Sheila Shekar Pollak is the Chief Marketing Officer of Athleta, the fitness apparel company with a huge presence across the country. This boss has been at Athleta for several years, serving in various marketing positions before landing her coveted role. And, before that, she was the Director of Global Advertising at Gap. As an executive at a major retailer, Sheila is constantly on-the-go, and often has a packed schedule. Still, she manages to make self-care a priority. Below, she shares how she fits wellness into her busy day.

What are some bad habits you’ve cut from your routine?

1. I avoid caffeine. It makes me feel worse, not better – though sometimes I’m jealous of friends and colleagues who can jump start with a cup of coffee.

2. Back-to-back meetings. It’s easy for me to spend an entire day in meetings, but I’ve started blocking my calendar for a few hours during the week to be sure I have time for creativity and big picture thinking.

Good habits you’ve added?

1. I love to start the day with a green smoothie. My husband has really mastered the recipe and I’ll often carry one with me through the morning.

2. I was recently introduced to jade rolling through Stephanie Zheng of Mt. Lai and I really love it for both the skincare but also for the way it makes me feel to take a few moments of self-care.

3. Making time for fun and connections with the ones you love, no matter how busy you are. For me, it can be taking a few minutes to play basketball with my daughters on the hoop we have in our living room. Laughter and hugs really are the best medicine.

How do you keep yourself balanced throughout the day?

I am a big believer in the mind-body connection and the power of movement, so I find time for activity every day. Ideally that’s a workout – often at our studio at the Athleta offices, on the Peloton or using an app like Kayla Itsines’ Sweat. I also love challenging our team to two-minute planks between meetings.

Are there any activities or hobbies you do to relax?

I try to get out on the water as much as I can. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been drawn to water sports (especially the extreme ones) – windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing. I live on a lagoon so I’m able to get out and stand-up paddle board a few times a week, especially when I need to recharge.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Not enough! Usually 6-7 hours. I’d definitely love more sleep, but it’s honestly something that often gets sacrificed with keeping up with family and work.

Do you have a favorite wellness trend?

There’s a massive cultural movement surrounding wellness right now, which was a big influence on our recent launch of the Wellness Collective, a new concept bringing holistic wellness to women and girls. As athletes and active women, we know that while fitness is key to health, there are so many other elements that are deeply connected to overall health and well being. We developed Wellness Collective to bring the four pillars of holistic wellness– mind/body, self-care, finance/career and community – into one place through events in our stores and digital content. Our goal is to create experiences that inspire accessible, actionable insights to be incorporated into her daily life. We just launched this in New York and the feedback from the women who came to the event was very moving – they really connected with the content and the need for more of this. We can’t wait to continue to expand this concept.

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