Committed to the mental resilience of its people, Accenture partnered with Thrive Global to create Thriving Mind, a cutting-edge mental well-being experience based on Stanford Medicine’s renowned Precision Health approach. In this five-part series, Accenture Mental Health and Well-being “Role Models” from around the globe open up about how they prioritize their well-being, and how Thriving Mind has improved their approach to managing stress.
Thrive Global: What are the things that stress you out?
Rajesh Pillai: A lot has changed during COVID-19, and it’s impacted the way we live. Working from home, which sounds very lucrative, took a toll on me. I was apprehensive about managing the team remotely, and it seemed challenging to maintain meeting timeliness. Staying indoors all day isn’t easy, either.
TG: What are the signs that you’re starting to reach your breaking point?
RP: I wasn’t feeling like myself. I was working longer hours, and I was also trying to micromanage the team, constantly checking about their progress on work. Unfortunately, my family was at the receiving end, too.
TG: What steps do you take to recharge your mental batteries?
RP: After long meetings, I take a few minutes of time off. I walk around in the house, meet and greet some family members, stretch, and come back with a fresh outlook. At the end of each day, I try to analyze the cause of stress (if any) and redesign to handle it better. I’ve been practicing Microsteps, too. I read, pause, and take time to respond to each email. I try to have regular interactions with team members, where we connect beyond work. I’ve also been taking the weekends completely off from work, starting on Friday evening. We plan family activities, watch movies together, and I make sure to spend some time with just myself. It really helps to relax, reflect, and come back to work on Monday with renewed energy. I also believe that hobbies are a must. A hobby helps you spend time with yourself, which also helps you grow as a person. It is important to set aside time for your hobby to energize yourself and keep the learning going. I love photography, and I’m reading about new advancements. Planting has piqued my curiosity as well, and I see myself spending a lot of time in my small home garden.
TG: How did the Thriving Mind experience help improve your mental well-being?
RP: First and foremost, it helped me accept that stress exists, and that it was impacting my well-being. It’s helped me understand my stressors and find Microsteps that help to reduce stress. The training sessions helped me acclimate to the change happening around us and realize how ignoring smaller concerns can create stress in the long run. Some of the small steps that have been helping me are practicing conscious breathing, and blocking time on my calendar for workouts, yoga, and meditations.
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For more on the importance of mental well-being in the workplace, check out this conversation between Thrive Global’s Arianna Huffington and Accenture’s Chief Leadership and Human Resources Office Ellyn Shook.