Being busy often means putting yourself lower on the priority list—so staying healthy, energized, and (relatively) de-stressed becomes that much more challenging. SELF talked to some of the most successful—and busiest—women about how they find time to take care of their health.
They all have tough schedules that include running companies, producing films, and shaping government policy. These women are so at the top of their game that they’re also giving presentations at the upcoming Summit at Sea—an invitation-only conference of world leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs for a three-day cruise this month. Here’s how some big-time women with equally big-time responsibilities find the time to put self-care at the top of the priority list.
1. Become a morning workout person.
“This is never easy and there have been many periods of my life where it wasn’t a priority. Raising kids while working full time made it a challenge. I finally trained myself to go to bed a bit earlier so I could have an hour or so in the morning for myself. I now spend that hour at a 6 A.M. outdoor boot camp in the neighborhood—which not only gets my blood pumping early, it allows me to have a quick catch up with my friends—something I often use to miss with my busy schedule. I save the hot yoga for weekends, when I have a little more time and can include a coffee chat afterward with friends who may have missed class during the week!”
2. Find your Zen with yoga.
“As I travel a lot, I am constantly juggling between being a founder, model, producer, as a speaker, pitching, creating, etc. Yoga is one of the ways where I find solace. It is a practice that I can do anywhere, anytime. It is my moment to nourish my thoughts, remind myself of the power of love and the gift in challenging my fear.
As a person who’s advocating to change the system especially for trans people, it takes a toll on you. There are days of full doubt and it’s a toggle between success and struggle. I remind myself that I’m a spiritual warrior, and I am at this moment where I’m supposed to be. It’s ok.”
—Geena Rocero, Trans Advocate & Founder, Gender Proud
Breaking It Down: The Many Dimensions of Identity, Trans Justice, and Gender Fluidity
3. Put yourself on your schedule.
“I travel over 20 weeks out of the year, but no matter where I am, the beginning and end of each day are non-negotiable. My first cup of tea is a morning ritual and gives me great pleasure. I sit with it and outline my day on a notepad. The act of sitting and making a plan structures the rest of my day.
At the end of each day I take a hot bath (having a bathtub in my hotel rooms takes precedence over all else!) and dance or move my body last thing before I go to bed. My skin care routine, sitting down without my phone for meals and tea breaks and doing some form of workout/movement are part of what keeps me connected to myself.
When I am home I visit my animals often throughout the day. I live on a small farm, with a horse, donkeys, pigs, goats, and dogs. Connecting with them in between calls, getting up from my computer and taking a walk over to the pasture, or cuddling my dogs reminds me of why I am doing those things and keeps my body open and relaxed.”
—Michaela Boehm, Intimacy & Spirituality Expert
Michaela is presenting on Radical Intimacy, Deep Attraction: Making Relationships Last and Keeping the Sex Hot at the Summit at Sea.
4. Fit your workout in at home.
“My day job is literally health and wellness, so I have to walk the walk. One of my top tips for busy women is to find workouts you can do at home and don’t depend on getting to class. I have yoga routines and videos I love, and a set of weights and kettlebells at home, so even if life gets crazy I can still get a quick workout in. If I depend on getting to a class, too often it won’t happen!
Also I have protein for breakfast every morning—usually in the form of my Parsley protein shakes—because it boosts your metabolism and keeps you full even when lunch gets pushed late. I can’t focus if I’m hungry so I also keep raw almonds and walnuts in my desk drawer as a snack.”
—Robin Berzin MD, Founder, Parsley Health
Robin is presenting on A Functional Medicine Reboot of the Nation’s (and Your Own) Healthcare at the Summit at Sea.
5. Get 8 hours of sleep—no matter what.
“I don’t. But in my 38th year I’m determined to work on it. So I’ve started exercising more (including cursing a lot while exercising, which I think is a form of cardio). I’ve started biking and also trying to get out of New York City, where I live, to do more hiking and stuff like that. And eat healthy and all those things I’ve been putting off. But the one self-care piece I’m persistent about is sleep. I love a good eight hours a night and I’m a better human being in every sense when I get it. And most nights, thankfully, I do.”
—Sally Kohn, Columnist, CNN Political Commentator
Sally Kohn is presenting on What Lives Matter? A Conversation on Humanity and Policing in Communities at the Summit at Sea.
6. Unplug every once in a while.
“We’re all so overloaded and hyper plugged in that self-care is often what we don’t do. I’ve been good about keeping a New Year resolution to be awake a full hour before checking my phone or email. I make myself tea and say hi to my day before rushing to catch up with emails. I also unplug from social media for mental health breaks, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for several months.”
—Dream Hampton, Writer, Film Maker, Cultural Producer
Dream is presenting on America’s Prison Problem: Culture-Shifting an End to Mass Incarceration at the Summit At Sea.
7. Multitask by working out with friends.
“It is really challenging when you are a working mom to make self-care a priority. Hikes with friends are great for both catching up and getting in fitness time, getting up early before my family is up to meditate is also one of my tips. The most important thing is to remind myself to prioritize self-care, because the old adage is true, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else!”
—Stacey Sher, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained Gattaca
Stacey’s Summit at Sea presentation topic hasn’t been announced yet.