meet lisa conn
the co-founder and coo at icebreaker, who believes meditation and gratitude are exceptional tools for easing anxiety.
How do you make your health a priority?
I, in a lot of ways, didn’t think about my health in a really consistent way until my dad’s heart attack last year. While he’s doing great now, it was shocking and made me appreciate and invest in my health and the health of those around me more intentionally.
I work out with a trainer Pilar Millhollen 3 times a week and I have therapy once a week. I meditate every morning with my husband and I’m starting to add in an evening practice as well. I also do a lot of at-home self-care. I dry brush before I shower, I use a luxurious oil after I shower, and I take my time in the shower.
But for me, the biggest way I maintain my health is by limiting technology engagement, which is really hard as someone who deals with workaholism and runs a video chat company. I attempt to have time every day when I’m not on my phone or in front of a computer. It can be the 5 minutes when I’m using my NuFACE or it can be the 30 minutes when I’m exercising. I have a complicated relationship with technology, as I think everyone does. It can create incredible connections, but can also be very draining, overstimulating, and exhausting.
As someone who has worked in politics, how has it affected your mental health?
I spent the first half of my career working in politics, which is mostly very unsexy. But you do have these high moments where you get to meet your heroes. I had the pleasure of meeting Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, and many others. In some of those situations, I’ve gotten professional photos, which I proudly display. There’s also a book of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the mix, too.
Thanks to the personal biographies of women like Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am in a position today where I get to lead in my own career, as opposed to merely supporting the career of my husband.
“I take a lot of inspiration from strong, successful women rooted in equality.”
This year has been challenging in so many ways, and the 2020 election has added another dark cloud of fear and uncertainty over all of us. I have a major bias towards action, so I’ve found that doing everything I can to ensure Joe Biden is our next president is the only way to cope. Getting involved gives me a sense of community and makes me feel empowered, which has real psychological benefits for my mental health.
This is the first election that I haven’t formally worked. In 2016, I ran an office in New Hampshire and for the 2 years prior to the election, I was at MIT analyzing Twitter data about the election, studying ideological polarization on social media. This year, I am choosing to have faith in the American people. I believe that election day will reflect the values I believe make our country great and we will elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
What are some of your bedside rituals?
I am someone who deals with severe anxiety and perfectionism. I’ve taken anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication in the past and I’ve been in therapy forever — literally since I was 5 (I’m the daughter of a therapist). But I prefer not to take medication and instead practice meditation and gratitude. I have special photos on my bedside to look at when I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed. It’s been really helpful to anchor the day in gratitude.
“The photo of my dad is especially meaningful to me.”
At my bedside are my supplements. For the past 10 to 15 years, I’ve been taking magnesium calcium citrate because it’s very helpful for regular movement. Most recently, I started taking Moon Juice Superhair. In my late 20s, my hair started to thin out. It’s too early to pinpoint results because of all the other things I’m doing to care for my hair, but I find that it’s now shinier, thicker, and healthier.
I also take a couple of supplements (control and promote) from a brand called uqora because two years ago, I was dealing with a UTI that wouldn’t go away. It started after a very stressful few months, and that stress made it difficult for my immune system to fight the infection. For much of 2019, I was on an antibiotic, and being on one long-term is terrible for your health. So I found this company that provides preventative care for UTIs and urinary tract health. During that 4-month long UTI, I was planning my wedding. On the outside, life seemed really ideal. I was constantly posting on Instagram all the beautiful images of wedding prep. But May through September, I was experiencing chronic pain on and off. I was getting married that october and then going on my honeymoon. But since September, when I found these supplements, I haven’t had one in over a year.
next story — ben rabb