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For International Women’s Day, we asked Recommend’s editors—Laurel Herman, Paloma Villaverde de Rico, Lydia Gregory, Regina Baraban and Barbara Scofidio—what mental and physical wellness and maintaining balance mean to them. Just like these five dynamic women, each story is quite different than the other.

Laurel Herman, Publisher/Editorial Director,
Worth International Media (Recommend and Prevue)

Experiences feed my soul…and as the founder and leader of Recommend, encouraging travel.

It gives me fuel each day sharing experiences through storytelling and seeing what my next adventure will be for what I consider “the luxury of experiences.” Being able to look forward to meeting people from all corners of the U.S. and countries from all continents of the globe. These life experiences feed my passion for learning.    

Wellness each day for me stems from a positive attitude toward life and living each day happy. I have been given the gift of sleeping well most nights, which gives me the base to enjoy the wonders that surround me each day from my peaceful home and my goal of being the best person I can be—not just as a leader of Recommend and my other media brands, but as a person. Treating people well and being a loving spouse, parent, daughter and friend gives me peace of mind and balance. Add in the pure love that my rescued dog Skyy gives me each and every day, I am truly blessed.  

International Women's Day
Those two lovelies? Paloma’s daughters, Roxy and Francesca, shown here during a trip to San Francisco: “They inspire me every day and help me stay grounded.”

Paloma Villaverde de Rico, Executive Editor, Worth International Media & Editor-in-Chief, Recommend

Sleep. I’m not sure how I do it—I’ve got insanely busy days—but I always try and get my eight hours of beauty rest. I call it “sanity” rest—there’s nothing like replenishing oneself after a busy day. And boy, can I sleep. Even during the worst of times, I can sleep.

What else keeps me sane and well-balanced in this increasingly frantic world? Now that we work from home, I take the time to do an early-morning wellness class—Pilates, kickboxing, boot camp, you name it. That time is mine solely, and just like sleep, that release of endorphins helps me conquer the day. It also helps me smile more and approach each day with a gentler attitude.

Then there’s traveling (which I get to do plenty of, thankfully). There’s nothing quite like sitting on an airplane knowing that when you land, you’ll be in a different destination about to embark on new experiences. Travel inspires us to look beyond our immediate surroundings; it inspires us to think differently. It’s a “journey” to a better us.

International Women's Day
Editor Lydia Gregory takes in the view in Sedona, Ariz.

Lydia Gregory, Managing Editor, Recommend & Contributing Editor, Prevue

What fuels my soul?

Having a daughter has allowed me to focus on what kind of world I want for her. I have tried to teach by example how to uplift, support and motivate others, regardless of gender. She is a young adult now—we have a wonderful new way of relating—and she is by far my biggest accomplishment.

Daily movement—whether on my rower at home with the open ocean on the screen or outdoors—keeps me sane. I’m lucky to live in the desert near the mountains. Hiking alone in this harsh, gorgeous environment at dawn or sunset is my sanctuary, allowing me to gather my thoughts and both center and lose myself in the magnificent landscape.

And, of course, travel. I love to dance the dance, drink the drink and eat the food—it’s the best way to get to know a destination! It doesn’t matter whether it’s a favorite haunt or a new spot; I absolutely love to dive in and experience it all. Exploring new places and making new friends is a joy—and I am blessed that it’s a huge part of my life.


Regina (right) and her friend and traveling companion Riva during a recent trip to Norway.

Regina Baraban, Senior Contributing Editor, Recommend and Prevue

It’s not easy to find a good travel buddy. My husband and singular travel companion lost his battle with cancer 14 years ago. Since then, my women pals have become my best travel buddies. 

My first trip shortly after Joe died was to northern California with my dear friend Joan. After seeing me in baggy shorts, an oversized tee shirt and ancient white socks, Joan insisted on taking me shopping. To this day, I wear the cashmere scarfs and high-quality leggings from that long-ago retail therapy.  

One of the joys of travel is that it effortlessly opens up space for intimacy and communication. My women friends communicate openly, without the pressure of expectations that may come from romantic travel companions. We learn a lot about each other. Riva was engaged to an English Earl, Donna lived in Guatemala to learn Spanish, Sarita was a finalist for the TV show Survivor. I’m grateful to travel with these remarkable women. Our experiences make memories that keep us close and give me the solace of connection.  

The Scofidio crew in Marco Island, Christmas Eve of 2021 (from left): Evan Martinez, Barbara, and her two children, Kieran and Calli.

Barbara Scofidio, Editor, Prevue

So, you might ask, how have I survived more than 30 years in this business?

For one, I believe that attitude is everything and wellness is a reflection of your state of mind. I begin each day, at home and when I travel, with gratitude—a few moments of reflection and appreciation for the many gifts this life has given me. The most precious are my two children and the close friends who have become my family. My father used to say you were lucky if could count your good friends on one hand, I would need many hands.

I try to include a day of rest before or after after each meeting, and to actually stop, breathe and enjoy these wonderful places I get to visit. I end up in Florida often, and get to see my adult daughter who lives there—the biggest bonus of all. And I have started a family tradition where we all travel to a warm climate for Christmas. We basically do nothing but sleep, swim, cook and play Catan.

So simple, it seems, but that’s what replenishes my soul.