How the president of a tech company manages mental health
News 4 minute read

How the president of a tech company manages mental health

Megan Orr | June 16, 2022

May is Mental Health Month—but investing in your mental health is year-round. We asked Julie Bevacqua, President at Rise People, for advice on how to balance a busy workload with daily self-care tactics.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day starts at 5am with a glass of warm water and lemon—there’s no better way to start your day than with vitamin C and antioxidants. I sit through a guided meditation on one of my favourite apps, Insight Timer.

I try to start my day consciously deciding how to spend my time, deciding which tasks matter most and dropping or creatively re-assigning the rest. I try to jettison meetings and tasks to spend more time supporting the team and our clients. 

But, most of my time I'm entangled in a web of commitments. It's a tough balancing act, one that I haven't completely mastered yet and will probably continue to work on for the duration of my career. Even with the best planning, my work days usually end up being 12 hours, but with lots of conscious and careful decisions about how I break up that time throughout the day.

How do you manage stress?

I take many small resets throughout the day, even if it means popping outside for fresh air for a few minutes, taking a minute to play with my dog, Pepe, reading inspirational quotes on Instagram or flipping through a Dwell magazine.

What does work-life balance mean to you?

People like to say it’s a state of equilibrium between work and play, but I’m not sure that I see it that way. I think it’s about empowerment and choice. It’s me deciding if today is a 4-hour workday or a 12-hour workday. It’s me deciding if today I’ll pop out for a massage or acupuncture. It’s me deciding if I have time to prep a meal or if it’s takeout instead. 

What are some things you do to take care of your mental health?

I try to do a number of things, but like anyone, I struggle with consistency.

I try to get some exercise in, even just 30 minutes of walking. I eat fairly healthy, usually with prepped meals and lots of salads. I also try to stick to a regular bedtime schedule. 

I set goals for myself, both short and long term. And most importantly I stay connected to family and friends. 

Like most people, I’m hard on myself, often focusing on what I’m not doing rather than what I do get done. I don’t drink enough water or get enough exercise in or get enough sleep and I take in a lot of caffeine. But it’s all a part of that balancing act—when I’m able to organize my healthy self, I usually feel pretty good. 

What’s an accomplishment that you’re proud of?

I’m proud to say that I’ve helped build a company that empowers women and treats everyone the same. Gender equality is a fundamental human right and is essential to achieving peace and being able to reach our full potential. 

What’s a piece of advice you can offer to someone who is just starting out in their career and is struggling?

Plenty of brilliant people struggle at the beginning of their career. But no role comes without learning. Learn something from anyone and everyone, and in every role. Trust in yourself, do the work, and you’ll get where you want to go—and sometimes you also need to learn where you don’t want to go first.

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