Between bushfires, a pandemic, and a historic US election, this year has been tough. But by the same token, there’s never been greater focus on keeping our mental wellbeing in check, and ensuring we are practicing good self-care.
But what is self-care? Is it a midweek bubble bath? A good book? A stroll outdoors?
How you choose to de-stress is completely up to you, but if you’re looking for a little inspiration, Yahoo Finance asked some chief executives for their best tips.
Paul Scurrah, former Virgin CEO
Stress is a natural reaction. You just don't want to have it for a prolonged period of time.
For me, we know about clearing your mind to focus. But a lot of stress comes with the heavy weight of having to advise people they're losing their jobs, stress comes with the inevitable mental health challenges that come with a crisis.
So it’s just working through that and making sure that I deal with it. There are things that I still don't get enough time to do, but I do as much as I can like meditation. I find that it's very very good for stress.
I actually recently purchased the Muse headband, the one that...actually reads your brainwaves and can tell you how deep into meditation you've gone. It's got a soundtrack that helps you get there and it's, you'll find that very effective.
I find running on a treadmill allows you to get into a bit of a zone, more so than running out in the streets, so I just put on some music.
Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global CEO
You don’t have to change your whole life. You don’t have to give up your job and move to a Caribbean Island.
All you need to do is to introduce small tiny steps everyday, which becomes like a new, thriving, healthy muscle. The first one is how do you start your day. 72 per cent of us start the day by going to our phone even before we are fully conscious.
You don’t know what’s waiting for you on the phone. So we recommend as a micro step to take 60 second before you go to your phone to remember three things you are grateful for, or to take some deep inhales and exhales, or to set your intention for the day – what do you want to achieve [on] this day?
The reason for that is you have then protected yourself before you get to whatever stressful messages and challenges are waiting for you.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Australia CEO
I've got two small children and so for me, the ability to separate our family time, that kind of helps ground me in life and in general.
Jogging is also helpful for me, and I'm very fortunate to have a whole lot of amazing trails around here that always remind me of the country. That just allows me to practice my thoughts and really come back refreshed and with some good structure of things that I want to do.
[Self care] is critically important to practice, because when you’re working in a global company where time zones start to merge, you need to be able to take care of yourself in order to then look after a team.
Fred Schebesta, Finder.com.au CEO
My secret to self care when I'm stressed out is three steps: first, go for a run. Then have a relaxing shower and then eat a chicken burger with extra chilli and a bubble tea.
Why does this work?
Because you get endorphins from exercise and then dopamine from comfort food. I do this 2-3 times a week and it works every time.
You don't have to run. You don't have to eat a chicken burger. It's about doing an exercise that you enjoy and getting your heart rate up to release those endorphins. And eating your favourite comfort food to get that dopamine hit.
Alan Manly, Group Colleges Australia CEO
Recently I was welcomed to the three score years and ten club. Seventy years old. Emotionally I can’t believe it. Rationally I know that there are some very obvious reasons why I survived.
Looking back I was a novelty amongst my peers in my late 1970s. I didn’t smoke anything and I was terrible at and disinterested in sport. Despite being an entrepreneur, personal health wise I am risk-averse.
I eat what I like and I don’t like junk food. I drink what I like and consider the long term effects such as the next day. There’s no great plan of good health and a good life for me. I just did what I liked and didn’t do what I didn’t like.
Pamela Jabbour, Total Image Group CEO
Like most other CEO’s my days are jam packed with meetings, functions and reporting and as a working mum evenings are a combination of bath, bed, dinner and inbox catch up and so it often feels like I rarely have a moment to myself.
My morning routine is critical to getting me prepped for the crazy insane long days and I always try and wake up before the rest of the house and take a ‘morning moment’, which often involves sipping a warm cup of water with lemon and a ten minute daily meditation.
If I can have 20 minutes of calm each morning it gives me the clarity, patience, and energy to take on the intense day ahead.
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