Having worked at startups for the majority of my career, I know a thing or two about stress. The feeling of being overwhelmed is unbearable, and the feeling of elation is what makes it all worth it. It's difficult to learn to separate personal happiness and satisfaction from work, but here are some things things that have helped me over the years. More specifically, I have learned to search for proactive solutions that are preventative as opposed to reactive solutions that are diagnostic.
PillPack has transformed the way I view and take supplementation. After a year with PillPack, I believe the foundation for the future of supplementation will be in personalization.
I don't use PillPack the way it was intended, which is to automate the process of receiving and taking prescription drugs by filling a daily dose in a pack (ergo the name). Rather, I was searching for a service that would fill my pill pack for the upcoming week, as I disdained the process of finding reputable supplement brands, restocking, and filling vitamins. I remembered that my friend John Capecelatro had joined a company called PillPack a few years ago which was doing just that, but for . After a bit of playing around with the product - lo and behold, I found that they also do it for non-prescription things, like vitamins. Taking my supplements everyday has never been easier.
My use case for PillPack is likely an anomaly. I would use a service that's cater-built for this use case like Care/of, but PillPack's pricing right now beats out other services (despite this being outside of their core demographic). I highly recommend PillPack for anyone who hates navigating the sea of supplement brands and filling “pill packs” each week.
Spar is an app that several friends (Kyle Kirchhoff, Blake Masters) created. Biases aside, this app is truly incredible. It's helped me get into routines and acquire habits that I always thought I'd never have the willpower to do myself. It takes the best parts of psychology and gamification, and incites your inner type-A persona to bring out the best in you... with the motivation of money and winning a competition against friends (where all players win).
After two physically and mentally exhausting visits to a 7am meditation at the San Francisco Buddhist Center, I decided I need to ease into meditation if I were to do it the right way. Going straight into the deep end of meditation with a 50-60 silent meditation was incredibly difficult for me.
Wanting to learn more but not having time to devote for actual in-person sessions, I asked friends which meditation services they found helpful and most recommended either Calm or Headspace. I went with Headspace, as I felt like the design and usability was stronger at the time. It’s been great to use during a stressful day at work or while taking an Uber/Lyft ride.
Best place I've found with unbiased, easily-digestible content on supplementation. Great combination for self-prescripted supplements via PillPack.
Jade Yoga Mat
Having tried and returned a good number of yoga mats (Gaiam, Manduka) over the years, I ultimately settled on Jade. They make the grippest, most sturdy mats I've used, and work for both yoga as well as general body exercises.
Care/of, as mentioned, is a service exactly like PillPack but for non-prescriptive vitamins and supplements. The only reason I haven't switched is because PillPack beats them on pricing.
When my friend Josh Grenon and I were working together at Shyp, I had learned that he was an active weightlifter. So when Josh left to join a young company called Zenrez, I had to give it a shot. Zenrez is a service that built booking software for fitness studios to offer classes to its customer base without memberships (its fundamental difference to ClassPass). While I had a great experience with booking classes through the platform, I still can't stomach paying $25-30 for an hour long class - not a knock on Zenrez. Maybe that will change down the line.
I gave Gixo a shot during my trial period and really enjoyed it. It's like Peloton, where a real instructor teaches a class virtually but in real-time (as opposed to the pre-recorded classes). I took my first class during a work trip in Tahoe, and found it exhilirating. The live instructor, in London, was both helpful and motivating. I prefer exercising on my own rhythm and schedule, but Gixo is something I may switch into my daily routine down the line when I need an extra boost.
I'm really on the fence with Peloton. I keep going back and forth on purchasing a bike, my opinion being strongly swayed by the season and weather. The primary detractor is the feeling of being stuck inside to cycle on a stationary bike, when I could simply go outside and enjoy a beautiful bike ride through the Bay Area. Really split.
I use ClassPass only when there are promotional deals. The new pricing model is far too much for a guy like me who only takes two or three classes a month. The studios and classes were wonderful, but I'm just not active enough to even be monetarily incentivized to walk or Uber to a new studio to work out.
As much as the VC's and health gurus are hyping up the "quantified self," I - how do I put this - just didn't care enough to continue setting an alarm or viewing my sleep patterns. I had sold my unit even before the company shuttered.
I love the business model of Rested, an Atomic company. They provide a consumer service that's much-needed and very well-received, and sell an insurance-covered service that comes out free for the end user. Rested ultimately uses its consumer-facing app as lead generation for its monetization strategy which is to charge insurance carriers for its referrals of people who are at-risk for sleep apnea. I ultimately stopped using alarm clocks because I don't want to wake Kati up, but it was insightful to see my sleep patterns.
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