In the fast-paced world of startup leadership where challenges are constant and stakes are often high, executives are turning to a simple yet powerful tool for battling stress: mindfulness.

Imagine top leaders turning to meditation and deep-breathing techniques—not just for the sake of their sanity, but to unlock clarity, resilience, and a heightened sense of emotional intelligence. It’s often their secret to maintaining composure, making savvy decisions, and navigating the stormy seas of uncertainty with a cool and centered mindset.

Curious to know more? We sat down with tech executives in the Powderkeg community to learn about their go-to stress-busting strategies during turbulent times.

Extended Meditation Boosts Focus, Productivity in Challenges

During truly challenging times I double, or sometimes triple, the amount of time I meditate. This means I might get up earlier to meditate for an hour, instead of my normal 20 minutes. There’s just a lot more “tabs to close” in my mind during tough times. Also, there are certain meditations that when done for an hour can create such a calming effect that it can last throughout an entire workday, and keep me in flow state where I’m much more productive. An hour well spent!

Kevin Bailey, Co-Founder and CEO at Dreamfuel

Practice a Weekly Self-Care Day for a Routine for Well-Being

Sunday Self-Care has become a mantra for me. I spend the morning looking ahead at my schedule for the week, grocery shop in the afternoon, and prioritize relaxing in the evening. Even during challenging times, I feel better rolling into Monday morning knowing I’m mentally prepared… and don’t have the added stress of figuring out what’s for dinner!

Robin Lanning, VP of Sales & Marketing at Tactive


Unplug for Relaxation, Leave Electronics Behind

Turn off the screen, leave the devices behind and do something without electronics! If you are constantly haunted by calls, emails, chats and what-not, your brain cannot relax!

Jesper Kehlet, Founder & CEO at CuroGens



Self-Kindness is Key to Inner Well-Being

One thing that has really helped me lately is to actively remind myself to be kind to myself, especially when I’m not feeling at my best. It’s almost too easy to forget that you should treat yourself like you would your best friend: with patience, grace, forgiveness, and lots of chances to do better. Every time I’m as nice to myself as I would be to my family or friends, I benefit twice over from both giving and receiving compassion.

Jason Kienzle, Vice President of Product & Engineering at Multiply Technology

Meditation Can Help Stress Management and Well-Being

Daily meditation, hands down, is the most powerful technique for managing stress and overall well being. I’ve been a daily meditator for 20 years. If you’re new to meditation, start small with just a few minutes a day. Step away, shut off or completely mute devices (all of them). Sit quietly for a few minutes and just breathe. Nothing special, just be. Do that daily and over time it will grow. This does not yield immediate results, but then in most cases neither does your startup. Be in it for the long haul and reap the rewards!

Rick McGlinchey, Co-Founder at PureInsights


Curious to learn about more strategies for startup executives? We interviewed two startup leaders about mental performance and leadership in the workplace:

How to Find Your Calling and Design a Stronger Work Culture with Dr. Alicia Mckoy

Turning Mindset into Millions: Unlocking Untapped Potential with Mental Performance Training — Kevin Bailey & David DeRam

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