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Article 3 min read

Riding the wave isn't easy — 10 self-care tips from a pro surfer

By Leah Kidd, Staff Writer

Last updated September 21, 2021

Layne Beachley knows exactly what it takes to overcome setbacks and accomplish lofty goals. Her seven ISA World Championship titles are a testament to this, as is her general approach to life.

Born in Manly, New South Wales, Beachley first started surfing professionally at age 16. By age 20, she was ranked 6th in the world. By 2006, she had seven World Championship titles under her belt, and was the only surfer ever to win six consecutive competitions. After being inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, Beachley retired from the sport to which she had dedicated over 20 years of her life, but her drive to succeed remained strong.

Beachley is now the founder of Awake Academy, an online course that helps people find “fun, flow, and a sense of freedom.” Despite her success, Beachley spent years battling self-doubt, self-sabotage, and bouts of depression, and has pivoted towards motivational speaking, determined to help others develop the skills and habits to effectively handle these same issues. She’s learned first-hand how important it is to foster a growth mindset, and to make sure you have the right team around you for support. At a Zendesk virtual event earlier this year, she shared a self-care plan that is both simple and achievable.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—actionable advice from industry leaders]

When we think of what “self-care” entails, some of us might imagine soothing music, a spa day, or taking time out to do something you enjoy. For Beachley, self-care is an overarching theme when it comes to how you live your life. Her 10-step plan isn’t a one-time routine. It’s a whole new approach to living that’s designed to build confidence, improve wellness, and strengthen relationships—both with others and yourself.

Here are Beachley’s tips for prioritizing yourself so that you have what you need to tackle the challenges that arise at work or in life.

  • Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a breathing pattern often seen as a powerful stress reliever and great for meditation.
  • Start the day with an ‘I Am’ mantra. Studies show that repeating a word or mantra to yourself can help you feel more relaxed and less agitated.
  • Making your bed every morning is a surefire way to start the day off on the right foot, and leave you feeling a little more productive and put together.
  • Brushing your teeth with the opposite hand is an easy way to wake your brain up with a challenge.
  • Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning helps with staying hydrated, but it also can boost alertness and energy.
  • Studies show that grounding yourself in gratitude has a resounding effect. Not only can giving thanks make you happier, but it also can affect how others perceive you, or even how hard you’re willing to work.
  • Disconnect from media. It’s easier said than done, but limiting the time you spend scrolling through Twitter or watching the news can help minimize feelings of anxiousness or stress.
  • Exercise. We hear that exercise is good for you, but the exact reasons why are often glossed over. Exercising regularly helps combat health issues, increases energy, boosts your mood, and promotes healthy sleeping habits.
  • Taking the time to check in with friends and coworkers can help you feel more in tune with the world around you, whether that’s on a social level or a professional level. Plus, social interaction is incredibly important for personal health.
  • We all could use a little grace and empathy, so above all else, be kind to yourself.

For more inspirational stories and tips for navigating today’s new normal, hear from Beachley and her husband Kirk Pengilly (a founding member of the band INXS), in a recent CX Moment.

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