With all of the recent news regarding IBD working conditions, I thought it would be helpful to create a forum for more seasoned monkeys to provide advice / best practices in managing physical and/or mental health. 

I think we can all agree that change is not likely to come from the CEO of Goldman Sachs or any other senior banker. The industry itself has a systemic issue / structure that cannot be changed by a few new policies or Pelotons. However, I know for me personally, other analysts / colleagues / friends advice has been by far the most helpful. 

My thought here is to list 3 best practices that any current analyst can put into practice during their daily routine. Hopefully, we can get some momentum here to help all those currently struggling. I know this forum has sure helped me get through some tough times.

I. 10 Minutes of Exercise Every Morning

  • There is a lot of scientific literature on exercise first thing in the morning but for me there are two true benefits.
    • (1) Structure: No matter how bad / unpredictable the day will be or night has been, I always know I will have 10 minutes to myself every morning I wake up.   
    • (2) Small Wins: Although 10 minutes of core, push-ups, weight lifting, etc. does not seem like a significant amount of time, I always come away feeling more accomplished and confident than when I started. That is not to say that confidence ripples through my whole day but it certainly helps me "fill my cup up" and feel more confident when I log on.

II. 10 Minute Call to Friends / Family

  • Whether it is my parents, siblings, college friends, or high school friends I always come away from these calls with more energy and clarity. I find it brings me back to center and reminds me of what is actually important in life. It also enables me to keep up and show commitment to the ones I care about, even if I miss a few dinners here and there due to work. 
  • It is easy to allow IBD or any line of work to completely take over your time. I promise you 10 minutes on the phone with friends and family will DRAMATICALLY reduce your anxiety over the long term if practiced daily and with intention.

III. 10 Minute Reading of Stoic Principals

  • Now this 3rd activity is very specific to me since I studied philosophy in college. However, I always find that I walk away from this 10 minutes of reading having a better outlook on my work and the bigger picture. It is incredibly easy to get wrapped into work and think that this pitch, model, buyer list, diligence tracker, etc. is the end all be all. Something along the thought lines of "HOLY SHIT I FUCKED UP THIS GRAPH AND THE DECK IS OUT AND NOW THE PROCESS IS COMPLETELY FUCKED AND IT IS ALL MY FAULT". Given you only have a few months / years of work experience it is easy to think this in the moment. In reality, this error will be inconsequential to the overall process and a spec of dust compared to your career. Yah, you may get shit on that day or week. 1 month from now no one is going to remember that mistake. If your MD blames this error for why a buyer dropped...NEWS FLASH: That IOI they submitted was complete BS and they never intended to pay for the asset you are selling.
  • Additionally, Stoicism is an age old practice used by some of the most powerful people to walk the earth. I think hundreds of years of critical messages and teachings outweighs the 10 minutes you could spend on insta / updating Salesforce. But hey that's just this monkey's opinion.

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Apr 1, 2021 - 1:06am

A couple of things that've been proven to help boost happiness are a gratitude journal. Write down three things everyday that you're thankful for and why you appreciate them. Makes you more grateful/content and appreciate what you actually have in life. Make your bed everyday, exercise, and meditate. Even 5 or 10 minutes of meditation can really help to release stress and ease into a better mindset.

May 26, 2021 - 9:49pm

I can second Stoicism. It saved me after years of suffering from Tinnitus.

Letters from a Stoic, Meditations, Endichron are the 3 central texts for anyone wondering. The Obstacle is the Way or A Guide to the Good Life are good modern intros. Feeling Good is the most clinical for those really suffering.

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