Power Players

Sallie Krawcheck: Give yourself an hour a day just to 'freak' amid coronavirus pandemic

Sallie Krawcheck
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

While following "stay at home" orders due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone has reacted differently – some recommend increasing productivity, others say to focus on mental health or take time to organize your space.

And then there is the uncertainty of the job and financial markets.

But according to Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of digital investment platform Ellevest, giving yourself an hour to "freak" each day is important.

"You've got to compartmentalize," Krawcheck said during a LinkedIn "Business Unusual" Q&A on Thursday. "What I would suggest you try to do is give yourself the time and the space to be nervous, uncertain and scared, and look at the news obsessively that you know you're not supposed to."

"You know, do all that stuff. Give yourself an hour a day, I'm just going to like, freak. Maybe if you had a psychologist on here, maybe they would say that isn't healthy, but I'm a business person," she said.

According to Lynn Bufka, clinical psychologist and senior director at the American Psychological Association, "you have to find your own way through this," even if that means taking time to "freak."

"Some people find it useful to allow themselves to 'freak,' while others would have a hard time ending a freak-out session," she told CNBC Make It. "If freaking out gets the feelings out of our system and gives us some relief, great! But if we get stuck in freak out mode, not so good."

Regarding the news, Bufka says paying attention to the extent that we are "sufficiently informed about the world" is important, but that amount of exposure depends from person to person.

But, "It probably can be bounded for each person," she said. "Determine the right amount of exposure for your own needs. And yes, recognize that the news can be scary, uncertain, challenging – it's completely okay to have those feelings. It's how we respond to the feelings that matter. So that's really the key."

Along with time to "freak," Krawcheck recommends spending some time "advancing a skill." 

"Some period of the day ... I'm going to learn about marketing analytics, I'm going to learn how to code, I'm going to learn about leadership. And so much online is being made available," she said during the Q&A. 

"Invest that in yourself."

"We all got time now," Krawcheck said. "Making that investment in getting to know yourself I think is going to be the smartest investment you could possibly make."

Krawcheck isn't alone in her thinking – entrepreneur Daymond John agrees.

The Fubu founder and CEO recommends taking this time to "reinvest in yourself," he told CNBC Make It in March. 

"I am educating myself on platforms, such as Zoom and TikTok," he said, so that he can increase engagement on his various social media platforms. "You have this opportunity. Set those personal goals for yourself."

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