three big, audible sighs. "When you feel the vibration in your chest, when you sigh out loud, that's a good sigh." As simple as it sounds, research suggests that sighs serve as psychological reset buttons, relieving tension and stress. "Do it with intention," Sadie suggested. "Like a deep, deep inhale and a big ahh!"

Movement helps too, from walks to Barre3 classes, "even if it's just for 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be a long sesh," Sadie said. She'll also turn to animals, taking her two rescue dogs for a walk or luring office pets to her desk with a bag of treats. ("I'm a total favorite," she said.)

Then, there's talking it out with friends. "Not texting, not email, just picking up the phone. Even better, having a glass of wine in person," Sadie said. "Curled up on the couch in pajamas, without lip gloss, just raw." Finding and confiding in people who support and love you, even when you have a hard time loving yourself, can be a beautiful way to heal.

Asking for the best of yourself, without judging or comparing yourself to ideals, is a journey and an ongoing practice, Sadie told us. Her schedule, just like most of ours, is jam-packed with commitments, from teaching Barre3 classes to leading the company, which is poised to launched a revamped version of their online streaming platform this month. During fast-paced days, tuning into herself is more important than ever. Her most broken moments, Sadie said, were the ones "where I looked like I had my sh*t together on the outside, but on the inside, my inner critic was at an all-time high. I had chronic pain I wasn't talking about, I hadn't slept. Maybe I was lonely." The put-together look on the outside isn't the full story, she said. "I think we all know that. We just have to remember it."