#SWAAYthenarrative

How Investing In My Personal Well-being Helped Me Reach Corporate Success

2min read
Career

Wellness is such a buzz word these days. Taking care of yourself needs to be a top priority. I know that you may feel stressed and overwhelmed with work, family, friends, or other commitments, but at the end of the day, your health should be your most prized commodity.


My theory is that an individual's personal wellness must be a top priority in order to achieve one's major corporate goals. Not only do I teach this method, but I live it too. Every. Single. Day.

I make a conscious effort to prioritize my health and well-being in my daily life. As a competitive athlete and avid runner dedicated to a strict fitness and nutrition regimen, I participate in ongoing marathons and IRONMAN 70.3 competitions across the globe. And of course, when I am not competing, I spend my time training and fueling myself for the next race. Following this routine has strengthened and nourished my body and mind in numerous ways and I reap the benefits of it every day. Over the next few months, I will embark on several major races. In September, I will be running a Marathon in Capetown, South Africa. Then in October, I am going back for my second year running 55 Miles through the Serengeti in Africa. This time I will bring along a mentee, friend, and Olympian, Veronica Day. Last year when I did this run, it was one of the most incredible and life changing experiences that I have ever had. Speaking with the young girls there was eye opening and I learned just as much from them as I hope they did from me. Embracing the open terrain and being with my thoughts as I ran was incredible. The self reflection and how I was able to push my body to the edge with such a strenuous run is something that I had trained for so year after year.

To keep the momentum going, in November I will be running in the TCS New York City Marathon. And then in December, I will be completing an IRONMAN 70.3 in Cartagena, Colombia. I did not always compete in these types of races, however, I worked up to it through rigorous training sessions. I was sure to put my health and wellness as a major priority. I needed to. With all of the travel and stress of managing a global team, wellness needed to take precedence. The emails can wait, your health cannot. Something very serious to consider.

Being conscious of my health not only benefits my body and mind, but my corporate life as well. I have completed many races this year – all of which helped me stay focused in my personal life and in the office. Following a schedule and setting goals when training and competing fosters an organized and centered mind when I am at work. I can focus on what I want to execute and achieve. The cadence of training is very similar to the way that I operate in the corporate landscape.

Similarly, I attribute many of my most prized leadership qualities, including motivation, perseverance and a stellar ability to navigate the daily struggle of balance, to an active and healthy lifestyle that is the impetus for day-to-day accomplishments. I first learned how to motivate myself to prioritize my well-being and how to persevere when training becomes a challenge. I worked to find a balance that fit my lifestyle. Then I was able to transfer those skills that I learned to helping others. After all, if you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot take care of your team.

These are just a few of the reasons why I choose to make my health and well-being a top priority. Now the question is how do I balance this choice alongside corporate ambition? How do I find the time and motivation? One way that I am able to do both is that I actually do much of my business strategizing while working out. I am able to let my mind think about business while my body focuses on my wellness. It also helps that training gives me a sense of fulfillment. I want to exercise because I like the way I feel afterwards and I am happy with what I accomplished. This translates to the business side of things as well, the sense of completion.

Schedule your fitness into your calendar. If it's on the calendar it is real.

Set goals. Reward yourself when you make progress, whether it's with a new outfit, new running shoes, or a pedicure that you have been dying to have. Treat yourself.

Make time to move. Choose a fitness goal and obtain it. Whether it be running a 5K or a marathon. Every time you train you will become stronger.

3 min read
Health

4 Tips to Not Lose Friendships Over Your Mental Health

Life can be messy, and you might be wondering if you should involve your friends with your mental health ups-and-downs. You might be afraid because your friends are undereducated and misinformed about people living with mental health issues. They might be in the dark.

You've heard them whisper, "She's off her meds." As if a pill will solve everything when it is more complicated than that to be truly healthy. Your friends might have said that if you took better care of yourself, you wouldn't have problems. They might have insinuated that your issues are a wet blanket.

It's time to address your mental health without losing friendships.

Mental health is a chronic condition not unlike diabetes or hundreds of other medical conditions. You can ask for support beyond your medication and attending regular therapy appointments.

We are all in need of a friend's help from time to time. Here are four tips when you're feeling low, out of sorts, or on the edge:

1. Be Selective

You're looking for your friends' support and you're looking to be understood. You're not looking for hundreds of people to validate your latest post, you are looking for one brave friend who can be steady for you during a storm. Be aware that people might not see your mental health challenges through the same lens as you do. They haven't lived it.

The friend who you turn to for support might not be your best friend, instead they might be the best person during difficult times. Like a friend of mine called the 'fixer', he had been groomed to be the number-one emergency contact since he was a kid. He was a better guy, a more likable guy during tragedies.

All of your friends might show up when you call them on the first day of a crisis, but there's a chance they might have left the building before all the dust settles. An emotional crisis can last months not just a few hours and very few friends are built to stand-by you for a long time. Involving the right person is key.

2. Be a Planner

Once you've selected the most compassionate, dependable friend to be your contact and possibly help you out during an emergency, you'll want to plan.

Tell them about your medical history and how you manage your condition currently. Share the name and phone number of your health care professional that you see for therapy and medication and give an accurate list of any medicines that you take.

Listen to their concerns and answers their questions. Holding back information can affect whether your friend can truly help you and whether or not they feel a part of your team.

3. Be Committed

Telling a friend about your challenges does not mean that you've hired a personal garbage collector — person to pick-up and take out your trash. Instead, once you've involved a friend in your quest for stability, you will be held accountable to follow the plan that your health care provider and your friends and family outlined.

You should be honest when you fall short of following the plan whether it be not taking your medication or not seeing your therapist or avoiding stress.

4. Be Charlie Brown

Acknowledge that you, too, will be there for your friend.

Thank your friend in writing and out loud after they have helped you get your life back on track. Promise them that you will be there when they need you. You have the unique experience of understanding how people need help from friends and you will be the best helper to your friend.

The friend who helped you through this storm will likely face some kind of challenges in the coming days. Demonstrating that you will be there for your friend is the best way to ensure that they will show up for you.

If you are feeling alone and thinking about harming yourself, please call this hotline: 1-800-950-NAMI or visit NAMI's website.

You are not alone.