7 Ways Top Wellness Execs Achieve Work-Life Balance
At least, that's the deal according to seven super-successful wellness execs, all of whom have figured out how to "have it all " (in whatever way they personally define the term, that is).
Naturally, the amount of time you devote to work versus home is going to ebb and flow. Sometimes, a major event in one area of your life requires more of you for a stretch. But, these CEOs say, there are some habits you can put in place to ensure your life isn't chronically out of whack. So start stocking up on face masks and bath salts now—you're about to have a little more time to use them.
Here are 7 ways to get ahead at work while still having a life, according to pros
1. Start your day by prioritizing you
When you wake up in the morning, it's tempting to flip open your laptop and fire off a few emails before breakfast. But for Purely Elizabeth co-founder Elizabeth Stein, resisting the lure of the inbox is imperative to setting her day off on the right foot. "I don't get on the computer until after I come home from working out," she says. "[Once I'm sitting down working], it's really hard to pull away." If putting your fitness first feels a little too indulgent, consider this: Exercise is as good for your job as it is for your bod.
2. Schedule in downtime
Sure, your meetings are all in your bullet journal, but ClassPass founder and executive chairperson Payal Kadakia says it's worth putting your "you" time in there, too. "I live by my calendar and make it a point to plan out everything I want to accomplish—including when to relax," she says. "I also usually have a plan B when it comes to working out, in case my day moves around."
3. Be social—but don't invite your phone
You can probably guess Unplug Meditation founder Suze Yalof Schwartz's tip: Yep, she recommends unplugging. "Take time to connect with yourself by meditating [or] hiking with friends," she says. Even if you don't have a trail nearby, the lesson still rings true—devote some time every day to having IRL conversations with your crew.
4. Set clear boundaries
Holistic nutritionist Nikki Ostrower, MS, is used to being pulled in multiple directions—on top of founding NAO Nutrition, she's also a mom. So for her, setting boundaries within her day is key. "I have clear times for everything, from emails and social media to exercise and family time," she says. "Sticking to them helps keep me in balance and helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed." That way she's pretty much guaranteed time for work, her fam, and—oh, yeah—herself.
5. Or do away with boundaries altogether
If you've got a particularly unpredictable schedule, you may find it's less stressful to embrace the messiness life throws at you. Instead of keeping work and home totally separate, SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan welcomes a blurred line. "I believe in leading an integrated life. You don't go to work and then go to life," she says. So what does that look like, exactly? "My two kids spend a lot of time in the studios," explains Whelan. "They know how to clean the floors and hand out water to the riders."
6. Set a digital curfew
You climb into bed with every intention of turning off the lights by 9 p.m...but then you start scrolling through emails and before you know it, it's almost midnight. Sound familiar? Wanderlust cofounder Sean Hoess has a hack for that. "Use the bedtime [reminder alarm] on your iPhone so you actually go to bed at a reasonable hour, and then shut it off entirely so you don't pick it up while in bed," he says. And if you still can't stop thinking about work once the lights go out, Hoess recommends meditating in bed to calm your mind.
7. Seek out work that feels like play
Getting paid to do what you love is the ultimate career goal, and Flywheel CEO Sarah Robb O'Hagan says it's crucial if you're clocking crazy hours. "I work a lot, I'm not going to pretend I don't, but I absolutely love what I do," says the author of Extreme You. "I weave work into my life in a way that doesn't feel like I'm out of balance." Of course, not everyone is so lucky to be head-over-heels for their day job—but at least it gives you something to aim for on your next vision board.
Originally published on June 5, 2017; updated July 22, 2018.
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