We canvass the opinions of three connoisseurs for their views on a single subject.
What Wellness Means to Me
Susie Ellis, president & CEO, Global Wellness Institute and Global Wellness Summit
I’ve learned the hard way to make sleep a serious priority. I used to work on my laptop and check work emails before bed (and right away when I woke up) and it was a sleep and sanity killer. Now I banish all devices around 7pm and sleep from around 10pm until 7am. When I wake up, the first thing I do is meditate for 20 minutes and then hit the gym, before I see the waterfall of work emails. I used to work from 7am until 10pm day after day and, yes, I got a lot done, but it was terrible for my health. I do work six days a week, but I keep Sunday sacred.
A lesson that’s taken me a lifetime to learn is that real, intimate, close relationships are the lynchpin of a well life. It’s not about a ‘social life’ or going to parties, it’s about making time for — and regularly inciting — honest conversations with a few true confidantes (and I’m unusually lucky to have an identical twin sister) that you can share everything with.
My job requires that I travel all over the world. A game changer for me has been the Timeshifter jet-lag app (developed by scientists and used by astronauts) that you start using a few days before a long flight, and that shifts your circadian clock to that next time zone quickly.
Kate Crofton-Atkins, founder of Cochine, a luxury home-fragrance brand
In our social-media-driven age it’s very easy to get caught up in the notion that everyone else is leading this wonderfully serene existence around us, which is rarely the case, and certainly isn’t the case for me. Managing a business and three young children, there is no time in my week for hours of yoga or meditation so I try to focus on small, doable things that make an ordinary day feel better.
I try to run every morning — nothing too ambitious, 20-30 minutes maximum — but usually without music so I can think about the day ahead or, if possible, I try to think about nothing. I guess it’s my way of meditating on the go. I find if I start the day right, the rest of the day falls into place better; I eat better, drink more water, think more clearly and manage to keep a better balance.
I also believe in the power of fragrance to lift your mood, encourage you to relax or just inspire you to change pace. For me, nothing beats running a bath at the end of a long day, switching off my phone and lighting a candle in one of my favourite scents. Small changes are much easier to enact than huge overhauls, but when it comes to our state of mind, I think they can have a huge impact.
Shao Shu, CEO and director, He Art Museum, Guangdong
My top priority in life is health: both mental and physical health, which enables me to work hard and enjoy everything life has to offer. If you can maintain a good mental and physical health, everything in your career and personal life begins to fall into place.
I maintain focus through travelling and cultural exploration including diving in the Antarctic, trekking in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, crossing vast salt flats in Bolivia and stargazing in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. When I am not travelling, I run twice a week, go hiking or diving whenever possible; activities allow me to escape and enlighten my daily life.
I also really enjoy cooking as it allows me to fully explore the cuisine’s local culture and seasons. Shunde, where I am currently based, is a gourmet city in China, famous for its intricate cooking methods of fish and it has inspired me to cook a lot and take advantage of the vast choice of locally-sourced ingredients. As I’ve gotten older I cook more frequently and really pay attention to my diet, a far cry from my youthful days in Shanghai when I ate ready meals three times a day. I find every process of cooking nurturing for my mind and my body, expanding my knowledge when I shop for seasonal ingredients, taking the time to study the method of cooking, to consuming the food, makes me healthier as a result.
This article originally appeared in Billionaire's Health Issue, December 2019. To subscribe contact