This article is part of Hive’s Mental Health Week initiative. To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we’re hosting a panel all about mental health at work. To compliment that panel, we’re releasing articles throughout the week about mental health in an effort to open and improve dialogue around mental health.
In 7 Hours With, we explore the routines of leading professionals in their space to learn the when, why, where and how they work. In each diary, we will look at what they’re doing at seven different check-ins throughout their day. Sarah Casden is the co-founder and CEO of HelloWellness, a fitness and lifestyle brand for women. This is a special edition of our series to celebrate Hive’s Mental Health Week.
When I wake up, the first thing I do is I work out — the exact time depends on the day. The workouts I do range from a walk or run to more high intensity weight lifting or cardio classes. I used to be very regimented and say, “Okay, no matter what, I’m waking up at 6:30 and doing a 7:00 AM workout.” Now I try to be looser with my schedule. For example, tomorrow I am doing a later workout because I know that tonight is going to be a late and mentally taxing night because we’re hosting an event!
I don’t belong to a gym, but my little luxury is that I work out with my trainer once a week. I’ve been going to Body Space Fitness for a long time, and I supplement those training sessions with outdoor activities, streamed workouts, or other classes.
After class, I like to come home meditate. I went to a Gabby Bernstein conference recently, and am reading her 40 day course in miracles — I’m going through some of the steps there to meditate, write an affirmation, and do some introspective work in the morning and the evening.
This really gets me ready for the day as a CEO. My co-founder, Jenna Sands, is our amazing COO. Even though we technically have different roles, our day-to-day can get blurry because we wear many hats. For some background, HelloWellness is a company that hosts monthly wellness events nationwide, bringing in different influencers and brands with our community to learn, connect, and practice wellness.
Hypothetically, I work more on bigger picture strategy and longterm partnerships. And Jen is much better than I am at day-to-day, planning individual events and perfecting the logistics. We also have Alysia who is our director of events and runs influencer partnerships, and she lives in LA. We all work very well together.
Once I’ve exercised and meditated, I start working. We’ve tried to mandate that we don’t start work until 10:30, but I’m usually answering some emails before that. But generally, 10:30 is the time that we’ll start scheduling calls. These calls are usually with vendors or partners where we’re explaining how our events work and how we see our partnership unfolding. In general, Jenna and I try to schedule our days separately to maximize each of our roles, and then we have one hour on the schedule for ourselves to check in with each other, and then another hour on the schedule to review our inbox at the end of the day (we share an inbox).
I try to connect with Alysia around this time, because she’s on PST. Alysia does a phenomenal job — it’s really difficult for influencers to lock down their schedule, and she really get it done. Navigating everyone’s timeline and getting them to match up is the biggest challenge, but she does such a great job with that.
Another part of the day-to-day is obviously working with brand partners, some of which we work with as a one-off, and others we work with on an annual basis. That means we strategically plan events around them and they are featured in a number of our events, for example we have a great ongoing partnership with Cali’flour foods.
Overall, we really like to showcase a variety of different brands, products, services that we ourselves use. Another great brand we love is Ancient Nutrition, specifically their collagen product, and we also helped them launch a new CBD product at our “Sex, Sleep and CBD” event a few months ago.
Every day Jenna and I have an hour where we meet and talk through our inbox. We actually share an inbox, and we always get questions about this. But our answer is that it’s just the best way for us to have visibility on what’s going on in the company.
We like having this hour at the end of the day because we don’t want to be so ingrained in the inbox that we’re not actually getting anything done throughout the day. So that hour of inbox review time is a big productivity tip that we swear by.
One thing people ask about a lot is how we decide who answers what emails. It’s actually surprisingly apparent to us, at least, who should be responding to what. Or there might be a message where it’s not for a specific person, but either of us could answer it. And then just out of respect for each other’s time we will let whoever gets to it first, answer it.
Another big tip for enhanced productivity is learning to just take a deep breath and communicate with one another, because we balance each other out really well. Usually, when one of us is really worked up about something, the other person can help calm them down and vice versa. Also communicating when you need a moment to decompress is so important.
The exact time we leave depends on if we’ve got an event or meetings that run later the day, but I’d say 7 PM is the average time we head home. We typically leave around this time to go eat dinner, hang out with friends, or partake in some other social plan. I really try to be off my phone during this time.
After I’m done with dinner or plans, I’ll get back to responding to any emails that are more pressing. If they’re not very time sensitive, then we’ll get to them tomorrow.
I try to totally shut down by 11 at the latest. It doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s usually the goal it happened. I really try to keep work out of my bedroom — I think it helps with sleep habits and separation of work and relaxation time. If I’m having trouble sleeping and calming down, I’ll usually do a sleep meditation or read a book. I know you’re “technically” not supposed to watch TV at night, but it helps me take my mind off work. Sometimes I fall down a Netflix rabbit hole, and I just can’t help it.
Once I’ve tired myself out with meditation, a book, or TV, it’s lights out!