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How to Build a Self-Care Culture at Work; An Interview with Jeanette Bronée; On Her New Book The Self Care Mindset 

The Self Care Mindset - Jeanette Bronée

“The Self Care Mindset” is a book focusing on how business leaders can better support their teams in order to ease work stress and anxiety. In this interview with TechBullion, Jeanette Bronée shares her thoughts on how CEOs and leaders can help their teams with Self-Care at work – which is the focus of her book.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background. 

I was born in Denmark and came to NYC at the age of 26 to follow love and  pursue a career. However, both fell apart after I got here. Suddenly I had to  rethink who I was because my identity was so wrapped up in my early success in  the fashion industry. I became a student of Buddhism and never stopped. It has  helped me learn to pause and listen more inside myself to stay aware, adaptable,  and agile through very difficult times throughout my life so far.  

How did you become focused on self-care as a mindset? Most people think  of it as something they do to relax themselves and disconnect- like  exercise, meditation or spa treatments. 

Most people think of self-care as a list of should-do habits to stay fit and something we  do after work to recover, but mindset comes before habits.  

How we think affects how we engage with ourselves and others, and it shows up in our  choices, decisions, and behaviors. Essentially our mindset is at the core of every  conversation we have, starting with the internal dialog we have with ourselves all day  long. Our mindset informs our perspective, and it’s the foundation for how we show up  at work and in our lives in general.  

If our mindset is that we can handle the pressure, that we have to earn and deserve  care, or that we can wait because work is more important, then we have self-care all  wrong.  

If we start by asking how to protect and harness our minds, then the rest will follow.  Self-care it’s a support system that’s regenerative so that we can keep our energy,  focus, and attention optimal all day long and end the day with energy to spare for the  people we care about and the activities we want to participate in.  

Growing up as a competitive gymnast, I learned the power of the mind. With my mother  struggling with bipolar disorder, I saw how our mindset either works against us or for us  as we navigate everyday challenges. The most self-caring we can be is to get to know 

ourselves better and be our own best friend, support system, and cheerleader.  

What inspired your rethink on self-care? 

Work is such an essential part of our lives, and it’s one of the three core relationships  we have in life: self, others, and work. When we think of these three relationships as  priorities of time, we can only solve self-care as a work-life balance. Still, when we  realize that all three relationships are essential for our well-being, we must rethink self care as inclusive of all three relationships and cultivate work-life quality. Social well being is crucial for our happiness and being successful at work makes us feel valued.  We cannot separate ourselves, others, and work from our whole human health.  

That also means that to cultivate a healthy culture, it’s not enough that we have time off  or more benefits; instead, we must cultivate an environment that fosters better human  relationships. Essentially culture is an ecosystem of relationships –and it starts with the  one we have with ourselves because the relationship we have with ourselves impacts  how we interact with others and how we show up at work.  

Please tell us about your book; “The Self-care Mindset”. How did you get  the idea for this book? Who is the book for? 

I wanted to share the C.A.R.E. framework and the tools I’ve developed over the years of  research, studies, and working with people one-on-one. With everything going on,  COVID, politics, war, climate change, and the speed of work constantly putting more  pressure on us, we are more anxious and overwhelmed than ever, and we need to  address that in a tangible way.  

We know we need to manage stress and anxiety, to prevent depression and burnout.  Still, most lack the tools to not only manage the daily challenges of uncertainty and  change but also to grow through adversity.  

We tend to think of resilience as keeping going and staying focused until we get through  and things will get better. However, change and uncertainty are constant, and the  pressure to perform will continue to increase. I felt it was time to change the  conversation from needing well-being at work to reclaiming agency over our well-being  at work so that we can face our daily reality. 

I think of it as self-care for real life. The book is essentially a road map for people who  want to feel more in charge of their work and reclaim agency in their lives by learning  the power of pausing and care to access the best of our human skills, ––our emotional  intelligence or what I call heart-intelligence.  

I have heard from many leaders who have told me they use these tools for themselves  and also share them with their teams. I also hear from many professionals that they are  using these skills to reclaim focus and manage stress and anxiety in their daily work and  lives. And that’s exactly what The Self-Care Mindset is for. 

Self-Care Culture at Work; - Interview with Jeanette Bronée

For some who may not understand wholly, what does self-care culture  entail in the context of work and why is it so important ?  

In a self-care culture, well-being is the foundation for reaching our goals and working  better together. It’s no longer a personal problem but a work-culture possibility. I believe  that we will see well-being becoming a core company value in the future and, with that,  a focus on cultivating self-care skills alongside other work and growth skills. 

We talk about being whole humans at work and wanting people to show up as their best  selves. However, we fail to understand more deeply what that means. I think we focus  too much on physical health as the key to being our best selves when really, it’s our  emotional and mental health that’s our human advantage. The fact that we can think,  engage, and act with discernment and care that’s what we need to harness.  

We all have emotional and mental health all the time, and we can’t just leave our  emotions at home, ––they are essential for cultivating creativity and the human  connection that creates better relationships at work.  

What we also get wrong is that we think self-care is about self, but it’s actually about  care because what drives motivation and engagement is what we care about, and care  has a ripple effect. Of course, so does stress, which is why a fear-driven burnout culture  isn’t working well.  

Could you give us examples of the problems posed by work stress and  anxiety, and how business leaders can better support their teams in order  to ease these issues for their employees?

We know that burnout is a real problem, and even though it’s nothing new, it’s  new that we are talking about it. This is a good thing. However, we tend to think  it’s about working too much, but we really burn out from worrying too much and  feeling that we don’t matter. When we are constantly under pressure to work  harder and do more, we tap into survival mode; what we call fight or flight. This  is a fear-driven way of working. We are constantly on guard and looking for  what’s not working rather than being curious about how to make it work.  Motivation breaks down when our focus is only on the results and not on the  process of how we reach the results. This is essentially what causes toxic work  environments, disengagement, and culture breakdown because people feel  undervalued and overworked.  

This is why we need self-care skills to deal with stress and anxiety rather than  accepting it as part of work. It’s essential that we realize we are less productive,  effective, and innovative when under stress. This will help us to encourage a  company culture of pausing where taking time to think and recalibrate is not only  encouraged but also valued. We need the mental space to make better  decisions, which organically leads to better results.  

A culture of pausing encourages us to pause and think before responding instead  of immediately reacting. It gives us the opportunity to engage with curiosity and  focus on what’s possible rather than getting stuck in the problems. Getting mired  in the problems often results in shame and blame and, ultimately, in bad  decisions. Pausing allows us to make decisions based on what matters. Care is  valued, and our contributions matter. 

Your book provides tools and advice on how to harness our human  advantage to grow through adversity. Could you enlighten us more on the  three key tools that you feel are essential in the self-care mindset? 

The first tool is Power-Pausing which enables us to think with more clarity. Learning to  pause for just a moment, that gap in time where we can listen and ask inside how we  are.  

Intention fuels attention; therefore Power-Pausing gives us the power of choice in how  we respond, and it’s the foundation for connecting, communicating, and collaborating  with intent. We can pause and focus on what matters, why it matters and then ask more  questions about how we achieve the impact we want. 

This micro-pause gives us the opportunity to recover our energy, reset our attention to  align with our intention, and refocus on what we are aiming to achieve before we  reengage. This is how self-care becomes a regenerative mindset all day.  

The second tool is the CARE framework which helps us engage with more curiosity by  asking better questions.  

We can use this tool anywhere and even teach it to our kids. There are four questions to  ask ourselves which allow us to reclaim agency in our work and lives in general. 


Self-Communication: how am I thinking? What is the inner dialog saying? Self-Awareness: how am I feeling in there? 

Self-Responsibility: what do I need right now so that I can…? ––whatever it is  one is facing 

Self-Expression: how do I ask for or speak up about what I need?  

The third tool which helps us act with care is called AAA.  

Using this tool helps us become more aware, adaptable, and agile so we can make  better choices and faster decisions while acting with care and on purpose.  

Based on your years of training as a keynote speaker, a performance coach  and a culture strategist, could you give us some insights on how  individuals/employees can also support themselves to learn to grow  through adversity? 

The first step is to recognize when the mind is running too fast and is full of thoughts  that are all focusing on what’s not working.  

The next step is to ask what we need to be able to face the FUD, the fear, uncertainty,  and doubt that adversity brings up in us.  

The last step is to accept the adversity as a pothole in the road that we can navigate  past when we have the tools to do so.

It is important to know that we are not alone, that others care about us, and that we all  share the same journey, even though our experiences vary and change.  

We are all human beings on the inside, and we all have core needs for care. When we  can acknowledge how we feel and accept the circumstances for what they are instead  of wasting time on what we could, should, and would have done, then we can reclaim  agency. This allows us to act with care, courage, and confidence.  

The strongest, most powerful mindset we can have is to face the FUD (fear, uncertainty,  and doubt) and meet the challenges of adversity while simultaneously asking what we  need so that we can do so with the power of care.  

Learning how to grow by staying curious, even in the face of adversity, is the best fuel  for life.  

Listening is the most important skill we can learn for our own self-care and to share the  care with others at work, ––because now we are all working towards the same goals.

Do you have a particular success story you can share with us? 

I have many. They are all about overcoming adversity by staying focused on what  matters and what I care about. About every 10 years, I seem to have had some great  disruption in my life. Loss and grief have taught me how to appreciate and cherish life  and to keep courageously challenging myself to learn something new and embark on  my hopes and dreams. However, the greatest success story that I can use to help  others is my experience growing up with a mother struggling with bipolar disorder.  Without knowing it, she taught me that mental health is about learning to listen to the  heart. I do so every day, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.  

What has been the response to the book so far? 

The response has been so amazing. People share how my story inspires them to  reflect on their own challenges and traumas and cultivate a more meaningful  relationship with themselves. In turn, this fosters a more present and powerful  connection with others. Essentially, we can only connect with others to the extent 

we can connect with ourselves. They share their stories with me and tell me how  they are learning to listen inside with more care.  

I never thought of my book as being about redefining resilience, but I realize now  that it is. I hear how these tools are helping them reclaim agency over their daily  stress and worry. Leaders tell me they love the book for themselves and share it  

with their teams, both because they care about their people and their mental  health and because the book is a toolbox for rethinking self-care as the  foundation for working better together.  

What is next for you? 

What I would love to do is to continue sharing The Self-Care Mindset with  audiences across the world, and I would love for young people and kids to also  learn the tools.  

My great dream is a TV show that inspires people to harness their unique  advantage by using these tools.  

And… I want to continue writing more books. Sharing knowledge and inspiring  others to grow is my life’s greatest reward.  

What is the best way to follow your work?  

I’m the only person in the world with my name, so you can always find me – but  the best way is, of course, to get the book, subscribe to my podcast, which is  called Pause on This, and if you’re on social media, find me on Twitter, LinkedIn,  and Instagram, all under @jeanettebronee.  

Jeanette Bronée; Insights from Her New Book “The Self-Care Mindset: Rethinking  how we change and grow, harness well-being and reclaim work-life quality”

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