Stress is present on all levels of a career, but executive stress is a whole other beast.
Ever hear managers say, “I wish I had time to do work.” This is because much of the day to day for management is exercising soft skills to deal with issues. If there are no issues, work then gets delegated off to an employee. Executives spend their lives knee-deep in resolving issues and keeping the business running.
No one is a superwoman, she is fictional. Stress takes its toll on anybody. It is important to manage that stress with healthy outlets.
I played rugby in college and moved into CrossFit as I got older. I like high-intensity sports that involve physical contact. When I was younger, I used to hear older executives give speeches on yoga and meditation and I thought – this is LA, what a bunch of hippie shit! Then I became an executive and I became enlightened myself.
I was introduced to yoga during my tenure at an advertising agency. Advertising agencies have long hours and can be more stressful than the average job. My company started offering yoga upstairs at 6 pm. At the time I was putting in long hours and stopped going to a gym because I did not have any energy once I left that building. Since yoga was just upstairs and I could return to my desk afterward to keep working, I gave it a shot.
It. Was. Magical. I had stress and tension built up from the day and when we started class, we shed all of the day’s stress with breathing techniques. Then we moved into physical exertion which to my surprise was actually difficult and had me sweating! Who knew yoga could be so cool?
Once I realized I could look like a b-boy with arm balances, I was hooked. We ended the class with corpse pose and the teacher rubbed essential oils on our temples. How lovely it felt, I forgot I was even at work! Once I opened my eyes, I was calm, destressed, and full of endorphins. I could approach my work with a sense of inner peace, and I felt healthier.
Yoga became my outlet as an executive. It kept me centered and grounded. To feel free from the stress of the workday for the 1-2 hours was amazing and I cannot recommend it enough. Whether it’s yoga or meditation during the day, every little bit helps and it’s important to focus on your mental health for the longevity of your career. Namaste.