I'm OK so you're OK

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Health and well-being seems to be the predominant requirement in our hectic lives, demanding that we should care for ourselves as deliberately as we care for our households and our careers.

So here I am, wading through the choices of seminars at Advertising Week in New York, deciding to stop and hear from Arianna Huffington and a panel discussing the way brands can change people's lives. Leave it Arianna to sneak in a few of her own beliefs.

Seems we don't get enough sleep (shocker), we are tethered to our cell phones (surprise) and we need more balance in our personal and work lives. Your personal and professional worlds should balance as one for full humanity and if needed, start with "microsteps" to put your well being first.

Taking this point-of-view to heart, I read more online descriptions of her perspective, " . . . gaining money and power has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illness, an erosion in the quality of our relationships and a loss of our connection to what truly matters..."

According to a synopsis of her book, "Thrive," "...our current definition of success is literally killing us..."

I wasn't surprised by her position as I recall she had been working on this rebranding of herself and her mission for a number of years. It's just that what started as a little gnawing idea about health at the back of my brain is now front and center – what do we all want out of success? Of life?

It's like the safety instructions you receive whenever flying in an airplane — if there's a sudden change in altitude oxygen masks will drop down and you should place on your own mask before putting one on a person who needs assistance. The takeaway? If cabin pressure is an analogy for our stress and collective notion of success, we better take better care of ourselves now or else there won't be any chance to share and care for others.

A contributing writer to the Herald since 2012, Lauren Lev is an East Meadow resident and a direct marketing/advertising executive who teaches advertising and marketing communications courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, LIU Post and SUNY Old Westbury.