#SWAAYthenarrative

This Woman Left Corporate Chaos To Launch A Goat Sanctuary

People

A major life and career change is a risk most people never take, but former corporate planner Leanne Lauricella left behind a fast-paced city career, to follow her dream of running a goat sanctuary in New Jersey. Exhausted of life in the fast lane, Leanne grew easily tired of the high-stress environment and unshakeable feeling of meaningless work, and gave it all up to build a small rescue farm, despite having no real farming experience.


“I was feeling so unfulfilled with my career and knew I needed to make a change so I took a leap of faith and quit my job to explore other ideas," says Lauricella. “I started volunteering at a farm animal sanctuary and was instantly hooked. It wasn't long before I took in my first two rescue baby goats with special needs."

Motivated by a strong love for helping animals in need, the sanctuary soon evolved naturally and quickly, as Lauricella now has 40 goats, two pigs, chickens, a mini horse, and a mini donkey to care for. But what's equally impressive is the sanctuary's strong social media presence, as the Goats Of Anarchy Instagram account has become an overnight viral sensation. Lauricella states the account (which even has won a Webby award) acquired over 30K followers in just one day if its creation.

“I was feeling so unfulfilled with my career and knew I needed to make a change so I took a leap of faith and quit my job to explore other ideas" - Lauricella

“On my very first day of unemployment, as I began my search for the next phase of my life, Instagram featured one of my photos on their homepage, and I acquired over 30K followers in one day," says Lauricella. “Since then, the goats have captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people across the world. Our Instagram followers are emotionally invested in the day to day lives of the goats, and many are faithful financial supporters."

Although Goats of Anarchy is currently registered as a 501c3 non profit organization, Lauricella states that relying on public donations to fund the rescue has been quite scary. To help sustain the business, she's launched Go Fund Me initiatives as well as a coming book to stay afloat. She hopes through these ventures, she can successfully continue to grow her second sanctuary location which can hold up to 50 special needs goats.

“I'm so excited about our first book Goats of Anarchy: Goats Just Wanna Have Fun coming out in March of this year from Quarto Publishing," says Lauricella. “This book tells a brief story about each of our goats and how they came to the sanctuary. The rest of the book is filled with adorable and hilarious photos of their day to day mischief and goat antics. We are also launching a children's book series called The Animal Tales. Polly and Her Duck Costume, The Goat with Many Coats, and Piney the Goat Nanny which will all be out in the next year."

But despite the sanctuary's growing popularity, Lauricella is really aiming to change how the world sees goats, especially since she sees them as loveable and entertaining animals.

“I had no idea how many special needs baby goats there actually are," says Lauricella. “Unfortunately, many of these babies are euthanized because of the cost and time associated with their conditions. However, goats are just as loving as dogs. When raised in a loving home, they are affectionate, loyal and very entertaining."

The Quick 10

1. What app do you most use?

Instagram

2. Briefly describe your morning routine.

Right now I have different five alarm clocks. Five baby goats are currently living in my house, and as soon as the sun comes up, they are all crying for their bottle. I feed each one, change their diapers, and put on their temporary prosthetics. Once they are all settled and happy, I head outside to the barn to feed the other goats, pigs, chickens, and our miniature horse and donkey. After feeding all of those guys, I put Angel in her wheelchair cart and put the prosthetics on four of our adult goats. Then I give out lots of hugs and kisses before I go back inside to start the bottle and diaper routine all over again.

3. Name a business mogul you admire.

Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx.

4. What product do you wish you had invented?

Disposable diapers. I would have saved myself a ton of money!

5. What is your spirit animal?

Obviously a goat.

6. What is your life motto?

“If you spend too much time thinking about doing something, you'll never do it. Just listen to your heart and go for it!"

7. Name your favorite work day snack.

Hummus! I can eat it all day, every day!

8. Every entrepreneur must be...to be successful.

“You aren't successful if you aren't happy"

9. What's the most inspiring place you've traveled to?

I have done a bit of traveling, but I have no desire to travel anywhere else. The most inspiring place I've been to is my own back yard, as there is nothing more inspiring than watching special needs baby goats thrive in spite of their disabilities.

10. Desert Island. Three things, go.

Goats, hummus and cruelty free lip gloss!

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.