Practical wellness tips from Cleveland Clinic Canada, Staircase Ventures’ partner in providing health coaching for founders.

January 24, 2024

Staircase Ventures believes that having a healthy mind and body is essential for founders to effectively navigate the mental, physical, and emotional demands of leading a dynamic tech start-up. Entrepreneurs are constantly responsible to a wide variety of stakeholders, including employees, investors, suppliers, partners, and boards, and family and friends, who need them to show up and be their best every single day.

That’s why Staircase Ventures invests in our founders’ health and wellness as part of our 5-Pillar Founder Development Platform. The platform is comprehensive, offering founders CEO coaching, peer support networks, personal financial advice, family stipends, and – importantly – health and wellness coaching.

All founders in Staircase Venture’s portfolio can work with a dedicated Cleveland Clinic Canada health coach to help them maintain high performance and enhance their mental and physical health. We selected Cleveland Clinic Canada due to their unique combination of world-class clinical experience, cross-industry work, and executive coaching expertise.

Cleveland Clinic Canada’s coaches integrate best practices of health and wellness with practical tools to help our founders adopt and sustain healthy behaviours so they can improve their overall well-being and show up as their best selves in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

Some Tips for Founders from Cleveland Clinic Canada Coaches

  1. Self-Awareness. This is the first step in making significant changes. Take brief moments to pause and reflect on how you are showing up today. Are you feeling energized? Physically healthy? Emotionally available? Stressed? Irritable? If you notice that you are not where you want to be on the stress continuum, use this as motivation to change habits, or start thinking about self-care, relationships, and/or your purpose.

Practical Strategies

  • Give yourself 5-minute breaks throughout the day to check in with how you are feeling.
  • Keep track of both small and important moments in your life and ‘how you show up’ for them.
  • Try a daily journaling exercise. 

  1. Self-Care. Self-care includes any activity that we do to intentionally take care of our physical, emotional, and mental health. This can include any activity that brings you joy and happiness, be it exercise, sleep, reading, listening to music, or celebrating milestones.  Mindfulness is an increasingly popular form of self-care because there is significant evidence that it helps leaders improve memory, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve emotional regulation, and broaden perspectives. Mindfulness can be practiced through techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and grounding exercises (e.g., practicing present awareness, such as body scans). Data supports that even as little as ten minutes per day participating in self-care activities can foster our resilience and strengthen our mental health.

Practical Strategies

  • Write down a list of people, activities, or experiences that bring you joy.
  • Block your calendar (even for 10 minutes a day) to rest and reflect. Try a meditation practice.
  • Involve friends and family to help keep you on track with your goals.
  1. Relationships. Having a strong support system at work is critical to building healthy teams and creating psychologically safe workplaces to help organizations get through challenging times. Positive relationships help us to feel healthier, and happier, and increase productivity. Strong support systems require trust. While trust takes time to build, it starts with taking small steps like showing humility when asking others for feedback, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and admitting when you feel out of your depth. Expressing gratitude can reduce anxiety and improve morale, especially when it is timely and specific.Spending time fostering work relationships can pay large dividends, both personally and professionally.

Practical Strategies

  • Ask for feedback from your co-founder or employees at least once per day.
  • Be vulnerable when sharing experiences with others; it can help build trust.
  • Appreciate and be thankful for the small wins.
  • Listen to others with the intention of understanding not responding.
  1. Purpose.  Purpose helps us shape the mindset that we bring to life events, work, and relationships. Some people have clarity about their purpose, while others struggle to define it. Understanding your purpose starts with knowing your core values, which include being aware of what matters to you in your life and your work. We build resilience when we can align our work with our purpose and engage in tasks that embody our values.

Practical Strategies

  • Identify your core values and purpose.
  • Share those values with your co-founder, family, and friends.
  • Identify how to integrate your purpose with your work.
  • Your well-being is worth the investment of time and energy. Start small. Small changes today, compounded daily, can have a significant impact over time.

Staircase Ventures is proud to partner with Cleveland Clinic Canada to offer health and wellness coaching. We believe it is critical to look after and support each other, and we are dedicated to supporting all our founders’ health and wellness.

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