Sleep is a big thing for me. Because I’d generally prefer to be awake and doing things, I’ve always had trouble getting to sleep, so I have to be very conscious of honoring my sleep time. Maintaining a routine to give my brain the signal that it’s time to wind down is so helpful. Even in college my roommate knew it was getting close to “lights out” when I went to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth (I credit my mother for building this ritual into my day).

So now I have a time window for heading to bed. The bedtime itself isn’t as important as the other signals to my brain and body that it’s time for sleep. I put my phone away about an hour before going to sleep and then, closer to actually going to bed, I do my nightly washing up (brush teeth, floss, wash face, take meds). If I’m still not feeling sleepy, I light a lavender candle and write down the to-do items that might be keeping my mind busy.

Connecting with my family is also very important, especially since we’re spread out around the country. Sometimes I’d like to have more frequent connections with my kids, who are young adults living on their own. But I understand that they’re creating their own lives for the first time without parents so I cut them some slack! My whole family does weekly check-ins by text, which keeps everyone top of mind.

To help stay informed and connected at work, my team uses Slack. I’ve found that it’s also a great tool to share informal events and personal stories that bring us all closer as friends. Sometimes we just need to talk about our dogs!

One piece of advice I’d give my younger self is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture — especially when working on a deadline. Taking that moment to consider other aspects of a project gives you the space to take a breath and open your mind to new ideas or solutions.

My joy trigger that helps me reset is being outdoors, even if it’s just to wander around my yard to check on plants. No matter the weather, being outside makes me happy.

One lesson I’ve learned about my well-being is that change can be made with small shifts in behavior and thought. It’s not all or nothing, and little wins can turn into huge victories!


  • Jennifer Howland

    Event Specialist (Sr Assoc Engr-Account Svcs), Global Conferencing and Collaboration

    Verizon Business Group

    Jennifer Howland currently serves as an Event Specialist (Sr Assoc Engr-Account Svcs) in the operator-assisted conferencing division of Verizon’s Global Conferencing and Collaboration space. Her broad range of responsibilities include customer relationship management, conferencing consulting, internal and external training, and oversight of service delivery.  Jennifer has been with Verizon for close to eight years and has made use of tuition assistance to obtain her MBA degree. Jennifer is in the Prism, WAVE, BOLD, ADVANCE, SOMOS, AND PACE ERGs at Verizon.