This best wellness advice this CEO ever received: Take time off
In our CEO wellness series, we ask executives about their day-to-day habits to gain insight into the tactics they use to minimize stress and maintain their well-being.
Through her journey as a founder, Avanlee Christine brings a unique blend of personal and professional experience providing care to seniors and other individuals in need. She has dedicated her career in healthcare and tech primarily to building solutions that improve the lives of family caregivers and aging seniors. Having presented and attended various conferences in search of a solution that prioritizes this population, Christine experienced firsthand the ways in which tech solutions were falling short of this goal, and designed the Avanlee Care app in an effort to pioneer an all-in-one resource to fill the gap in inadequate remote care, one that supports both the caregiver and care recipient.
Coffee or tea? And what do you put in it?
Coffee! And lots of it now that I’m a new mom.
What is your go-to breakfast?
A Daily Harvest smoothie.
Tell us about your workout routine.
Swimming laps has always been a huge stress reliever for me and gives me a chance to clear my mind. During the pandemic, I swam almost every morning at the YMCA near my apartment in Manhattan. However, I recently gave birth and my pregnancy was incredibly difficult both emotionally and physically. My body really changed and I found my new workout routine was strapping my son in a baby carrier and slowly making my way back to my pre-baby body.
Growing a human is hard and more women need to give themselves grace. My workouts are very different now and I try to incorporate my son into them as much as I can. I’m finally at a point where I can swim laps again and my body is getting stronger day by day.
How many hours do you sleep on a typical night?
Pre-baby I would sleep a solid 8 hours a night. Now, I’m lucky if I get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
How do you de-stress?
I read that the average adult spends as much as 12 hours a day in front of the television and computer screens. How depressing. I’ve learned that the best way to de-stress is to kick the phone, get outside, or pick up a good book.
My go-to authors include C.S. Lewis, David Foster Wallace, Dr. Timothy Keller, and Tolstoy. I’ve spent the last year starting my day off with a devotional by Oswald Chambers titled, “My Utmost For His Highest” and it’s been incredibly grounding.
Skiing is also one of my favorite hobbies and I have found it to be a major way to reduce stress.
According to your phone, what’s your daily average screen time from last week?
I work in tech, so my daily average screen time is high considering we use multiple apps and channels to communicate as a team during the day. After 5 p.m. my phone is far away, and I am away from my screen.
What app do you use the most?
Gmail and as of late, Twitter. Twitter seems to be a very lively space.
When’s the last time you took a day off? What did you do?
A few weeks ago I took the day off and went to one of my favorite ski towns in Montana. I’ve found it’s difficult to take a day off when you are in the early stages of building a business, but more founders need to make it a point to do so. The best piece of advice I was given early on was to be completely engaged in the battle and totally detached from the outcome. Take some time off because the work will always be there but your sanity may not.
What’s one thing your company is doing to prioritize employee wellness?
Our wellness starts with prioritizing family. We also create flexibility in our work for healthy activity and boundaries. We often talk about health, as that is what we are about for caregivers and ourselves.
What’s your favorite treat?
You can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee and a lox bagel from Murray’s Bagels in Manhattan.
What’s your favorite wellness product?
My ski’s and my baby jogger stroller, of course.
Show us a photo of your happy place.
Courtesy of Avanlee Christine