CEO Mental Health: How to Address Mental Health and Wellness in a High-Pressure Job
Most CEOs earn their position after years of hard work, focus, and dedication. However, mental health may be a topic of concern for many C-level executives, including CEOs, since reaching that level of success may have come at a price – including feelings of anxiety, stress, working long hours, and sleep deprivation.
In this article, we provide five tips that CEOs and other C-level executives may use to take care of their mental and emotional health.
5 Tips to Help Address CEO Mental Health, Self-Care, and Wellness
Self-awareness is a fundamental step towards personal growth, particularly for people with highly stressful careers. Identifying stressors and mental health concerns may help us address roadblocks that may hinder our path to happiness and personal growth.
1. Practice Meditation or Mindfulness
As a CEO, leader, and role model, you rely heavily on critical thinking, problem-solving, and cognitive skills to perform your job responsibilities. To remain at the top of your executive game, you may want to practice meditation, which can improve psychological health, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity.
Mindfulness helps us stay centered in the present moment, which may help reduce and manage feelings of anxiety or stress. It may help you improve your focus and decision-making.
After a few weeks of practice, you may experience improved emotional intelligence, greater focus, and stronger cognitive skills. With time, you might also find it easier to proactively address the common roadblocks you experience during your day-to-day work life as a busy executive.
2. Live an Active and Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re like most CEOs, you already have a jam-packed schedule that includes personal, professional, and familial obligations. While nobody likes getting up early to go for a run or to the gym, starting your day with exercise can possibly improve your mental health and mood. If your health allows, you may choose a high-impact workout but something as simple as a moderately paced walk may also reduce your risk of depression or anxiety. You can also step out of your comfort zone and try something new, like hiking, swimming, biking, rollerblading, or any other fitness activity that looks enjoyable.
Living a healthy, active lifestyle might also provide cognitive benefits. Numerous studies show the positive effects of exercise on mental health. Research also shows that exercise can improve self-esteem, cognitive function, and social anxiety. Some people also experience better sleep, more interest in sex, increased energy, and less fatigue.
Regardless of your career field, as a CEO, you must be on point and ready to tackle problems at a moment’s notice. Improving your physical health may help improve your mood, increasing clarity and awareness.
3. Make Time for Friends, Family, and Loved Ones
The pandemic caused people to limit the time spent with friends, family members, and loved ones. Now that restrictions are lifting, resuming connections and spending time with your circle of friends may be beneficial.
Shutting out social connections may cause feelings of isolation. If you find you’re too short on time to get together in person, you may consider a call, facetime, Zoom or even reaching out to your loved ones via text to help maintain those important mental and emotional connections.
4. Work with a Psychologist
Life can be challenging sometimes – for example, we may experience difficult events such as the death of a loved one. Difficult life events may lead to mental health concerns such as difficulties concentrating, problems sleeping, low mood, irritability, etc. However, a CEO or other C-level executives do not have to face those challenges alone. Seeking the help of a therapist that you feel comfortable with can help you navigate major life events or difficult moments.
Remember: Working with a therapist is time spent purely to benefit your mental health and wellness. Try to set up a regular appointment schedule and stick with it.
5. Join a Peer Group for CEOs
The challenges CEOs and Other C-level executives face are unique. It may be helpful to speak with like-minded individuals who share the same stressors, hardships, and experiences. You may want to consider joining a support group or peer group for CEOs or speaking with an executive coach.
Peer groups may help you gain critical insights and hear from people who understand where you’re coming from. If you prefer 1:1, an executive coach may help you maximize your potential and foster success in your personal and professional life.
Final Thoughts on CEO Mental Health and Wellness
Dr. Carolina Raeburn of Raeburn Psychology is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist practicing in Miami, Florida. Her client-centric practice focuses on confidentiality, integrity, and honesty as the foundation of a therapeutic relationship.
Contact Raeburn Psychology today at (786) 788-8506 to schedule your first session.
*All the information published in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Any information provided here is offered in generic form. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.