My employees applaud and encourage each other when they Slack that they’re taking a pause from work for mental health time. As CEO, nothing could make me prouder. It means I’m leading by example.
The culture of wellness and self-care that we had baked in before COVID-19 is carrying us through the worst of the pandemic’s effects. The example above is real. When my team takes time to share they are taking a walk, meditating, or even—gasp—snoozing, they are met with encouragement. It’s universally acknowledged that these things are healthy and that the boss is wholly supportive.
But this level of support for one another’s mental health didn’t appear out of thin air. Admittedly, it started because I needed a place to take a nap after becoming a first-time father. The power I found in short, restorative 20-minute naps led to my enthusiastic support of the construction of a “nap room” at my company. It was a belief our founder shared with me and an amenity I encouraged teammates to use for their own wellness routines. In time, the room evolved with the addition of a Peloton, comfortable cushions, and a collection of crowd-sourced wellness books and devices that grew with time.