How I Thrive takes an inside look at founders, entrepreneurs and leaders and the behind-the-scenes self-care work they do to in order to live balanced, happy lives. Today's edition is with Neythri founder, Sruthi Ramaswami who loves a good face exfoliant and has a complex (yet impressive!) system for getting out of bed.
Name: Sruthi Ramaswami
City: San Francisco, CA
Company: Neythri, a global community of South Asian professional women.
Beyond the role: Venture capital investor at ICONIQ Capital.
I usually set my alarm 10 minutes before I have to wake up in one minute intervals—I know, I'm crazy—I then check texts, social media and work email for five minutes while in bed. I know it's probably not a great habit, but I've cut down on this massively.
Usually I'll grab a bagel for breakfast and read 5-10 pages of a book. I find that reading while eating breakfast is the best way for me to make sure I consistently build in reading as a habit. I then make myself a cup of tea and start getting ready for work. Once I'm ready, the first thing I do is complete is fill in the "daily" prompt in my Silk + Sonder (right now, it's the gratitude log). I then write in an inspirational quote from a woman (found via Google) in the "one thing" section of my weekly schedule in Silk + Sonder.
At the beginning of a week, I'll use my meal plan section to write a Hindu "prayer of the week." So every morning, I also recite that prayer to myself. Spirituality has been one of the lowest categories in my wheel of life, so this is how I've been working on it!
The first thing I do after work:
My workdays can vary a ton. Some days I'm done by 6 p.m., others I'm working into the late hours of the night. The first thing I do when I'm done with work is either walk home or find a ClassPass class to join, or if it's late, read an article from Fortune's newsletter, The Broadsheet.
This is something I'm working on. I often stay at work late and order in takeout. But I'm getting married soon, and I plan to schedule weeknight dinners with my fiance so that we both make sure to come home and spend some time with each other. I love cooking, I just need to make more time for it.
I'm not the best at giving myself an hour of no screen time before bed, but I want to get there! I find that catching up with my fiance at night to talk about how our days went, what we worked on, and what we're hoping to accomplish tomorrow is a nice way to check in with each other and set some intentions before going to bed.
If I can, I'll also read a few pages of a book I'm working through. I'm actually great at washing my face before bed, too! I try to remember to floss, and then once I'm in bed, I say a few prayers again before drifting off to sleep.
Self-care guilty pleasure:
Aavrani's Glow Activating Exfoliator. I use it both as a mask and face wash.
Workday self-care hack:
If possible, I try to schedule some walking meetings where I'm getting fresh air and sunshine. I also use lunch as a great opportunity to read — it gives me a mental break from work.
How do you define self-care?
Favorite childhood toy or hobby:
I used to play "teacher/student" with my little brother. We had a whiteboard and chalkboard, and I'd actually create worksheets and "grade" his homework. Clearly I was a bossy sister! But I actually think that practice of teaching and creating ways to learn as a young kid has helped me communicate with clarity and distill complex topics into digestible form.
State of your (email) inbox:
Unfortunately I am not an inbox zero or folder person. I've tried it and failed many times. I mark things unread that I need to get back to. I also write down key to-dos and emails to respond to in my Silk + Sonder. It's been a really effective strategy to make sure I get to everything I need to do!
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Illustration by Megan Behrendt