I joined a monthly book club at my local library to make friends during the pandemic. Now, I read at least one book a month and it has helped improve my well-being in more ways than one. Reading books helps mentally wedge a healthy distance between myself and a stressful situation. Since I became a more active reader, I developed more engaging relationships with my family, friends, and co-workers. Some of the books I read are culturally relevant and add depth to my conversations. These stories also help me better understand people’s perspectives beyond my own experiences. A great example is the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. When my business leaders hosted social justice meetings in response to George Floyd’s murder, I had the confidence and empathy to engage in the conversation thanks to the novels on marginalized communities.
When I lead events, I like to start with an activity that brings people together and lowers stress levels. As Chair of the Fit Club Massachusetts chapter, I’ve hosted gardening kit building and yoga stretching sessions. When my team meetings begin, I kick it off with jokes about “The Bachelor” reality tv show and ask participants for movie recommendations. The business topics I cover shortly after such activities get more productive. People are more engaged when they are in a positive mood.
Francesca Howe, Product Development Senior Analyst at CVS Health
I am a Product Development Senior Analyst. I live in Boston and work in a hybrid office model. I joined CVS Health in 2019 after 5+ years of experience in healthcare technology and merchandising.