‘How I 13
successful, busy women let us in on their stressbusting secrets.
Jackie Cameron award-winning chef
The pace at which I live is tiring for most just to listen too. When I truly feel overwhelmed, I sit down, write a list and focus only on what is important right NOW. Deadlines are continuous, but seem more manageable when prioritised.
80 Fairlady|September 2012
When your to-do list is about to strangle you, and you’re so swamped that ‘me-time’ might as well be a distant planet in outer space, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed. So how is it that some women seem to have it all figured out? We asked 13 women (who know a thing or two about dealing with life’s pressures) to give us the benefit of their wisdom.
COMPILED BY ROBYN MACLARTY
stay sane’ 2
MD, Chillibush Communications
I phone my mom. She is wise and calm, and I always know I can trust her opinion. She also tells me to stop panicking and ‘buck up’ if I am overreacting.
Tina Eboka founder and director,
Twenty years ago, I was in a very bad way after running a safe house in Johannesburg for the ANC/MK underground. The violence of the late ’80s, the risks we ran, the responsibility for other people’s lives, the difficult issue of armed struggle (especially for a Canadian like me), the pressures of living a double life – it was all overwhelming. I needed to make sense of what had happened, and that led me to study philosophy and eventually to my philosophical counselling practice. I was also lucky to have good companions along the way. Now, to my own surprise, I have what the ancient Greeks would call a philosophical life. I have good work, I live within my means, and I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. Stress comes and goes, but it doesn’t unhinge me.
Tina Eboka & Associates
Prepare a soothing bath with the best salts and bubble bath you can afford, pour a glass of wine and grab a great magazine (like FAIRLADY!) and stay in there for a good 30 minutes to an hour. When I get out, I’m ready to spend quality time with my husband and I can sleep peacefully. When stress gets serious for me, though, I sit with my Bible and I pray. This helps every time.
professional auctioneer and MD, Makwande Connekshin
When I feel overwhelmed, it helps to communicate what I’m feeling to those closest to me. Sometimes my husband and I send the kids to their grandparents in order to escape our work and home for a while. When a mid-week getaway is out of reach, a bit of meditation always puts my mind, body and spirit back in sync.
Melanie Scholtz jazz singer
Even though I love what I do, my job sometimes requires me to be in total control, with lipgloss and a bright smile, irrespective of whatever turmoil might be happening in my life. I try not to change how I perceive my life and purpose on this planet – it’s important to keep some distance from what you think is a matter of life and death. We can be our own worst enemies sometimes – we are the ones giving ourselves the bad reviews! Fairlady|October 2012 29
8 Haydee Antezana
brand strategist and CEO, Professional Impressions
I have to constantly remind myself that Superwoman is a fictional character – she does not exist! Doing everything, all at once, perfectly, every time, has set me up for failure in the past. I now live by the motto ‘do your best – release the rest’.
30 Fairlady|October 2012
writer, editor and women’s rights activist
I spend the last 10 minutes of work on a Friday making my ‘to-do’ list for the following week, so I can enjoy my weekend without the burden of worrying ‘what next’? I also practise hot yoga daily (the hippies are right!) – there is something incredibly special about listening to your body and breath for an hour each day. PS. A regular glass of red wine helps, too.
10. Cheryl Arthur
businesswoman and CEO, Marketer-at-Large
fashion designer & businesswoman
I finally learnt how to say ‘no’ with confidence. The more you say no, the more clarity you have about when to say yes ... It’s very empowering. And it’s important not to feel guilty – be comfortable with accepting the consequences of your decisions.
Stay sane? In the fashion industry, that is an oxymoron. Life is a series of deadlines… Fortunately, I have a pack of Jack Russells that need walking on the mountain every day. There is nothing quite like a power-walk through the proteas to soothe the soul; it puts everything in perspective (sort of).
12. Marianne Fassler fashion designer and businesswoman If you delay or procrastinate, small problems become big problems. In the words of Tom Waits: ‘Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year.’ Have fun, laugh often, stay healthy, live with grace and compassion, and own each day, one day at a time. Kill the bad days.
11. Debbie Netto Jonker financial planner and co-owner, Netto Invest
I have a great support team at home and at work, so when I’m feeling overwhelmed I’m able to decide what is: doable, deferrable, delegateable and forgettable. (I also turn my BlackBerry off between 8pm and 6am, so I don’t miss out on family time.)
13. Dr Anita Jordaan
executive director, TerreSauver Holdings I was born and bred in the corporate world, having stress for breakfast, lunch and dinner… I just assumed it was par for the course. It took me a while to understand life is not supposed to be like that. Whose rule is that anyway? Now, instead of doing crosswords, I memorise verses from the Bible. Not only am I keeping Alzheimer’s at bay (if the scientists are to be believed), but I have wonderful ammunition to immediately feel at peace and focused, knowing that I am not on my own.
PHOTOGRAPHS: SUPPLIED, GALLO IMAGES/SARIE/MEDIA 24 MAGAZINES