1. Take time for yourself. Whether it’s a walk alone, an hour of yoga, a haircut, you will get recharged and, in turn, your family will benefit. Julianne Moore (yes, that Julianne Moore) said this morning that “we all feel so guilty to do anything for ourselves… but that’s good for our families because they need us in one piece mentally and physically.” Another way of looking at it? Invest in yourself. That’s how Lucy Danzinger, former Self editor, put it. What she means, she explained, is feed yourself good food, take time to go to the gym. “That’s not selfish, that’s self-preservation.”
2. Your work isn’t everything. Yeah, easy for these people to say. Did you see who was speaking? But when I mentioned Danzinger is the “former” Self editor, that’s because she was fired shortly before this conference. (“One thing that happens at a place like Conde Nast, you always assume you’re going to be fired,” she mused.) Says Brzezinski of the time she was fired from CBS: “When I walked out of CBS, a place I loved… it was my life and my life had just been taken away. The first thing I said to myself was ‘Damn, I’m so glad I didn’t forget to get married and have kids.’” All of that is a bit easier to say when you have gobs of money, a ton of connections and can easily reinvent yourself, but it’s a sentiment we all need to remember.
3. Free will, baby. We don’t have to live a certain way if it doesn’t agree with us. We can change bad habits (don’t plug your phone in next to bed at night, schedule sleep and pay attention to the time as you would a meeting). We can stop and try again. Writer Dani Shapiro said last night that she often told her son if he was having a bad day “You can start your day over right now.” You can always start over, even if it’s in a very small way.
4. Did I mention sleep? That has been a big one at this conference and in Huffington’s book “Thrive.” Scientific evidence shows how much damage we do when we don’t sleep. We all know that, but who really gets to bed at the right time and feels rested in the morning? Try harder, kids. Again, it will benefit everyone.
5. Lean on friends. Ali Wentworth talked about how her group of women is her safe haven. Huffington told everyone to find a “Thrive” buddy so they can help each other do a few of these things. We don’t need Wentworth or Huffington to tell us how important friends are. Our good pals let us blow off steam, share joys and miseries, they make us laugh, support us when we need it. I could go on for hours about the benefits of friends. Don’t forget about friends, find time to talk and connect. Everyone wins.