Three thought leaders weigh in on the personal therapy that has kept them sane throughout the challenges of 2020.
Anders Peter Juel Sauerberg
At the end of every year, my wife and I set aside two half days to plan and go through the following year, month by month. Once the first draft is complete, we get input from our children. This routine makes it possible for everyone in the family to look forward to time together, which also allows me to work hard for periods of time; the family and I know when the next ‘break’ is.
As an entrepreneur, I used to believe that success meant working hard, sleeping less, and spending minimal time on recreation. Weekends became an extension of the work week. My perception of time changed significantly when I became a father to our firstborn, Carl August.
Now, I get up at 5.30am or 7.30am for an hour’s brisk walk, depending on whether I or my wife drives the kids to school. These walks give me time to reflect and prioritise my day, as well as learn new things from various podcasts or audiobooks. I do hot yoga two to three times a week to reset my mind and body. On the weekends I enjoy playing with the kids, particularly roller blading and swimming. I am still working on putting work completely aside.
Anders Peter Juel Sauerberg is a retail strategist and founder of watch brand August Berg.
I’m generally a positive, happy person, but this year I’ve found myself quite anxious. I am very lucky to live in Los Angeles, and have a beautiful backyard to isolate in. Thank God I haven’t lost anyone or had any close friends suffer with COVID. I have been very blessed during this tough year, so why do I have this increased anxiety and how do I fix it?
I, along with many others, have indulged a bit in F&B, so after a few months with COVID not going away, and my pants not getting any looser, I realised change was needed. I started working out again and got back into a more structured routine, which felt great, but that underlying anxiety was still lingering. I ended up hurting my neck and a friend of mine recommended acupuncture, something I had always wanted to try, but in the pre-COVID world, I simply never found the time. I decided to go. I laid down on the table, the acupuncturist placed the tiny needles into my back, and he said: “Are you ready to float?” I had an hour just to myself, to breathe, to relax, to let go, something I hadn’t given myself since the pandemic began.
It’s not that acupuncture alone was the answer, but it reminded me to find time for me. Give your mind a break from the world’s chaos.
Tyler Ellis is a handbag designer and the daughter of fashion icon Perry Ellis.
As an avid traveller constantly en route, lockdown had a major impact on my life. After feeling quite puzzled at first, I gradually began to appreciate the ‘new normal’ of being stable in Hong Kong.
My hectic schedule and frequent business travel would usually constrain the time with my family. The lockdown offers me a chance to spend more quality moments with my beloved ones.
Recently, we completed our summer house nestled among the luscious trees and sea of Lamma Island in Hong Kong. I genuinely treasure every moment there. It is so close to nature, with my daughter experimenting with seasonal ingredients and my son picking out the best pairing wines.
In these past few months, I also enjoyed a complete creative freedom in other personal projects, such as a private resort in my favourite Japanese skiing town, Niseko.
As an optimistic person who loves challenges, I see these uncertain times as a great source of inspiration to overcome difficulties, learn new lessons, and fully appreciate and live in the present.
Steve Leung is a Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer.