Start It Sunday is ForceBrands’ initiative designed to raise awareness around the ‘Sunday scaries’ (the anxiety that affects 76 percent of Americans that is caused by the impending return to work). The motivational campaign empowers people to fear no Sunday and take on every Monday.

We checked in with the former head of Clif Bar and CEO of REBBLSheryl O’Loughlin, to learn about how she motivates for the week ahead.

ForceBrands: What do your Sunday routines look like?
Sheryl O’Loughlin: Heck yes, I relax. Usually, on Sundays, I’ll take about an hour to answer weekend emails and gear up for the week to come, but I try not to work more than that. I’ve learned over the course of my career that I need to have good chill time with myself, family, and friends to have the energy to take on the week. It’s important to remember that, as a leader, when you work, your people will follow suit, and I want my team to get the rest and recovery time they need, too. Our wellbeing requires that we spend time focused on the other important parts of our lives, including our health and our relationships. Exceptional and sustainable growth of our companies depends on our whole tribe having the vitality and passion to play the long game.

FB: How do you approach the start of each work week?
SO: I’ll check company communication for 10 minutes just to make sure there are no super urgent items, and rarely is there something so urgent that it needs to be addressed right then. It’s really important as a leader to put parameters on what is urgent and stick to that. This allows me to put aside what’s not absolutely necessary and get in the right headspace. Then I start with a good workout, which helps to minimize anxieties that may be rearing their energy-wasting heads so I can go on to lead in a thoughtful way. In addition, many times over my career I’ve gotten swept up in the waves of the immediate. I realize now that I need to take chunks of time away from my desk or phone on Mondays and Fridays, so I can be intentional about starting up and cleaning up, instead of always being “in it.” That helps me to set a fast yet calm pace, to ride the board instead of letting the waves overwhelm me.

FB: What are some tips for motivating on Monday?
SO: Tell your family or significant other how much you love them, and tell your team how grateful you are for their efforts.

Dive in but pace yourself so you can act with urgency but also thoughtfulness. And, as always, take deep breaths if anxiety comes up — when you’re calm, not only do you feel better but you are a more effective leader.

Learn more about her story by reading our exclusive interview.

Join our Start It Sunday movement.

Photo Credit: Sheryl O’Loughlin’s Facebook