Ahead of her appearance at the No7 Unstoppable Together Job Summit, the Thrive Global founder discusses the impact of the COVID-related recession on women’s mental health.
It has been dubbed the “she-cession” because of the disproportionate way the COVID-related economic downturn has affected working women. The figures speak for themselves. Four times more women than men dropped out of the U.S. labor force in September 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile 2.5 million women have “lost their jobs” or left the workforce since the pandemic began, according to a Feb. 12 Washington Post op-ed penned by Vice President Kamala Harris, who calls the “mass exodus” a “national emergency.” Even those women blessed to still have jobs are forced to juggle parenting and teaching with the demands of working remotely. If burnout was a problem for working moms before COVID-19 gripped the nation, many believe it has reached worrying levels now.
Arianna Huffington is among them. The importance of mental health is something that the Thrive Global founder and CEO is going to address at the No7 Unstoppable Together Job Summit on Feb. 24. “Mental resilience,” she says, “Has to be a key part of our new normal.” In this Q&A, she tells HollywoodLife why sleep and taking “microsteps” play a big part in doing just that:
HL: Tell us about the No7 Unstoppable Together Job Summit? Why is it crucial to address the she-cession now?
Arianna: “Women have borne the lion’s share of the economic burdens of the pandemic, which we can see in job losses, women leaving the workforce, and in the disproportionate mental load of running family life at home. Too many women are being forced to choose between being successful in their jobs or being successful in their roles at home. And this she-cession threatens to roll back many of the gains women have made in recent years.
“By giving women the tools, they need to protect their own mental resilience and well-being, we can empower them to navigate the uncertainties that will define our future. For all the challenges of this time, this is also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new normal for women that’s a better normal.
“Mental health impacts us all and there are steps women can take in their own lives to be proactive with their health, which is why I’ll be speaking at the No7 Unstoppable Together Job Summit on Feb. 24 with The Female Quotient CEO Shelley Zalis about this very topic of the she-cession and its impact on mental health.”
HL: What can the government do to help women get back to work?
Arianna: “The stimulus plan being debated by Congress and the White House right now contains some promising proposals that could help struggling women, like extending unemployment insurance and paid leave. The plan also includes money to help reopen schools and bail-out child care providers. The Marshall Plan for Moms shows that the conversation is changing. What’s encouraging is that the conversation is changing to account for the scale of the problem. But while we wait for urgently needed changes and agenda-setting that only the government can exert, we also need to do what we can at the individual and company levels as well.”
HL: You’re a big believer in the value of sleep. Many people who have lost their jobs, or are facing economic and health challenges, may be struggling to sleep right now. What is your top tip to soothe their mind to help them to get to sleep during stressful situations?
Arianna: “Sleep is always essential to every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. But in times of crisis, getting the sleep we need is more important than ever. Sleep is vital to our immunity as well as to helping us manage stress and anxiety. My favorite tip is to charge your phone outside of your bedroom at night. Our phones are repositories of our anxieties and fears, especially in times of crisis. So, disconnecting from our phones at night helps us disconnect from a stressful day and get the sleep we need to be recharged and better able to take on the challenges of the next day.”
HL: Please explain your concept of microsteps and why you think they’re essential to improving well-being and avoiding burnout.
Arianna: “Microsteps are the heart of our behavior change system. They’re small, science-backed steps we can start immediately incorporating into our daily lives. We are, as the saying goes, creatures of habit. According to a study from Duke University, around 45 percent of our everyday actions are made up of habits. But as most of us have learned, unlearning bad habits and learning new ones are not so easy. Even the most generous estimates show that half of us fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions. That’s because most of us start off too big. We decide to launch into a whole new lifestyle all at once. That’s where microsteps come in – they’re too small to fail!”
HL: Can you give examples of microsteps that worked for you?
Arianna: “At Thrive we have hundreds of microsteps but here are three of my favorites to help us manage the challenges of the current moment:
- When you wake up, don’t start your day by looking at your phone. Take one minute to focus on your intentions for the day or take some conscious breaths.
- Practice box breathing in moments of stress. This technique, practiced by the Navy SEALS, is a powerful stress reliever that works by activating our parasympathetic nervous system, which can lower our stress. Just inhale for a count of four, hold the air in your lungs full for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four.
- Set a news cut-off time at the end of the day. While being informed can help us feel more prepared amid a public health crisis, setting healthy limits to our media consumption can help us have a recharging night’s sleep and put stressful news into perspective.”
HL: Last year had a revolutionary impact on the way people work, with more employees working remotely. Which positive changes do you wish to see continue once we come out of the pandemic?
Arianna: “We were already in an epidemic of stress and burnout before the coronavirus pandemic, and now the conversation around well-being and mental resilience has been brought to the front burner.
“Companies increasingly see well-being as essential to every aspect of their business. So, I hope we’ll continue to see companies take action to nurture the health and well-being of their employees, whether they’re working remotely or in the office. Mental resilience has to be a key part of our new normal.”
Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, a company devoted to ending stress and burnout. She will be a guest speaker at the No7 Unstoppable Together Job Summit on Feb. 24.
Liz Cheney: 5 Things About GOP Rep. Ousted From House Leadership After Speaking Out Against Trump
Rep. Liz Cheney is no longer Chair of the House Republican Conference after her criticism of Trump and his ‘Big Lie’ about election fraud. Learn more about her.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was just ousted from a top leadership position in the House by her own party. Cheney isn’t letting it go. The three-term congresswoman, 54, is lashing out at her fellow lawmakers who are still bowing at former President Donald Trump‘s feet and warning them that they’ll doom our democracy. Here’s what else you need to know about Rep. Cheney:
1. She Was The Chair of the House Republican Conference
Cheney held the third-highest leadership position for Republicans in the House of Representatives since 2019. Her “competency” came into question when she started vocalizing her criticism of former President Donald Trump for his repeated “Big Lie” about election fraud and his role in the Capitol siege. After Cheney voted with Democrats to impeach Trump in January, a pro-Trump faction of the House, including Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), called for her removal from the chairmanship. A House committee voted behind closed doors to oust Cheney on May 12.
“We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president.”
— ABC News (@ABC) May 13, 2021
2. She Warned Fellow Reps. About Trump In Her Final Speech
During the closed-door meeting to oust Cheney from House leadership, a source told ABC News that Cheney urged her colleagues not to let Trump make the GOP “complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy.” Cheney said:
“Our nation needs this Republican Party as a strong party based on truth so we can shape the future. To do that, we must be true to our principles and to the Constitution. We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country. If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person, you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.”
3. She Has Support From Both Prominent Democrats & Republicans
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the ouster, “Congresswoman Liz Cheney is a leader of great courage, patriotism and integrity. Today, House Republicans declared that those values are unwelcome in the Republican party. The Republican denial of the truth presented by Congresswoman Cheney is reflected in their denial of the need to seek the truth in a January 6th commission and to repair the damage of January 6th with a security supplemental immediately.”
4. Her Father Is Former VP Dick Cheney
Rep. Cheney is the eldest daughter of Dick Cheney, who served as vice president under former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. In the House of Representatives, she holds the same seat her father once occupied as Wyoming’s congressman from 1979 to 1989.
5. Some Think She Could Lead A 3rd Party
With Trump’s grasp on the Republican party now clearer more than ever, some politicos are wondering if a fractured GOP could lead to a major third political party. With Cheney the loudest and highest-ranking opponent of Trump, she would be a natural leader. She almost outright vowed to do that in her last speech before her May 12 ouster: “I promise you this, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party and our nation to conservative principles, to defeating socialism, to defending our republic, to making the GOP worthy again of being the party of Lincoln.”
‘The Masked Singer’ Preview: The Russian Dolls Reveal A New Clue — Watch
The Russian Dolls read a brand-new clue in this EXCLUSIVE preview of ‘The Masked Singer’ quarterfinals, and guest panelist Rob Riggle is convinced he knows their identities.
The quarterfinals have arrived on The Masked Singer, and the Russian Dolls will take the stage once again during the May 12 episode. After their performance, a new clue is revealed by “mail” sent by the biggest fan in this EXCLUSIVE preview. When host Nick Cannon opens up the mailbox, there’s another mailbox inside, a nod to the Russian Dolls.
One of the Russian Dolls reads the letter inside the second mailbox. “I was a fan of you individually, but when I saw you band together in person — wow! Like I can’t even. Love you to the moon and back again,” the letter says.
Guest panelist Rob Riggle doesn’t believe he even needs this clue to guess the identities of the Russian Dolls. “Clues are for suckers. I don’t need them,” he says. He thinks he knows exactly who the Russian Dolls are.
“Bet this all day. Bet it twice on Sunday. That’s Devo,” Rob says. Devo is a rock band that rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s. The band is best known for their hit song “Whip It.”
Nick isn’t convinced that Rob is right on this one. “Ken, this really is your friend,” Nick jokes. This makes Ken Jeong cackle.
The Russian Dolls changed the game from their very first performance of “The Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. One Russian Doll started out singing the song, but a second Russian Doll later revealed himself during the performance. The Russian Dolls debuted a third member in the wildcard round. They’ve been stealing the show from the start.
The final 5 of season 5 are Russian Dolls, Chameleon, Black Swan, Piglet, and Yeti. At the end of the May 12 episode, one of the masked singers will be eliminated. The rest will move on to the season 5 semi-finals. The Masked Singer season 5 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.
‘Siesta Key’: Chloe Reveals Why She Left Season 4 After Filming Took A Toll On Her Mental Health
Previews for season 4 of ‘Siesta Key’ show Chloe Trautman announcing that she’ll be leaving the show in the middle of filming, and she dished all about it in our EXCLUSIVE interview.
“I’m at a point where I really don’t want to be a part of this anymore,” Chloe Trautman says in the trailer for season 4 of Siesta Key. “Farewell everyone.” While the details surrounding Chloe’s unexpected departure are still vague, she dished more about the decision in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. In the months leading up to filming, Chloe underwent an extreme mental and physical lifestyle change. She lost 50 pounds and cut “toxic” people out of her life. However, when filming for Siesta Key began again in Nov. 2020, she noticed that the “old Chloe” was starting to come back.
“In that environment, I have always been the ‘old Chloe,’ and it was like oil and water mixing filming and the new me,” she explained. “Well, I don’t like to say ‘new me,’ I like to say ‘true me.’ This season, you really see that battle of me trying to stay the course with the internal work that I’ve done. But I’m not perfect and I definitely have some bumps this season. Overall, I’m really proud of myself for putting myself out there and putting my mental health first. I think, more than ever, that’s such an important message to send — no matter what you’re doing in your life, if you’re placing yourself in an environment that’s not for your highest good, walk away from it. I’m just proud that I’ll represent that this season.”
Chloe did make the difficult decision to walk away. She said that the lack of support from her friends, who were skeptical about her transformation, was what ultimately led to the decision. “They weren’t as supportive as I think they could’ve been,” Chloe admitted. “Understandably, they were skeptical — they were wondering if this was just a phase. But for me, it just really built up. Every week, all the cast parties we’d go to, it would just build up over and over and over again. It just got to a point where I was like, ‘Alright, guys, stop trying to tear me down.’ When I didn’t feel like I had enough support from my friends and cast and production, I took a big step back.”
Luckily, it was the right decision, and Chloe told that it was “extremely necessary” for her. “I feel like I did the most work on myself in that time when I took a step back,” she revealed. “To me, in your true power, you should be able to place yourself in any environment and still stand true to who you are.”
Chloe also dished about the “breaking point” that led her to transform her lifestyle and become the person who she is today. “[In March 2020], our friend group went to Aspen and I was 50 pounds heavier than I am right now,” she explained. “I was skiing down a mountain and I was so out of shape, and I ended up falling and really hurting myself. It was in that moment that I cried out to God for help. Then, I went through a breakup with my ex-boyfriend of almost four years and my grandmother, who passed away, came to me and spoke to me on her birthday in June. My life just changed. The right people started to come into my life. I stopped drinking. I stopped partying. I really stepped back from any toxic environment or friendships I was in, too.”
Now, Chloe is “really excited” to show Siesta Key viewers the new version of herself. “I can’t wait to show people how, when you heal yourself, it’s truly the greatest thing you can ever do,” she gushed. “And how important it is to take time for yourself and mental health and meditating and all those beautiful things.” Siesta Key returns on May 12 at 8:00 p.m. on MTV.