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Empowering wellbeing: Simple steps to improve your pelvic health

By Gloria Kolb, co-founder & CEO – Elitone

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Pelvic health is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of overall wellness.

The pelvic floor muscles support many essential bodily functions, including urinary and faecal continence, sexual health, and core stability.

Neglecting pelvic health can lead to significant physical and emotional consequences, including incontinence, chronic pain, and an overall reduced quality of life. 

Despite its importance, many individuals are unaware of how to maintain or improve their pelvic health, often due to societal taboos and a lack of accessible information.

Addressing pelvic health proactively not only prevents long-term complications but also fosters a more vibrant and fulfilling life.

Impacts of ignoring pelvic health

Neglecting one’s pelvic health can lead to significant physical, emotional, and mental consequences.

Physically, issues like incontinence — the involuntary leakage of urine or faeces — can significantly affect daily activities and cause embarrassment, often leading to a reluctance to engage in social or physical activities. 

Chronic pelvic pain is another common consequence that can result from weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles, hindering mobility, reducing comfort during daily activities, and negatively impacting one’s overall quality of life.

Pelvic floor dysfunction can also lead to strained intimate relationships and reduced sexual satisfaction resulting from issues such as dyspareunia (painful intercourse), decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Emotionally and mentally, pelvic health problems can lead to significant stress and anxiety, particularly due to constant worry about incontinence or chronic pain, which can further exacerbate pelvic health issues and affect overall mental health.

Furthermore, struggling with these problems can diminish self-esteem and confidence, often leading to feelings of isolation and a diminished sense of well-being.

The long-term health risks of ignoring pelvic health are also considerable.

Chronic conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse, where the pelvic organs descend and cause discomfort or functional problems, can develop over time.

Poor pelvic health can also elevate the risk of urinary tract infections and other complications, potentially leading to more severe health issues. 

Recognising these impacts underscores the necessity of proactively addressing pelvic health so individuals can prevent adverse outcomes and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Simple steps to improve pelvic health

Statistics tell us that nearly 1 in 3 women suffer from incontinence or some variation of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Here are some simple, actionable steps to help maintain and improve pelvic health:

  • Regular pelvic floor exercises: These include Kegel exercises, yoga, and Pilates. Kegel exercises involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. To perform Kegels, tighten the muscles used to stop urination, hold for a few seconds, then release. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions daily. Incorporating yoga and Pilates into one’s routine can also improve core strength and flexibility to improve pelvic health. Poses like Bridge Pose and Goddess Pose specifically target the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Using wearable devices: Wearable pelvic floor training devices can help you perform Kegel exercises correctly and consistently. These devices perform the exercises for you, making strengthening the pelvic floor muscles effective quicker. There are non-wearable vaginal devices as well that can guide your efforts.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet: Eating foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can prevent constipation and reduce unnecessary strain on the pelvic floor. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain urinary health and prevents dehydration, which can exacerbate pelvic issues. Consuming foods like berries, fatty fish, and leafy greens can help manage pelvic pain due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Incorporating physical activity: Regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, helps maintain overall fitness and supports pelvic health. Activities that strengthen the core muscles, such as planks and abdominal exercises, provide additional support to the pelvic floor.
  • Practicing breathing techniques: Breathing techniques to help alleviate downward pelvic floor pressure can reduce pelvic issues.
  • Seeking professional help: Schedule routine pelvic examinations with healthcare providers to monitor and maintain pelvic health. Consulting a specialist or pelvic floor therapist can provide personalised exercises and treatments to address specific issues.

Taking proactive steps to improve and maintain pelvic health is essential for overall well-being.

However, breaking the silence and stigma surrounding pelvic health is also crucial, which is why we must have open conversations to increase awareness and empower individuals to address their concerns without fear or embarrassment.

Embracing these simple steps will help people take charge of their well-being, paving the way for a healthier, more vibrant future.

Gloria Kolb is the CEO and co-founder of Elitone, the first non-invasive, FDA-cleared, wearable treatment for women with urinary incontinence.

Elitone’s accolades include winning Best New Product by My Face My Body, Sling Shot 2020, finalist in Women Startup Challenge, and many startup pitch competitions.

As an inventor with 30+ patents, Gloria has been featured in Forbes as a Top Scientist Driving Innovation in Women’s Health.

Her creative designs and problem-solving abilities have earned her recognition, such as Boston’s “40 Under 40” and MIT Review’s “World’s Top Innovators under 35.”

She has  Engineering degrees from MIT and Stanford and an Entrepreneurship MBA from Babson College.

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Wellness

How to combat CEO and managerial burnout

By Victoria Roberts – Victoria Robert Marketing

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CEOs and managers face mounting pressures in the workplace that cause them to sacrifice time with family, social activities, and hobbies to adhere to the demands of their job. 

When these work pressures become unrelenting, it pushes many female leaders into a debilitating state of burnout that affects not only job performance but also mental well-being for the long-term.

The impact can be devastating and professional support and care is essential for making it through. 

In this article, we will be sharing how to combat CEO and managerial burnout for a healthier, happier workforce. 

What is Burnout?

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Burnout is associated with physiological signs such as frequent headaches and the inability to shake colds, as well as with psychological symptoms such as quickness to anger and a suspicious attitude about others.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Lack of motivation
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Feeling overwhelmed

The symptoms of burnout can take over women’s lives completely, impacting everything they do at work and at home.

Let’s take a look at how you can combat CEO and leader burnout in the workplace for a happier, healthier work environment.

How to Combat Burnout

There are many tips for combating burnout in the workplace. However, preventing burnout in leaders can be a more difficult task as CEOs and Managers often hold a greater level of responsibility and have a higher workload than their subordinates.

As such, when symptoms of struggle or burnout strike, it can be difficult for managers to step away. 

The aim of the following is to provide actionable steps that CEOs and managers can implement without negatively impacting their job role. 

Recognise the Problem

Awareness is key.

As soon as you notice symptoms appearing, book an appointment with your doctor.

This will help determine whether it’s the onset of burnout or your symptoms are indicative of another physical condition. 

Even if you’re unsure, it’s important not to ignore the symptoms as Doctor Gold tells The New York Times, “It’s really easy to blow off your symptoms, especially in our culture, where we’re taught to work hard.”

It can be difficult to ask for help, but taking a proactive approach at this early stage could be the difference between being burned out and not.

Address the Root of the Problem

Burnout can be caused by many factors and when you’re in a high-pressure role, the assumption is that’s what’s causing the problem. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Symptoms of chronic stress and burnout can have numerous causes, from relationship difficulties and financial struggles, to caregiving burdens and housing stressors.

If there is something in your life that is causing you constant stress, it could be the root cause of your burnout. 

If possible, consider addressing the root cause in order to ease your symptoms.

It may be that you need to ask for help – attend a specialist stress treatment centre, seek support from a financial advisor or ask family members to help with other responsibilities such as childcare.

Whatever it is, now’s the time to work on finding a solution.

Keep Track of Employees

Those in managerial positions also have the challenging task of managing people on a daily basis and this does take its toll. According to the Harvard Business Review, “The manager must cope with the least capable, the suspicious, the rivalrous, the self-centred, and the generally unhappy.”

This has a significant effect on mental wellbeing, stress, and burnout.

Unfortunately, many female CEOs and managers don’t have the luxury of stepping away very easily.

Instead, it’s important to learn new coping strategies that support healthier working relationships. 

One of these is to keep track of employees and rotate them out of exhausting work roles as often as possible.

For most women, changes in job pace, demands, and responsibilities, adds a freshness to their working day that replenishes their energy and motivation. 

Change is also a healthy way to keep your employees happy and satisfied in their job roles so that you have less negativity to deal with in the long-term.

Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time

One of the biggest challenges CEOs and managers face is overwhelming workloads that require longer working hours. Setting boundaries is essential to managing people’s expectations and avoiding excessively long working weeks. 

Setting boundaries and making these clear to your teams is a great way to protect your mental health and avoid symptoms of burnout.

Some great ways to set boundaries at work include:

  • Only working set hours
  • Always taking a lunch break
  • Not taking work home
  • Not answering emails, texts, or phone calls outside of work 

Setting boundaries like these helps protect your time and avoid burnout through overworking.

It also ensures you create a healthy work/life balance that allows for enjoyment of hobbies and time spent with loved ones. 

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this can only be a good thing:

“When people are socially connected and have stable and supportive relationships, they are more likely to make healthy choices and to have better mental and physical health outcomes.

“They are also better able to cope with hard times, stress, anxiety, and depression.”

Organise Formal Retreats

Although this article is primarily focused on burnout in CEOs and managers, burnout affects everyone.

As such, there are companies that organise regular formal retreats (perhaps once a year) for their employees. 

Formal retreats are a great opportunity to take your teams away from the office and give them a chance to unwind and enjoy themselves.

This is also a great way to unburden CEOs and managers, allowing them the opportunity to connect with their teams in a low-pressure environment.

Formal retreats also offer great opportunities for open, honest communication.

They give leaders the chance to be vulnerable with their subordinates by sharing their own struggles and concerns.

This is a great opportunity to learn humble leadership and reassure your team by letting them know you’re human, too!

Seek Emotional and Practical Support

CEOs and managers struggling from burnout need support – both emotionally and practically.

This can come from within the workplace or from home. Everyone needs someone they can turn to. 

According to the University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work, “Those with robust social support networks have better health, longer lives, and report higher well-being.

“Friends and loved ones can make you more resilient in times of stress, setback, or loss […] some friends can even help you identify when you are stressed or distressed – in some cases they may notice it before you do.”

Your support network is essential for success in all areas of your life.

They will provide much-needed advice, guidance, and emotional support at times you feel you need it and even moments when you don’t!

If you want to combat burnout, seeking emotional and practical support from those around you is vital.

In Summary

We hope the tips shared in this article will help combat burnout before it becomes a problem.

Although CEOs and managers are under significant pressure, there are steps you can take to help mitigate these pressures and reduce your stress in a healthy, manageable way.

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Wellness

How this New York start-up is redefining perimenopause

More than one billion women around the world will have experienced perimenopause and be post-menopausal by 2025

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EJ Kim and Marina Pen, founders of NNABI

Menopause is having its moment. High-profile investments and start-ups with celebrity names attached have brought long-overdue attention to this once-taboo area of women’s health. 

However, perimenopause, the transition phase that occurs about ten years before menopause, is still not getting nowhere near enough attention – that’s according to the New York-based wellness start-up NNABI. 

Launched in February 2024, NNABI is opening up the conversation about perimenopause and revolutionising the way women feel during this extraordinary time in their lives. 

Here, co-founders EJ Kim and Marina Pen tell us how. 

Q: Tell us briefly about the co-founders

EJ Kim: Marina and I met as colleagues at a creative agency in New York City about a decade ago.

Our professional relationship grew into a friendship, and eventually, a business partnership.

With over 40 years of combined corporate experience, our superpower is our unparalleled expertise in brand building and marketing. 

Marina Pen: EJ specializes in data-driven business strategy and consumer insights, while I focus on brand planning and creative strategy.

Despite our different strengths, we share two significant commonalities: we were both born and raised outside the United States—EJ in South Korea and I in Argentina—and we have both faced hormonal issues, with EJ managing PCOS and me dealing with endometriosis.

These personal experiences have always been a central part of our conversations, leading us to support each other through our highs and lows.

Q: What inspired you to create NNABI? 

Marina Pen: During one of our conversations, we discovered we were both experiencing perimenopause, a phase we had heard little about.

The lack of resources and support was shocking, and we felt compelled to do something about it.

Determined to help women thrive during perimenopause, we combined our strengths, frustrations, and passion to create NNABI, a venture dedicated to providing support, solutions, and resources for women navigating this particular stage of life. 

EJ Kim: The way we have all been portrayed in the media and the current narrative is not an accurate reflection of what we are and our experiences.

We felt a strong responsibility to change this, to portray these women as bold, confident, and vibrant, and to redefine the narrative around perimenopause. 

Q: What does NNABI mean? 

EJ Kim: NNABI (pronounced Na-Bi) means butterfly in Korean—a symbol of love, hope, beauty, transformation, and new beginnings.

Perimenopause is a biological transformation that all women experience, a process that leads us to become who we are meant to be, which is incredibly inspiring. The name not only reflects our core audience but also embodies NNABI’s mission: to support women as they navigate the significant changes of perimenopause, transforming a potentially confusing time into a period of empowerment and renewed vitality. 

Q: How would you describe NNABI in a few words? 

Marina Pen: NNABI is a pioneer in perimenopausal care, empowering women with targeted, holistic, and science-backed natural solutions. 

Q: What needs did you identify in perimenopause? 

EJ Kim: Perimenopause can start as early as age 35, yet there’s a significant lack of awareness and support, leaving many women to navigate this phase alone.

While the growing dialogue around menopause is great, perimenopause often gets overshadowed.

Many solutions address both peri/menopause simultaneously, which doesn’t fully support women in perimenopause who are still menstruating and can get pregnant.

When women are uninformed, they are more likely to make wrong decisions.

For example, our research involving 400 women aged 35-54 in the USA revealed that only 26.5 per cent attributed their symptoms to perimenopause, with the majority blaming lifestyle factors.

This misunderstanding underscores the urgent need for education and specialised support, which is central to NNABI’s mission.

We want NNABI to be the companion that turns confusion into clarity through credible information, supportive community and natural solutions made specifically for this phase. 

It’s crucial to note that addressing this gap isn’t just about women’s health. At NNABI, we strongly believe it’s about societal health as well.

According to our research, four out of 10 perimenopausal women are the primary earners in their households. Consider the cost and the impact of not taking care of these women! 

Q: What makes NNABI different? 

Marina Pen: Unlike other women’s health brands, NNABI focuses specifically on perimenopause.

Our products, resources, and community are designed to address the unique needs of this phase.

Our flagship products, Peri Essential 5™ and Peri Essential 5™ CBD, are doctor-formulated, award-winning herbal supplements crafted for perimenopause.

They target five key areas of health that address the foundational needs of women in perimenopause —supporting the nervous system, optimising liver and digestive function, stabilizing blood sugar, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation.

This holistic and integrative approach makes our product the most comprehensive, providing support for 10+ symptoms. 

Both formulations contain the same six medical-grade herbs and adaptogens, with Peri Essential 5™ CBD adding broad-spectrum CBD (0% THC) for extra zen effect for those needing additional support with sleep, anxiety, and mood swings. 

EJ: Our supplements are expertly developed in collaboration with top health professionals, including an OBGYN, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, functional medicine doctors, and a compounding pharmacist.

These experts have combined their clinical insights and the latest research to create scientifically sound and effective formulations.

Their critical role in product development ensures that our supplements meet high standards of efficacy and safety.

They remain an integral part of our advisory team, guiding us as we address the unique challenges of perimenopause.

Additionally, we have completed third-party testing and a physician-led open-label trial over 60 days to ensure that quality and efficacy are thoroughly verified.

This March, we were honoured with the NEXTY award in the Supplement Trailblazer category.

This award, recognizing a science-backed natural product that addresses niche, under-served needs, is a wonderful validation of our work.

It acknowledges that while our approach is innovative, it is also critically needed. 

Q: How is NNABI changing the way women experience perimenopause? 

EJ Kim: We are transforming the narrative of perimenopause from one of dread and confusion to one of empowerment and clarity.

We dispel myths about perimenopause, distinguish it from menopause, educate women about its science and biology, and create a supportive community.

Through the tools, solutions, and knowledge we offer, we help women recognise and manage symptoms naturally, enabling them to take control of their health and well-being.

We bring vibrant energy to this dialogue, celebrating what we call “Peri Power,” and aim to make this a modern, mainstream conversation.

Everything we do is research and data-driven, grounding us in rich insights that guide women through this transformative journey. 

Q: How would you describe the impact and importance of your work? 

Marina Pen: Our work is incredibly important.

Hearing from women who have benefited from our information and products drives us to keep going.

In the physician-led open-label trial we conducted, women reported tangible differences when taking our supplement. 

However, we also want to emphasise that there is no quick fix or magic pill.

Our goal goes beyond alleviating symptoms; it’s about empowering a whole generation to approach perimenopause with knowledge and confidence, greatly enhancing their quality of life. 

We aim to empower women to advocate for themselves, armed with knowledge that transforms their health and well-being during and beyond perimenopause. 

Q: What is the best part about being an entrepreneur in this space? 

Marina Pen: The most exhilarating part is seeing the real-world impact of our work—the stories from women who’ve reclaimed their vitality and joy thanks to the support they find with NNABI. It’s inspiring to connect with other trailblazers in women’s health,

further fuelling our passion to innovate and advocate for change. Being at the forefront of this transformative movement in healthcare is both a privilege and a profound responsibility. 

EJ Kim: As users and the biggest fans of Peri Essential 5™ ourselves, we experience its tangible benefits first-hand.

It’s a gratifying and humbling feeling knowing that we’re not only helping ourselves but also others.

Speaking of others, we’re energised by the prospect of changing the game for the next generation of women entering this phase.

Our goal is for all women to fight and suffer less but thrive more, embodying the bold, ambitious spirit that defines them. Women are powerful, and we are committed to doing our part to support them.

To find out more about NNABI, visit nnabilife.com.

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