The Startup CEO's Ultimate Guide to Combating Stress & 'Silicon Valley Syndrome'

Liz Barnet

Liz Barnet is a fitness and food coach with a private practice in New York City. She also instructs classes at two fitness studios, SLT and Uplift Studios. Her certifications include personal training, group fitness, yoga (RYT-200), and holistic health coaching, among others.

Barnet says worker-bees need to adopt these habits: 

1. It's okay to indulge in massage therapy. Regular massage reduces stress and improves exercise performance. So go ahead and book that spa appointment! 

2. Short on time? Be your own masseuse. Self-myofascial release is the cheap and easy answer to a personal masseuse. The basic techniques use simple tools like foam rollers, textured sticks and trigger point balls.

You can use a full length foam roller to increase circulation, decrease tension, improve lymphatic drainage and remove adhesions all over your body. Focus on your quads, glutes and upper back to combat chronic desk posture. Aim for five minutes in the morning and five during the typical afternoon slump.

If a foam roller is too obvious, bring in a tennis ball to sit on or roll under bare feet. This will help hydrate tissues, which is essential if you work a desk-bound job.

3. Stretch out your sedentariness. Follow up your self-myofascial release with a few key stretches to decrease muscular tension, enhance breathing capacity (which instantly boosts energy), and recover from workouts without setting foot in a gym. Again, focus on the areas that get tense from sitting hunched all day.

Stretch your quads and work your balance by standing on one leg and bringing the opposite heel to your backside; you should feel a stretch in the front of your bent leg. Right at your desk you can turn your head right and left and look up and down, stretching your neck and shoulders. 

4. Get beauty sleep. “It bears repeating that getting consistent, adequate sleep is the number one thing you can do to step up your performance,” says Barnet. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain, carbohydrate cravings, irritability, inability to focus, suppressed immunity and widespread inflammation.

The Startup CEO's Ultimate Guide to Combating Stress & 'Silicon Valley Syndrome'

Tanya Benedicto Klich is a data and lists editor at

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